Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

CORONAVIRUS

'They locked the wrong animal at home' - Zlatan nets double in return from coronavirus as Milan beat Inter

Milan win opening four matches for the first time since 1995

Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck twice in his first match back from coronavirus as AC Milan beat city rivals Inter 2-1 to take top spot in Serie A.

"I was so hungry and it showed," said Ibrahimovic who bagged his second double in as many league matches.

"They locked the wrong animal at home for two weeks.

"It's not easy mentally to always be at home coming off a very high pace, the body is shaking because it wants to work, it wants to play.

"I lost my sense of taste a little bit, but I had a swab every three days and nobody was going to stop me playing the derby.

"This derby was very important, AC Milan hadn't won for four years."

The 39-year-old stamped his mark on the game early, having also scored back in February only for Inter to win 4-2.

He missed a 13th-minute penalty but turned in the rebound, with a perfect Rafael Leao cross setting up the Swede for the second three minutes later.

Romelu Lukaku pulled a goal back after half an hour but Antonio Conte's Inter were struggling with six players out to Covid-19.

Milan won their opening four matches for the first time since the 1995-1996 season when they won the title under Fabio Capello.

And Stefano Pioli's side are top of the table with maximum 12 points, three ahead of Atalanta who fell to third-placed Napoli, who are equal on eight points with Juventus.

Juv coach Andrea Pirlo blamed his new-look team's inexperience as they finished a second game with ten men in their 1-1 draw at Crotone.

The champions were without Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala with new signing Federico Chiesa sent off on his debut.

It was a second stalemate in four games for the nine-time reigning champions despite being awarded a 3-0 win after Napoli's no-show in Turin.

Crotone took the lead after 12 minutes when Nigerian Simy got a penalty past Gianluigi Buffon, making his 650th Serie A appearance between the posts.

Chiesa, 22, set up Alvaro Morata for the equaliser nine minutes later, but the 22-year-old was harshly sent off for a late tackle on Luca Cigarin.

Updated: October 18, 2020 07:40 AM

THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sign up to our daily email