Roma 2-2 Inter Milan: Romelu Lukaku’s late penalty rescues a point for visitors

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Roma 2-2 Inter Milan: Romelu Lukaku’s late penalty rescues a point for visitors but their Serie A title hopes take a further dent as they chase Juventus

  • Romelu Lukaku scored an 88th-minute penalty to salvage a point for Inter Milan
  • Stefan de Vrij had put Inter 1-0 up when he headed home from a corner
  • However, Roma equalised in first-half injury time through Leonardo Spinazzola
  • Roma took the lead on 57 minutes through Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s strike
  • The result means Inter are guaranteed Champions League football next term

Inter Milan substitute Romelu Lukaku‘s penalty in the 88th minute salvaged a 2-2 draw at AS Roma in Serie A on Sunday as they stuttered in their pursuit of leaders Juventus.

Second-placed Inter, who had been gaining ground on Juve over the last 10 days, will see the result as two points lost since they are five behind the Turin side, who host Lazio on Monday. After that, there are four matches each to play.

The spot-kick was given away in bizarre style by Leonardo Spinazzola when he missed his kick as he attempted to clear the ball and made contact with Inter forward Victor Moses instead.

Romelu Lukaku (left) rescued a point for Inter Milan at Roma with an 88th-minute penalty

Lukaku's goal means Inter Milan are guaranteed Champions League football next season

Lukaku’s goal means Inter Milan are guaranteed Champions League football next season

Spinazzola had scored Roma’s first goal amid protests from Inter who claimed Lautaro Martinez was fouled in the build-up.

‘On the equaliser, there was a foul on Lautaro who was clipped on the heel,’ said Inter coach Antonio Conte, whose side made mathematically sure of a Champions League place next season by snatching a share of the points with fifth-placed Roma.

‘But I don’t blame the referees – there was a mistake here but they don’t deserve to be attacked for it.’

Inter started with Lukaku on the bench, as the Belgian international had been struggling with fitness problems recently, and also dropped playmaker Christian Eriksen.

Roma dominated the early stages but Inter snatched the lead with their first real attack as Stefan de Vrij outjumped two defenders to head home from a corner in the 15th minute.

The hosts levelled on the stroke of half-time when Aleksandar Kolarov dispossessed Lautaro Martinez to spark a counter attack and Edin Dzeko found Spinazzola who scored with an angled drive.

Stefan de Vrij (right) celebrates after opening the scoring to put Inter 1-0 ahead in Rome

Stefan de Vrij (right) celebrates after opening the scoring to put Inter 1-0 ahead in Rome

Roma cancelled out De Vrij's goal on the stroke of half-time via Leonardo Spinazzola (right)

Roma cancelled out De Vrij’s goal on the stroke of half-time via Leonardo Spinazzola (right)

Replays suggested that Kolarov may have fouled Martinez but the referee stood by his original decision.

Inter often struggled to play their way out of defence and Roma went ahead in the 57th minute.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan burst forward and played the ball to Dzeko but it ricocheted off a defender and Dzeko was about to shoot when Mkhitaryan took it off his toe and scored.

Inter were rescued by Spinazzola’s moment of misfortune and Lukaku sent Pau Lopez the wrong way to score his 21st league goal of the season. After that, the visitors finally found some attacking spark but they could not force a winner.

‘It was a great performance,’ said Roma coach Paulo Fonseca. ‘Inter weren’t creating any dangerous situations, they only scored from a set piece and another unlucky incident but that’s football.’

Henrikh Mkhitaryan turned the game on it's head when he scored to make it 2-1 to the hosts

Henrikh Mkhitaryan turned the game on it’s head when he scored to make it 2-1 to the hosts

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