Inter Milan’s title hopes took a major deterrence after they were held 2-2 by Verona in a topsy-turvy thriller in Serie A on Thursday. Darko Lazovic and Miguel Veloso scored for Verona, while Antonia Candreva netted for Inter and Federico Dimarco struck an own goal.

Inter’s coach Antonio Conte surprisingly dropped playmaker Christian Eriksen and hitman Lautaro Martinez, as Borja Valero and Alexis Sanchez stepped in at the empty the Marc Antonio Bentegodi Stadium.

It took the home team just the opening two minutes to take a surprising lead as Lazovic dribbled past Milan Skirinar near the by-line before entering into the box. He then drilled the ball into the back of Inter’s net from a tight angle.

The first half failed to produce any major breakthrough but the visitors brought parity in the contest right after the break. Cutting across defenders, Romelu Lukaku smashed the woodwork before Canderva equalised in the rebound in the 49th minute.

It gave Inter a fresh lease of life as they sought control of the proceedings and launched one after another attack in Verona’s area. Their efforts paid dividends when Canderva’s cross-shot took a deflection off Dimarco and went past Verona keeper Marco Silvestri.

When the Nerazzurri were about to take the three points, Veloso ruined their victory as the Portuguese smashed home in the 86th minute on Amir Rrahmani’s assist, leaving Inter’s goalkeeper Samir Handanovic stranded.

The draw, coupled with Atalanta’s 2-0 victory over Sampdoria on Wednesday, sent the Beneamata into fourth place with 65 points.

In an earlier fixture on Thursday, Udinese enjoyed a 3-0 away triumph over SPAL.

The draw kept the Antonio Conte-managed side 10 points shy of table-toppers Juventus at fourth with 65 points. Lazio and Atlanta hold the third and fourth spots with 68 and 66 points respectively.

With IANS inputs