A PARACHUTER halted Inter Mlan’s Serie A clash at Sassuolo – landing on the pitch as Romelu Lukaku prepared to take a penalty.
Security staff rushed on just before half-time to bundle up the blue parachute and haul off the man, who appeared to have a camera on the safety helmet he was still wearing.
With Inter striker Lukaku ready to chute, the invader from the sky had shown incredible timing.
But Manchester United flop Lukaku shrugged off what could be the most unexpected break in play he has ever experienced, tucking home the spot-kick to put Inter 3-1 up in their 4-3 win.
The reason for the intruder dropping in remained a mystery.
And players, as much as fans, looked on bewildered as the man arrived gently near the centre circle, calmly untangling the parachute cords.
Two security officials soon dashed on to take hold of his arms, before three more came on to speed off with the invader and his parachute almost merging into one package.
The surprise intervention was just one twist in what might be considered the most dramatic game of the Italian top-flight season so far.
Lautaro Martinez’s second minute opener for Inter was soon cancelled out by Domenico Berardi.
But Lukaku struck on 38 and 45 minutes, his second goal the penalty delayed for two minutes after the parachuter’s untimely arrival.
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Argentina striker Martinez netted a spot-kick of his own on 71 minutes to leave Inter seemingly gliding home at 4-1.
But Filip Duricic and Jeremi Buga hit back, only for Antonio Conte‘s men to cling on for the last nine minutes.
And ultimately Inter were on cloud nine as their seventh win in eight Serie A games kept them second, just a point behind champions Juventus.