Mauro Icardi is a goal predator.
Seemingly absent one moment, he swoops in unannounced to score in the next.
The Argentine striker had a hat trick in Inter Milan’s 3-2 derby victory over big-spending AC Milan on Sunday, displaying perfect timing to redirect two crosses, then calmly converting a penalty for the winner in the 90th.
It was an entertaining Derby della Madonnina, with Suso and Giacomo Bonaventura each scoring temporary equalizers for Milan and both sides hitting the goal frame.
Undefeated Inter took sole possession of second place, moving two points behind perfect Napoli and three ahead of six-time defending champion Juventus and Lazio.
Milan, which was bought by a Chinese-led consortium in April, spent nearly $250 million on new players in the offseason. But after a strong start to the season, the Rossoneri have lost three straight and sit 10th with half as many points as Napoli.
Leonardo Bonucci, the centerpiece of Milan’s massive overhaul, was beaten for Icardi’s opener midway through the first half.
On his first touch in the opponent’s box, Icardi redirected a tremendous cross from Antonio Candreva as Bonucci trailed behind.
Icardi barely touched the ball but somehow landed it in the far corner.
Candreva had already hit the crossbar 13 minutes in at the San Siro, less than a week after he scored the only goal in Italy’s win over Albania.
Andre Silva — one of the 11 new players Milan signed — hit the post for Milan shortly before Suso scored in the 56th with a long, bouncing shot from beyond the area.
After the hour mark, Icardi got his second by again redirecting a cross into the far corner, this time with a volley following Ivan Perisic’s pass.
Bonaventura slid in at the far post and made it 2-2 in the 81st but then Ricardo Rodriguez was shown yellow for a clear foul on Danilo D’Ambrosio and Icardi converted the spot kick.