Throwback Thursday: When Inter Pushed Milan To Serie B

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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.

Winning the stracittadina could had given the Rossoneri the boost of confidence they needed to push the nightmare of Serie B away. However, Inter – which had won the first derby with a lone goal by Gabriele Oriali – also needed the three points to keep contact with the leading pack.

The match found an outcome in the first half already. 10 minutes after the start, Herbert Prohaska caught a ball in the opponent area, and was quick to put his side in the driving seat. However, seven minutes later, Roberto Antonelli shot a free kick for the Rossoneri. His shot was not what you would call an irresistible one, but Inter’s wall awkwardly deflected it into their own goal – the last touch being by Prohaska himself.

The decisive goal came in the 32nd minute: Goalkeeper Ottorino Piotti parried back a shot by Gianpiero Marini, but Alessandro Altobelli was the fastest to pounce on the descending ball to score the second for Inter with a header.
Inter’s Salvatore Bagni and Milan’s Maurizio Venturi battle in that famous Derby di Milano of March 7, 1982, which pushed the Rossoneri closer to their second relegation to Serie B

After the break, Milan tried to come back, but failed to pose any serious threat to Ivano Bordon’s goal. Inter, on the other hand, resorted to counterattacks in an attempt to close the match. Salvatore Bagni found himself alone against Piotti, who knocked him down just outside of the box. (With today’s rules, that would have meant a direct red card for the Rossoneri’s keeper…) From the subsequent free kick, Giancarlo Pasinato hit Milan’s right post.

Ruben Buriani eventually pushed Altobelli down in the box, and this time referee Luigi Agnolin could only point at the penalty spot. Evaristo Beccalossi’s execution was terrible however, and left the red-and-black’s hopes untouched. Their confidence shattered by the missed penalty, the Nerazzurri ended 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 did it for free.


March 7, 1982 – Serie A 1981-82 Round 21

SCORERS: 10’ Prohaska (I), 17’ Prohaska (I, o.g.), 32′ Altobelli (I)

Logo_Inter_1980.png 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