STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA (Milan) – Inter sent a statement of intent to their Scudetto rivals AC Milan by defeating Roma 3-1 in a game that saw the Giallorossi fall to defeat after 12 unbeaten Serie A games.
Despite Jose Mourinho’s emotional homecoming, the 74,000 fans in the stands didn’t leave time for feelings and looked focused on supporting the home side, who scored twice in the first half through Denzel Dumfries and Marcelo Brozovic, before Lautaro Martinez’s third and a late consolation goal from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Gianluca Mancini headed a Lorenzo Pellegrini free-kick just wide seconds before the half-hour mark, sparking the hosts’ into life.
After surviving the first scare of the match, the Nerazzurri took the lead as Hakan Calhanoglu played a beautiful through pass to Dumfries, who kept his cool in front of Rui Patricio to make it 1-0.
The Meazza roared to push the hosts on and paved the way for a second, which came before the break in the form of Brozovic, who dribbled his way past Mancini before sending the ball into the far top corner.
While a Giallorossi response was expected after the break, it was Inter who struck again seven minutes into the second half, when Lautaro forced a save from Rui Patricio prior to heading home the resulting corner.
After a number of substitutions on both sides, Mkhitaryan found his fifth Serie A goal of the season five minutes from time.
Inter’s 3-1 victory saw the Nerazzurri temporarily move top of Serie A and pile pressure on rivals Milan, who’ll need at least a draw at Lazio on Sunday to retain the first place.