Serie A - De Jong nets as Milan scrape past Inter

Nigel de Jong scored the game’s only goal as struggling Milan beat fierce rivals Internazionale 1-0 at the San Siro.

Serie A - De Jong nets as Milan scrape past Inter

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Nigel de Jong celebrates his winning goal in Milan's match with Inter (Reuters)

In a match that lacked any real quality and, quite surprisingly, any real atmosphere, it was the hosts that had the better of the very few chances.

After a drab opening half an hour, Kaka brought the game to life with a wonderful effort from distance. Leading Milan’s attack, the Brazilian plucked a high ball out of the air before advancing forward. With the ball still bouncing and a lack of support, Kaka opted to volley at goal from 25 yards.

The wicked, dipping effort flew past the helpless Samir Handanovic in the Inter goal but crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.

Milan continued to press in the dying stages of the opening half, but they failed to create any meaningful effort before the whistle.

The second half played out in a similar vein – Milan edging possession stats and both sides lacking in front in the final third.

The game’s only goal came in surprising fashion, with pint-sized Dutch midfielder de Jong converting from a set-piece.

Mario Balotelli’s dangerous free-kick from the right was whipped onto the edge of the six-yard box, where the unmarked de Jong headed powerfully past Handanovic.

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