Inter Milan ended AC Milan's Scudetto hopes and revived their own chances of playing in the Champions League next season with a 4-2 win in the Derby della Madonnina at the Stadio San Siro tonight.
A hat-trick from Diego Milito, two from the penalty spot, earned i Nerazzurri all three points with two goals from Serie A top goalscorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, also including a penalty, not enough to keep Massimiliano Allegri's side within touch of the new Serie A champions Juventus. Maicon added a stunning fourth for Inter, who now have it all to play for against Lazio on the final day of the season next week with just three points separating them from Udinese in third place
Milan missed the first chance of the game when Ibrahimovic somehow touched the ball over the crossbar from five yards out when it seemed easier to hit the target. Inter responded well and penned Milan in their own half for the rest of the first half, with Milito putting them ahead in the 14th minute. Wesley Sneijder's free-kick was touched across goal by Walter Samuel to allow Milito to beat Christian Abbiati from five yards out.
Abbiati denied Sneijder a second goal in the 25th minute when he pushed the Dutchman's shot out to Lucio, whose excellent goal on the volley was rightly ruled out for offside. The first major talking point arrived ten minutes before the break when Esteban Cambiasso's header was plucked out from on the goal line by Abbiati with the ball not appearing to have fully crossed the line, and the goal was not awarded.
While doubts will persist about whether the ball was in or not, Julio Cesar will feel he was able to push the ball away from Kevin-Prince Boateng at the other end as the Ghanian broke into the area. However, referee Nicola Rizzoli, who will be representing Italy at UEFA EURO 2012, saw a foul and pointed to the penalty spot.
Ibrahimovic ignored Julio Cesar's attempts to unnerve him and sent his spot-kick unstoppably into the bottom corner to bring i Rossoneri level just before the break. Only 30 seconds were on the clock at the start of the second half when Ibrahimovic took the ball past Lucio and lifted it over Julio Cesar into the far corner to put Milan ahead.
Sneijder responded with a volley from 45 yards out which was dipping towards the goal, but Marco Amelia made a save. The second penalty of the night was indisputable as Ignazio Abate tugged Milito down inside the area and the Argentinian brought Inter level in the 52nd minute.
Another penalty decided the game, with Alessandro Nesta punished for handling the ball from Giampaolo Pazzini's header and Milito stepping up to the spot again, choosing the other corner this time to beat Amelia and complete his hat-trick. Maicon then sealed the win with an unstoppable shot into the top left-hand corner in the 88th minute to hand the title to Inter's arch-rivals Juve at the expense of their city rivals Milan.