Roma fought back twice to earn a 2-2 draw with Inter in a thoroughly entertaining game, including Cengiz Under’s scorcher, but the hosts were denied a penalty.
The Giallorossi were forced to reshuffle due to a massive injury crisis, losing Federico Fazio, Edin Dzeko, Stephan El Shaarawy, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Daniele De Rossi, Ante Coric and Rick Karsdorp, with Diego Perotti and Javier Pastore only fit for the bench. Alessandro Florenzi therefore moved up to an attacking role, with ex-Inter men Davide Santon and Nicolò Zaniolo starting. Radja Nainggolan was out with an ankle issue and therefore not facing his former club, but Luciano Spalletti was jeered by the fans he left on unfriendly terms.
Kostas Manolas made a crucial interception to stop Mauro Icardi tapping in Kwadwo Asamoah’s cross from six yards, while Keita Balde Diao tested Robin Olsen from distance and Florenzi did the same for Samir Handanovic.
Ivan Perisic’s header and a Zaniolo curler were off target, but on 26 minutes Roma had a huge scoring opportunity. Schick skipped away from Stefan de Vrij, back-heeled it into the path of Florenzi for an angled drive that smacked the base of the far post.
Icardi sprung the offside trap and tried to dink it at the back post, but Robin Olsen made himself big to parry from close range.
It was wide open, with teenager Zaniolo’s ferocious shot stinging Handanovic’s gloves and the ex-Inter man furious that he seemed to be tripped just inside the penalty area by D’Ambrosio, but there was no VAR review.
Less than a minute later, Inter went up the other end and took the lead. D’Ambrosio was involved again, his splendid cross from the right curving around Juan Jesus for Keita to shin his volley from close range. It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective.
Handanovic flew for a sensational one-handed save as Kolarov’s free kick curled over the wall and was going under the bar.
Roma drew level after the restart with an absolute stunner from Cengiz Under. The 21-year-old Turk surged forward and unleashed a simply unstoppable screamer into the near top corner from a good 30 metres out, giving Handanovic no time to even move.
The Giallorossi were fired up and kept pushing, but Inter restored their advantage with a towering Icardi header to meet the corner, completely unmarked from six yards.
However, VAR was used this time when Roma had penalty appeals. Marcelo Brozovic deflected the corner with his elbow and the replay showed he moved the arm towards the ball rather than away from it. Kolarov stepped up and converted a ferocious penalty to draw level.
There was nearly a Roma third moments later, but Cengiz Under hit a fresh-air shot on the Justin Kluivert cross.
It was end to end stuff, Florenzi charging down a Borja Valero volley, then Icardi ran on to a D’Ambrosio through ball and Manolas used his strength to block him off.
Luciano Spalletti was sent off for dissent, sparking a huge cheer from the Stadio Olimpico crowd. They kept going to the bitter end, Brozovic’s shot straight at Olsen and Bryan Cristante nodding a corner just wide.