Inter Milan notched up their fourth successive Serie A win as the Nerazzurri blitzed Jose Mourinho’s Roma with three first half goals to claim an excellent 3-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
Going into the fixture, Roma were without Lorenzo Pellegrini and Tammy Abraham, but despite that, another woeful performance ensured a second successive league defeat for Mourinho’s side.
The visitors’ opener set the tone for the evening - Hakan Calhanoglu’s 14th-minute corner into the near post evaded everyone - including Rui Patricio in the Giallorossi goal - to give Inter the lead in extraordinary circumstances.
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Less than ten minutes later, Edin Dzeko found the net against his former club after superb one-touch play in the box. Calhanoglu received the ball on the left, before cutting it back centrally for the Bosnian forward, who stroked the ball home..
Inter completed the scoring just before the break as centre-back Alessandro Bastoni whipped in a delightful cross into the far post, with Denzel Dumfries leaping to put a downward header past Patricio to add to Roma’s nightmare.
The result means Internazionale climb above Napoli into second place, and have now won eight of their last ten league games. Roma, meanwhile, remain in 5th, six points off the top four.

TALKING POINT - Mourinho coming under increased pressure

Two successive defeats for Jose Mourinho’s side and their seventh in the league overall means that the Portuguese coach will surely now come under fire from sections of the club’s support. Granted, the 54-year-old was without some key players tonight such as Lorenzo Pellegrini and Tammy Abraham due to injury and suspension respectively, but nevertheless, another sub-par performance could signal that alarm bells are beginning to ring at the Olimpico. One shot on target throughout the course of the 90 minutes makes for grim reading, and defensively, Roma were all over the place - particularly for Inter’s opening goal.
The Giallorossi face off against Atalanta in two weeks, and by then they could potentially be over ten points off the top four. Fixtures against Milan and Juventus follow early in the new year also, so Roma need to step up to avoid being left behind the chasing pack.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH - Hakan Çalhanoğlu

The 27-year-old Turkish midfielder produced a great performance this evening which saw an unlikely goal go in directly from a corner, as well as a great assist en-route to Edin Dzeko scoring Inter’s second goal of the game. Coupled with a pass success rate of 93%, the playmaker is deserving of the man of the match accolade.
In recent weeks, the Turkish international has proved to be an invaluable member of the Inter team. Çalhanoğlu now has six direct goal involvements in Inter’s last five Serie A games. With his current form, Simone Inzaghi will have no choice but to keep him in the current side at present.

PLAYER RATINGS

Inter: Handanovic 7, D'Ambrosio 7. Skriniar 7, Bastoni 8, Perisic 7, Calhanoglu 9, Brozovic 7, Barella 6, Dumfries 7, Correa 7, Dzeko 8. Subs: Vecino 6, Dimarco 7, Sensi 5, Sanchez 6, Vidal 6.
Roma: Patricio 4, Smalling 5, Kumbulla 6, Mancini 5, Cristante 6, Vina 6, Veretout 6, Mkhitaryan 6, Ibanez 5, Shomurodov 5, Zaniolo 7. Subs: Volpato 5, Bove 6.

KEY MOMENTS

14’ - GOAL! Inter take the lead in extraordinary circumstances! Calhanoglu’s corner into the near post flies past everyone and goes straight through Rui Patricio’s legs and into the Roma goal!
23’ - GOAL! - Inter double their lead! Some intricate play in the Roma box sees the ball find its way to the feet of Hakan Calhanoglu, who cuts it back into the centre of the box to Edin Dzeko, who tucks it away with ease past Rui Patricio.
39’ - GOAL! - Roma’s first half nightmare goes from bad to worse! Inter centre-back Bastoni wanders forward and whips in a delightful cross from the left flank to the far post, with Denzel Dumfries leaping forward to head the ball in!
81' - CHANCE! - Agonisingly close to a late consolation for Roma! Zaniolo lets fly from 25 yards out and on first glance it looked like it nestled into the top corner but on the replays it shows that it’s gone into the side netting! Everyone thought that was in - and the effort deserved it.
85’ CHANCE! - A great bit of play by Dimarco on the left hand side. Neat one-touch football with Perisic sees the ball come back to the Italian’s feet, who cuts inside to create the space for the overlap before threading it back to the Croatian. Perisic then puts in a low cross into the centre, but Sensi lashes the ball over the bar.

KEY STATS

- Hakan Calhanoglu has been involved in five goals (four goals, one assist) in the last five league games: as many involvements as in the previous 15 Serie A games.
- Jose Mourinho has now lost just his second home league game in Serie A in his career.
- Inter have scored in 18 Serie A away games in a row; they equalled their record set between October 1950 and September 1951.
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