Mauro Icardi scored a pair of goals and Matias Vecino notched his first goal for Inter Milan as the Nerazzurri erased a 1-0 deficit in the first half to top Roma 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico Saturday night.
Inter Milan scored three goals in 20 minutes as new Inter boss Luciano Spalletti made his first trip back to Roma since leaving at the end of last season. It was also the first win for Inter at the Olimpico since 2008.
That erased what could only be characterized as weak play from Inter in the first half.
The Nerazzurri made a few changes at halftime by bringing in Joao Mario for Roberto Gagliardini and putting Valero a little deeper into the defense to help plug some holes.
Mario had a light touch in the 54th minute that was collected easily by Alisson.
Following that, new signee Dalbert subbed in for Yuto Nagatomo in hopes of shoring up Inter’s left side.
Stephan El Shaarawy nearly doubled the Giallorossi’s lead just two minutes after coming into the game but a cross missed the tip of his shoe and Samir Handanovic was able to push it away. In the 65th minute, Handanovic had no chance to save a long blast from 25 yards out by Diego Perotti, but the ball went off the bar and the Inter defense cleared.
Then, in the 66th minute Roma turned the ball over in the midfield and the ball found its way to Mauro Icardi via Andrea Candreva who struck the ball past Alisson’s outstretched hands to tie the game 1-1. It was Icardi’s first goal at the Stadio Olimpico.
GOOOOAAAAL: It's that man @MauroIcardi! @Inter_en are level in a match that has seen @ASRomaEN in control. #RomaInter pic.twitter.com/8ngHvvylao— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) August 26, 2017
That was a spark Inter needed as Icardi and Candreva nearly connected on a second goal in the 71st minute, but Icardi was wide.
The mistakes that plagued the Nerazzurri in the first half — defensive breakdowns and poor midfield play — became a high-point for Inter as Roma was kept on its heels with the exception of a few attempts by El Shaarawy.
In the 77th minute, Icardi collected his second consecutive double when Ivan Perisic fed him in front of the net where Alisson could not collect. It gave the Nerazzurri a 2-1 lead.
GOOOOAAAAL: It's him again! @MauroIcardi gives @Inter_en the lead with his second goal of the night! #RomaInter pic.twitter.com/6bLHR2Wn5C— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) August 26, 2017
Two minutes later, he nearly had a hat trick after being freed up on the right of Alisson, but he was snagged from behind by Federico Fazio.
It was Nainggolan who nearly drew Roma level in the 82nd minute, but his delivery was well over the crossbar.
Matias Vecino put the game out of reach with his first goal for Inter after Perisic crossed to the former Fiorentina midfielder who toe-poked the Nerazzurri’s third goal of the game.
GOOOOAAAAL: This is NOT what @ASRomaEN fans wanted to see in Spalletti's return . 3 goals in 20min for @Inter_en. #RomaInter pic.twitter.com/xwoYw5TubK— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) August 26, 2017
Perisic had the Nerazzurri’s first big chance in the 7th minute but he couldn’t connect with the ball however Inter got its first corner as a result. Nothing came of it when Icardi was whistled off-side.
Icardi and Candreva missed two great opportunities at the goal in the 12th minute when Icardi miss-fired and Candreva sent the ricochet just wide.
Two minutes later, Roma started peppering the goal before Edin Dzeko took a pass over the Inter defense and touched it into the back of the net in the 16th minute to put Roma up 1-0.
GOOOOAAAAL: @EdDzeko is too cool ! @ASRomaEN take the lead inside of 15min. #RomaInter pic.twitter.com/Q8w2s350EB— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) August 26, 2017
Inter will return to the San Siro to take on Serie A newcomers SPAL on Sept. 10.