By Petar Todorovski
Roma fought hard but lost the derby game on Guiseppe Meazza against Inter with amazing 5-3. It seemed that Inter has the points in the pocket after the 4-1 lead, but Lupi continued in spirited manner and got close on 4-3, before Esteban Cambiasso seal the victory.
After Milan’s draw in Genoa both sides were motivated, but Nerrazzuri seemed more interested for the three points. They took the lead early, in 3rd minute. Maicon made one of his well known crosses down the right flank and found Wesley Sneijder on the edge of the area. The Dutchman scored a wonderful volley to open the score sheet.
Surprisingly, Roma took the pressure right after. They controlled the ball in the midfield and it paid off in 13th minute when Fabio Simplicio equalized. Mirko Vucinic started the attack, Marco Cassetti assisted and the Brazilian couldn’t miss, as he was left alone by the hero of the previous goal, Maicon.
Giallorossi almost took the lead only two minutes later, but Julio Cesar kept this net well this time, as he saved attempts of Marco Borriello and Jeremy Menez. The entertaining match proceeded with a lot of missed chances. Wesley Sneijder’s effort from free kick finished in the crowd of legs, before Samuel Eto’o’s shot to be cleared from the line. Nerrazzuri then had to clear from their goal line when Fabio Simplicio rounded Julio Cesar in one-on-one situation.
It lasted until 35th minute when Samuel Eto’o brought the lead to Inter. He created the opportunity on alone as John Arne Riise left him face with Julio Sergio. The rest of the first 45 minutes continued in the same fast and entertaining tempo, but the result remained 2-1.
On the start of the second half Inter seemed to be more determined to score the next goal. They took the pressure, while Roma lost the rhythm from the first half. GiamPaolo Pazzini scored a goal, but it wasn’t recognized by the referees. Lupi were warned but they lacked reaction.
The result was changed in 61st minute when Roma remained with one man less on the field. Nicolas Burdisso was the last man in defense when he tripped Pazzini and deserved the red card. Samuel Eto’o was the man who converted the penalty into goal.
Then Inter totally dominated the match, creating a lot of chances, but they were denied mostly by Julio Sergio. Giampaolo Pazzini missed the greatest opportunity.
The pressure paid off in 71st minute, when Thiago Motta reacted well after assist by Sneijder. The Dutchman played more than impressive game and this superb pass proved that. Nerrazzuri had 4-1 lead and the rest of the game seemed to be just a formality.
But Roma players didn’t think so. Mirko Vucinic started melting the advantage after Danielle De Rossi’s free kick in 75th minute. Substitute Simona Loria scored another goal in 81st minute to let his team fight for equalizer in last ten minutes.
However, they didn’t manage to convert their chances into goals. Instead of that, Esteban Cambiasso had a great finish to settle the final result at 5-3.
Despite the defeat Claudio Ranieri praised his players. “I give my compliments to Inter, but also to Roma. There were moments that hurt us, but the players were able to pick themselves up and with 10 men, showed some fighting spirit against a big side,” he said. “We lacked something because when we lifted the tempo, Inter suffered. But this is a physical Inter team because when you take the match to them, they lift, and they can then come back and take advantage of you, as we saw when we went down to 10 men,” continued Ranieri. Then he commented about the Scudetto chances: “As for the Scudetto, it is not easy to keep up. There is still a chance, and we will not be giving up.”
Unlike him goalkeeper Julio Sergio thinks that championship hopes might be lost, but stated that we should wait until the end. “As for the Scudetto, it is too early to speaking about it now. We will speak about it in May,” said the keeper.
Milan relived their rivals’ chances for Scudetto after the recent shaky form, so Roma’s ten points behind them could prove to be reachable. However, there are too many teams for the title now, and Lupi have to fight much better in order to keep them alive. They have the next chance on Stadio Olimpico against second placed Napoli. After this game much more things will be clearer.