Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro), Milan, Italy
85′ Perotti (P)
Roma closed the gap on leaders Juventus to seven points after a 3-1 victory over Inter Milan at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro) in Milan.
Two stunning strikes from Radja Nainggolan early in both halves gave the Giallorossi a 2-0 lead before Diego Perotti converted from the spot, five minutes from-time to seal the victory and inflict a second home league defeat for the Nerazzurri after Mauro Icardi pulled a goal back for the hosts with an instinctive-finish moments before.
The visitors started well and went close to taking the lead in the seventh minute when an Edin Džeko pass managed to squeeze past Gary Medel into the path of Mohamed Salah, who fired an effort that Samir Handanović palmed away.
Five minutes later the Giallorossi took a deserved lead when Nainggolan cut-inside to curl an unstoppable strike past Handanović into the top-corner from outside the area.
The hosts had a good chance to level the scores immediately following the kick-off when Ivan Perišić did well to get to the by-line and find João Mário with a pull-back, but his effort was blocked over the bar by Kostas Manolas, whose challenge denied a certain goal.
In the 35th minute the visitors went close to doubling their lead when Kevin Strootman found Džeko, who fired an effort that Handanović was forced to palm away.
In the 41st minute the hosts went close when skipper Icardi met a Marcelo Brozović cross, following a corner, but he headed the ball just wide.
A minute before the interval the hosts went close again when Mário’s dangerous pull-back fell to Brozović, but his effort was brilliantly tipped behind by Wojciech Szczęsny.
The Nerazzurri started the second-half in the ascendancy and went close to levelling the scores two minutes into the restart when Brozović’s flick-on found Antonio Candreva, who fired an effort that Szczęsny tipped behind.
Two minutes later Inter should have drawn level after a Mário cross fell to Perišić, but the Croatian fired the ball inches over the bar via a deflection.
In the 56th minute the visitors doubled their lead. Nainggolan surged forward from deep into his own-half before firing a powerful effort into the top-corner past Handanović, although it looked as though he had fouled Roberto Gagliardini earlier in the move but the referee allowed play to go-on and the Belgian capitalised.
Five minutes later the hosts went close to pulling a goal back when Geoffrey Kondogbia found Candreva but the former Lazio midfielder fired the ball just wide into the side-netting.
In the 71st minute the hosts should have reduced the deficit when an Inter corner was flicked-on into the path of Kondogbia but the Frenchman couldn’t divert the ball home.
A minute later the visitors should have made it three when Roma broke with substitute Perotti who managed to get ahead of Handanović and find Džeko with a cross but the Bosnian headed the ball off-target with the keeper retreating.
In the 79th minute the visitors should have extended their lead when a teasing delivery from Daniele De Rossi was met by the unmarked-Manolas but he could only head the ball over the bar.
Two minutes later Inter pulled a goal back when Icardi latched onto a cross-come-shot from Perišić to tap-home from close-range.
It looked as though momentum was going to shift Inter’s way but three minutes later the Giallorossi were awarded a penalty when Džeko was needlessly taken-out by Medel in the area. Perotti took his time in stepping up to the spot before converting successfully past Handanović, who couldn’t keep it out despite guessing right.
A minute later the hosts went close to pulling a goal back when Icardi met a delivery from substitute Gabriel Barbosa, but the striker could only head the ball over the bar.
In the third minute of injury-time the Nerazzurri had a good chance again when a Perišić cross fell to substitute Éder, but his effort was smothered well by Szczęsny.
The result meant that Roma remained in second on 59 points but now closed the gap on leaders Juventus to seven points whilst Inter remained in sixth on 48 points.