March 18th, 1990 – The reigning Serie A champions, Inter Milan started their title defense in flying form, winning seven out the first eleven games.
During the summer transfer window, the team decided to break up the dynamic duo of Aldo Serena and Ramon Diaz in attack and brought in Jurgen Klinsmann, whose impressive previous season in the Bundesliga prompted Inter to replace the outgoing Argentine forward with the German FIFA World Champion.
As the season was going towards tail end of the campaign, the Nerazzurri found themselves in middle of a three-horse race for the Scudetto between Napoli and AC Milan.
During round twenty-nine, Inter were preparing for the Milan Derby as the underdog away side, winning only one of their previous seven league matches including a 1-0 away loss to Juventus.
AC Milan on the other hand, were in top form and had been enjoying their status as league leaders for three games in a row, having won fifteen of their previous nineteen games.
Starting eleven for the Rossoneri were Andrea Pazzagli, Mauro Tassotti, Paolo Maldini, Angelo Colombo, Alessandro Costacurta, Franco Baresi, Roberto Donadoni, Frank Rijkaard, Marco Van Basten, Alberigo Evani and Daniele Massaro.
For Giovanni Trapattoni, the starting eleven were Walter Zenga, Giuseppe Bergomi, Andreas Brehme, Gianfranco Matteoli, Ricardo Ferri, Corrado Verdelli, Alessandro Bianchi, Nicola Berti, Jurgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthaus and Aldo Serena.
Inter couldn’t have asked for a better start to the derby, Aldo Serena headed in a long range pass from Ricardo Ferri over the onrushing goal keeper and a trio of Milan defenders to give the “visitors” an early lead inside first four minutes of the game.
AC Milan tried to slow the tempo of the game, by retaining the possession and methodically moving the ball to the attack, managing to get few chances on goal.
However before they could capitalize on them, Inter scored a second from a Lothar Matthaus penalty from the spot at twenty-four minute mark.
This after a through ball from Matthaus set Serena free in attack with only the goalkeeper to beat, Pazzagli tried to save the ball but ended up missing the ball and tripped Serena inside the box to award the Nerazzurri another penalty.
After getting ahead by two goals against the league leaders, Inter shifted focus sightly to maintain the two goal margin as AC Milan aggressively attacked the Nerazzurri goal throughout first half and into the second half.
Coming close on a number of occasions, top notch goal keeping from Walter Zenga and slight bit of luck helped the visitors maintain a healthy two goal lead.
With the Rossoneri assult on goal, Inter were limited to play on the counter and managed few chances of their own, however they never threatened to score a third goal.
Around the eighty-four minute mark, AC Milan finally scored their first goal of the match as Alessandro Costacurta latched onto a poor clearance attempt from Nerazzurri defences following a free-kick and tucked away the shot in the bottom right corner of the goal, bringing his side within one goal margin to tie the game as game headed towards conclusion.
As Milan committed men forward to look for the tying goal, the defense attempted to play the off-side trap to ensure they don’t get beat over the top.
However in the 90th minute, a through ball to Aldo Serena caught Franco Baresi off-guard and Serena was played onside with nobody around him to defend except the goalkeeper, he comfortably put the ball in the back of the net to give Inter a decisive third goal, securing three points for the Nerazzurri.
An emphatic brace from Aldo Serena gave him the man-of-the-match award and gave the Nerazzurri hope to defend their title down the stretch.