When they met for their second Derby di Milano in the 1981-82 season, Inter and Milan were facing two opposite situations. With 10 games left, the Nerazzurri were only four points behind the leading duo Fiorentina-Juventus. Milan, on the other hand, lied in the penultimate spot of the league table, and were desperately struggling to avoid relegation.
In the long history of the Serie A league championship, there was one single occasion where a playoff was necessary to determine the Scudetto winner. It happened at the end of the 1963-64 season, when Fulvio Bernardini’s Bologna found themselves at top of the league with 54 points, together with the title holder – Helenio Herrera’s legendary Inter squad.
That’s not the way to go, Inter. The Nerazzurri squandered a double lead built by Ivan Perisic and Stefan De Vrij last night, and threw away a match that they seemed to have won after just 30 minutes. Torino made it even in the second half thanks to Andrea Belotti and Soualiho Meite to snatch an unhoped-for point out of San Siro Stadium.
Juventus’ signing of Cristiano Ronaldo will go down as the big hit of this summer’s transfer market. But other Serie A clubs have not been sitting on their hands. Napoli secured the services of coach Carlo Ancelotti, and now dreams of bringing back Edinson Cavani. Inter stole some key players from their direct opponents, whereas Roma decided to bet on fresh forces.
The match clou of Serie A Round 28 at San Siro Stadium ended with no goals and no winners, as Inter and Napoli failed to hurt each other, and left the pitch with their sheets clean. Tonight’s celebration was all for Juventus, which overtook the Azzurri at the top of the league and now have the chance to increase their newly-gained lead to +4 points, should they win their catch-up match with Atalanta next Wednesday.
Between coach Giovanni Trapattoni’s unstoppable Inter of the 1988-89 season, and their 13th Scudetto, there is just one obstacle left: The home match against direct rivals Napoli, scheduled for May 28, 1989. With just five rounds to go, the only side that can still reach the leading Nerazzurri are Diego Maradona’s Napoli, who are seven points behind. A free kick by Lothar Matthäus will solve the problem for the “Inter of Records.”