Gianluca Mancini’s late goal saw Roma snatch a 2-2 draw at home to title rival Inter Milan on Sunday and dent its opponent’s Serie A aspirations.
Mancini headed in the equalizer four minutes from time after goals from Milan Skriniar and Achraf Hakimi appeared to have handed Inter the win. Lorenzo Pellegrini had scored the opener for Roma.
The result left Inter three points behind Serie A leader AC Milan, which won 2-0 at Benevento on Saturday. Both Milan teams are looking to end Juventus’ nine-year grip on the title.
Inter, which plays Juventus next weekend, remained three points above third-place Roma. Juventus moved to within four points of Inter – with a match in hand – by beating 10-man Sassuolo 3-1.
”Let’s not forget that Roma are fighting for the same thing we are,” Inter coach Antonio Conte said. ”Going away to the third-place team in the league and playing like this means we’re an organized and strong team.
”We had the chance to kill off the game but couldn’t manage it, and let Roma back into it late on – because we were out of energy. It’s a shame because, with a few minutes to go, we were beating a strong side.”
The match in the Italian capital was a direct battle for second and Inter threatened to take an early lead but Romelu Lukaku’s header was acrobatically finger-tipped over the bar by Pau Lopez.
Instead it was Roma that took the lead in the 17th minute when Pellegrini’s shot took a slight deflection to go into the bottom left corner after a swift counterattack.
Lautaro Martinez had a goal ruled out for offside shortly before the break but Inter has often performed better in the second half this season and so it proved again.
Inter went close several times before Skriniar headed in a corner in the 56th. Hakimi fired Inter in front seven minutes later when he collected a pass on the right, cut inside and curled a strike into the far top corner.
Inter appeared to be heading for a valuable win but Roma upped the pressure in the dying minutes. Mancini had an effort well saved by Samir Handanovic but the defender headed in the resulting corner for the equalizer.
Understrength Juventus needed late goals from Aaron Ramsey and Cristiano Ronaldo to overcome visiting Sassuolo.
A cross from Gianluca Frabotta floated by several defenders before Ramsey redirected it in from close range eight minutes from time. Then Ronaldo sealed it by running onto a long ball from Danilo, sprinting past the defense and driving in a precise strike.
Danilo had given Juventus the lead by launching a long shot with one touch into the far corner shortly after the break. Gregoire Defrel equalized for Sassuolo seven minutes later by darting between two defenders and shooting past Leonardo Bonucci.
Sassuolo was reduced to 10 men late in the first half when Pedro Obiang was shown a direct red card for a hard foul on Federico Chiesa.
That came after Juventus had already lost Weston McKennie and Paulo Dybala to injury.
Juventus was also missing Matthijs de Ligt, Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado – who each had tested positive for the coronavirus.
NAPOLI LEAVES IT LATE
Tiemoue Bakayoko headed in a free kick in the final minute to hand Napoli a 2-1 win at Udinese.
A defensive howler had seen Kevin Lasagna equalize for Udinese in the 27th to cancel out Lorenzo Insigne’s penalty.
Napoli moved to within nine points of Milan having played a match less.
At the other end of the table, returning Parma coach Roberto D’Aversa saw his team lose 2-0 at home to Lazio in his first match back in charge.
Parma remained in the relegation zone, two points from safety and three above bottom club Crotone, which lost 2-1 at Hellas Verona.
Also, Fiorentina beat visiting Cagliari 1-0 to give coach Cesare Prandelli only his second win since replacing Giuseppe Iachini in November.
Dampf reported from Rome.
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