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Faded hopes: Inter Milan lose lead, drop 3-2 decision to Juventus

Old Lady storm back to win Derby d’Italia.

FC Internazionale v Juventus - Serie A
FC Internazionale Milano coach Luciano Spalletti looks on during the serie A match between FC Internazionale and Juventus at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 28, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Despite equalizing then taking the lead midway through the second half, Inter Milan could not hold off a late charge by Juventus.

An own-goal by Milan Skriniar and Gonzalo Higuain’s strike – just two minutes apart – coupled with Inter playing with 10 men and head coach Luciano Spalletti removing Mauro Icardi just minutes before the doors came off, led Juventus to a 3-2 win in the Derby d’Italia Saturday at the San Siro.

FC Internazionale v Juventus - Serie A
Mauro Emanuel Icardi of FC Internazionale Milano scores his goal during the serie A match between FC Internazionale and Juventus at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 28, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

The win helped the Old Lady’s chances of another Scudetto as they moved four points ahead of Napoli – who won’t play until Sunday, but even a win would keep Juventus in first.

The loss didn’t help the Nerazzurri as they remain in fifth-place, a point back of Lazio – who plays Sunday – and four back of Roma, who knocked off Chievo earlier in the day.

In the first half, it looked as if Juventus would end Inter Milan’s run at the San Siro and make the Nerazzurri’s hole to get into the Champions League that much deeper.

Coming out of halftime, Inter showed a surprising amount of attack and, in the 51st minute, Joao Cancelo found Icardi unmarked in front of the Juventus net. Icardi headed home the goal just past Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon.

It was the 27th goal of the season for Icardi.

Then, in the 65th minute, Ivan Perisic battled with Juan Cuadrado on the left of Juve’s goal. Perisic was tripped up but managed to get back up and get control of the ball just inside the area.

After a few touches, Perisic looked in front of goal, but pass ricocheted off the foot of Andrea Barzagli and past Gigi Buffon to put Inter up 2-1 midway through the second half.

The own-goal forced Juventus to bring more pressure up front with the likes of Costa and Federico Bernardeschi and Paulo Dybala – Dybala came into the match five minutes before the oen-goal and Bernardeschi was subbed in just after the goal.

In the 75th minute, Dybala nearly equalized, but Samir Handanovic was able to tip the delivery over the top of the net.

Juventus continued to press, forcing Inter to sit back and play defense. Juventus had a period in the 76th minute where they earned two consecutive corner kicks.

But, on a counter attack, Antonio Candreva and Icardi were outnumbered 4-2, but Candreva was able to work around and pass across to Icardi, but the pass was just outside the reach of Icardi and went out of play.

With a lead in the 80th minute, Spalletti made a strange decision and pulled Icardi off the field to bring in Davide Santon for extra defense.

However, that backfired after the own-goal from Skriniar and Higuain’s goal in the 88th minute.

The emotions started before the game began as the Inter Milan Curva Nord unveiled a banner depicting Juventus as Pinocchio with the staying “Never been in Serie B.”

Just give minutes after kickoff, Cuadrado found his name in the book after a tough challenge on Perisic.

Juventus found its offense in the 12th minute. Cuadrado aimed across the field and found Blaise Matuidi who’s glancing header hid Douglas Costa on the foot and his shot in the bottom right of the goal, past Samir Handanovic.

The video-assisted referee was conferred with and it was determined that Matuidi was onside when he received the pass from Cuadrado.

Controversy found its way in the 17th minute when Matias Vecino was shown a yellow card after a challenge on Mario Mandzukic. The VAR was used and it was determined to show Vecino a straight red card and leave Inter with just 10 men for the remainder of the game.

Despite being down a man, Inter was able to hold off Juventus for the remainder of the half.

Antonio Candreva nearly got his wish when he drilled a shot from distance, but Gigi Buffon stretched out just far enough to push the attempt away from danger.

Cuadrado fouled Perisic again, but this time there was no call and no free kick.

Matuidi nearly doubled Juventus’ lead when he took a pass in the area and found the back of the net, but the VAR found him to be offside.

Inter Milan will travel to take on Udinese at 6:30 a.m. (ET) Sunday, May 6.

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