Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both scored, almost came to blows and the latter was sent off before Christian Eriksen's injury time free kick gave Inter victory in the Milan derby in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.
Ibrahimovic put Milan in front with a typically classy finish angled across his body in off the far post before he began a war of words with his former team-mate, which led to numerous Inter players being required to stop the Belgian striker confronting the former Swedish international as they left the field at half time.
Both received yellow cards and just before the hour mark Ibrahimovic clipped the ankles of Aleksandr Kolarov and was given his marching orders for a second booking.
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The drama continued. Nicolo Barella was caught by a trailing leg of Rafael Leao in the box and after looking at television replays the referee gave a penalty which Lukaku scored after brushing the underside of the bar.
The game seemed set to go into extra time, but with 10 minutes of injury time allowed due to the referee injuring his hamstring, Eriksen curled home a beautiful free kick seven minutes into added play.
TALKING POINT - Who would win the heavyweight championship of the football world?
Most of the times when players square up you can see fear in the eyes of one of the faux combatants. Not so in this scenario.
Who is the hardest player in football is a question we will never know the answer to. At least since Duncan Ferguson retired. It is difficult to think of any man in the game who would want to come up against the winner of a scrap between the two Milan spearheads if they had gone at it in the tunnel.
So who would win? With Ibrahimovic's karate he takes the honours if he has space. Surely even Lukaku in his quiet moments would admit this. The tunnel would be a leveller though. With team-mates and stewards bustling around, at least until shots are fired, you have to think Lukaku could get his hands on the Big Swede and stop him unleashing the sort of right foot swing that famously scored that incredible goal against England.
Ibrahimovic is the favourite no doubt but at long odds I'd fancy Lukaku to be capable of an upset in this confined area. I would advise against a rematch if this hypothetical scenario did occur though.
Romelu Lukaku v Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH - Ciprian Tatarusanu (AC Milan)
Though very eventful, it was not a game which had many great performers. Maybe if Acraf Hakimi had played the whole game he would have earned top marks as he really did change the momentum of the game, even before the sending off.
The most deserving player overall though was the Milan reserve keeper had a fine game. He made a number of stops, particularly from Lukaku, and his one from the Inter striker in injury time was incredible. At point blank range after Lautaro Martinez had fired a ball across the six-yard box, Lukaku deflected it powerfully towards the corner but the Romanian stopper extended his left arm to keep the scores level. He had no chance with Eriksen's winner but and he didn't deserve to be on the losing side.
Inter: Handanovic 6; Skriniar 6, de Vrij 6, Kolarov 6; Darmian 6, Barella 7, Brozovic 7, Vidal 6, Perisic 6; Lukaku 7, Sanchez 6. Subs: Hakimi 8, Martinez 7, Eriksen 7, Young 5.
AC Milan: Tatarusanu 8; Dalot 6, Romagnoli 6, Kjaer 5, Hernandez 7; Meite 5, Kessie 6; Saelemaekers 5, Diaz 6, Leao 7; Ibrahimovic 6. Subs: Tomori 6, Rebic 5, Krunic 6, Castillejo 6.
33’ GOAL! Inter 0-1 AC Milan (Ibrahimovic): It's that man Zlatan again. A poor free kick into the box and then Leao heads it back to him in the right hand side of the penalty area, he made some room for himself and aimed his shot past Handanovic and it deflected off the post and in.
45’ FURIOUS CLASH! Ibrahimovic has put Milan in front at half time but the bigger story could be what he said to Lukaku. It has him absolutely furious and numerous Inter players needed to stop him going after Ibrahimovic as they go down the tunnel.
59’ RED CARD! Ibrahimovic is off. He clipped Kolarov who was bringing the ball out from defence. Kolarov made the most of it. He got a yellow card with the incident with Lukaku.
70’ PENALTY! Barella goes down under Leao's sliding challenge in the box. The referee waves away the appeals... but he's summoned to the television... and gives a spot kick!
71’ GOAL! Inter 1-1 AC Milan (Lukaku): Lukaku puts it home off the underside of the crossbar, cancelling out his nemesis' opener.
90’ GREAT SAVE! Tatarusanu denies Lukaku. Martinez dummies to Lukaku and the two then exchange passes before the big man guides with his right boot towards the corner but the Milan keeper saved brilliantly diving to his left.
97’ GOAL! Inter 0-1 AC Milan (Eriksen): Eriksen curls a free kick brilliantly over the wall and into the right-hand top corner.
- 14 - The number of times Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been sent off in his career.
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