It was bound to end sometime, right? A twelve-game unbeaten run in Serie A for the Giallorossi was snapped by Inter, once again dominating Roma en route to a 3-1 win. With the likelihood of a top-four finish not very high going into the match - and as a match against the frontrunner for the Scudetto, a loss you legislate for - the result doesn’t completely derail Roma’s season, but the sting of the streak being snapped still is a bitter pill to swallow. A late Henrikh Mkhitaryan goal made the scoreline look a little more respectable, but make no mistake, this match was all Inter.
In both previous matches against Inter, Roma conceded within the opening 15 minutes, throwing the game-plan out the window and resulting in a tough uphill climb for the Giallorossi, something that Mourinho no doubt would have reminded the players of in the buildup to the match. To their credit, Roma held firm in the opening stages of this one despite some tense moments, like a Hakan Calhanoglu strike that required an excellent save from Rui Patricio. With Nicolo Zaniolo missing out on this one due to an accumulation of yellow cards, Mourinho opted to reward Stephan El Shaarawy for his late equalizer against Napoli. Unfortunately, it was clear from the off that Roma were missing Zaniolo’s presence and physicality, with the attack crying out for the dynamic youngster.
And just as Roma began to impose themselves on the match, punctuated by a Mancini header that narrowly missed giving Roma the lead on the night, Inter showcased their championship pedigree with a devastating counter-attack in the 30th minute- following that near-miss by Mancini - that saw Denzel Dumfries run riot over Roma’s backline to give Inter the lead on the night.
It didn’t take long for the home side to double their lead, as just ten minutes later the home side once again cut right through the Giallorossi’s defense leading to Marcelo Brozovic receiving the ball just at the edge of the box, who was then able to cut back inside and fire a rocket into the top corner, leaving Patricio with no chance and giving Inter the 2-0 advantage going into the break.
Any hopes for a second-half comeback similar to the one against Napoli were quickly extinguished, with Lautaro Martinez scoring a header off a pinpoint ball from a Calhanoglu corner, not even 10 minutes into the second half of the match. With the game all but over at this stage of the match, only the most hopeful of supporters would’ve been optimistic of a comeback. A late equalizer by Mkhitaryan - a product of cutback into the box by Eldor Shomurodov that was wonderfully dummied by Rick Karsdorp to set up the Armenian - gave some life to the match as Roma pushed for a second, but ultimately this match had been over for some time, serving as a late consolation to a rough day at the office for Roma.
In case you missed any of the action, enjoy the highlights below. If you want a deeper look, here is the extended highlight package.