MILAN, April 15 — Inter Milan will have a chance to win the Serie A title in the Milan derby despite slipping to a 2-2 home draw with lowly Cagliari yesterday, while Roma said defender Evan Ndicka is recovering after he collapsed during their game at Udinese.

Nicolas Viola snatched a potentially huge draw in 14th-placed Cagliari’s bid for Serie A survival as Inter failed to extend their 14-point lead at the top of the league after their closest challengers AC Milan drew a spectacular match at Sassuolo 3-3.

Viola struck with seven minutes remaining at the San Siro, shortly after Hakan Calhanoglu had fired Inter back into the lead from the penalty spot following Eldor Shomurodov’s 64th-minute strike which levelled Marcus Thuram’s early opener.

Italian Viola could have even given Cagliari, who are four points above the relegation zone, a stunning win in stoppage time had he not headed a golden opportunity straight at Yann Sommer.

Advertisement

“It’s annoying not to win after going ahead twice because we wanted the victory in front of our fans,” said Inzaghi to DAZN.

“We’re very close to a big goal but we know that we still need points to make it mathematically certain.”

A win would have left Inter needing only a draw in the Milan derby on Monday week to beat their local rivals to a 20th league crown.

Advertisement

Instead Sunday’s draw means Inter have to win a sixth straight match against their city rivals if they are to claim the Scudetto with five matches remaining.

Regardless, save for an unprecendented collapse, it is simply a matter of time until Simone Inzaghi’s team will win the league, and it could yet come in the derby.

Milan’s derby danger

That would be a bitter blow for Milan, who have not been in the title race as Inter have charged off into the distance since the turn of the year.

Noah Okafor salvaged a hard-fought point for Milan in the 84th minute on a hot spring day in Reggio Emilia.

Coach Stefano Pioli made a raft of changes in the wake of a first-leg defeat to Roma in the Europa League quarter-finals and his team were two goals behind after less than 10 minutes following early strikes from Andrea Pinamonti and Armand Lauriente.

Frenchman Lauriente struck again seven minutes after the break to ultimately ensure the point that lifted second-from-bottom Sassuolo to within two points of safety.

Milan visit Rome on Thursday trying to overturn a single-goal deficit, ahead of the derby and a trip to third-placed Juventus the following weekend.

“I believe 100 percent in my team, we have men of quality, we are a really good team,” said goal scorer Okafor.

“Now have to focus... for sure we are going to Rome to win.”

Ndicka ‘feeling better’

Roma said that Ndicka is recovering from an on-pitch collapse with an apparent chest problem which caused play at his team’s match at Udinese to be abandoned.

“Evan is feeling better and is in good spirits. He will remain in the hospital for further observations,” said Roma on social media, alongside a photo of Ndicka flexing his right bicep while sat upright in a hospital bed in Udine.

Ivory Coast’s Ndicka dropped to the ground with an apparent chest problem in the 70th minute with the teams level at 1-1 after Roma striker Romelu Lukaku levelled Roberto Pereyra’s first-half opener in the 64th minute.

Serie A told AFP that the final minutes of the match will be played at a later date, yet to be confirmed, leaving Roma on 55 points in fifth place.

De Rossi’s side are in a strong position to reach next season’s Champions League as they are five points ahead of sixth-placed Atalanta.

A top-five finish will almost certainly yield a spot in Europe’s top club competition thanks to Serie A teams’ performances on the continent.

Napoli’s slim chances of finishing in that five were dealt another blow after a 2-2 home draw with struggling Frosinone left the ailing champions six points behind Roma in eighth.

Frosinone stay just inside the bottom three and level on 27 points with 17th-placed Verona, who are outside the relegation zone on goal difference and face Atalanta on Monday. — AFP