The Malta Independent 5 March 2024, Tuesday
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Inter win 4-2 at Roma to end De Rossi's perfect record and go 7 points clear in Serie A

Associated Press Sunday, 11 February 2024, 07:25 Last update: about 22 days ago

A sublime second-half performance from league leader Inter Milan saw it win 4-2 at Roma in the teeming rain on Saturday and end Daniele De Rossi’s perfect record.

Goals from Gianluca Mancini and Stephan El Shaarawy had given Roma the lead at halftime following Francesco Acerbi’s opener for Inter. But the Nerazzurri turned things around immediately after the break with a strike from Marcus Thuram, who also forced an own-goal from new Roma defender Angeliño.

Alessandro Bastoni sealed the match late on as Inter moved seven points above second-place Juventus. The Bianconeri can cut the gap to four points with a win at home to relegation-threatened Udinese on Monday but will then have played a match more than Inter.

Roma remained a point behind fourth-place Atalanta after De Rossi's first loss. The former Roma player had won all three of his matches as coach after replacing the fired Jose Mourinho.

The Nerazzurri were without coach Simone Inzaghi on the bench in Rome after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in last weekend's win over Juventus.

The suspended Inzaghi watched from the stands as his team took the lead in the 17th minute — with the help of a former Inter player.

Former Nerazzurri forward Romelu Lukaku headed away an Inter corner but only as far as Acerbi, who headed it into the back of the net.

However, Roma leveled in the 28th minute when a free kick was floated over the top and Mancini headed it into the bottom right corner from close range.

And Roma turned the match around on the stroke of halftime as a counterattack sent El Shaarawy sprinting into the area and he unleashed a shot which hit the crossbar and the left post before also bouncing off the right post and going in.

But Inter took control right at the start of the second half as it immediately demonstrated its potential.

Thuram toepoked home Matteo Darmian's cross four minutes after the break and appeared to have fired Inter ahead with an almost identical goal seven minutes later — this time from Henrikh Mkhitaryan's cross — but it was Angeliño who got the final touch.

Benjamin Pavard also hit the post for Inter before Bastoni’s late goal, his first in more than two years.

DOUBLE CENTURY

Lazio forward Ciro Immobile scored his 200th Serie A goal to help his team to a 3-1 win at relegation-threatened Cagliari and to close in on the top four in the Italian league.

Lazio moved to within two points of Atalanta, which visits Genoa on Sunday.

It was Cagliari’s fourth straight loss and left Claudio Ranieri’s team in penultimate position, albeit only a point from safety.

Lazio took the lead in Sardinia thanks to a comical own-goal in the 26th minute as two Cagliari players got into a tangle when trying to deal with a Gustav Isaksen ball across the six-yard box and Paulo Azzi’s attempted clearance ricocheted in off Alessandro Deiola’s shin.

Immobile doubled Lazio’s lead shortly after the break when he tapped in a rebound after Cagliari goalkeeper Simone Scuffet could only parry Isaksen’s strike.

Gianluca Gaetano curled a spectacular effort into the top far corner two minutes later to get Cagliari back into the match but Felipe Anderson all but sealed the win for Lazio in the 65th.

Sassuolo inched two points clear of the drop zone with a 1-1 draw at home to Torino that snapped a run of three straight defeats.

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