Inter saw their run of 18 consecutive Serie A home wins ended in dramatic fashion, as Ruslan Malinovskyi’s scorchers gave Atalanta a 2-2 draw, but Federico Dimarco missed a penalty and Roberto Piccoli’s strike was disallowed in a game with 42 attempts on goal.
Joaquin Correa, Arturo Vidal, Stefano Sensi and Christian Eriksen were still out of action, but Denzel Dumfries was not trusted to start on the right. La Dea continued to miss Hans Hateboer and Luis Muriel.
It took just five minutes to break the deadlock, as Nicolò Barella whipped in a sensational cross from the right and Lautaro Martinez peeled away from his marker to volley it under the crossbar from 10 yards using his knee.
Marten de Roon drilled just wide and after the pressure increased over time, Ruslan Malinovskyi drew level with an astonishing swerving strike from outside the box with his trusty left boot.
Stefan de Vrij’s header was straight at Juan Musso after a corner and Atalanta turned the game around, as this time Samir Handanovic did get his gloves to a Malinovskyi rocket, but only pushing it into the path of Rafael Toloi.
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The pressure continued after the break, Handanovic parrying a Malinovskyi attempt from close range and on the resulting corner a Jose Luis Palomino diving header just wide of the far post.
Malinovskyi was wreaking havoc, his free kick smashed against the inside of the far post and was so powerful that Duvan Zapata couldn’t turn in the rebound.
Simone Inzaghi had to make changes and enacted a triple substitution before the hour mark. Lautaro Martinez tried to go it alone and was eventually blocked at the near post, then Matias Vecino’s header at the back post was fingertipped over the bar by Juan Musso after another sensational Barella cross.
Barella was involved again, a cross taking a deflection right in front of Musso, who still managed to get a hand to push it away, Lautaro Martinez unable to react quickly enough to turn in at the back stick.
Inter got their equaliser, as although Musso got one hand to Federico Dimarco’s effort from close range, he could do nothing on Dzeko’s follow-up at the far post.
It was end-to-end stuff, Handanovic palming a Josip Ilicic strike over the bar, then Merih Demiral in a moment of absolute madness stuck his arm on top of Dzeko’s head to stop him nodding in the Denzel Dumfries cross. The penalty was inevitable, but Federico Dimarco stepped up and fired it onto the crossbar.
Moments later, Roberto Piccoli managed to turn from 12 yards and get a shot away, which Handanovic horribly fumbled with a weak hand. However, he was rescued by his own earlier error, because the chance was created when the goalkeeper clumsily kicked it back from the line, but VAR showed the ball had crossed over already.
Dzeko had a free header from six yards on the Alexis Sanchez cross that he sent wide deep into stoppages.
Inter 2-2 Atalanta
Lautaro Martinez 5 (I), Malinovskyi 30 (A), Toloi 38 (A), Dzeko 71 (I)
Missed penalty: Dimarco 86 (I)