06 January 2015
Goals in either half from Carlos Tevez and Mauro Icardi meant the Bianconeri saw in 2015 with a draw, with Inter coming back from behind to seal a share of the spoils in this evening’s Derby d’Italia encounter at Juventus Stadium.
Tevez made it a dream start for the hosts when he capitalised on a great piece of skill from Arturo Vidal to bundle the ball home after just five minutes.
But after further chances to extend their advantage came and went for the reigning champions, Inter fought their way back into the game midway through the second half, with Icardi applying a cool finish after latching on to Fredy Guarin’s raking through ball from deep.
The equaliser saw both sides push for a winner during an entertaining conclusion to the game in which Inter were reduced to 10 men following Mateo Kovacic’s dismissal, but good goalkeeping from Samir Handanovic and his opposite number Gigi Buffon kept the scores level.
Historically a fixture packed full of goals and moments of excitement, the 163rd Serie A Derby d’Italia took less than two minutes to spark into life, Claudio Marchisio slicing wide from a great position inside the area after being teed up by Tevez.
Three minutes later, Juventus made their early pressure tell. Vidal it was who skipped past his man with a deft piece of skill before squaring for Serie A top scorer Tevez, who needed no invitation to gleefully nudge the ball over the line for his 11th of the campaign.
The early intensity shown by the hosts soon gave way to a spell of controlled possession, but Inter were left to rue their misfortune after a promising two-on-one situation on the counter broke down due to Kovacic’s imprecision when delivering the final ball.
An inspired Vidal had the Bianconeri’s next shot on goal on 26 minutes, drawing a diving save from Handanovic after pulling the trigger from the edge of the area. Next to go close was Paul Pogba, denied from point-blank range by the Inter shotstopper's block following a mazy dribble into the box on 34 minutes.
The high tempo that characterised the first half was conspicuous by its absence following the restart, with Inter growing in confidence as the minutes ticked on. They drew level on 64 minutes when Icardi peeled off Leonardo Bonucci to gather Guarin’s through ball and slot past an otherwise untroubled Buffon, making it five goals in his last four Serie A outings against the Bianconeri.
With Alvaro Morata and Roberto Pereyra on to inject added pace and urgency to the Bianconeri attack, it was in fact the Nerazzuri who threatened to snatch a winner in the last 15 minutes.
Icardi was again the dangerman, narrowly missing the target after substitute Lukas Podolski had picked out his run at the back post before drawing a fine stop from Buffon at his near post.
A poor challenge from Kovacic on Stephan Lichtsteiner prompted Luca Banti to hand the Nerazzurri playmaker a straight red card with four minutes of normal time remaining, but the grandstand finish failed to materialise as Handanovic clawed the ball off his line to preserve a point for the visitors.
The result sees the Bianconeri maintain their lead at the top of the table, although Roma’s win over Udinese earlier on in the day means the gap is cut to a solitary point. Next up, Napoli on Sunday evening.