Roma 2-1 Inter: Dzeko and Manolas move hosts into third

Luciano Spalletti’s side made it four home wins in a row to move level on points in the table with Lazio, AC Milan and Chievo and just five points behind leaders Juventus

Roma climbed to third in the Serie A table as goals from Edin Dzeko and Kostas Manolas secured a 2-1 victory over Inter at Stadio Olimpico.

Manolas’ first goal of the season, via a deflection off Mauro Icardi, was enough to seal all three points for Luciano Spalletti’s side, moving them level with Lazio, AC Milan and Chievo on 13 points.

The Giallorossi flew out of the blocks on Sunday as Dzeko converted a Bruno Peres cross to claim his fifth goal of the season after just five minutes.

Both sides struck the woodwork during a thrilling first half and Inter could count themselves a touch unfortunate to have suffered what was their first defeat since the opening day of the season.

Ever Banega had levelled for the visitors as they raised their game in the second half, but Manolas’ header from Alessandro Florenzi’s free-kick ensured all three points for the hosts.

A fourth successive home league win sees Roma climb to within five of leaders Juventus, while Frank de Boer’s side head into the international break in ninth place.

Inter had fallen behind in seven of their eight competitive games this season and that trend continued as Roma opened the scoring with just five minutes gone.

Mohamed Salah played Peres into the box and the full-back’s low cross was neatly clipped home by Dzeko from close range.

The visitors almost produced an instant response as Banega’s stunning 20-yard strike crashed back off Wojciech Szczesny’s right-hand post.

Salah was providing Roma’s main threat and, after setting up Peres for a chance, he twice went close to doubling the hosts’ lead within a minute.

After being sent clean through by Dzeko, the Egypt international struck the outside of the post and then saw an angled shot parried by Samir Handanovic who was also equal to Florenzi’s follow-up effort.

Inter, meanwhile, created several decent openings themselves, notably when Antonio Candreva wasted a great opportunity on 32 minutes by slicing his volley wide after an Ivan Perisic cross had found him unmarked at the far post.

In a frenetic end to a pulsating first half, Florenzi and Dzeko both found themselves in one-on-one situations with Handanovic but failed to score, while Candreva and Miranda came close to equalising for the visitors.

The first meaningful action of the second half saw Diego Perotti’s fierce drive kept out by the impressive Handanovic before Kevin Strootman headed a Salah cross over the bar.

Perisic then flashed a 25-yard free-kick narrowly wide for Inter and moments later Assane Gnoukouri blazed over when well placed, but Banega finally claimed the equaliser that his side’s second-half performance deserved.

Icardi’s clever pass caught the Roma defence flat-footed and Banega calmly slotted home his first goal of the season.

Within four minutes, however, Inter bagged what proved to be the winner as Florenzi’s delivered a flat free-kick into the box and Manolas’ header seemed to take a deflection off Icardi on its way into the net.

Inter continued to push for an equaliser but their seven-year wait for a league win in Roma continues, with Handanovic keeping it to 2-1 with a superb late save to deny Dzeko.

Banega wants end to sloppy Inter starts

The Nerazzurri have conceded first in all but one of their competitive games this season and the Argentine midfielder is keen for them to break that wretched habit

Inter midfielder Ever Banega believes slow starts are costing Frank de Boer’s side after they went down to a 2-1 Serie A loss at Roma.

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Edin Dzeko gave the hosts a fifth-minute lead – with Inter having conceded first in all but one of their competitive games this season.

Banega produced a coolly taken equaliser before Kostas Manolas sealed the points for Roma, meaning the Argentina international’s first Inter goal came as little comfort.

“It’s a shame my goal ultimately didn’t help,” he told reporters

“It was a very difficult game and we created so many chances, it’s disappointing to emerge empty-handed.

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“We must continue working and going forward to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.

“It’s a pity about the goal at the start, then we failed to make the most of our opportunities. This game teaches us not to repeat the same mistakes.

“We must learn to start strong in the opening 15-20 minutes and not just react to going behind.”

Inter defender Davide Santon felt unnecessary mistakes cost his side at Stadio Olimpico.

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“We committed too many errors when building play, despite the fact we knew Roma have super-fast players,” he said on Inter’s official website. “We controlled the contest better in the second half but conceded a free-kick that we should have avoided [for Manolas’ goal].

“We were feeling confident at 1-1 but their strike for 2-1 took the wind out of our sails. We have to work hard, we conceded first yet again this evening.

“The objective is still [qualifying for] the Champions League but we have to improve our approach.

“Too often we allowed Roma to pick up the second ball. We had a lot of chances but couldn’t manage to equalise straight away.

“We messed up lots of passes and both sides had bags of openings to score.”

Mourinho welcomes Samuel and Milito to Old Trafford

The Argentine pair will be guests of their former boss as the Red Devils look to record a second consecutive league victory

Ex-Inter stars Walter Samuel and Diego Milito will watch Manchester United versus Stoke City as guests of their former boss Jose Mourinho on Sunday.

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The duo were influential figures in Mourinho’s treble-winning Inter side of 2009-10, with Milito scoring all the goals in the respective 1-0 and 2-0 triumphs over Roma and Bayern Munich in the Coppa Italia and Champions League finals.

Mourinho is in the early stages of trying to build comparable success at United and he warmly praised both men in his programme notes for the match.

“I am very happy to say that I have two special guests at Old Trafford this afternoon and I cannot let their visit pass without saying a few words about them,” he wrote.

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“They are Diego Milito and Walter Samuel, two of my players from the magical Internazionale team that won Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League in 2010.

“Samuel was a brick wall in our defence and Diego, in the final weeks of that season, scored the cup-winning goal against Roma, the league-winning goal in Siena and two more goals in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

“It goes without saying they both deserve my directors’ box seats this afternoon for their efforts.”

RUMOURS: Inter want Darmian on loan

The former Torino full-back has featured only once this season after being pushed to the periphery, and he is reportedly keen on a move back to Serie A

Inter Milan are set to make a move for Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian in January, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

It is reported the Serie A giants want the fullback on an initial loan with a view to a permanent move in the summer.

The 26-year-old, who moved to United from Torino last summer, has featured just once this season in the Europa League defeat at Feyenoord.

The Italy international has struggled with injuries and is not part of manager Jose Mourinho’s plans.


Sparta Prague 3-1 Inter: De Boer's men beaten again in Europa League

Rodrigo Palacio supplied the only cheer of a forgettable evening for the Nerazzurri, as they were soundly beaten in the Czech capital

Inter suffered a first-half capitulation and slumped to their second consecutive Europa League defeat as Sparta Prague ran out deserved 3-1 winners at Generali Arena.

Striker Vaclav Kadlec scored twice in the first half of a contest in which Sparta were given an easy ride by an Inter defence that looked vulnerable throughout.

Rodrigo Palacio pulled one back for the visitors in an improved second half, but the game ended miserably for Frank de Boer’s side as Andrea Ranocchia was sent off and Mario Holek scored late on to make it 3-1.

Victory over Inter gave interim Sparta coach David Holoubek a dream start to his time in charge, which began after Zdenek Scasny was sacked in the aftermath of a 2-0 defeat to city rivals Slavia.

Last year’s Czech First League runners-up were billed as a club in crisis ahead of the game but it was Inter who looked out of sorts, and any rapport De Boer had built with Inter fans after three wins in their last four Serie A games felt rather fragile at the end of another sorely disappointing European performance.

Inter were caught out in the seventh minute when Felipe Melo misjudged what looked like a simple interception, allowing Borek Dockal’s pass to roll through to Kadlec, who drilled the ball low into the corner of the net.

De Boer’s side lacked shape and confidence early on and Jeison Murillo twice gave his team-mates a scare, first getting needlessly caught in possession by Dockal and then almost gifting the hosts a penalty after felling Kadlec.

However, with 25 minutes gone, Martin Frydek’s simple free-kick found Kadlec completely unmarked and the striker was allowed to stride into the box unchallenged before slotting past Samir Handanovic.

Only a timely interception from Murillo stopped Ales Cermak making it 3-0 in a nightmarish first half for the visitors, as he raced to meet a Kadlec delivery that flashed across goal.

Daniel Holzer created a similar chance for Vyacheslav Karavayev early in the second half as Inter’s porous defence showed little sign of firming up.

Kadlec should have had a hat-trick when he beat Murillo for pace and clipped a shot over Handanovic only to see the ball clear the crossbar, but Inter at last began to gain a foothold on proceedings.

Antonio Candreva offered some creativity with a good cross that Eder headed over the bar, before Palacio dragged Inter back into the game 19 minutes from time.

The Argentine forward played a one-two with Eder to cut through Sparta’s defence and he placed his shot into the corner of the net, giving Tomas Koubek no chance.

Inter’s comeback was short-lived, however. Ranocchia was sent off for a second bookable offence and when Ondrej Mazuch headed Kadlec’s free-kick back across the face of goal, Holek nodded into an open net to wrap up a fine victory for Sparta.

'Kondogbia doesn't want to listen' – De Boer slams midfielder after Inter draw

The Dutch coach substituted the midfielder after just 28 minutes at San Siro on Sunday and criticised him after the game for continuing to make the same mistakes

Geoffrey Kondogbia’s Inter career is in crisis after coach Frank de Boer slammed his performance in the 1-1 draw against Bologna.
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The French midfielder was caught in possession by Bologna’s Saphir Taider after 14 minutes at San Siro, allowing the visitors to open the scoring through Mattia Destro.

Ivan Perisic scored with a volley to level the match before half-time, but Kondogbia’s part in the game lasted just 28 minutes and he was replaced by Assane Demoya Gnoukouri.

After the game, which ended Inter’s run of three consecutive Serie A wins, De Boer criticised Kondogbia, telling Mediaset Premium: “This morning we talked about it, that he had to play simple and on the Bologna goal he did not do that.

“We already talked about this and he makes the same mistakes often.
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“We cannot accept that from players when we’ve told them many times already. I told him this morning, so if he doesn’t want to listen, then what can I do? It’s not the first time we’ve discussed it.

“We told him many times, he doesn’t want to listen.”
De Boer made three changes to the side that beat Empoli 2-0 in Inter’s previous match, replacing injured duo Jeison Murillo and Danilo D’Ambrosio with Andrea Ranocchia and Ever Banega.

Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa made his debut as a second-half substitute, but he was unable to affect a result that De Boer admitted was disappointing.

“We did drop two points, yes,” said the Dutchman. “This morning we found out that we had to change two players. In the opening 20 minutes we were tense, then Bologna’s goal changed the game.

“Effectively, we lost it in those opening 20 minutes, because the chances we created did not go in. After 20 minutes, I saw a team that wanted to win and played pretty well.

“However, in the final 20 minutes we suffered a little because we got stretched out and many players were tired. It was not our best performance, but I am content with the work we’ve done.”

On Gabriel’s performance, he said: “It wasn’t easy to come on with all that pressure of a 1-1 situation, but in my view he did pretty well.

“We know he can play better. This is only his first appearance.”

Bologna coach Roberto Donadoni was pleased to see his side collect their first Serie A point of the season away from home, saying: “We held out, battled and had two incredible chances at the end that we could’ve taken to even win.

“Overall I am satisfied, as it’s not easy for anyone to get a result at San Siro.”

Gabriel needs time to get used to Serie A – Ausilio

The Brazilian made his debut for the Nerazzurri during Sunday’s draw with Bologna, and one member of the Serie A team’s board has backed him to succeed

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio has stressed Gabriel Barbosa will need time to get used to his new surroundings, but is confident the Brazilian forward will be a success at San Siro.

Gabriel joined Inter from Santos in the closing stages of the transfer window and made his debut for Frank de Boer’s men in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Bologna.

The 20-year-old failed to find the net as Inter spilled points after three wins on the trot and Ausilio has called for patience with the young attacker.

“Gabigol needs time to get used to Italian football,” Ausilio told reporters. “Plus he needs time work more with Frank de Boer and his new team-mates.
“He’s got a great attitude and is keen to learn. We are delighted with his ability and he is capable of playing anywhere in attack.

“He offers something different compared to our other attackers.

“It’s now up to De Boer to get the best out of him.”

Inter 1-1 Bologna : Perisic rescues point for hosts

Frank de Boer’s side had to come from behind to secure a point while it was another miserable afternoon for Geoffrey Kondogbia who was substituted after just 28 minutes

Inter’s run of three straight Serie A wins came to a halt in a 1-1 draw against a stubborn Bologna at San Siro on Sunday.

The Nerazzurri had recovered from a slow start to Frank de Boer’s tenure by recording victories over Pescara, Juventus and Empoli, but were unable to overcome a stubborn Bologna side on their home turf.

Hunting for a first away win of the season, Bologna made the most of a sloppy Inter start when Simone Verdi robbed Geoffrey Kondogbia of possession and played in Mattia Destro to score the opener.

De Boer is still impressing his brand of attacking football on his Inter squad and it took the home side half an hour to settle into the match, but when they did the impressive Ivan Perisic volleyed home a superb equaliser.

The script appeared to be written for Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa to come off the bench and win it for Inter on his eagerly awaited debut, but his 18-minute appearance yielded very little and Inter squandered the chance to move three points clear of nearest rivals Roma in Serie A.

Andrea Ranocchia asserted himself on the game early on, winning key battles against dangerman Destro, but Inter’s long-ball approach proved ineffective against a Bologna side happy to sit deep.

Bologna capitalised on Inter’s uncertain start when Kondogbia gave the ball away cheaply and Verdi jinked his way into the penalty area where he played in Destro, who slotted his third goal of the season under Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

De Boer barked instructions from the touchline and Inter responded with some improved passages of play, while Perisic volleyed wide after Davide Santon’s cross found him unmarked at the far post.

Perisic was at the heart of Inter’s improvement and the Croatia international made a telling contribution in the 37th minute when he showed great technique to expertly volley Antonio Candreva’s long pass into the bottom right-hand corner.

Ever Banega went close early in the second half and Candreva’s deflected cross tested Angelo da Costa as Inter pressed for a winner.

Bologna stemmed the flow of attacks and became more difficult to break down, although Perisic carved out an opening when he beat three defenders before playing a one-two and heading the ball wide.

De Boer recognised the need for fresh legs in attack and sent on Gabriel.

The Brazilian striker played to the crowd, gesturing for Inter’s fans to roar them to victory, but Andrea Ranocchia missed with a free header in the last few seconds of injury time and Bologna deservedly ground out their first away point of the season.

Gabigol explains choosing Inter over Juventus

The Brazilian says the challenge of helping the club back to the top was a key factor in his move to San Siro and he also admits he was keen to play with Mauro Icardi and Eder

Gabriel Barbosa says he preferred Inter over Juventus due to the exciting project on offer at San Siro.

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The Brazil international could make his Inter debut at home to Bologna on Sunday after he was an unused substitute for their 2-0 win at Empoli on Wednesday.

The striker nicknamed ‘Gabigol’ was in demand prior to his move from Santos last month, with Barcelona and Juventus also among the clubs reportedly chasing him.

Gabriel, though, was tempted by the challenge of helping Inter return to the top of the European game.

“I moved for the project,” the 20-year-old said to Fox Sports.
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“Inter want to return to being a very strong team and because of that, I decided to go to Italy with my family.

“There are great players like Antonio Candreva and Mauro Icardi who score a lot of goals. And also Eder, who is Brazilian like me.

“I had a crazy welcome at the airport in Milan and at that point I did not know I would be an Inter player.
“I am happy with my choice, I think I have come into a great team which I have always heard good things about. This is why I preferred Inter to Juventus.

“I was told that the strongest rivalry is with Juventus and not AC Milan.

“I decided to leave Santos because I thought I had stayed for quite a long time and learned quite a lot of things. I did what I felt was right.”

After initially making a shaky start to Frank de Boer’s reign, Inter have won three consecutive Serie A matches.

Gabriel: Inter are Italy's biggest club

The Brazil international, who joined the Nerazzurri from Santos in the summer, also claims he turned down several clubs to seal a move to the San Siro

Gabriel Barbosa believes Inter are Italy’s biggest club and says he turned down offers from a number of other sides to join them.

The Brazil international was also heavily linked with moves to Barcelona and Juventus, while there was interest from China.

Nevertheless, Inter’s project convinced the 20-year-old to make the move to Milan instead.

“I’m very happy to be part of the history of this club. The whole project at Inter convinced me, from the coaches to the players. This is the biggest club of Italy,” Gabriel told reporters.

“I turned down a big offer from China in favour of Inter. Other clubs wanted me as well, but the fans’ affection made the difference for me. I’m here to help them win.

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“Everyone has been so kind to me. I can’t wait to play with my new team-mates. I want to give my contribution. I feel in good shape and I’m available for selection for this weekend’s match against Bologna. 

“It was an intense summer but Inter gave me time to rest and ease myself into the squad. I want to help my team-mates and I can’t wait to start.

“My position isn’t important, helping the team is. The treble-winning Inter gave everything in games. That’s what I want to do. We have great players here.”

Gabriel made the bench for Inter’s 2-0 win over Empoli on Wednesday, but Frank de Boer opted against bringing on the former Santos forward for his debut.