Matias Vecino eventually broke through the Alisson Becker blockade to cancel out Stephan El Shaarawy’s opener as Inter and Roma drew 1-1.
This was a head-to-head for third place, but also an attempt to get back in shape after losing their way during December and a point apiece does precious little for either side, as Lazio have now leapfrogged both of them.
The Nerazzurri welcomed Joao Miranda back from injury and had new buy Lisandro Lopez on the bench, but the visitors missed Daniele De Rossi, Diego Perotti, Maxime Gonalons and Rick Karsdorp, so pushed Radja Nainggolan into a more advanced role.
Ivan Perisic nodded a Joao Cancelo cross off target, then Mauro Icardi skipped past Kostas Manolas and went down under a nudge, but it was not enough for a penalty.
Alisson required a double save on both Perisic and the Borja Valero follow-up, while Lorenzo Pellegrini drilled wide from the edge of the box.
Roma broke the deadlock, as a long Alisson clearance surprised Davide Santon and Stephan El Shaarawy kept his cool to dink it over the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Alessandro Florenzi also had penalty appeals for a shirt tug, but again the VAR silent check found no further action necessary.
Alisson sprinted off his line to smother a through ball at Icardi’s feet. Luciano Spalletti was all ready to haul off Roberto Gagliardini for Marcelo Brozovic at the 43rd minute, but there wasn’t enough time to complete the change.
Alisson acrobatically punched away a deflected Perisic cross and smothered a deflected Candreva attempt, but Santon ran a big risk when cutting off El Shaarawy with an arm across his face.
Eder almost scored with his first touch, as he ran on to Miranda’s ball over the top and his finish was too close to the ever-alert Alisson.
Inter thought they had equalised on 74 minutes when Perisic’s cross found Icardi on the half-volley, but Alisson performed a stunning save to fingertip it on to the inside of the far post.
Eder was allowed a free header that he turned over the bar, but Alisson out-did himself with an extraordinary save, getting down to palm another Icardi strike off the line at the far bottom corner.
Inter were laying siege to Roma and it eventually paid off, as Vecino steered in a fine header from seven yards to draw level on Brozovic’s cross from the right.
Bruno Peres almost gifted Icardi a chance late on with his awful back-pass, one of several errors from the Brazilian substitute.
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