Before Sunday, eternal rivals Inter Milan and AC Milan had played each other 158 times over the years. None of those games ended like the 159th, thanks to Rodrigo Palacios.
The Inter Milan striker gave his team a 1-0 win over their foes with a spectacular back-heeled goal in the game’s dying minutes.
Palacio was facing away from the AC Milan goal and defender Cristian Zapata was marking him tightly when teammate Fredy Guarin sent a short pass his way. Instead of trying to control the ball, Palacio unexpectedly flicked it with his heel. The deft piece of skill from just six yards out caught everyone by surprise, including Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, who watched helplessly as the ball rolled into the goal.
The 86th-minute goal was Palacio’s 10th of the 2013-14 Serie A (Italian first division) campaign. It’s probably the most important of the 10, as it thrilled Inter fans and the club’s new owner Erick Thohir.
“It was one of the best goals I’ve seen all season,” FIFA.com reports Thohir said after the game.
The win moved Inter up to fifth place in Serie A heading into the winter break. Meanwhile, it made AC Milan’s disappointing season even worse, as the storied Italian club tumbled all the way down to 13th.
See Palacio’s goal back-heeled goal below.
Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.