Perisic earns wasteful Inter draw with Roma
Serie A, San Siro – Inter 1 (Perisic 61’) Roma 1 (El Shaarawy 14’)
Ivan Perisic netted a second half equaliser for Inter Milan against Roma to consolidate their Champions League qualifying position at the San Siro.
By that stage, the hosts could have already been ahead. Lautaro Martinez, who was handed a surprise start for Inter with Mauro Icardi benched, was denied a headed opener by Antonio Mirante's ridiculous save in the eighth minute.
AS Roma's Stephan El Shaarawy celebrates scoring their first goal with Bryan CristanteReuters
Inter piled on the pressure before the interval but couldn't find the breakthrough. Kwadwo Asamoah's shot was deflected agonisingly wide, while Danilo D'Ambrosio inexplicably headed off target from point-blank range from Perisic's cross.
The hosts finally levelled the tie in the 61st-minute courtesy of Perisic's fine header from D'Ambrosio's floated cross for his third goal in four league matches to give the home side the momentum with half an hour still to play.
Martinez then spurned a glorious opportunity to win the contest for Inter, volleying over from close range, as Luciano Spalletti's side had to settle for a draw.
The result sees Inter move to 61 points in third – five ahead of city rivals AC Milan, and six ahead of tonight’s opponents in fifth.
A point for Inter, but could it have been more? Given their dominance and the amount of chances they squandered, Inter will be left disappointed they haven't all but secured their top-four place and sealed their place in the Champions League in September. A victory would have taken them nine points clear of fifth-placed Roma with just five games to play. However, with the draw, the gap remains at six points and with some difficult fixtures to follow, including matches against Juventus and Napoli, Spalletti's side still have some work to do.
Inter RomaGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Matteo Politano (Inter): The hosts focused most of their attacks down the left flank, and for good reason. Roma afforded Inter's winger Politano with too much space and the 25-year-old troubled Claudio Ranieri's side with countless sumptuous crosses. When Roma finally doubled up on Politano, they left D'Ambrosio alone and it was the full-back who laid on the equaliser with a fantastic delivery.
8' - TERRIFIC SAVE! Martinez almost heads Inter into the lead! He pulls away from his marker to meet Politano's lovely floated cross and his bullet header is somehow pushed onto the post by Mirante!
14' - GOAL! Inter 0-1 Roma: It's a glorious opener by El Shaarawy! He picks the ball up on the left, gives Vecino the slip to create an angle for the shot and curls a sumptuous effort past Handanovic from the edge of the penalty area. Fantastic goal.
42' - SO CLOSE! Asamoah goes past a couple of poor challenges to create room for a shot. It's deflected behind by Fazio which takes it a couple of inches past Mirante's post. Some fans at the opposite end of the stadium thought it was in! Asamoah's five-year search for a goal continues.
44' - JUST WIDE! How have Inter not equalised? This is another glorious opportunity. Perisic floats a cross to the far post, D'Ambrosio attacks the ball but from just a matter of yards he somehow heads wide!
61' - GOAL! Inter 1-1 Roma: The home side's pressure finally pays dividends! D'Ambrosio floats a lovely cross to the far post where Perisic has sneaked in unmarked and his stooping header nestles into the corner of the net. Inter are level.
70' - CHANCE! A wonderful opportunity for Inter to take the lead for the first time in the game goes begging! Vecino's volleyed cross picks out Martinez inside the box. He ought to head it but instead tries an ambitious volley and he can't keep it down.