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Edin Dzeko was on target against his former team when Inter inflicted a 3-0 defeat on Jose Mourinho’s Roma in Saturday’s one-sided Serie A competition.
Mourinho faced Inter in the league for the first time since guiding the club to a magical treble in 2009-10 – the second of two successful seasons at the San Siro – but he suffered a painful reunion at the Stadio Olimpico.
Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring directly from a corner and then teetered Dzeko, who spent six seasons with Roma before switching clubs in August before Denzel Dumfries added a third in the first half.
Inter lost Joaquin Correa to a hamstring injury but eased to victory as they moved to within a point of leading Milan. Napoli have a chance to return to the summit when they face Atalanta later on Saturday.
Roma have kept the most home side clean in any Serie A team in 2021 with 10, including four in their last five matches, but they conceded after 15 minutes when Calhanoglu’s corner caught Rui Patricio out at his nearest post.
The champions doubled their lead nine minutes later through Dzeko, who ended a six-match scoring drought in the league by returning home for the first time after being selected by Calhanoglu.
Shortly after Dzeko was denied a good Patricio save, right-wing wingback Dumfries converted Alessandro Bastoni’s cross with a diving header to put Inter out of sight in the 39th minute.
Roma were without a number of key players, including Lorenzo Pellegrini and Tammy Abraham, and it was told as they struggled to find a way back in the match in a straightforward victory for Inter.
What does it mean? Misery for Mourinho, Inter marching on
This match has produced the most goals in Serie A history and that number is now at 514 in total after Inter’s fierce display in the first half.
Inter stretched their unbeaten run in the league to eight matches, winning the last four of them, and are well positioned to defend their Scudetto crown in Simone Inzaghi’s first season as leader.
As for Nerazzurri treble winner Mourinho, this is just another home defeat in 45 games as manager of Serie A, while the second comes against Milan at the end of October.
Calhanoglu scored one and assisted another of Inter’s three goals and has now been directly involved in six goals in his last five league games – as many involutions as his previous 15 games in the tournament.
The opening goal was perhaps a bit lucky, with the strike securing that Inter have now scored in 18 consecutive away games to equal a club record set in 1951.
Patricios is shocked
The Roma goalkeeper might argue that Nicolo Zaniolo or Bryan Cristante should have handled Calhanoglu’s pass, but he hardly covered himself in glory with his attempt to get across and keep the ball out.
Mourinho’s men crumbled after the early setback, conceding two more goals and registering only one attempt on goal in the absence of their two most dangerous attacking players in Pellegrini and Abraham.
Roma end their Europa Conference League group campaign with a trip to CSKA Sofia on Thursday, while Inter travel to Real Madrid on Tuesday and fight for the top spot in Champions League Group D.