Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of tonight's derby between Inter Milan and AC Milan at the San Siro.
By Sam Hughes, Reporter Filed: Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 18:45 UK
Last Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 at 06:19 UK
The San Siro hosted one of the fiercest derbies in world football as Inter Milan took on AC Milan in Serie A on Sunday night.
Inter, who were sitting in fifth place, and struggling for form, had won just one game in their last four.
The Nerazzurri's last league outing ended in an embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Fiorentina, though Andrea Stramaccioni was hoping for a better performance and result from his side to kick start their season once again.
Milan, on the other hand, had not lost a game since the turn of the year, with their form propelling them into third place.
Massimiliano Allegri's side went into the derby full of confidence following their superb 2-0 win over La Liga giants Barcelona in the Champions League.
Milan dominated the first half from start to finish and took the lead on 20 minutes through Stephan El Shaarawy.
They should have gone in at half time with much more than a 1-0 lead, though an inspired performance from Samir Handanovic kept Milan's forwards at bay.
Inter then came out in the second half with much more purpose and began to cause the Rossoneri problems as they pushed forward.
The home side then got their much-deserved equaliser on 71 minutes through a fine header from Ezequiel Schelotto, who had been on the pitch for just three minutes.
Find out how all the action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text commentary below.
6.45pmGood evening all! Welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary of tonight's Serie A clash between Inter Milan and AC Milan.
6.47pmIt's the one we all look forward to every season - the Milan derby!
6.49pmWe've got a real game in store tonight, these big derbies at the San Siro always tend to deliver. I'm sure this one will be no different! Especially when you consider some of the players that are set to be out on that field tonight.
6.51pmOf course, the derby provides plenty of drama as it is - though, with the addition of Mario Balotelli, who is returning to his old side in a rival's shirt, the drama has definitely gone up a notch!
6.54pmMario has had plenty of history at the heart of this Milan rivalry over the years. I'm sure we all remember the stories of him wearing an Milan shirt whilst at Inter!
6.56pmBalotelli was, of course, asked in a press conference if he'd celebrate against his old club should he score. His answer: "I'd celebrate, yes,"
6.57pmI think we know where his loyalties lie! He's made that very clear and I'm sure he'll have a big say in tonight's game, especially when you consider his form since joining Milan in January. He has been very, very impressive.
7.00pmAllegri has mentioned that this could be the first big test of Balotelli's maturity since joining the club. Inter fans are sure to give him quite the reception upon his return, so it'll be interesting to see how he deals with that.
7.01pmHe has seemed much happier than he was at Manchester City, but will this translate onto the pitch when the going gets tough? Milan will certainly hope so!
7.04pmIt's not all about Balotelli tonight, though - as Inter are absolutely desperate for a big win to kick start their faltering season.
7.07pmStramaccioni's side have been out-of-form for a while now, with real inconsistency throughout the side. However, it all seemed to fall apart in the 4-1 defeat to Fiorentina. Another performance like that and Milan will run riot tonight!
7.10pmMilan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, De Sciglio; Muntari, Montolivo, Nocerino; Boateng, Balotelli, El Shaarawy
7.12pmAndrea Ranocchia and Ricky Alvarez are the suprise inclusions for Inter tonight, with the former thought to be ruled out of the game, having picked up a knee injury in mid-week. Alvarez, on the other hand, will be hoping to put in a performance after many inconsistent displays.
7.15pmRanocchia making the starting lineup also allows Esteban Cambiasso to start in midfield, which is a huge boost for the Nerazzurri. Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo will have to be firing tonight - there's no Diego Milito and, therefore, no big-game striker to rely on.
7.17pmKevin-Prince Boateng continues for Milan after his impressive goal-scoring performance in the 2-0 win over Barcelona in the Champions League. M'Baye Niang drops to the bench to make way for the enigmatic forward.
7.23pmSome interesting team choices from both managers, there. It looks as though Stramaccioni is banking on Alvarez to turn up tonight and help the seemingly tiring Palacio and Cassano, who are shouldering the burden for a somewhat light Inter attack.
7.25pmBoateng will be full of confidence - along with the rest of the Milan side, it has to be said - after his goal against Barca. It could be considered harsh on Niang, though, who has been in wonderful form in recent weeks.
7.27pmMilan are in much better form than their rivals ahead of tonight's derby, having gone unbeaten in six games. Inter, on the other hand, have been erratic, to say the least!
7.29pmHowever, as is often said, form goes out of the window on derby day. The emotion will inevitably take over in some way - it's just who deals with it better. Finely poised, indeed!
7.30pmIt's worth mentioning that Stramaccioni has won his last two Milan derbies, with the last game ending up in a 1-0 win for his side.
7.32pmTo say things have changed since that game in October is a huge understatement. In fact, had the season started in late October, AC Milan would be top of Serie A by four points - highlighting just how Allegri has changed his side's fortunes.
7.35pmThere's some key battles ahead tonight, many of which could decide the game.
7.36pmMilan's front three against Inter's struggling defence is just one area to keep an eye on. They've looked really uncomfortable at times and Stramaccioni's switching between a back three and four hasn't helped, either!
7.38pmWhen you consider that Ranocchia is also carrying an injury and playing alongside the talented - but very young and inexperienced - Juan Jesus, it could be a huge task!
7.40pmAlso, the battle between El Shaarawy and Zanetti - old versus young - is sure to be an absorbing one! Zanetti will be using all his experience against the raw pace, trickery and movement of the young Italian. I'm sure the youngster will have some defending to do, too - Zanetti isn't shy in getting down the line!
7.42pmI was tempted to sit on the fence and go for a score draw tonight - possibly 2-2 - but there hasn't been a draw in this fixture since October 2004!
7.44pmI think I'll have to go for Milan - they're in form, very confident and can definitely do damage to that Inter defence. Though, would I be surprised to see Inter put in a huge performance? Not at all.
7.45pmThe teams are out on the pitch - we're not far from kick off at the San Siro!
7.46pmAn incredible atmosphere inside the stadium! As ever, both sets of fans are putting on quite a show; banners, flags, flares - the lot!
7.46pmZanetti and Abbiati have shaken hands as the sides' captains - we're almost there.
1 minA little early test for Ranocchia, who is closed down by Balotelli. The centre back keeps his cool and plays out from the back. Test passed!
4 minThe game is just starting to settle down now, with Milan taking early control in terms of possession. Plenty of hard work from Inter's midfield, though.
6 minCHANCE! De Sciglio cuts into the box and takes aim, but his shot is deflected just wide of the post. It looks as though Handanovic had it covered, though.
8 minSome good work-rate shown by Alvarez so far in these opening stages - he's been very positive each time he's got hold of the ball. Good signs for Inter, who will need on form tonight.
10 minFirst opportunity for Milan to break is cut out well by Juan Jesus. Allegri's side could've made much more of that attack!
11 minA wonderful dink into the box by Cassano releases Palacio, though Mexes just about recovers to clear. A good spell for Inter, here.
13 minCassano showing some great touches so far tonight - he's just turned Mexes in an instant, forcing the Frenchman into a foul. A yellow card has come out, too - he'll have to be careful from now on.
14 minCHANCE! Great ball into the box from the left by De Sciglio, it falls to Balotelli in the six-yard box, who controls but cannot keep his balance! That was a big chance for Milan!
16 minOpening up a little bit more now as Palacio peels away from the centre backs to create space for a shot, though he drags it well wide.
18 minA mix up in the midfield involving Montolivo almost allows Inter to break away, but Palacio doesn't tale full advantage. Definitely should have done much better with that!
21 minMilan win the ball high up the field, before Boateng picks out El Shaarawy with an exquisite ball into the 18-yard box. The young Italian controls and finishes superbly with the outside of his foot. 1-0 Milan!
23 minIt has to be said that the goal isn't entirely a surprise. El Shaarawy is giving Nagatomo a torrid time on the left wing, often dragging him inside to allow De Sciglio to bomb forward. That is something Stramaccioni has to deal with soon!
26 minIt's been pretty much all Milan since the goal - it looks as though they fancy another goal while the pressure is on Inter.
27 minCHANCE! Balotelli powers a header towards goal from a corner, but Handanovic pulls off an incredible reaction save to keep the striker out. The ball bounced on the line after his save before he gathered calmly.
29 minCHANCE! Another ball in from the left wing finds Balotelli in the box, who tips towards goal, but Handanovic keeps him out. Mario boots the post in frustration - that could have been two!
31 minInter are starting to look nervous at the back once again, with Milan regularly finding space in behind since the goal - mainly down the left wing.
33 minSome breaking news coming through as this game continues: Palermo have sacked Alberto Malesani after just three games in charge and called back Gian Piero Gasperini, who himself was fired at the start of February. Incredible!
35 minMilan have a free kick on the edge of the area. It's definitely Mario territory - though, he's hit it straight at the wall.
38 minInter can't seem to get anything going when they push forward. Cassano aside, there's a real lack of guile and creativity. They are trying to use Guarin's athleticism against De Sciglio, though the young full back has done far more damage going forward so far.
40 minCHANCE! Balotelli smashes a 40-yard free kick towards goal and gets plenty of swerve on it. Handanovic just about deals with it and gets it clear.
41 minCambiasso is charging round and looks as though he's left a foot in on Montolivo, which has riled the Milan players. They've not been happy with the Argentine's behaviour in this half.
43 minJuan Jesus has just put a late one on Boateng now and been booked - frustration setting in as the first half draws to a close.
8.33pmAnother lacklustre performance from Inter so far, as the Rossoneri have dominated that first 45 minutes throughout and deservedly lead.
8.35pmIt could have been more if it wasn't for Handanovic's lightening reactions. Once the goal went in, Inter's nerves crept in and they really struggled to keep Milan's forward line from creating chances.
8.37pmAllegri has really exploited the left-hand side, with El Shaarawy causing all kinds of problems for Nagatomo, which is allowing De Sciglio to get forward find Balotelli in the box with some fantastic crosses.
8.38pmStramaccioni will have to rearrange in the break, as it looks as though another goal will come from that side should it continue. However, the young coach hasn't been too quick to make changes this season - will he do it this time?
8.40pmOther than the first ten minutes, Inter have offered very little when going forward. A few Cassano touches and some positive runs from Alvarez is basically everything from Inter in that first half.
8.42pmYou have to wonder where Inter would be without Handanovic, who has been incredible in that first half. He's getting very little protection from his defence and almost in a direct battle with Balotelli.
8.46pmI'm sure Allegri will want more of the same from his men. He also has plenty of options to change the game, with Niang, Bojan and Pazzini all on the bench.
8.47pmInter, though, have very few options on the bench in terms of going forward - could that be the difference here?
8.48pmIt's almost time for the second half - Inter need a huge performance if they want anything from the game.
8.49pmInter are already out on the pitch and waiting for Milan to join them. It looks as though Stramaccioni has given his orders and got his men out there as soon as possible.
46 minIt looks as though Stramaccioni has tried to address the problem on the wing by bringing Zanetti over to right fullback, with Nagatoma going over to the left. Can the veteran do a better job with the lively El Shaarawy?
48 minCHANCE! Montolivo swings a free kick in from the right and Boateng flicks his head at it, but puts it well wide.
50 minThe vision can't be great for the players on the pitch at the moment - the smoke from the fans' flares has descended across the stadium as Inter start to push forward.
52 minFantastic run from Abate down the right-hand side results in a cross from the Italian, which finds Muntari, who completely mis-hits his attempted volley.
54 minCHANCE! Palacio's cross from the right finds Guarin, who bursts into the middle and fires at goal. Fantastic save from Abbiati to keep the score at 1-0!
55 minMuch better from Inter in this half - they've attacked Milan, who seem to have lost their way a bit since the break.
57 minFirst action from Balotelli in this half - two backheels within ten seconds to delight the fans!
59 minZanetti has used all his experience perfectly in this second half to nullify the threat on the wing that was so dangerous in the first half. It looks as though he's even got Guarin tracking back and covering De Sciglio.
61 minBalotelli has just won a free kick on the right wing - Inter are not happy with that! It looks like the assistant has given that one, rather than the referee.
64 minIt seems to be simmering a bit in the San Siro. Balotelli is getting involved and putting himself about a bit more - Allegri will have to keep an eye on that!
65 minCHANCE! A low ball into the box from Nocerino towards Balotelli, but a brave save from Handanovic keeps the ball way from the striker. He's took a knock in the process with that save.
67 minEl Shaarawy is so close to playing a neat reverse pass into Boateng, but Juan Jesus just - just! - cuts it out. Very close!
68 minSUBSTITUTION! Schelotto replaces Cambiasso - an attacking change from Stramaccioni, as he puts Guarin into the centre.
72 minThe substitute scores three minutes after coming on! Fantastic diagonal run into the box isn't picked up by the Milan defence and a wonderful cross from Nagatomo is headed in by the man making his Milan derby debut!
74 minThat is poor from Mexes, who gets his positioning all wrong! Inter have their tails up now and Milan will be regretting not taking full advantage of their dominance.
74 minSUBSTITUTION! Kuzmanovic comes on to replace Alvarez, who has put in a decent shift tonight.
75 minCHANCE! Muntari strikes well from a good 30 yards out, though it goes just wide. Handanovic wasn't too sure about that one!
77 minSUBSTITUTION! Cristian Chivu replaces Nagatomo for Inter.
79 minInter have definitely calmed following their equaliser - they look far more comfortable in possession and could quite possibly get another goal, here.
80 minThat defence is always suspect, though. Milan need to up their tempo if they want to cause some more damage. A substitution is on the way...
81 minSUBSTITUTION! Niang replaces Boateng. The young Frenchman will offer some genuine pace and energy for Allegri's side.
83 minMilan have grown tired as the game's gone on - has that Barcelona win taken it out of them? Inter could well sense an opportunity, here! That seemed very unlikely at half time.
84 minBalotelli has just brought down Ranocchia - it wasn't a friendly challenge, that's for sure. The studs definitely caught the Achilles!
86 minMilan have just won the first corner of the second half.
86 minFrom that corner, El Shaarawy fires from the edge of the area, causing some panic for Inter before they eventually clear.
87 minSUBSTITUTION! El Shaarawy makes way for Bojan - the last attempt from Allegri to win this tie.
89 minGargano has put in a real shift from Inter tonight - he's been hounding that Milan midfield throughout, not giving them a second to put their foot on the ball in the second half.
90 minSUBSTITUTION! Ambrosini comes on to make his 25th derby appearance, replacing Muntari.
90 minFour minutes have been added on by the referee.
90 min+1CHANCE! Schelotto dives in to try and get on the end of the cross again, though Abbiati is alert to the danger and punches clear!
90 min+2Some fantastic defending from Juan Jesus denies Milan the break - he stuck with Niang really well on the wing.
9.40pmSchelotto's second half goal saves a point for Inter, who looked as though they were down and out at half time. Milan will be frustrated that they couldn't kill off the game when on top - though, it's a fair result overall.
9.42pmCredit must go to Stramaccioni, who identified the problem of El Shaarawy at half time and switched his full backs to deal with it. Zanetti was imperious against the young Italian in that second half - completely closed him out.
9.44pmAs I say, Milan will look at how dominant they were in that first half and wonder how they didn't go in more that just 1-0 up. They had a chance to take the game away from Inter, who were all over the place.
9.46pmThat's the first draw since October 2004 - and it's a fair result. Milan stay in third place, while Inter within a point of their rivals in fourth.
9.47pmCheck out Sports Mole's match report of tonight's derby here
9.48pmThat's all we have time for tonight - thanks for joining our live commentary of tonight's Milan derby.