When they meet for their second Derby di Milano in the 1981-82 season, Inter and Milan are facing two opposite situations. With 10 games left, the Nerazzurri are only four points behind the leading duo Fiorentina-Juventus. Milan, on the other hand, lie in the penultimate spot of the league table, and are desperately struggling to avoid relegation.
Winning the stracittadina could give the Rossoneri the boost of confidence they need to push the nightmare of Serie B away. However, Inter – which won the first derby with a lone goal by Gabriele Oriali – also need the three points to keep contact with the leading pack.
The match finds its outcome in the first half already. 10 minutes after the start, Herbert Prohaska catches a ball in the opponent area, and is quick to give his side the lead. However, seven minutes later, Roberto Antonelli shots a free kick for the Rossoneri. His shot is not what you would call an irresistible one, but Inter’s wall awkwardly deflects it into their own goal – the last touch being by Prohaska himself.
In the 32nd minute, here comes the decisive goal: Goalkeeper Ottorino Piotti parries back a shot by Gianpiero Marini, and Alessandro Altobelli is the fastest to pounce on the descending ball to score the second for Inter with a header.
After the break, Milan try to come back, but fail to pose any serious threat to Ivano Bordon’s goal. Inter, on the other hand, resort to counterattacks in an attempt to close the match. Salvatore Bagni finds himself alone against Piotti, who knocks him down just outside of the box. (With today’s rules, that would have meant a direct red card for the Rossoneri’s keeper…) On the subsequent free kick, Giancarlo Pasinato hits Milan’s right post.
Ruben Buriani eventually pushes Altobelli down in the box, and this time referee Luigi Agnolin can only point at the penalty spot. But Evaristo Beccalossi’s execution is terrible, and leaves the red-and-black’s hopes untouched. Their confidence shattered by the missed penalty, the Nerazzurri end up conceding two clear chances to the opponents. Luckily for them, in both occasions the Rossoneri forwards’ shots hit goalkeeper Bordon.
Such 1-2 defeat contributed to Milan’s second and so far last relegation to Serie B in their history. It was the first time that happened on the pitch, as the Rossoneri’s previous demotion had been decreed by the Football Federation’s court due to a betting scandal. Inter didn’t manage to get much out of this derby either, as they scraped together only seven points in the remaining nine games.
Still, the Nerazzurri could at least be happy with playing a part in their cousins’ second relegation. As their historical Vice President Peppino Prisco, a true anti-milanista, once put it: “Milan ended up in Serie B twice: The first time they had to pay for it, the second they got a free ride.”
March 7, 1982 – Serie A 1981-82 Round 21
SCORERS: 10’ Prohaska (I), 17’ Prohaska (I, o.g.), 32′ Altobelli (I)
|INTER: Bordon, G. Baresi, Oriali, Pasinato, Bergomi, Bachlechner, Bagni (65’ Canuti), Prohaska (33’ Centi), Altobelli, Beccalossi, Marini (Pizzetti, Ferri, Serena) Coach: Bersellini|
|MILAN: Piotti, Tassotti, Maldera, Venturi (61’ Jordan), Collovati, F. Baresi, Buriani, Novellino, Antonelli, Moro, Battistini (Incontri, Icardi, Romano, Mandressi) Coach: Zagatti (for disqualified Galbiati)|
REFEREE: Mr. Agnolin from Bassano del Grappa
Translated by Matteo Carnevale