* Boateng grabs winner as Milan come from behind
* Sneijder nets what could be final Inter goal
(Adds further details)
By Sabrina Mao and David Gray
BEIJING, Aug 6 Serie A champions AC Milan scored
twice in nine second-half minutes to come back and beat city
rivals Inter Milan 2-1 in the Italian Super Cup played in
Beijing on Saturday.
Milan, who ended Inter's five-year reign as Italian
champions by winning the scudetto in May, fought back through
ex-Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Inter dominated the first half with Dutch midfielder Wesley
Sneijder, heavily linked in the media with a move to Manchester
United or City, firing in the opener on 22 minutes with a
freekick after Gennaro Gattuso had escaped a red card.
Ibrahimovic equalised with a header against the run of the
play in the 60th minute after being set up by Clarence Seedorf
and nine minutes later Boateng scored the winner.
"A derby game is always a derby. We really faced
difficulties with stamina in the first 30 minutes as players
looked tired," Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri told a news
conference after the season curtain-raiser.
"But in the second half, it has turned out to be much
better. We did not give any more chances to Inter except Wesley
The defeat was an inauspicious start for new Inter coach
Gian Piero Gasperini, who replaced Leonardo during the close
season as the Brazilian became Paris St Germain sports director
having had short spells as both Milan and Inter boss.
"We played very well in the first half," Gasperini said in a
bid to find some positives.
"As for the rumour of Sneijder leaving, we will talk about
it next week after we go back Italy."
Gasperini's appointment disappointed many Inter fans given
he was sacked by modest top flight side Genoa early last
campaign and has no big club experience.
His penchant for three at the back, rare in European
football nowadays, has also raised eyebrows but his side got off
to a good start only to let Milan impose themselves like they
did in the two derbies last season which practically swung their
first Serie A title since 2004 their way.
Transfer movement over the break has been limited for both
clubs but despite the familiarity, the match had the feel of a
friendly given there are several weeks before the actual season
The new league season starts on Aug 28 when Milan travel to
Allegri's former club Cagliari and Inter, Italian Cup winners
last term having won the treble the previous season under Jose
Mourinho, host Lecce.
The games are under threat of a strike by the Italian
player's association over a long-running disagreement with the
league over a collective contract, with two strikes narrowly
averted last season.
The Super Cup was played in the packed Bird's Nest Olympic
Stadium in Beijing in front of over 70,000 under a deal between
the league and Chinese authorities to host Italy's season
curtain-raiser there four times over six years.
Lazio previously beat Inter at the Bird's Nest in 2009.
"I came from Sichuan province with a bunch of Milan fans to
Beijing just to watch the Milan derby," 29-year-old Dai Wei,
wearing a Milan shirt, told Reuters as he entered the stadium.
An Italian campaign to have the game played back in Milan
failed to succeed because of the contract with the Chinese
authorities and the huge marketing opportunities for European
clubs in the world's most populous nation.
(Editing by Mark Meadows)