Gianluca Mancini’s first-half header was enough to give Roma a slim lead in their Europa League quarter-final tie with rivals Roma.

Milan had previously won both Serie A clashes between the two sides this season but it is Roma who take a 1-0 lead into the second leg at the Stadio Olimpico next week.

Last season’s beaten Europa League finalists will fancy their chances of reaching a semi-final against either West Ham or Bayer Leverkusen after edging to victory at the San Siro.

The visitors started the quicker of the two teams but it was Milan midfielder Tijjani Reijnders who had the first meaningful effort of the contest as he forced a decent save out of Mile Svilar.

At the other end, Mike Maignan made a terrific stop to keep out a deflected Stephan El Shaarawy strike, although Romelu Lukaku appeared offside in the build-up.

However, Roma would take the lead from the resulting corner as Mancini slipped his defender to head in Pablo Dybala’s set-piece.

Having scored the winning goal in the derby clash with Lazio last week, the Italy defender is proving a handful at the other end of the pitch.

Milan went in search of a leveller and Olivier Giroud came close only to see two quick-fire efforts both cleared off the line by Lukaku.

An acrobatic overhead kick from Rafael Leao was off-target with Reijnders again testing Svilar before the break.

The Netherlands midfielder was again thwarted by Svilar in the Roma goal soon after the interval.

Roma skipper Lorenzo Pellegrini flashed a shot wide of the target on the hour-mark, with Bryan Cristante following suit shortly after.

Theo Hernandez and Reijnders came close for Milan as they pushed for a leveller, Svilar on hand to tip a cross-cum-shot from Yacine Adli onto the crossbar.

The hosts’ goal never came as Giroud also hit the woodwork with a marvellous late chance.

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli believes now is the time for his players to show their strengths heading into the defining period of the campaign, starting with an all-Italian Europa League quarter-final against Roma.

The Rossoneri are on a run of seven straight wins in all competitions and sit second in Serie A, six points clear of Juventus.

However, with hopes of the Scudetto all but over given the healthy lead of rivals Inter at the top of the table, Pioli knows all of that hard work will count for nothing if his squad do not last the distance in Europe.

“We are in a good moment, but now comes the most important moment of the season which will decide the balance of our season, what we have done, our positive or negative path,” Pioli told a press conference.

“This is the moment which we must demonstrate our strength, demonstrate that the journey we have had through ups and downs has improved us. It depends on us.”

Pioli added: “We have to play the whole match with attention, quality, intensity and maximum minute by minute.

“We want to win, we will try. For me we are not that far from the level of the best in Europe – we play modern football and we are competitive”

Milan will be without defender Fikayo Tomori through suspension, but Simon Kjaer and Malick Thiaw have returned to training with the rest of the squad.

Roma head to San Siro on the back of a derby win over city rivals Lazio, which left them fifth in the table and three points behind Bologna in the battle for Champions League qualification.

Milan have beaten Roma in both of their Serie A fixtures this season.

The 3-1 defeat at San Siro in January saw Roma part ways with manager Jose Mourinho and install former player Daniele De Rossi until the end of the season.

Pioli is expecting a stern test from the Giallorossi, who knocked out English side Brighton to reach the last eight.

“I think De Rossi is doing an excellent job,” the Milan boss said.

“It wasn’t easy to overcome a team that defended with many players when Mourinho was there, probably tomorrow we will find a different opponent with different characteristics.

“We know what Roma are about and their important players, but we don’t know what we will face tomorrow.

“However, we are prepared and mature enough to be able to read what they concede to us and then also make the most of our own skillsets.”

Gianluca Mancini headed home the winning goal in the Derby della Capitale as Roma defeated rivals Lazio 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico.

In a typically tight affair, Mancini’s 42nd-minute header proved the difference between the two sides as Daniele De Rossi won his first Rome derby as a coach.

Daichi Kamada did have the ball in the net for Lazio but the Japanese international was in an offside position from Matteo Guendouzi’s defence-splitting pass.

While Lazio failed to bounce back from the Coppa Italia semi-final defeat to Juventus, Roma consolidated their grip on fifth in Serie A.

De Rossi’s side started the game on the front foot, winning a corner inside the first minute, with Leandro Paredes’s drive an early warning for Lazio.

Lazio captain Ciro Immobile had an early sight of goal for the Biancocelesti when they won the ball high up the pitch and Immobile struck a right footed effort into the side netting.

At the other end, a Roma free-kick landed at an unmarked Diego Llorente, who saw two half-volleys blocked, the second of which bounced just wide of a post.

Lorenzo Pellegrini, back in the Roma team after suspension, then tested goalkeeper Christos Mandas with a long-range effort, and the Giallorossi spurned another opportunity when Zeki Celik headed over from close range.

Roma's goal did arrive before half-time, though – Mancini powering a header beyond the despairing reach of Christos Mandas.

After the break, Pellegrini narrowly curled wide a free kick before Romelu Lukaku surged forward and played in Stephan El Shaarawy, who smashed the woodwork.  

Lukaku almost tapped in from Bryan Cristante’s centre, before Kamada saw what he thought was an equaliser disallowed for offside.

Tensions heated up between both sets of players with an altercation between Guendouzi and Paulo Dybala sparking the fire, but Roma ultimately kept their discipline to hold off late Lazio pressure and further their hopes of Champions League qualification.

De Rossi's Roma resurgence continues

Roma stretched their unbeaten run to seven league matches to keep their Champions League ambitions alive.

Roma dominated possession throughout the match and midfielder Pellegrini was a welcome return to the midfield, though striker Lukaku was rarely involved with just eight touches in the first half.

The Giallorossi did manage their breakthrough after neat intricate play earned a corner and Dybala’s delivery was met by Mancini, for his fourth league goal of the season.

They could not build on the dominant first half after the break, showing a different side of their game to limit Lazio to few clear-cut chances.

Lazio's European hopes fading

Lazio’s four-match unbeaten streak against their rivals in the 183rd edition of this derby came to an end.

They have now lost six of their last seven matches in all competitions and sit four points off European qualification.

They offered little in the first half, with no shots on target as Roma dominated proceedings and they have still not won a Serie A match when behind at the break.

Coach Igor Tudor made three changes at half-time, including taking off Immobile, and Lazio managed to push Roma deeper into their own half, but Mile Svilar remained largely untested. 

Brighton’s battling 1-0 win at home to Roma was not enough to stop Roberto De Zerbi’s side exiting the Europa League at the last-16 stage.

Danny Welbeck’s magnificent first-half strike saw the Seagulls to victory but they fell well short of completing the miracle comeback required to wipe away last week’s 4-0 first leg defeat in Rome, losing 4-1 on aggregate.

After playing ‘The Great Escape’ on the Amex Stadium PA system before kick-off, Brighton signalled their intent right from the start with left-back Pervis Estupinan sending a dangerous cross into the gloves of goalkeeper Mile Svilar after only 31 seconds.

Captain Lewis Dunk headed across the face of goal from Pascal Gross’ corner before later smashing a free-kick into the Roma wall.

Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour also sent a volley over the crossbar after the Italians had only half cleared a Gross free-kick.

Roma’s first chance to get on the scoresheet came in the 15th minute as Sardar Azmoun dragged his shot wide after latching onto a loose Simon Adingra pass across his own penalty area.

The visitors looked to have opened the scoring eight minutes later through Azmoun’s overhead kick only for referee Felix Zwayer to harshly disallow the goal for a high boot.

That decision prompted an angry reaction from Roma boss Daniele De Rossi, who was shown a yellow card for his protests.

Brighton took the lead eight minutes before half-time courtesy of Welbeck’s spectacular strike.

The experienced former Arsenal and Manchester United striker picked up the ball midway inside the Roma half before playing a one-two with Estupinan and curling an unstoppable right-foot shot into the far corner from 20 yards out.

A fiery first half ended with eight yellow cards, including De Zerbi joining counterpart De Rossi in the referee’s notebook.

Another Brighton goal soon after the re-start would have set Roma nerves jangling and Julio Enciso tried to find it with a long-range shot that ended up well wide of the target.

Substitute Ansu Fati forced Svilar into a save when his cross-shot from wide on the left bounced awkwardly in front of the keeper.

Leonardo Spinazzola came within inches of putting Roma level on the night when he fired against the angle of post and crossbar following a mazy run.

Adingra should have done better in the 64th minute when heading straight at Svilar from point-blank range from an inviting Gross cross.

Jan Paul Van Hecke put a header wide from Welbeck’s looping cross and, while the home side dominated possession, they could not find any more goals as their first ever European campaign ended.

Roma manager Daniele De Rossi said his players will not be daunted by the visit of Serie A leaders Inter Milan on Saturday – and insisted “no team is unbeatable”.

Inter Milan secured a 1-0 win against second-placed Juventus last weekend to open up a four-point lead at the top of the table.

Roma, who last month parted company with Jose Mourinho, sit in fifth position, 19 points behind their opponents on Saturday.

But De Rossi’s side will face Inter at the Stadio Olimpico fresh from an impressive 4-0 mauling of Cagliari – their third consecutive win since De Rossi took the managerial reins.

Roma have lost five of their previous six league games against Inter – last securing a home Serie A victory in 2016 – while Simone Inzaghi’s side have suffered just one defeat so far this season.

However, speaking ahead of Saturday’s match, De Rossi told a press conference: “No team is unbeatable and that goes for Inter too.

“We all agree that they’re the best team in Serie A. We know that this is a step up compared to the three matches we’ve won since my arrival.

“The bar will be raised. Planning needs to be more meticulous – our preparations for this game are different since we’re up against a team who are used to enjoying a lot of possession and dominating games.

“We should also be aware that there are times when they could be under the cosh. There are means of ruffling their feathers, as is the case in any fixture.

“But while we’re aware that we’re up against a formidable side, we also know that we ourselves are a top team capable of putting in a great performance.”

Mourinho departed Roma after a poor run of results under the Portuguese boss, with De Rossi, who made 616 appearances and scored 63 goals for the Giallorossi, placed in charge.

The former Italy international’s only previous managerial experience was an underwhelming four-month spell in charge of Serie B side SPAL.

“I believe I can do this job, I want to do this job and I’m very passionate,” he added.

“Perhaps a little fortunately I’ve found myself in the job I’d dream of doing all my life, so I’m trying to give it my absolute all without worrying about labels, or what did and didn’t happen before.

“I’m thinking one day at a time and just focusing on enjoying the ride. I don’t know how long it will last but I’m loving it.”

Italy international Andrea Belotti has joined Fiorentina on loan from Serie A rivals Roma for the remainder of the season.

The 30-year-old striker, who has 44 senior caps and was a late substitute in his country’s Euro 2020 final victory over England, joined Roma from Torino in August 2022, but has made only six league starts this season.

A statement on Fiorentina’s official website said: “ACF Fiorentina is pleased to announce the signing of Andrea Belotti on loan from A.S. Roma.

“The striker, who was born in Calcinate on 20 December 1993, has amassed over 100 goals in Serie A for Palermo, Torino and Roma.

“Belotti has also turned out for the senior Italy team 44 times, netting 12 goals and winning Euro 2020.”

Belotti’s move was confirmed by Roma, who wished him luck with his new club.

A statement on their official website said: “AS Roma can confirm that forward Andrea Belotti has joined ACF Fiorentina on loan until 30 June 2024.

“Belotti joined the Giallorossi in the summer of 2022, going on to make 68 appearances for the club over the last two seasons.

“He has scored 10 goals for Roma, the first against Helsinki in the Europa League on 15 September 2022. Good luck, Andrea!”

Roma have announced former captain Daniele De Rossi as their new head coach after sacking Jose Mourinho earlier on Tuesday.

De Rossi, 40, who spent 18 years as a player at Roma, has agreed a short-term deal until June 2024, his hometown club said on their official website.

Roma owners Dan and Ryan Friedkin said: “We were aware of Daniele’s unbreakable bond with the club but his enthusiasm for accepting the position for the next few months convinced us even more of his ability to be a guide for the players and a proud representative of the club’s values. Welcome home, Daniele.”

Roma ended Mourinho’s two-and-a-half-year spell in the role on Tuesday morning following one win in their last five Serie A matches. They are ninth in the table.

The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss led Roma to the Europa League final last season after winning the Europa Conference League the campaign before.

De Rossi said: “I would like to thank the Friedkin family for entrusting me with the responsibility of Roma’s head coach role.

“The excitement of being able to sit on our bench is indescribable. Everyone knows what Roma means to me.”

Former midfielder De Rossi, who helped Italy win the 2006 World Cup as a player, won the Coppa Italia with Roma in 2007 and 2008 and scored 63 goals in 616 appearances in all competitions for the Giallorossi.

He was a member of Italy’s coaching staff when they won Euro 2020 and his first job as manager ended in the sack in February 2023 after four months at SPAL.

On Mourinho’s departure, the Friedkins added: “We would like to thank Jose on behalf of all of us at AS Roma for his passion and efforts since his arrival at the club.

“We will always have great memories of his tenure at Roma, but we believe that an immediate change is in the best interests of the club.”

Mourinho replaced Paulo Fonseca as Roma’s head coach in May 2021 and guided them to a sixth-placed finish and the Conference League title in his first season.

Roma finished in sixth place in Serie A again last term and reached the Europa League final in Budapest, where they lost 4-1 on penalties to Sevilla after a 1-1 draw.

Mourinho won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and three League Cups during two spells in charge of Chelsea after winning the Champions League with Porto.

The 60-year-old also won the Champions League as manager of Inter Milan, claimed the LaLiga title with Real Madrid, triumphed in the Europa League with Manchester United and took over at Roma after his departure from Tottenham.

Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Roma, the Serie A club have announced.

The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss, who led Roma to the Europa League final last season after winning the Europa Conference League the campaign before, will leave them “with immediate effect”.

Roma, who have won only one of their last five Serie A matches to slip to ninth in the table, said on their official website: “AS Roma can confirm that Jose Mourinho and his coaching staff will leave the club with immediate effect.”

Club owners Dan and Ryan Friedkin added: “We would like to thank Jose on behalf of all of us at AS Roma for his passion and efforts since his arrival at the club.

“We will always have great memories of his tenure at Roma, but we believe that an immediate change is in the best interests of the club.

“We wish Jose and his assistants all the best in their future endeavours.”

Mourinho replaced Paulo Fonseca as Roma’s head coach in May 2021 and guided them to a sixth-placed finish and the Conference League title in his first season.

Roma finished in sixth place in Serie A again last term and reached the Europa League final in Budapest, where they lost 4-1 on penalties to Sevilla after a 1-1 draw.

Mourinho won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and three League Cups during two spells in charge of Chelsea after winning the Champions League with Porto.

The 60-year-old also won the Champions League as manager of Inter Milan, claimed the LaLiga title with Real Madrid, triumphed in the Europa League with Manchester United and took over at Roma after his departure from Tottenham.

AC Milan beat Roma 3-1 at San Siro to secure a third successive Serie A victory.

Milan went ahead through Yacine Adli’s low strike before Olivier Giroud doubled their lead with a header in the second half.

Roma threatened a comeback when Leandro Paredes pulled one back from the penalty spot but Theo Hernandez’s powerful effort made the game safe in the 84th minute.

Victory sees Milan remain third in the Serie A table, four points off second-placed Juventus, while Roma drop into ninth.

Although Roma started brightly, it was the hosts who took the lead 11 minutes in when Tijjani Reijnders flicked the ball to Adli on the edge of the box and the midfielder switched it onto his left foot to fire low into the bottom corner.

Milan took control of the game following their opener and dominated possession, but their next real shot did not come until the 28th minute when a quick run from Christian Pulisic was followed by an effort which was held by Mile Svilar.

They tested the visiting defence again minutes later when Hernandez burst down the left flank and his attempted cross rolled off the crossbar and behind.

Roma then had a chance on the half-hour mark as Bryan Cristante tapped the ball through to Mehmet Zeki Celik, who fired the ball towards the far post, forcing Mike Maignan into a fingertip save to turn the ball behind.

A brilliant cross from Rafael Leao on the left picked out Pulisic, who headed just wide, before Maignan made a good low save from Leonardo Spinazzola’s effort.

Milan started the second-half well and they had a great chance from Hernandez’s free-kick, but Matteo Gabbia’s header flew well wide.

They eventually doubled their lead in the 56th minute when a cross floated into Simon Kjaer on the right and he headed across into the six-yard box, where Giroud was lurking at the back post to nod home for his 10th league goal this season.

Milan had another chance when a curling low crossfield pass from Leao found Pulisic on the right but the American sliced his shot wide and Davide Calabria had a crack from distance fly past the post.

Roma were awarded a penalty when Lorenzo Pellegrini was fouled in the box and Paredes smashed the ball from the spot to pull one back in the 69th minute.

After their goal, the visitors began to get a grip on the game and continued to push moments later when Giroud headed away Pellegrini’s free-kick before the Roma midfielder had a powerful effort saved by Maignan.

However, Milan wrapped up victory in the 84th minute when a brilliant backheel from Giroud found Hernandez who hammered the ball over Svilar and into the roof of the net.

They nearly had another in the closing stages when Yunus Musah went on a curling crossfield run and hit the post.

Stefano Pioli is suitably wary of a backlash from Jose Mourinho’s wounded Roma as AC Milan look to make a positive response of their own to a midweek cup setback when the Serie A giants clash at San Siro on Sunday.

The Rossoneri were dumped out of the Coppa Italia quarter-finals by Atalanta on Wednesday night, with Roma enduring a derby defeat by Lazio to exit the competition.

Pioli’s Milan are better placed in the league as they occupy third place – six points clear of Fiorentina – compared to a lowly eighth for Mourinho’s men, but the home boss knows complacency could soon lead to disaster for the 2021-22 Scudetto winners.

He said at a press conference: “We have to recover straight away, we have to do it for own good and for the fans.

“We are Milan – criticism is part of the game. From day one I’ve always made sure my players are in the best condition possible to express themselves.

“We’re in the second half of the season now and we have to do even better than we did in the first half, making sure we at least guarantee ourselves third place.

“If we can then achieve even more then we will try and do our best but that isn’t entirely up to us. We have to prove we can improve significantly.

“I’m expecting an open and competitive match in which we’ll have to produce a high-level performance and win all our one-on-one battles.

“Roma are experienced, physical and organised, they don’t concede many and know how to hurt you whether going forward or from dead balls.

“Mourinho is a top boss and you can always tell it’s a big match when he heaps praise on his opponent.”

Beyond Wednesday’s upset, Roma are struggling for league form, winning only one of their last five and getting nothing away from home since beating Sassuolo in Emilia-Romagna on December 3.

Trying to put the Lazio loss to bed, Mourinho told asroma.com: “It’s very easy. The game is over and we lost. We did many things well in accordance with our limitations. We did other things not well. We analysed what we did well and not well yesterday.

“We talked, we analysed, always seeking to improve within our limitations. And we start again, from my personal point of view, as I have done for over 23 years.

“Game played, game analysed, game over. And next game. There is no other story.”

On Milan, he added: “I face a team who play for the title, a team that won the Scudetto two years ago, a team who play to win the Scudetto, even if this year the distance in points between them and Juventus and Inter is a distance that will not be easy to bridge. They will put everything into this match.”

Juventus moved to within two points of Serie A leaders Inter Milan thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Roma.

Adrien Rabiot scored the only goal of the game early in the second half as Massimiliano Allegri’s side took advantage of Inter’s draw at Genoa on Friday to close the gap on their title rivals.

The win maintained Juve’s unbeaten record at home in Serie A this season as they bid to win the Scudetto for the first time since 2020, while the defeat leaves Roma seventh in the table and 17 points off the top.

Jose Mourinho’s side came into the game buoyed by last week’s 2-0 home win against defending champions Napoli and were also boosted by the return of Paulo Dybala, who had missed the last three games due to a thigh injury.

They duly made a bright start at the Allianz Stadium and were unlucky not to take the lead inside four minutes, Bryan Cristante’s well-struck shot taking a deflection off Dusan Vlahovic and slamming into a post as goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny could only look on.

Vlahovic was also quickly into the action at the other end, curling a left-footed shot wide and slashing another effort with his other foot off target in quick succession.

Romelu Lukaku was similarly inaccurate for the visitors before Vlahovic finally got an effort on target after turning Diego Llorente on the edge of the area, only to see his shot superbly blocked by Gianluca Mancini.

Vlahovic looked determined to break the deadlock and even attempted a spectacular bicycle kick from outside the area which flew comfortably wide, before Kenan Yildiz produced a more threatening effort after being set free on the counter by Manuel Locatelli.

Dybala went closer still at the other end with an instinctive shot with the outside of his left foot which was inches wide, but an entertaining first half ended goalless thanks to a brilliant intervention from Roma defender Evan Ndicka.

Filip Kostic’s left-foot volley was struck into the ground and beyond goalkeeper Rui Patricio after Roma failed to deal with a long throw into the box, but Ndicka read the situation and cleared the danger with a perfectly-timed diving header.

The deadlock was finally broken within two minutes of the restart, Vlahovic cleverly flicking the ball into the path of Rabiot to allow the France international to beat the advancing Patricio at his near post.

Dybala remained Roma’s best hope of an equaliser and produced a shot on target from just outside the area midway through the second half, but Szczesny was able to make a comfortable save.

Weston McKennie then should have doubled Juve’s lead when he was found six yards out by substitute Federico Chiesa on a swift counter-attack, only for the United States international to shoot straight at Patricio.

Chiesa also had a goal ruled out for offside, but the home side saw out six minutes of added time without too much difficulty to secure all three points.

Lorenzo Pellegrini and Romelu Lukaku steered Roma to a 2-0 win against nine-man Napoli in an ill-tempered Serie A clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

Matteo Politano saw red for Napoli shortly after the hour mark, with substitute Pellegrini putting the home side ahead 10 minutes later.

The visitors then lost Victor Osimhen after he was shown a second yellow card, with Lukaku sealing the win for Roma in the sixth minute of stoppage time. Roma move ahead of Napoli and into sixth place.

Both sides had a point to prove following recent disappointing defeats – Roma suffering a 2-0 loss at Bologna last weekend, while Napoli were dumped out of the Coppa Italia earlier this week following a 4-0 thrashing at home to Frosinone.

Following nine changes for their Coppa Italia exit, defending champions Napoli were back to full strength for their visit to the Italian capital, with marksman Osimhen leading the line.

Roma manager Jose Mourinho was able to call on Lukaku with the on-loan Chelsea forward returning from a ban after he was sent off in his side’s 1-1 draw against Fiorentina a fortnight ago.

Lukaku was involved in the first real chance of the game when his hold-up play allow allowed Edoardo Bove to strike at the Napoli goal, but the young midfielder’s dipping effort clipped the bar.

Bove was in the thick of it moments later when his shot was superbly charged down by Napoli stopper Alex Meret.

Then came a flurry of bookings with Mourinho not far from the action. The former Chelsea and Manchester United manager was involved in a touchline spat with Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and even found himself in referee Andrea Colombo’s book.

Following the break, Napoli started to grow into the game but their bid for victory was derailed when Politano was shown a straight red card with 66 minutes gone.

As Napoli looked to hit Roma on the counter-attack, Nicola Zalewski pulled Politano’s shirt and the winger kicked out in frustration at his opponent. Colombo did not hesitate in showing Zalewski a yellow card before pulling out a red for a stunned Politano.

The visitors were suddenly on the backfoot and Roma’s breakthrough quickly arrived.

Pellegrini, introduced by Mourinho only five minutes earlier, took advantage of a fluffed shot by Stephan El Shaarawy to score on the turn with virtually his first kick of the game.

Napoli were then reduced to nine men after Osimhen was shown a second yellow card with four minutes of normal time remaining before Lukaku got on the scoresheet with the last kick of the night.

Jose Mourinho has warned his Roma side to beware the threat posed by defending Serie A champions Napoli ahead of their clash at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday night.

Walter Mazzarri’s men suffered an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Frosinone in the Coppa Italia in midweek to add to a testing campaign which has left them 14 points off the pace.

Despite last week’s loss at Bologna which ended a run of five domestic games unbeaten, Mourinho’s men will leapfrog Napoli in the table if they manage to claim all three points.

But Mourinho warned the visitors are still much the same side who swept to the title last season, with the exception of star man Kim Min-jae – a summer signing for Bayern Munich – and departed coach Luca Spalletti.

Mourinho told a press conference: “They’ve had problems in terms of a few results, but not the quality of their players.

“They’re the same team that won the league last year, without Kim. Out of the starting 11 that won them the Scudetto, 10 are still playing.

“They have so many options in every position and they’re a top team. We know what the difficulties are. Every time we’ve faced Napoli, the result has always gone down to the wire.”

Napoli had shown signs of turning their season around in recent weeks after ending a run of two straight losses by reaching the next stage of the Champions League then beating Cagliari last week.

But Tuesday’s home loss, which saw Frosinone inflict most of the damage after Napoli had introduced stars including Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia off the bench, left Mazzarri perplexed.

“Perhaps the first-choice players are not accustomed to coming off the bench and absurdly we did better with the lads who don’t play as often,” Mazzarri told Italian media.

“We need to reflect on that. It’s a pity – you can lose in football, but not 4-0. We looked like everyone was just doing their own thing.

“I hope this can be a lesson for the future, as from tomorrow we must all look each other in the eye and change gear.”

What the papers say

Tammy Abraham, 26, could make a return to Chelsea as Roma look to keep hold of Romelu Lukaku. The Daily Mirror reports the Italian club could offer the England striker in a swap deal for Lukaku, 30, who is currently on loan.

Kalvin Phillips is available for a move from Manchester City – at a price. According to the Daily Mirror, City want £50million for the England midfielder, 27, having paid £42m in 2022.

Arsenal have become the latest team to weigh up a move for Crystal Palace’s England defender Marc Guehi, reports The Sun. Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have already been linked to the 23-year-old.

Mikel Arteta is also keen on strengthening his midfield options with Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi, 24, in his sights according to the Daily Mirror. Real Madrid’s French international Aurelien Tchouameni, 23, is another on the Gunners’ radar.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Victor Osimhen: The Daily Mirror reports the 24-year-old Nigerian has played down talk of him leaving NApoli amid interest from Liverpool.

Jesse Lingard: The former England midfielder is still searching for a new club after Al-Ettifaq had no room in their squad, reports the Daily Star.

Marcus Thuram struck a late winner as Inter Milan returned to the top of Serie A with a 1-0 victory over Roma at San Siro.

The hosts completely dominated the first half but failed to score when chances from Thuram, Hakan Calhanoglu and Benjamin Pavard went begging.

The only team with the intention of winning the game were Inter and it started to look like it was not their day until Thuram turned home with 10 minutes remaining to condemn Jose Mourinho to defeat against his former employers.

Inter’s intent to attack Roma was clear from the outset and they almost had the opener six minutes in when Calhanoglu’s rifled effort from 20 yards bounced off the crossbar.

Denzel Dumfries’ cross found Thuram inside the area and after seeing his initial header blocked, his second stabbed effort was saved magnificently by the legs of Rui Patricio.

It was wave after wave of Inter attacks as Roma continued to sit back and defend, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan next to go close when his effort from 12 yards flew wide of the target before volleying over from outside the area a couple of minutes later.

Half an hour into the contest, defender Pavard found himself with space inside the area but shot well wide of the target.

The second half started with the same pattern as the first with Inter on the front foot and Thuram headed over from Calhanoglu’s free-kick.

After an hour, Roma had failed to register a single shot but Inter had their second on target after Thuram chested a cross into Lautaro Martinez, with his resulting effort deflected softly into the hands of Patricio.

Roma, who had former Inter striker Romelu Lukaku up front, had a chance to hit the target in the 65th minute as Stephan El Shaarawy was brought down by Alessandro Bastoni on the edge of the box, but Leandro Paredes sent the resulting free-kick straight into the wall.

The away side finally started to create a few opportunities and came close to an opener of their own when Bryan Cristante powered a header towards goal but Yann Sommer was alert to keep the score 0-0.

The game became a little stretched for the first time and Inter went down the other end and could have scored but Calhanoglu’s shot was deflected wide.

Back came Inter as they looked to crank up the pressure, but Federico Dimarco’s cross into the six-yard box could not be turned home by Thuram.

The decisive moment of the game came 80 minutes in when Thuram pounced on Dimarco’s cross and turned in to finally give the hosts a deserved lead.

Carlos Augusto almost added a stunning second, unleashing a 30-yard effort which struck the crossbar.

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