Mauro Icardi claimed his stoppage-time winner against AC Milan was just what Inter Milan deserved.
Inter skipper Icardi headed home the only goal from Matias Vecino’s excellent cross in the second minute of added time to clinch his side a fifth straight Serie A win.
Victory in the 222nd Milan derby lifted the Nerazzurri up to third in the table, six points behind leaders Juventus.
“You need to win the derby. We’ve been saying it to ourselves all week. We had to win,” Icardi, whose last-minute penalty won the corresponding fixture for Inter last season, told Sky Sport.
“We created plenty of chances, we had a goal ruled out for offside and we hit the post.
“We deserved to win considering the chances we had and then if the win arrives like it did, at the death, then it’s even better.”
Icardi was ruled to have been offside by referee Marco Guida when he turned home Vecino’s flick-on from close range in the 12th minute, while Inter defender Stefan de Vrij’s first-half shot hit a post.
Milan defender Mateo Musacchio briefly thought he had broken the deadlock in the 42nd minute when turning home at the back post, but he was also ruled offside by Guida.
Icardi added: “These three points push us on to continue along this path. Before going away on international duty, I said that Inter needs to win.
“We had to win for everyone, for the fans who packed out the San Siro and then also for ourselves, for the team.
“We must get to used to winning regularly, gaining consistency in what we’re doing and obviously enjoying further success in the future.”
Inter boss Luciano Spalletti confirmed afterwards that Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan will be out “for a while” and would be taken to hospital after a heavy challenge from Lucas Biglia.
AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso admitted Inter were worthy of their last-gasp win.
“Inter certainly deserved more than us, but if this game had ended 0-0, there would’ve been some real positives,” he said.
Gattuso added: “Inter are physically stronger, we have other qualities. We tried to challenge them physically anyway and I really liked the approach, playing a type of football we are not accustomed to.
“We had our chances too, but undoubtedly Inter had more opportunities.”