INTER HOLD ROMA TO 1-1 DRAW
Coming off of a huge home victory against Juventus, Roma’s very next match was to travel to Milan and take on Internazionale in a second straight huge league match. The Giallorossi had been off to a fantastic start in Serie A, winning all four of their games thus far, but Inter were ready from the first whistle to put up a strong fight.
Roma started off the excitement roughly halfway through the first half when Adam Ljajic combined brilliantly with Francesco Totti and was put through on goal. The Serbian faked a shot before clipping the ball over the onrushing Handanovic to give Roma a 1-0 lead, silencing the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
Inter almost pegged the capital side back immediately. Yuto Nagatomo delivered a perfect ball from the right which Morgan De Sanctis couldn’t quite reach, and Fredy Guarin easily volleyed the ball into the empty net. However, the goal was controversially waived off for a foul by Mateo Kovacic on De Sanctis, much to the fury of the Nerazzurri fans.
In the second half, more controversy followed. ‘Il Gladiatore’ Totti whipped in a free kick from the left side of the box and Alessandro Florenzi flicked the header into the far corner, seemingly doubling Roma’s lead. However, the goal was chalked off for offside, though further replays proved the referee’s had made the correct decision.
Just two minutes after, Inter equalized. Nagatomo again was the big threat down the flank, and Mateo Kovacic easily headed in the Japanese international’s inch-perfect cross from the right past Morgan De Sanctis. Inter had been pushing forward and deserved their equalizer, but things weren’t done yet.
Ten minutes from time, Fredy Guarin was clearly shoved by Maicon in the box, and the referee was given no choice but to award the Nerazzurri a penalty. Veteran striker Diego Milito stepped up to surely win the game for Inter but sent his penalty crashing off the crossbar to spare Maicon’s blushes. The match ended 1-1, and it was the first time Roma had dropped points all season after four straight wins.
“Inter played better than us today, and we are lucky to escape with a draw,” said Totti. “We have to start to play better against big teams like this if we want to challenge for the Scudetto.”
Roma remains top of the table after this result, but is only scarcely ahead of Lazio and Juventus. The Giallorossi continue their Serie A campaign in three days’ time when they host Sassuolo at the Stadio Olimpico and look to return to winning ways.