Inter 3-1 Roma: Nerazzurri ease past Mourinho's men to top Serie A

By Sports Desk April 23, 2022

Inter went back to the top of the Serie A table with a routine 3-1 win against Roma at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday.

Goals from Denzel Dumfries, Marcelo Brozovic and Lautaro Martinez took the Nerazzurri to victory, continuing their excellent record against the team from the Italian capital, despite a late strike from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

It was not the result or performance that former Inter coach Jose Mourinho will have been looking for, with the defeat coming as a big blow to the Giallorossi's hopes of European qualification.

Simone Inzaghi will have been very pleased with what he saw from his team, who move a point ahead of Milan in the race for the Scudetto having played the same number of games, with their city rivals facing Lazio in Rome on Sunday.

Inter took the lead just before the half-hour mark as some neat play from the home side saw Hakan Calhanoglu play a through ball to Dumfries, who ran onto it like a striker to slide the opener past Rui Patricio.

It was 2-0 just 10 minutes later as Brozovic found himself on the left side of the penalty area, before cutting inside Gianluca Mancini and firing into the far top corner of the net.

The third arrived early in the second half as a neat ball from Nicolo Barella found Martinez, whose shot was parried behind for a corner, but the Argentine headed home the resulting outswinging delivery from Calhanoglu.

There was nearly a calamitous fourth as a cross from the right was helped back to Patricio by Rick Karsdorp, and realising he could not pick the ball up, the Portugal international urgently kicked the ball away before Joaquin Correa could take advantage.

Mkhitaryan fired in a consolation past Samir Handanovic from just inside the box with five minutes remaining but it was too little too late for the visitors.

What does it mean? Nerazzurri look good for title run-in

This was a surprisingly comfortable win for Inter, coming up against a Roma side that had not been beaten in 12 Serie A matches, the longest unbeaten streak for the Giallorossi in a single league campaign since May 2016 (17 under Luciano Spalletti).

However, the ease with which they took a two-goal lead allowed them to manage the game from there, and in truth the visitors gave them very few problems.

Inter remain unbeaten in their last 10 Serie A matches against Roma (W4 D6). The last side to reach 10 straight matches without defeat against them in the competition was Milan between 1988 and 1996 (17).

Title credentials on show again

When Inter were beaten 2-0 at home by Liverpool in the Champions League and then again by Sassuolo in the league in late February, things looked bleak for Inzaghi's side.

However, they have gone unbeaten in 11 games in all competitions since then, and have won their last five, sealing a place in the Coppa Italia final and top spot in Serie A, for now.

Inter a special problem for Mourinho

Returning to one of his former clubs where he enjoyed so much success was meant to be a pleasure for the self-proclaimed "special one", but it was yet another day of misery for him.

Mourinho took charge of Inter for 76 Serie A games between 2008 and 2010, averaging 2.2 points per game. After this defeat, the Nerazzurri are the only team against which the Portuguese has lost 100 per cent of his matches against (among sides he has faced more than once in the competition).

What’s next?

Inter travel to Bologna on Wednesday for more Serie A action, while Roma head to England to face Leicester City in their Europa Conference League semi-final first leg on Thursday.

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    A 41st-minute Philando Wing own-goal which got Portmore United on the scoresheet, and Fabian Reid's 82nd-minute strike, left nothing to choose between the two teams at the end of the opening contest, which was a tale of two halves at Sabina Park on Monday.

    With the stage set for what should be an intriguing second-leg engagement at the same venue next Monday, Williams and his Portmore United outfit will be aiming to consolidate their first half showing, as well as to improve their second half approach, while Gilbert and his team are hoping to be more clinical in the final third, particularly in the latter stages of the contest.

    The winner of the second leg will secure a semi-final date with Cavalier.

    Williams believes the first-leg result was a reflection on the quality of both teams.

    "I think Arnett played a great second half because we gave them too much space and they took advantage of it. But we did what we wanted to do in the first half, and it is just a matter of going back to the training pitch to build on our first half performance and try to sort out the second half," Williams said.

    "The legs went in the second half, and we just have to look at that. It's the playoffs and so we know there is not much room for error, so we just have to go back and improve on the things we did well as well as to strengthen those areas where we fell short," he added.

    Portmore United, led by the menacing Alex Marshall, were more spirited at the start, as they quickly signalled their intentions courtesy of a high press approach and a series of quick build ups.

    Marshall, who was the focal point player of the attack, fired a seventh-minute warning shot from a distance that had Eric Edwards beaten, but the came back off the crossbar. With that scare, Arnett tightened their defensive approach and attempted to close down Marshall, but still the fleet-footed player found ways to get into the final third to pull the trigger, albeit, to no avail at that point.

    Arnett eventually settled into their game and should have gone ahead against the run of play in the 21st minute. However, young sensation Keheim Dixon went for power instead of accuracy from close range, and the stinging effort was equally well saved by Tyrone Williams in goal for Portmore United.

    Portmore replied 10 minutes later, but were also left ruing their luck, as Stephen Barnett's shot came back off the upright.

    They St Catherine-based team inevitably broke the deadlock when Marshall, with a delightful first touch, made space for a cross which Jahien Rose hit onto the upright, but the rebound came off Wing and left Edwards beaten.

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