But, Croatian winger Ivan Perisic headed home an equalizer to help salvage a 1-1 draw and keep the Nerazzurri in third place overall.
Thanks to a draw by AC Milan and a loss by Lazio, Inter Milan kept a firm grip on third place in Serie A on 61 points. AC Milan remained in fourth, five points back of Inter while Roma are a point back of AC Milan, battling for the fourth, and final, Champions League position.
On Saturday, it was Roma who started in full control of the match.
Aleksandar Kolarov took the first crack at goal in the opening two minutes of the match after Edin Dzeko had a nice give and go, but Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic was able to scoop up the attempt.
Inter had an early chance when Lautaro Martinez nearly headed home an opener off a Matteo Politano cross, but Roma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante dove straight for the ball to prevent the goal.
Roma finally found the back of the net when Stephan El Shaarawy drove down the left side of the pitch and cut past a pair of Inter defenders to curl home a shot that Handanovic could not reach on the dive.
Inter 0-1 Roma - El Shaarawy pic.twitter.com/sTjXVuqxXt— InterYaSkrinYa (@InterYaSkrinYa) April 20, 2019
Inter nearly gave up a penalty when Borja Valero headed back a cross from Alessandro Florenzi, but it was ruled that Valero headed it to his own arm, thus not a handball.
The Nerazzurri almost had a penalty of their own in the 40th minute when Danilo D’Ambrosio was brought down in the area, however after a review, it was ruled that Valero had fouled El Shaarawy first, thus nullifying the penalty call.
Inter picked up the pace in the second half when Kwadwo Asamoah had a shot deflect wide of the net. On the corner, Politano had his effort pushed away by Mirante while Federico Fazio stepped in front of Matias Vecino to stop a potential rebound.
D’Ambrosio continued the second half assault, but his header hit the top bar of goal.
Former Inter youth player Nicolo Zaniolo came on in substitution of Cengiz Under and sprung Pellegrini open with a sliding pass. Pellegrini, however shot wide thanks to defensive pressure from Milan Skriniar.
Inter finally drew level when D’Ambrosio crossed the ball from his left foot to an unchallenged Perisic who put the ball in with a diving header from the far post.
Inter 1-1 Roma - Ivan Perisic pic.twitter.com/oPnc0UsZA5— InterYaSkrinYa (@InterYaSkrinYa) April 20, 2019
The Nerazzurri continued to press on offense, but Martinez had an effort go over the bar after a nice cross in from Vecino.
Kolarov attempted to secure the three points for Roma in stoppage time, but Keita Balde challenged nicely, forcing Kolarov’s shot to be pushed aside by Handanovic.
“We’ve still got a fight on our hands, we’ve got important matches ahead of us,” Valero said. “However, it’s obviously better to be able to manage an advantage. We take to the pitch to win every game. The changing room has always been united, and we demonstrated this today too.”
Inter Milan will stay at home next weekend when they face newly-crowned Serie A champions Juventus at 2:30 p.m. EDT Saturday.
“We go into the Juventus game fired up, we want to win and we’re preparing for it well,” Skriniar said, following the match. “Unfortunately, this year, I’ve still not been able to score and I miss it because it’s an extra way to help the team. I’ll look to be more clinical in the box and I aim to score at least one.”
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