Stephan El Shaarawy has given Roma the half-time lead away to Inter with Alisson Becker decisive at both ends.
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This was a head-to-head for third place, but also an attempt to get back in shape after losing their way during December. The Nerazzurri welcomed Joao Miranda back from injury and had new buy Lisandro Lopez on the bench, but the visitors missed Daniele De Rossi, Diego Perotti, Maxime Gonalons and Rick Karsdorp, so pushed Radja Nainggolan into a more advanced role.
Ivan Perisic nodded a Joao Cancelo cross off target, then Mauro Icardi skipped past Kostas Manolas and went down under a nudge, but it was not enough for a penalty.
Alisson required a double save on both Perisic and the Borja Valero follow-up, while Lorenzo Pellegrini drilled wide from the edge of the box.
Roma broke the deadlock, as a long Alisson clearance surprised Davide Santon and Stephan El Shaarawy kept his cool to dink it over the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Alessandro Florenzi also had penalty appeals for a shirt tug, but again the VAR silent check found no further action necessary.
Alisson sprinted off his line to smother a through ball at Icardi’s feet. Luciano Spalletti was all ready to haul off Roberto Gagliardini for Marcelo Brozovic at the 43rd minute, but there wasn’t enough time to complete the change.
Inter 0-1 Roma (Half-Time)
El Shaarawy 33 (R)
Inter: Handanovic; Cancelo, Skriniar, Miranda, Santon; Gagliardini, Vecino; Candreva, Borja Valero, Perisic; Icardi
Roma: Alisson; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; Pellegrini, Strootman, Nainggolan; Gerson, Dzeko, El Shaarawy