2017/2018 Italian Serie A
  • Matías Vecino (86')
  • Stephan El Shaarawy (31')

Velcino's late header earns Inter Milan 1-1 draw with Roma

Marco Luzzani - Inter/Inter via Getty Images

Matias Velcino's header four minutes from time earned Inter Milan a deserved 1-1 draw against Roma at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

Both sides had chances to open the scoring in an end-to-end first half with Inter midfielder Ivan Perisic and Roma forward Stephan El Shaarawy each going close, but it was the latter who produced a fine finish to put the visitors in front.

The hosts dominated the second half with Mauro Icardi and substitute Eder spurning great opportunities and it looked as though Luciano Spalletti's men would come up short, but Velcino popped to salvage Nerazzurri a share of the spoils.

Roma gained early momentum with El-Shaarawy blazing over the crossbar from the edge of the box before a shaky pass from Samir Handanovic landed at the feet of Gerson 25 yards out, but the Brazilian's weak pass to Edin Dzeko, who was unmarked in the penalty area, was well-intercepted.

Inter eventually grew into the game through Perisic when he cut inside from the the left wing but he could only fire his effort straight at Alisson, with Antonio Candreva also trying his luck from 30 yards but he untroubled the Brazilian stopper.

The hosts created the best chance of the game after 18 minutes when Portuguese full-back Joao Cancelo whipped in a great cross to the far post but Perisic failed to get his header on target from six yards.

This sparked Nerazzurri into action and they went close once more in the 29th minute when Candreva's driven cross was chested on by Icardi to Perisic, but the Croatian could only shoot at Alisson after turning inside Alessandro Florenzi before Borja Valero's rebound was deflected wide.

However, the deadlock was broken by Giallorossi two minutes later when Inter left-back Davide Santon failed to deal with a routine long ball by goalkeeper Alisson, which set former AC Milan forward El Shaarawy free before he showed calmness in front of goal to chip the onrushing Handanovic for his fifth Serie A goal of the season.

Inter almost replied instantly when Icardi was played into the Roma penalty box but the Argentinian striker could only prod his effort wide when he should have hit the target as Eusebio Di Francesco's men led at half-time.

The hosts pressed after the restart as Cancelo drifted in a teasing cross which forced Fabio Fazio to head over his own goal and from the resulting corner, Roma could only half-clear to Candreva on the edge of the area but his half-volley was comfortably saved by Alisson.

Nerazzurri edged closer to a leveller when a stunning pass from centre-back Miranda found Eder in the area but he shot straight at Alisson before Icardi's left-footed effort was tipped onto the post by a stunning save with 15 minutes remaining.

Eder should have equaliser when he was free in the area but his header flew over the crossbar from Cancelo's cross, while a long throw from Dalbert fell to Icardi but his volley was denied by another brilliant Alisson stop.

However, Roma were powerless to stop their hosts from levelling four minutes from time when Marcelo Brozovic clipped in a cross from the left wing for Vecino to power home a header from close range and earn a point for head coach Spalletti against his former side.