One man firmly stole the show on Saturday evening, as AC Milan emerged from the latest edition of the Derby della Madonnina with the bragging rights.
Stefano Pioli’s champions marked their return to action a short time ago, facing off with old foes Inter at the San Siro.
The two heavyweights of Italian football headed into the clash separated by a solitary point in the Serie A table, with Inter boasting the advantage.
When all was said and done on Saturday evening, though, it was the Rossoneri who emerged triumphant, to take their place, at least temporarily, back atop the Italian top-flight.
This came as a pulsating, end-to-end affair ultimately gave rise to a 3-2 result.
And, as alluded to above, it was one member of Piolo’s ranks who, when all was said and done, made the difference.
The player in question? Rafael Leao.
Serie A Player of the Year Leao was of course the subject of intense speculation this summer, amid widespread reports that Premier League giants Chelsea were keen on the services of the explosive wide-man.
In the derby, though, the 23-year-old put any lingering doubt over his commitment to the Diavolo cause firmly behind him.
After first pulling Milan level just shy of the half-hour mark in proceedings, Leao teed up Olivier Giroud’s go-ahead strike early in the 2nd-half, before adding his brace a short time later, in a Madonnina showing for the ages.
And, not only did Leao’s latest efforts prove decisive in securing the derby spoils for Milan on Sunday, but they also saw the gifted attacker etch his name into the history books.
This came as the former Lille talent, surprisingly, established himself as the first Portuguese player to ever find the net in the Derby della Madonnina.