Roma 2-2 Inter Milan: Romelu Lukaku’s late penalty saves a point for visitors, but their Serie A title hopes to get another dent while chasing Juventus
- Romelu Lukaku scored an 88-minute penalty to save a point for Inter Milan
- Stefan de Vrij had put Inter 1-0 ahead when he headed home from a corner
- However, Roma equalized in the first half injury time via Leonardo Spinazzola
- Roma took the lead in the 57th minute through the strike by Henrikh Mkhitaryan
- The result means Inter next season is guaranteed to be Champions League football
Inter Milan substitute Romelu Lukaku’s penalty kick in the 88th minute saved a 2-2 draw with AS Roma in Serie A on Sunday when they stuttered in their pursuit of leaders Juventus.
Runner-up Inter, who gained ground over Juve in the past 10 days, will see the result as two points lost, as they are five behind Turin, which Lazio hosts on Monday. After that, there are four games to play each.
The spot kick was given away in a bizarre style by Leonardo Spinazzola when he missed his kick trying to clear the ball and instead made contact with Inter-striker Victor Moses.
Romelu Lukaku (left) saved a point for Inter Milan over Roma with an 88-minute penalty
Spinazzola had scored Roma’s first goal amid protests from Inter, who claimed that Lautaro Martinez had been contaminated in the run-up.
“On the tying run, there was a foul on Lautaro that was cut in the heel,” said Inter-coach Antonio Conte, whose squad was mathematically certain of a Champions League place next season by taking some of the points with fifth placed Roma.
“But I don’t blame the referees – a mistake has been made here, but they don’t deserve to be attacked.”
Inter started with Lukaku on the bench, as the Belgian international recently had to contend with fitness problems and also dropped playmaker Christian Eriksen.
Roma dominated the early stages, but Inter took the lead with their first real attack when Stefan de Vrij outsmarted two defenders to head home from a corner in the 15th minute.
The hosts immediately took the break when Aleksandar Kolarov Lautaro Martinez was expropriated to provoke a counterattack and Edin Dzeko found Spinazzola who scored with an oblique drive.
Repeats suggested that Kolarov might have tarnished Martinez, but the referee stood by his original decision.
Inter often struggled to get off the defense and Roma pushed forward in the 57th minute.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan burst forward and played the ball to Dzeko, but it bounced off a defender and Dzeko was about to shoot when Mkhitaryan took him off his toe and scored.
Inter was saved by Spinazzola’s moment of adversity and Lukaku sent Pau Lopez the wrong way to score his 21st league goal of the season. After that, the visitors finally found an attacking spark, but they couldn’t force a winner.
“It was a great performance,” said Roma coach Paulo Fonseca. “Inter did not create dangerous situations, they only scored with a fixed piece and another accident, but that is football.”