Inter secured a crucial 1-0 Derby d’Italia win at Juventus to keep their Serie A title hopes alive.
Juventus dominated the majority of the first half, but it was Inter who took the lead from the penalty spot just moments before the break.
The visitors were controversially awarded a spot kick after a lengthy VAR check showed slight contact from Alvaro Morata on Denzel Dumfries, who fell to the floor clutching his leg.
Hakan Calhanoglu stepped up but was denied by Wojciech Szczesny, before Adrien Rabiot fumbled the rebound into his own net after a handful of players had thrown themselves at the loose ball.
The referee then disallowed the goal for a foul in the box, before VAR interfered again and called for the penalty to be retaken for encroachment by Matthijs de Ligt.
Calhanoglu made no mistake the second time, firing into the bottom left corner to give Inter the advantage going into the interval.
Dusan Vlahovic had a handful of chances to equalise, with the best of them just after the hour mark. The ball was knocked into his feet but after doing well to get it under control and make room for a shot, he could only steer his effort wide.
Juventus continued to push for an equaliser in the second half, but Inter defended excellently to see out a massive win and strengthen their position in the title race.
TALKING POINT – JUVENTUS’ TITLE HOPES FADE, INTER WELL IN THE RACE
Juventus simply had to win today if they had any chance of making a late title charge, but they couldn’t post a result against their old enemies. The loss today means they’re now seven points behind leaders AC Milan having played the same number of games, with only eight more to play. The best they can probably hope for now in the league is to secure fourth spot and confirm their place in next season’s Champions League.
On the other hand, that win for Inter Milan is absolutely massive and puts them within touching distance of top spot. They’re now only three points behind the leaders and their rivals, with a game in hand on second-placed Napoli too. There’s lots of football still to play, but tonight could be the difference come the end of the season if Inter manage to retain the title.
MAN OF THE MATCH – CALHANOGLU (INTER MILAN)
This could have gone to anyone in the Inter Milan defence for their heroic defensive display, but it was Hakan Calhanoglu who kept his cool under incredible pressure to make the difference on the night.
Not only did he put in a brilliant shift himself, but he also made up for his original mistake from 12 yards to fire Inter towards a crucial three points and keep their title hopes alive.
JUVENTUS: Szczesny 7, Chiellini 7, De Ligt 6, Danilo 6, Alex Sandro 7, Cuadrado 7, Rabiot 6, Locatelli 5, Vlahovic 6, Morata 5, Dybala 7
Subs: Kean 5, Bernardeschi N/A, Zakaria 6, De Sciglio 5, Arthur N/A
INTER: Handanovic 8, D’Ambrosio 8, Skriniar 8, Bastoni 8, Dumfries 7, Barella 7, Brozovic 7, Calhanoglu 8, Perisic 7, Dzeko 6, Lautaro 6
Subs: Correa 6, Darmian 6, Vidal 5, Gagliardini 5, Gosens N/A
45’+1 – INTER HAVE A PENALTY! After a lengthy VAR check, the referee checks the monitor himself and gives the signal! Wow, that’s a big, big call.
45’+3 – SAVED! Pandemonium here! Calhanoglu has his spot kick saved by Szczesny, and then about five or six players throw themselves at the rebound and Rabiot turns it into his own net, but the referee has given a free-kick Juventus’ way! VAR are involved again and there could be more drama…
45’+4 – PENALTY WILL BE RETAKEN! After all of that, the penalty will be retaken because of encroachment from De Ligt! Here we go again…
45’+4 – GOAL! JUVENTUS 0-1 INTER MILAN (CALHANOGLU): He makes no mistake this time, and buries his spot kick in the bottom left corner! The champions lead in the Derby d’Italia!
64’ – WHAT A CHANCE! Vlahovic misses the target after a brilliant turn on the edge of the box. The ball is wrapped into his feet, and he does so well to get it under control and make room to shoot, but steers his effort wide!