Scoring a decisive goal in a Serie A derby can earn you a place in your supporters’ dearest collective memory. But if that goal enables your team to break a six-year non-winning streak in the Milano stracittadina, then your place in the History of Italian football is set in stone forever.
That is what happened to British striker Mark Hateley, who played with Milan for three seasons between 1984 and 1987, in his first derby wearing the Rossoneri colors. Indeed, that Milan-Inter played on October 29, 1984, saw the Nerazzurri, led by Karl Heinz Rummenigge, scoring first. Inter’s German forward seemed literally unstoppable that day for poor defender Sergio Battistini – who was playing under the effect of painkillers due to a problem to his foot.
Rummenigge had propitiated Inter’s 1-0 goal in the 10th minute, after an irresistible run from the left flank, with Alessandro Altobelli ready to dive and convert his cross with a header.
But as minutes passed, Inter made the mistake of closing themselves into their defending half, and saw the Rossoneri making it even thanks to a team-effort action by Mark Hateley, Ray Wilkins, and Pietro Paolo Virdis, finalized by poor Agostino Di Bartolomei – who took his own life in 1994.
The iconic moment in the match took place in the second half: Virdis recovered a ball on the right side, and produced a long-range lob cross towards the opponents’ box. With an outstanding jump, Hateley stood over defender Fulvio Collovati, and sent the ball past Walter Zenga with a powerful header.
Since that day, Mark Hateley’s feat gained a special place in the heart of all Rossoneri fans. Even 30 years later, Milan supporters from the San Siro South Stands decided to use that picture for an amazing choreography displayed in occasion of the derby played on January 31, 2016 – featuring Hateley’s famous header, with the caption “SOVRASTIAMOLI!” (“Let’s Stand Over Them!”).
October 7, 1984 – Serie A 1984-85 Round 7
SCORERS: 10′ Altobelli (I), 33′ Di Bartolomei (M), 63′ Hateley (M)
|MILAN: Terraneo, Baresi, F. Galli, Battistini (32′ Icardi), Di Bartolomei, Tassotti, Verza, Wilkins, Hateley, Evani, Virdis (Nuciari, Russo, Manzo, Scarnecchia) Coach: Liedholm|
|INTER: Zenga, Bergomi, G. Baresi, Mandorlini, Collovati, Bini, Causio (46′ Pasinato), Sabato, Altobelli, Brady, Rummenigge (Recchi, Marini, Cucchi, Muraro) Coach: Castagner|
REFEREE: Mr. Bergamo from Livorno
Translated by Matteo Carnevale