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Roma v Internazionale Live Commentary, 19/03/2016

1 - 1
R. Nainggolan (84)
I. Perišić (53)
Stadio Olimpico


That's all for our live coverage from the Stadio Olimpico. Goodbye!
Radja Nainggolan salvages a draw for the Giallorossi with his 84th minute equaliser, denying the Nerazzurri a first win at the Stadio Olimpico since 2008. A point is a fair haul for each side in the end, with both creating chances in attack while not doing enough to take all three. In the end it's a fortunate draw for Roma given the luck they had in the build-up to their equaliser, with Dzeko's mishit shot falling kindly for Nainggolan, but it's nothing less than they deserved.
D. De Rossi
S. El Shaarawy
Roma make their final change, winding down the clock when they're the ones who look capable of finding a late winner. Daniele De Rossi is on in place of El Shaarawy.
HOW UNLUCKY! Salah breaks free inside the area, cuts inside his marker and curls a shot that appears to be heading in at the far post - but Dzeko can't get out of the way as the ball ricochets off the striker's midriff and behind for a goal-kick!
There will be three minutes added on at the end of the match.
K. Manolas
Yellow Card
Manolas becomes the fourth player booked on the night - two per side.
STAT: Inter have conceded 10 goals in their last four away matches in Serie A (D1, L3), having conceded just six goals in their first 10 league games on their travels this season (W6, D3, L1).
Felipe Melo
A. Ljajić
Inter make their final change, and it's a discouraging one as they seem to be playing for the draw now, bringing Felipe Melo on for Ljajic.
E. Džeko
Dzeko picks up the assist even though he knew precious little about it.
R. Nainggolan
INTER RESISTENCE IS BROKEN! Dzeko scuffs a shot, but it works brilliantly for his side as it's sent straight into the path of Nainggolan who slides in and places a finish in at the near post! Parity restored in the capital!
OFF THE LINE! Exquisite positioning and composure from Nagatomo to clear a header off the line following an error from D'Ambrosio that sent the ball back into the danger area!
R. Manaj
J. Biabiany
Rey Manaj - who has had played precious little this season - is brought off the bench for Inter with Biabiany giving way.
L. Digne
Emerson is introduced for by the hosts with Lucas Digne giving way.
HANDANOVIC FORCED INTO ANOTHER FINE SAVE! Salah really should be doing better there! The forward is played through into the area and has the goal at his mercy, but the Inter keeper closes down his angles, makes himself big and turns the effort aside!
Spalletti is livid! He thinks Roma should have had a handball a few minutes ago for a handball, though it would have been incredibly harsh, and now Salah's run is halted down the flank but no foul is given! The coach is set to lose his mind on th referee, but thinks better of it as he walks away.
SIDE-NETTING! A terribly loose pass from Perisic gives the ball straight to El Shaarawy, but the forward can't hit the target from in close! What an opportunity that was!
S. Handanovič
Yellow Card
Handanovic is booked for wasting time as he's in no rush taking the ensuing goal-kick.
Inter have weathered the storm and are enjoying their own spell in possession. They're doing well to suffocate the tempo, but are showing little attacking intent themselves. There's still plenty of time left and Roma have shown more than enough to believe they can bag an equaliser.
STAT: Roma have scored 24 goals in their last eight league matches (all victories), averaging three per game, while the last time they conceded more than once in a Serie A match was back at the start of January in a 3-3 draw with Chievo.
ANOTHER ONE FOR DZEKO! This time the striker is played clean through on goal, and when he's in form you certainly expect him to put those away. But that's not the case this time as he goes for power instead of placement, lifting a effort over the bar!
DIFFICULT SAVE! Salah lifts an inviting cross in from the right, the sort of delivery Dzeko thrives off. The striker rises to meet it and sends a header at goal that Handanovic has to play off the bounce, diving across to push it aside!
Inter are playing a dangerous game as they start to set-up shop and drop deeper in defence. They're content with packing bodies deep in their end and waiting for their opportunities on the counter - where they will certainly pose a threat considering the pace of both Biabiany and Perisic.
Amidst a bit of chaos surrounding the referee, Roma are able to delay long enough for Pjanic to quickly wash the blood off and get back onto the pitch. He pleads his case and is allowed to take the free-kick, but in the end his effort doesn't get up quickly enough as it smacks off the wall and goes behind for a corner.
G. Medel
Yellow Card
OUCH! Dangerous play from Medel, and a bit reckless it must be said. He lets his boot get high and into the face of Pjanic, who is cut open above the eye. The incident occurred at the very edge of the Inter area so this is a real chance for Roma from the ensuing set-piece.
STAT: Inter have lost all three of their away matches against teams currently above them in the table (Juventus, Napoli and Fiorentina), conceding twice in each of those games.
Dzeko is already proving a nuisance! An excellent delivery is whipped in by Perotti, with Dzeko attacking at the near post, but a fine bit of defensive play from Miranda helps cut out the threat. He sends a header high into the air which Handanovic can collect with ease.
E. Džeko
S. Kéita
Roma certainly going for it now! A positive chance from Spalletti, his first of the night, as striker Edin Dzeko comes on with midfielder Seydou Keita giving way. The hosts are certainly switched over to a 4-2-3-1 now.
What a massive goal that could be in the scope of the top three. Inter would pull to within two points of Roma with a win here today, within touching distance of the top three. Meanwhile, something has upset Mancini who is getting into it here with the referee, while Nagatomo comes forward to calm the situation down - and he can't help but let out a smile.
M. Brozović
Brozovic produces the quality this game has been calling out for from midfield, sending Perisic through on goal.
I. Perišić
INTER THRUST THEMSELVES BACK INTO THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RACE! Who else but Ivan Perisic - he can't stop scoring! His fellow countryman Brozovic picks out a terrific ball to send him through on goal, and Perisic makes no mistake, driving a composed finish past Szczesny who could only get the slightest of touches on it!
STAT: Roma have won eight league games in a row: with a win today they would equal their third longest run in Serie A history.
Both teams squander opportunities to go through at either end as Nainggolan and Perisic are unable to pick out their desired final balls. The end product has been inconsistent in this match so far, it must be said.
It has been a slower start to the second half. That is to be expected as the teams take a while to get their rhythm back with the first half setting a high standard for the quality we've become expected to seeing.
And we're back!
Nothing to separate the sides after 45 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico. Mohamed Salah had a goal called back for offside, while Inter have been lively at the other end without really forcing Szczesny into a difficult save as of yet. Plenty of reason to be optimistic for the second half, however, as an exciting first period comes to an end in the Italian capital.
There will be just one minute added on at the end of this first half.
Approaching the half-time interval and we still await the breakthrough in Rome despite a plethora of attacking quality. The onus will be on Inter to push for the three points, as they need to close the gap, although both teams could do with the win as Fiorentina is also in the mix for the top three.
OUTSTANDING SAVE! It's those sorts of stops that have earned Handanovic the reputation as one of the best shot-stoppers in the world! Salah chips a clever ball over the top for El Shaarawy, who punishes a half-volley at goal from 10-yards out, but the Inter keeper dives across to make a brilliant reactionary save!
STAT: The Nerazzurri have gained only two points in their last five away games: their worst run since February 2014, when they gained only one point in five away games.
Selfish effort! Nainggolan has a few words for Perotti who ambitiously goes for goal himself from an awkward angle, chipping an effort well over the bar despite having more than a few options for a pass. Roma are starting to look more like the side that dominated the first 15 minutes.
GOAL..... BUT IT WON'T COUNT! It's a sensational finish from Salah who produces an excellent first touch to control a ball over the top, before chipping a composed finish over Handanovic with his second. The flag goes up, however, and it's the right decision as he just failed to time his run accordingly.
This has been quite the first half thus far, one deserving of a goal or two - but there's still time. Roma are so hungry for the ball, getting after it fervently, but they're pulling themselves out of position at times as a result and Inter are doing an excellent job of picking them apart when the opportunity presents itself.
Roma seem to be a bit shaken by the wonderful response produced by Inter. Nainggolan takes matters into his own hands as the seas part for him in midfield, but a good defensive intervention from Miranda sees the Belgian's shot deflect high into the air before Handanovic collects.
Perisic is another player beaming with confidence! The Croatia international is full of energy, getting forward down the left flank with great success. A lovely improvised chip nearly falls perfectly for Eder, but Manolas is able to get the slightest of touches. Perisic surges forward again moments later, and narrowly misses the near corner with his strike from the top of the area.
STAT: Roma have scored the most goals in Serie A this season. They’ve also scored the most first-half goals (28) and second-half goals this season (33).
LOOK AT LJAJIC! The striker has been eager to get on the end of every ball in attack and now he's doing the same at the other end, tracking back to great effect and putting in some excellent tackles. He said before the match it was going to be a special occasion for him against his former team, and his performance has indicated that he's certainly up for it tonight!
From the ensuing set-piece, Brozovic lifts an inviting ball in towards the far post, which Ljajic knocks back into the danger area, but Szczesny is able to get to it first. This is a good spell from Inter.
S. Kéita
Yellow Card
Roma give possession away cheaply inside their own end and Keita concedes a free-kick in an attempt to win the ball back - and goes into the book as a result.
The match is starting to even out again, with Inter actually spending more time on the front foot. They're experiencing plenty of joy down the left-hand side, with Perisic especially lively. The Croatian runs to the byline and sends a teasing ball in towards the near post, but Manolas is able to deal with it.
WHAT A CHANCE! Inter finally manage to provide a bit of respite for their defence, and wind up getting the ball dangerously up the pitch. The ball is worked across for Perisic, who slides in Ljajic. The forward pulls it back for Eder, but the striker's initial effort is saved by Szczesny before a handball helps to relieve the pressure.
STAT: Inter have kept only one clean sheet in their last 11 league games.
Inter have to do a better job of keeping the ball when they win it back, because they've been under relentless pressure over the last five minutes. Roma are so determined to create chances, playing such an exciting brand of football under Spalletti. They just need to pick out a better final ball.
Roma are certainly taking the initiative, enjoying the bulk of possession and consistently looking to attack. Inter are keeping their shape well though to limit the hosts' chances, while remaining keen on the counter - though their end product has been lacking.
CRUCIAL INTERVENTION! It's the in-form front three again who create for Roma. Perotti rolls a ball through for El Shaarawy, who delivers a teasing cross across the face of goal, but Nagatomo is able to slide in and knock the ball behind with Salah arriving.
There's an excellent tempo to this match in the opening stages. Inter have found their rhythm in possession now as well, which has both teams eager to get on the font foot. This is shaping up to be a delightful contest, with so much at stake.
STAT: Inter have won their last two league games against Roma – the last time they won three in a row was back in 1998.
The Giallorossi looking every bit the part thus far! Salah comes flying through down the right to get on the end of Nainggolan's pass. He links up with El Shaarawy before Perotti is teed up for a shot just inside the area - and he doesn't miss by much!
Roma have made an encouraging start to this match, getting forward with great intent. There's a wonderful tempo about them when they get on the front foot and it's causing Inter one or two problems in these early moments.
Inter get us belatedly underway at the Stadio Olimpico!
The atmosphere is terrific inside the Italian capital on a mild night inside the Stadio Olimpico. It's a massive game as far as the Champions League hopes of these two sides are concerned, and the fans have packed the stadium appropriately in anticipation.
Roberto Mancini makes a pair of changes himself to the team which defeated Bologna last weekend. Mauro Icardi, who suffered a knee injury against Bologna last weekend, is forced to miss out while Rodrigo Palacio is suspended and Stevan Jovetic remains sidelined. Eder assumes the striker's role as a result, making room for Jonathan Biabiany to come into attack. The other swap sees Jeison Murillo replace Juan Jesus in defence.
Luciano Spalletti welcomes back Antonio Rudiger from an arm injury, as he resumes his partnership with Konstantinos Manolas in the centre of defence. Ervin Zukanovic drops to the bench to make room. Only one other change is made by the coach, who opts to bring an extra body into midfield in the form of Miralem Pjanic, with Edin Dzeko the one to give way. Diego Perotti acts as striker as a result, flanked by Mohamed Salah and Stephen El Shaarawy.
SUBS: Juan Jesus, Telles, Santon, Gnoukouri, Carrizo, Berni, Melo, Manaj.
INTER (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; D'Ambrosio, Miranda, Murillo, Nagatomo; Brozovic, Medel; Biabiany, Ljajic, Perisic; Eder.
SUBS: Strootman, Dzeko, Totti, Maicon, Falque, De Rossi, Vainqueur, De Sanctis, Emerson, Torosidis, Ucan, Zukanovic.
ROMA (4-3-3): Szczesny; Florenzi, Rudiger, Manolas, Digne; Pjanic, Keita, Nainggolan; Salah, El Shaarawy, Perotti.
For Inter, this is arguably their most important game of the season to date. Three points are an absolute must if they are to have any hope of chasing down the final Champions League spot. Their last chance of cracking into the top three would be to catch Roma, with the likes of Juventus and Napoli having already distanced themselves from the herd. Roberto Mancini’s side seem to have worked out their kinks in front of goal, but defensively this will prove a real test against the high-flying Giallorossi.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of this mouth-watering Serie A encounter between Roma and Inter from the Stadio Olimpico as the race for top three in Italy intensifies. The Giallorossi are on a tear domestically, having not dropped a point since January. They’ve cemented themselves in third place as a result, five points up on Fiorentina and today’s opponents, the Nerazzurri. Victory this evening would all but assure Luciano Spalletti’s side of staying above Inter through to the end of the season, although given their recent form, even as little as a draw could be enough to ensure a futile push from the Milan club.