Inter Milan wanted so desperately to end the unbeaten run of Juventus with a win at the San Siro, but instead the Old Lady have recaptured first place in Serie A, their 2-1 victory giving them all three points. Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio knocked in the goals for the visitors, neatly bracketing Maicon's equalizing volley.
This season's first Derby d'Italia started off on just the right foot, with both sides instantly on the offensive. It was the nerazzurri, surprisingly enough, who looked as though they'd be the first to score -- and possibly even come away with the win. Giampaolo Pazzini had forced Gigi Buffon into a save within three minutes, Wesley Sneijder tried his luck, and Esteban Cambiasso's shot went just wide, all within the first ten minutes.
But it was the visitors that opened the scoring, courtesy of Vucinic's second goal of the season. Stephan Lichtsteiner sent in a pass from the right, and Alessandro Matri tried his luck. Unfortunately for Eyelashes, his shot ricocheted off sliding Inter defender, but Vucinic was there to pounce, putting the ball past Inter reserve keeper Luca Castellazzi.
With the way Inter poured forward, searching for an equalizer, it seemed as though it would be the bianconeri that took the second goal as well -- the home side were simply leaving too many holes in the back. But instead it was the Juve backline that fell apart, with Giorgio Chiellini unable to stop the advancing Maicon, whose volleyed shot had Gigi Buffon well and truly beaten.
Inter were quite unlucky to not take the lead minutes later, when Pazzini's shot rattled the crossbar, with Buffon beaten once again. Yet it was Juventus that took the lead, just five minutes after the Maicon equalizer. Matri and Claudio Marchisio enjoyed a lovely little back and forth before Marchisio sent his shot into the right corner, Castellazzi's dive coming just a bit too late to save Inter's face. And fate. 34 minutes in, 2-1 Juventus, and that's where the score would stay.
Despite a thrilling first half, the second half was defined more by frazzled tempers than passionate play. Seven yellows were awarded in this derby fixture, with five of those shown in the second half. Sure, both sides continued to press forward, but there was also quite a bit more falling, rolling, waving of arms, and heated appeals to the referee than genuine shots on target. Pazzini came close with five minutes to go, but his shot went just wide. Moments later, Alessandro Del Piero, freshly substituted on for Vucnic, attempted to make an impression, but his low shot wobbled wide.
So even if Udinese beat Palermo on Sunday, they won't be able to catch the Old Lady, enjoying her throne at the top of the table. And although it's highly unlikely, if Bologna beat Atalanta tomorrow, and Lecce lose to Novara, Inter could find themselves in the relegation zone.