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.