Score: A.S Roma 1 Inter Milan 1FT
San Siro, Milan
Following back-to-back wins, Roma traveled to Milan for their fiercest test for the remainder of the season. As they faced off against Inter Milan at the San Siro football’s cathedral. It would be the second match between both teams. The Champions League race really heated up not only for Roma but for Inter Milan as well. Lazio’s lost to Verona and Milan dropping points away at Parma gave insight not only to Roma’s Champions League Chase but with results going in their direction third place was a possibility. It certainly does not get any bigger than that two of Italy’s biggest heavyweight going head-to-head on Saturday Night Football. Not only that but former Romans Nainggolan and Luciano Spalletti having a crack against their old Club while Nicolo Zaniolo will do the same. This was such an important match for the Champions League race that only seems to heat up as the days progress. It was an enthusiastic atmosphere at the San Siro as we were in for a battle between two teams fighting for their own destiny it certainly turned out to be a battle. It was uncertain whether Stephan El Shaarawy would play the match Roma we’re certainly grateful that he did. In a very balanced first half, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Roma the breakthrough scoring an absolute screamer. Roma really pressured during the opening 45 minutes and at many points looked like be the better team. Roma held a 1-0 lead after 45 minutes but Inter Milan found themselves back into the game in the second half. Inter Milan grew into the game and eventually had their moment. As Ivan Perisic equalized in the second half to increase the game’s intensity. Inter Milan was searching for that second goal but never got it as Roma held off a strong a second-half showing to earn an important and tough point away in the Milan. In what was an eventual 1-1 finish as points are spared at the San Siro. With the remaining fixtures left on Roma schedule, it was important that Roma got a result here because there might not be a more difficult game the rest of the way. in the most important game of the year, Roma takes a point against Inter Milan at the San Siro which is never an easy task.
Claudio Ranieri would only make five changes ahead of this important match against Inter Milan. He would stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation as he has used it over the last three games. In goal for Roma would be an Antonio Mirante who has taken over the starting job from Robin Olsen just a few weeks ago he has back-to-back clean sheets and is hoping to see that continue. Roma would have nearly their starting defense fully back for the first time in several weeks. At left-back would be Alex Kolarov beside him would be the centre-back partnership of Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus. Kostas Manolas was expected to start but got injured in the warm-up. Filling out the defense occupying right back would be Roma vice Captain Alessandro Florenzi. In Roma’s defensive Midfield we will see a slight change with the injury of Daniele de Rossi keeping the Roma Captain sidelines for the remainder of the season. The defensive Midfield duo will be made up of Bryan Cristante and Steven Nzonzi. Roma’s attacking Midfield in the central position would be Lorenzo Pellegrini. Beside him on the right wing will be Cengiz Under who makes his first start since returning from his injury. Despite the fact, Stephan El Shaarawy went through protocol due to a thigh problem he returns to the starting lineup after a breathtaking display last week. Then in as the main Striker would be Edin Dzeko after scoring his first goal and several weeks he should be in confident mood. As always Roma has a strong bench with the likes of Diego Perotti Justin Kluivert and Nicolo Zaniolo.
After preparations and predictions, it was finally the kickoff in Milan Italy’s Cathedral the San Siro was packed and the atmosphere was rocking. In what was going to be a hugely important match for the Champions League chase as Roma and Inter Milan went head-to-head on prime-time Saturday Night Football in Italy’s most historic Stadium the match finally kicked off. Early in the match, it was very balanced between both teams. However, from Roma’s point of view, an early start is exactly what they needed on the road and that’s exactly what Roma did. Very early in the match, Kolarov beautifully set up Edin Dzeko inside the Box. Could not have been orchestrated in a better way but Dzeko’s touch was poor. Despite missing on the chance it was really well-executed in what was a fine start for Roma. Roma followed that up with a great chance from Alex Kolarov. He hit a vicious strike from outside the box it came very close just narrowly missing as to the left of the post. A strong start for Roma but Inter were at the San Siro and they were not going to let Roma take control of the game as Inter Milan hit back with a rapid response. Politano hit a perfect cross into Martinez who made a great connection on the header. It looks like they were going to be an opening goal but Mirante made a world-class save of the highest order stopping the ball on the goal line. Despite the save it was excellent execution from inter. Just a few minutes later Politano tried to pull one but missed. Inter Milan continued to get into dangerous positions and Despite Inter Milan causing danger to Roma. The visitors were about to hit back with some outrageous piece of skill. In the 14th minute, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Roma the Breakthrough. Hovering from just outside the box El Shaarawy took his Defender draws himself away from the defense. El Shaarawy took an outrageous hit from outside the box curling into the top corner to score an absolute belter to give a Roma the 1-0 lead.
El Shaarawy stuns the San Siro with a world class strike
El Shaarawy who was questionable to start the game displayed some unbelievable intelligence using his skills and techniques to his advantage which caused the defense disoriented not to mention the strike on the ball was of immense ability. It would be Stephan El Shaarawy 10th goal of the season as he continuously proves that he is one of the best players in Italian football. Radja Nainggolan tried to respond to his former teammates but his deep strike was poorly hit It became a relatively tough battle between the two teams. Roma did appear to have the slightest Advantage but it was very balanced throughout the opening 45 minutes. It was physical it was tough as both teams understand the importance of the match. Just a few minutes past the half-hour Mark Roma almost doubled their lead. Lorenzo Pellegrini brilliantly set up Stephan El Shaarawy as he drove his strike into the top corner but this time was denied Inter Milan at trying to retaliate as they saw themselves slipping out of the game a little bit. Inter Milan try to rally late to equalize at the end of the first half. As Vecino and Politano failed to convert. Very late in that first half D’Ambrosio nearly brought Inter back connecting on a header from Ivan Perisic. His header hit the post as time expired ending the first half. Roma had the advantage at the San Siro thanks to a Wonder strike from Stephan El Shaarawy.
Edin Dzeko battles with the Inter defense the first half as Roma jumped out to a 1-0 lead.
A relatively strong first-half from the Romans they found themselves in front at the San Siro which is not easy to do. Rome over halfway to what would be a very important victory. Claudio Ranieri would make a change as he brought on Nicolo Zaniolo for Cengiz Under. The former Inter Milan a youth product would have a chance against his old team. The intensity only further instigated itself in the second half. Roma was the better team in the first half but in the second half Inter Milan came out as a different team. Martinez put his head through another cross from Politano excellent execution the scores remained unchanged as Mirante made saves. Lorenzo Pellegrini tried to respond just two minutes later. striking from the side of the box after Nicolo Zaniolo put him in position. The second half was a different one for Roma they had very little possession and Inter Milan was gaining momentum as they searched for an equalizer. Inter Milan really turned the corner finally that moment arrived Ivan Perisic in the 61st minute put his hand through and D’Ambrosio cross into the roof of the net to equalizer Inter Milan making it 1-1.
Ivan Perisic bring Inter back equalizing with a diving header
Inter was finding their legs in the game it was perfect execution from the cross to the connection. Roma was becoming frustrated their lack of possession cause them to struggle at many points in the game. Eventually, Roma started slowly chipping away as they got themselves in position to score on a few occasions. Inter was in control but Roma was still playing smart football as they got themselves in position to win the game. A little over 20 minutes to go, Lorenzo Pellegrini, struck with power from deep but the Inter’s captain got his hands to it making the save. Martinez gave an immediate response with a strike of his own as he struck a cross right out of the air but his touch was poor. Inter Milan increased their intensity but Inter continued to have issues finishing off their chances as Politano and D’Ambrosio both saw good chances wasted. With a little under 10 minutes ago, Roma went to the bench as they brought on Justin Kluivert for Lorenzo Pellegrini as he has continued to show signs of improvement since his injury. Even though Roma we’re getting battered in possession they came alive at the end. Coming off a corner Federico Fazio connected with his head an unbelievable chance for Roma missed as we were getting closer and closer to a point split. Inter Milan continued to look for the second goal but Ivan Perisic misses with four minutes left as Inters struggles in front of goal continued. Roma, on the other hand, had some late chances that perhaps a late winner was coming from the Romans. Edin Dzeko put his head through a corner from Florenzi just missing. In the 90th minute, Edin Dzeko set up Kolarov for a late chance putting him through into the box Kolarov saw his strike from close-range save. Kolarov late chance killed any chance of a late winner as Roma goes to the San Siro and split point was Inter Milan, not the results they were hoping for but a result that still helps Roma’s chase for Champions League.
Roma keep pace with the champions league race after a tough point at the San Siro
It might not have been the result they were hoping for because three points would have taken them into 4th. However, the result itself was very important in their chase for Europe. At the San Siro Roma manage a 1-1 draw and one of the most difficult places to play as El Shaarawy’s brilliance keep a Roma’s Champions League hopes very much alive. It was an incredibly tough match that exhausted both teams with everything that was on the line it was truly a battle. With Lazio losing and Milan dropping points it was a great opportunity for both sides to take advantage of it. However, even though it was a positive point for both teams they missed an opportunity. I’m not going to criticize either team for their performance because at different points in this match they both showed the character and ability. But nonetheless, three points would have really shaken up the Champions League race. After Claudio Ranieri struggled with the rotation & team selection. He got it right for the third straight week. The Basis of the lineup and what he was trying to do is clear now. Roma has been better since his decision to bench Robin Olsen for Antonio Mirante and to integrate Lorenzo Pellegrini back into the starting lineup everything has changed. Roma is in the best form they have been since he took over the job. Roma is unbeaten in their last four games and finds them very much alive in the race for Europe. It was certainly a battle at the San Siro there are positives and negatives throughout the match. However, Roma kept their nerve not allowing Inter Milan to run away with the match. There are many points in this game where it looked like Roma could pull away especially in the first half and I think their inability to get a second goal in the opening 45 minutes could have impacted the results in a different way. Nonetheless, they played collectively as a team and fought through uncomfortable moments. Defensively even though they did concede a goal they were relatively error-free even without Kostas Manolas. The massive Difference Maker was evident once again with Stephan El Shaarawy after it was reported that he may not play against inter he made them pay. An absolute thunder strike from outside the box that put Roma ahead gave them momentum in the early part of the game eventually Inter got back into it but I saw it thoroughly throughout the match Roma played to their strength they didn’t Force themselves into anything and had a few more things gone their way they could potentially have won the game. The man of the match is without question Stephan El Shaarawy scoring his 10th League goal of the season which is his second-highest Serie A goal total in his career he has really been special for Roma only justifying that with his performance. Roma has a winnable schedule the rest of the way this was an important step towards Champions League football after it looks like they were going to miss Europe all together a few weeks ago they have certainly turned things around this momentum that should carry them through the rest of the season.
Man Of the Match: Stephen El Shaarawy
By the numbers
On target 5
Pass success 71%
On target 5
Pass success 77%
Top of the table
1.Juventus 28-3-2 87pts
2.Napoli 20-7-5 67pts
3.Inter Milan 18-7-8 56pts
4.Milan 15-11-7 56pts
5.A.S Roma 15-10-8 55pts
Bottom of the table
16.Bologna 8-10-15 34pts
17.Udinesse 8-7-16 33pts
18.Empoli 7-8-18 29pts
19.Frosinone 5-8-20 23pts
20.Cheivo 2-11-20 14pts