Inter on Sunday moved to the top of Serie A after storming back from two goals down to snatch a 4-2 win over AC Milan in a pulsating derby at the San Siro.
Inter pulled level on 54 points with Juventus, who lost 2-1 at Hellas Verona on Saturday, but are ahead of the champions on goal-difference thanks to a thrilling second-half turnaround after Ante Rebic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had put Milan 2-0 up at halftime.
SS Lazio are just a point behind in third after Felipe Caicedo scored the only goal in a hard-fought win at Parma earlier on Sunday.
“It’s a special night, because in the first half we were in great difficulty like we hadn’t been this season. There was the risk of taking a hammering,” Inter coach Antonio Conte said. “Credit to these lads because they were able to resist the blows, which means that we are ready for something good. It’s absolutely too early to talk about things that we can still dream of today.”
Milan had dominated the first half with Inter struggling to deal with Ibrahimovic, who soared above Diego Godin to knock down for Rebic to tap the opener past Daniele Padelli.
Stefan de Vrij blocked another cross to deny Rebic a second tap-in, but Franck Kessie flicked on for a waiting Ibrahimovic to turn in the second.
The Inter comeback began five minutes after halftime when Brozovic lashed home a stunning volley and two minutes later Mattias Vecino finished off an Alexis Sanchez pass to level the scores.
De Vrij put Inter ahead with a superb diving header with 20 minutes to go, and after Ibrahimovic hit the post for Milan, Romelu Lukaku headed home substitute Victor Moses’ cross three minutes into stoppage-time to maintain Inter’s charge for a first scudetto in a decade.
Milan’s collapse means they missed the chance to move into the UEFA Europa League places.
“It’s difficult to explain. The first half was almost perfect, the second half the opposite,” Ibrahimovic said. “We conceded the first goal and the squad lost faith, then conceded a second and everything fell apart. Inter in the first half didn’t look like a team who were second, but then demonstrated why they were after the break.”
Caicedo kept Lazio’s own dream of a first scudetto in 20 years alive as a 1-0 win over Parma kept the Romans in contention.
Simone Inzaghi’s side are right in the title discussion after extending their unbeaten streak to 18 league games.
Their last Serie A defeat was in September last year to Inter, who they host at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Sunday.
“We are trying to stay in there, fighting against the battleships. With this spirit, we can advance very well,” Inzaghi said. “Sunday will be a great game against a great team.”
SSC Napoli’s struggles continued as they collapsed to a 3-2 defeat at home to US Lecce.
Last season’s runners-up had rekindled hopes of making the Europa League next season after league wins over Juventus and UC Sampdoria, and by eliminating Lazio from the Coppa Italia.
Gianluca Lapadula netted a brace, opening the scoring after half an hour, with Marco Mancoscu sealing the victory with a superb free-kick eight minutes from time.
Arkadiusz Milik had leveled for Napoli just after halftime, with Jose Callejon reducing the deficit late on.
Elsewhere, Mario Balotelli’s Brescia earned a point with a 1-1 draw at home against Udinese in new coach Diego Lopez’s first game in charge of the basement club.
Jeremie Boga scored late to grab a 2-1 win for US Sassuolo at SPAL, while Genoa defeated Cagliari 1-0.
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