Inter 3-1 Roma: Serie A champions stretch winning home run
Serie A champions Inter saw off Roma 3-1 at San Siro on Wednesday to stretch their club-record winning home league run to 15 matches.
Antonio Conte's men had failed to beat Roma on home soil in the league since 2015, but they raced into a two-goal lead in this latest clash inside the opening 20 minutes.
Midfield pair Marcelo Brozovic and Matias Vecino both scored from clinical finishes before Henrikh Mkhitaryan pulled one back just after the half-hour mark.
Edin Dzeko hit the crossbar in the second half but Inter, who were crowned champions with four games remaining, rounded out the win through Romelu Lukaku late on to extend their unbeaten league run to 20 matches.
With the Scudetto already sealed, Conte continued with his rotation policy and two of Inter's recalled players linked up for the opener with 11 minutes played.
Matteo Darmian pulled the ball back from the byline and Brozovic fired a first-time finish away from Daniel Fuzato.
The Nerazzurri did not take long to double their lead through a well-taken Vecino strike following some good play from Lukaku to chase down a pass and wait for support.
Roma put five unanswered goals past bottom side Crotone on Sunday and they were back in this game thanks to Mkhitaryan's curled finish away from Ionut Radu.
The visitors almost levelled up 11 minutes into the second half when Dzeko turned in the box and arrowed a shot against the frame of the goal.
Bryan Cristante headed wide from a good position and Mkhitaryan volleyed another chance into the hands of Radu, but Lukaku sealed the points for Inter with a last-minute tap-in after being unselfishly teed up by substitute Achraf Hakimi on the counter.
What does it mean? Inter snap Roma curse
Inter and Roma had drawn their last six Serie A games prior to this clash - one short of the competition record, with the Giallorossi previously drawing seven in a row against bitter rivals Lazio.
Thanks to the strikes from Brozovic, Vecino and Lukaku here, Conte has now defeated all 22 of the sides that he has faced in Serie A since taking over as Inter boss at the start of last season.
This win also takes the Nerazzurri to 88 points with two games to play. Should they win those, they will set their second-best ever tally in Serie A, behind the 97 won in 2006-07.
Lukaku the all-rounder
The prolific striker is now up to 22 Serie A goals for the season - only Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo with 28 has more - and he leads the way in terms of direct goal involvements.
With his pass for Vecino's goal, Lukaku equalled Maicon (2009-10) for the most assists of any Inter player in a Serie A season since data was first recorded in 2004-05.
Sanchez struck by injury curse
The Chile forward scored twice in last weekend's 5-1 win against Sampdoria to make it nine goals and 11 assists in his last 21 league starts for Inter.
Sanchez retained his place in the side here and looked lively early on, only be withdrawn nine minutes before half-time with a suspected sprained ankle that may just end his season early.
Key Opta facts:
- Roma have lost four consecutive Serie A games on the road for their first time since November 2008.
- Inter have now won 15 consecutive home games in Serie A. The last side to manage 15 successive home wins in a single season in the Italian top flight was Juventus in 2017 (17).
- Lukaku is the fourth Inter player to score at least 15 goals at home in a single Serie A season in the last 45 years, after Christian Vieri (19 in 2002-03), Diego Milito (17 in 2011-12) and Mauro Icardi (16 in 2016-17 and in 2017-18).
- This was Conte's 100th game in charge of Inter across all competitions. He has won 63 of those games, the most of any coach in the first 100 games with the Nerazzurri since 1929-30.
Inter travel to dethroned champions Juventus on Saturday before concluding their campaign at home to Udinese, while Roma have a derby clash with Lazio next weekend.