Chris Smalling neutralizes Romelu Lukaku and the Inter attack as Roma split at San Siro #709

A.S Roma 0 Inter Milan 0FT


San Siro, Milan 


Roma coming to this game were coming off three consecutive wins as they continue to play with momentum and confidence. However tonight they would face their biggest challenge of the season thus far. They traveled to Milan to face the best team in Italy at the San Siro as Inter Milan were awaiting them. Antonio Conte’s side has drastically improved this season as they recently took over the top of the league after Juventus dropped points last weekend. Inter Milan was looking to extend on that as they faced a challenge in Roma even though Inter is the better team Roma created and displayed its own set of challenges for the league leaders. The clubs split their season series last season as Roma has a pretty good track record at the San Siro against them in the recent memory. Roma would be without their starting goalkeeper Pau Lopez, Justin kluivert and Edin Dzeko would start the game on the bench. This gave Inter Milan a great opportunity to get all three points and continue the momentum into their title Chase. Lukaku had a very good chance early but outside of that Inter Milan really struggled to get anything going. Roma struggled differently but they completely controlled possession in the first half as Inter Milan had issues even getting possession from them. The problem was Roma was finding a difficult to take advantage of it. However late in the first half inter would have their opportunities on horrendous defensive mistakes by Antonio Mirante and Diego Perotti gave them a chance to put themselves in front. They wasted both opportunities as Roma defense and possession advantage proved to be decisive in the first half. Martinez and Lukaku statistically are the best to do all with all of Italian football. They were essentially taken out of the game by Romans defense especially Chris Smalling who was on Lukaku the entire match as he completely neutralized the Belgium Striker. Chris Smalling has gone up against him almost regularly during their time at Manchester United he had his number and there’s nothing he could do about it. Both teams had their chances in the second half but it became a battle in the Midfield as chances weren’t as frequent as you might expect. Late in the match, Martinez misses a late opportunity to come through with a game-winning goal. Roma’s defense was the superior figure in this match as Roma go to the San Siro and managed to split points with Inter Milan in a 0-0 draw. A fantastic display by the Romans who should have great confidence Going into the Europa League on Thursday.


Roma, as usual, would come out of the 4-2-3-1 formation as they have the majority of the season. However, there were quite a bit of adjustment with the injury to Justin kluivert and Edin Dzeko who has the flu. In goal would be Antonio Mirante as Pau Lopez picked up an injury in the warmup. The backline would be identical to what we saw this week against Verona. At left-back would be Alex Kolarov beside him would be the center-back partnership of Gianluca Mancini and Chris Smalling then patrolling right-back would be Davie Santon. Roma would also look the same in the defensive Midfield with Jordan Veretout and Diawara. They would be to changes in the attacking Midfield. In the center, position would be the red hot Lorenzo Pellegrini who worn the armband for the first time. Besides him on the left-wing would be Diego Perotti. Then on the opposite side on the right-wing would be Hendrick Mkhitaryan. Upfront for Roma as the team’s lone Striker by surprise would be Nicolo Zaniolo. In a rather strange lineup but still, a good enough lineup to get results in Milan.


After preparations and predictions, the match was just about to get underway at the San Siro in Milan. As Serie, A match of the week kicks off on a Friday night between two Italian football heavyweights. Inter Milan came into this game as the best team in the league so far this season having recently gone to the top of the table. Meanwhile, Roma started to pick up some more momentum with the possibility to upset inter in their own house. Very early in the match, Inter Milan was on the verge of a breakthrough as Romelu Lukaku on a counter attack was denied by Antonio Mirante as Roma the Back-up goalkeeper who was forced into action makes a fantastic save. From attacking standpoint Inter Milan at did not provide much following their early chance. Roma replied just minutes later as Diego Perotti was denied from deep by Samir Handanovic. It became a possession battle throughout the first half it wasn’t a match in which there are a lot of high-quality chances. Everything came through the Midfield but there were not a lot of blows being exchanged between the teams less than 20 minutes gone in the game and Roma were forced to go to the bench as Davie Santon had to come out due to injury as at Leonardo Spinazzola entered the game. Just a few minutes after the change Nicolo Zaniolo who was playing as the team’s striker ripped a very vicious shot at Samir Handanović stinging his hands but managed to make the save. Throughout the next 10 to 15 minutes Inter Milan barely had any possession of the ball. Roma had complete control of the possession even though they found things difficult going forward. As they were not managed to do much with it Inter Milan was basically ball watching for a good portion of the first half. It was really impressive the way they operated between each other with short passing efficiency. As well as long balls coming from both wings. On the offensive end, Inter Milan struggled to get anything going. Chris Smalling was completely dominating Romelu Lukaku essentially taking him out of the game for a good portion of it. That’s not to mention that the Roma defense was playing so well as a unit at one point playing the offside the line so well that they caught four Inter Milan players offside at the same time. Inter Milan started regaining possession they started to retake control in the game. Even so, they struggled with Roma’s defense being as a fact of as it was. Martinez just past the half-hour Mark came close but misfired Martinez and Lukaku had a very quiet opening half. A few minutes before the end of the half Antonio Mirante made a massive mistake and Diego Perotti made an even bigger one they essentially gave Inter Milan at 2 gifts but the league leaders failed to deliver on either one there was a penalty claim for Inter Milan in stoppage time but ultimately it wasn’t given. As the half came to a close after 45 minutes it was a goalless game during the Italian football game of the week on a Friday night.


Although Roma failed it to get in front in the opening 45 minutes they found a way to be effective. Antonio Conte is a manager of adjustments but Roma made out really well to start the match control of possession played a big role in their success early and the game. The second half would be a battle as Roma would have to get through Inter Milan for another 45 minutes luckily defensively Roma was prepared for the challenge. After a rather slow start in terms of chances in the second half, the intensity sped up. Kolarov minutes into the second half try to pull in past Inter but ultimately missed from distance. Inter try to reply through Vecino but Antonio Mirante made a tremendous save to keep it even. Even though he is a backup he has loads of experience in Italian football which showed in this match. Inter Milan came out with a lot of energy as they continued to try and antagonize Roma’s backline. Milan skinnier and Martinez both missing but a level of intensity was very threatening in the early part of the second half. Both teams had their moments even though Inter Milan was scary on the attack it was most weight being dealt with by Chris Smalling who stuck Romelu Lukaku in his back pocket. Roma still found ways to be effective especially in getting on the counter-attack occasionally. Part of the problem was the inefficiency of the attack that held them back. Nonetheless, they look more dangerous coming forward then Inter Milan at a lot of points. Controlling The Possession allowed them to continue to try to find gaps in which to exploit the end of the line of the backline. It was a struggle for both teams as Roma performed admirably against the league leaders. Martinez had a fantastic opportunity Midway through the second half but not a lot of opportunities for Roma but Jordan Veretout came a reasonably close off a set piece Roma then would make their second change of the evening as Edin Dzeko came in to replace Diego Perotti. It continued to be back and forth but Roma did an exceptional job of maintaining possession and defensively stifling Inter Milan’s Stars. With eight minutes to go Romelu Lukaku was forced into a difficult shot that went wide. It would be the last chance for Inter Milan as they failed to finish the job against a short-handed Roma team. As Roma go into the San Siro and get a massive point that should set them up nicely going forward.

In the biggest match of the weekend, Roma went to the San Siro and managed to secure a point. Inter Milan has been the best team in the league this season and had recently gone to the top of the league. Roma was without their starting goalkeeper and their most explosive player not to mention their leading scorer had to come off the bench. This match was set up for Inter Milan to pick up three points they ultimately were unable to do so. Inter had enough opportunities to get the job done but they fall incredibly short against a Roma team that was without Pau Lopez Justin kluivert and a limited Edin Dzeko. Nicolo Zaniolo started the game as the team Striker he is a midfielder. Roma managed to control possession for a good majority of the game. There was a period of 10 minutes in the first half in which Inter Milan did not touch the ball. Inter Milan has the most dangerous team and despite that found things quite difficult against a Roma team that wasn’t at full strength. Roma even gave them two gifts following some defensive mistakes but still, Inter Milan could not breakthrough. Roma gets a huge point in a match they should be proud of. Much of the first half they control the possession and even found ways to hurt Inter Milan on the counter-attack. Meanwhile, Inter Milan could not get Martinez or Lukaku going largely because of the defensive Brilliance that Roma displayed. Chris Smalling mutually took out his former Manchester United teammate Romelu Lukaku. Despite an early chance on Mirante the Belgian had a slow day at the office. Chris Smalling made things incredibly difficult as he proved to be a tough matchup for him. Neither Lukaku or Martinez really could get going because of the connectivity and effectiveness of the backline. Despite all the circumstances in which Roma we’re at a disadvantage Inter Milan wasted too many chances and could not break them down. In a match that feels like a loss for Inter Milan because of their inability to perform they are in danger of losing their place at the top of the League. Diawara was truly Sensational as he continues to come into his own at Roma. Not to mention Henrik Mkhitaryan and Gianluca Mancini both played at a very high level. However tonight because of the job he did on Romelu Lukaku Chris Smalling is the man of the match. He was absolutely sensational slowing down one of the most consistent Strikers in the entire league. Lukaku was frustrated annoyed and quite frankly couldn’t get anything going Chris Smalling made the biggest difference in the final result. A huge point for Roma and they continue to fight for Champions League football. Roma has come to the San Siro and steal a point for yet again got the results almost constantly in the last five seasons. Inter Milan with a much better team but for some reason away from home in this Stadium Roma managers to steal a point. This is a confidence Roma team that is feeling momentum they performed admirably even without several key places this shows how dangerous this team can be with A truly magnificent display at the San Siro this evening. They shut down the most dangerous part of Inter Milan and the hosts couldn’t deal with it.




MAN OF THE MATCH: Chris Smalling (3)


Top of the table

Inter Milan 12-2-1 39Pts
Juventus 11-3-0 37Pts
Lazio 9-3-2 30pts
A.S Roma 8-5-2 29Pts
Cagliari 8-4-2 28Pts
Bottom of the table
Lecce 3-5-6 14pts
Sampdoria 3-3-7 12Pts
Genoa 2-4-8 10pts
SPAL 2-3-9 9pts
Brescia 2-1-10 7pts

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