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Inter Milan pick up 1-1 draw with Roma

Late equalizer from Matias Vecino saves what could have been a disaster.

FC Internazionale v AS Roma - Serie A
Matias Vecino of FC Internazionale in action during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and AS Roma at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 21, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

If Luciano Spalletti was worried about the winter break and its impact on Inter Milan, he certainly had good reason.

Plagued by poor midfield play — highlighted by numerous turnovers — and a continued lack of scoring ability, the Nerazzurri increased their Serie A winless streak to six games with a 1-1 draw with AS Roma at the San Siro.

It was Matias Vecino who found the back of the net in the 86th minute after Inter pushed ahead with an attack that included substitutes Éder, Marcelo Brozovic and Dalbert.

It was a goal from Stephan El Shaarary in the first half that put Roma on top early, but in the second half, as Inter stepped up its offense, it was Roma goalkeeper Alisson that saved the game for Roma, until the late equalizer

A pair of defensive mistakes in the first 15 minutes nearly cost Inter, but the Roma offense could manage slight challenges to Handanovic.

Ivan Perisic had the first real opportunity to score for the Nerazzurri after taking a cross from Antonio Candreva off his head, but off the mark. Perisic had height and position but was unable to find the mark in the 16th minute.

In the 27th minute, Inter wasted a pair of opportunities after Perisic nearly connected after slipping past his defender. The rebound found the feet of Borja Valero who hesitated to put a shot on and was blocked out.

The defensive mistakes finally caught up with Inter when Davide Santon turned the ball over in the midfield where El Shaarary capitalized with a dink over the outstretched Handanovic for a goal in the 31st minute.

Two minutes later, Mauro Icardi could have equalized, but he was double-teamed in the area and sent a shot wide.

Icardi broke free after a nice through-ball in the 43rd minute, but Alisson stepped off his line at the right time and prevented the Argentinian from finding the back of the net.

In the first half, Inter outshot Roma 6-5 and had three of those shots on target, but none finding the back of the net.

Candreva had Inter’s first real chance at goal in the 62nd minute off a set piece, but Alisson was able to fall on the delivery.

Inter started to step up its offense, threatening a few times into the 69th minute when Icardi had a header flicked wide of the net.

Éder, who substituted in the 70th minute, had a chance to equalize 30 seconds after coming on the field, but Alisson was quick off his line and fell in front of the left-footed attempt.

Bringing Éder on, moved Valero into a defensive position.

But, Valero found Perisic in the 73rd minute streaking down the left side. Perisic attempted a shot that went off Alisson, then Icardi’s rebounding shot glanced off the post — illustrating Inter Milan’s offense for most of the game.

Éder had another attempt to equalize when a header in the 78th minute that went over the crossbar. Icardi had another attempt when he took a throw-in from Dalbert off his right foot, but the rocket found Alisson’s arms.

Finally, it was Vecino that found a way to beat Alisson when he took a cross from Marcelo Brozovic in the 86th minute and headed it past the goalkeeper for the equalizer Inter had long sought for.

Inter now turns its sights to a home tussle with SPAL on Jan. 28 at the Giuseppe Meazza. The Nerazzurri have drawn in their last three matches since losing to rivals AC Milan in the Coppa Italia in December.