Rome, Feb 6 (IANS) Lautaro Martinez continued his scorching form with his header deciding the Derby della Madonnina, as Inter Milan beat AC Milan 1-0 in Serie A.
The Nerazzurri lost the Milan Derby back in September but took revenge on their city rivals in the Supercoppa last month, while AC Milan were looking for a resounding response after a dismal run since the start of 2023, reports Xinhua news agency.
Inter Milan had a relatively full squad to choose from, but AC Milan still had to do without Mike Maignan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Head coach Stefano Pioli made a tactical tweak to opt for a 3-5-2 system, as Rafael Leao was benched again. The Italian manager Roberto Mancini also presented on the stand for the showdown.
Hosts Inter pressed high from the start, trying to use their aggression and tempo to good effect as a couple of attempts from Lautaro threatened goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.
The efforts paid off in the 34th minute as Hakan Calhanoglu's corner found Lautaro, whose twisting header went beyond Tatarusanu.
Inter Milan kept creating havoc after the break, but AC Milan were poor in their attacking quality, they had the chance to level the scoring, but Olivier Giroud's awful first touch fumbled a golden opportunity.
Romelu Lukaku came off the bench and found the net in the 83rd minute, but the goal was wiped out while Lautaro's second was also canceled for offside.
With the win, Inter still rank second with 43 points, 13 points behind Napoli who staged a second-half show to crush Spezia 3-0, while the third consecutive defeat in the league dropped AC Milan to sixth place.
Also on Sunday, Torino edged Udinese 1-0, Fiorentina lost to Bologna 2-1 on home turf.
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