Manolas header sees off Nerazzurri

‘Shine a light on Sterling for speaking up’ – Alex Scott

Internazionale's five-match unbeaten run in Serie A came to an end on Sunday after they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Roma at Stadio Olimpico.

An action-packed encounter that could have gone either way got off to a flying start when Edin Dzeko gave the Giallorossi a fifth-minute lead.

Both teams were denied by the woodwork before half-time, although Inter finally equalised through Ever Banega on 72 minutes.

However, the hosts responded swiftly to go back in front four minutes later as Kostas Manolas headed home a free-kick from Alessandro Florenzi to secure the win.

The match was barely in its infancy when Dzeko broke the deadlock, slotting home Bruno Peres' pass from close range.

Banega almost restored parity on nine minutes with a fierce strike from range that cracked against the left post, while it was Inter's turn to be rescued by the frame of the goal on 21 minutes when Mohamed Salah struck the left upright from inside the box.

Visiting keeper Samir Handanovic had to be alert to deny Salah moments later and then Florenzi on the follow-up, before Ivan Perisic tested Wojciech Szczesny in the home goal from an acute angle.

A frantic first half drew to a close with Manolas well positioned to clear Cristian Ansaldi's effort off the line.

Handanovic was called into action early in the second half to keep out a swerving strike from Diego Perotti inside the box, while Szczesny was required to make a save from Perisic soon afterwards.

But the Nerazzurri's persistence paid off on 72 minutes when Banega linked up with Mauro Icardi before beating Szczesny at his near post.

Luciano Spalletti's side hit back almost immediately, however, with Manolas leaping to meet Florenzi's free-kick and steer his header past Handanovic with the aid of a deflection off Icardi.

Dzeko was denied a brace at the death as Handanovic pulled off a superb one-handed save to turn away the Bosnian striker's header from Florenzi's cross with three minutes left.

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