The biggest match of the Serie A season so far between last season’s top two Roma and Inter Milan didn’t quite live up to its billing but viewers who stuck with it until the end were eventually rewarded.
As so often happens in matches where a team without a win hosts one yet to taste defeat, the outsiders came good and it was a sweet success for Roma coach Claudio Ranieri, who has endured a surprisingly vast amount of criticism for his team’s slow start.
The Tinkerman’s willingness to make bold decisions, such as leaving former Nerazzurri striker Adriano on the bench and replacing captain Francesco Totti with Mirko Vucinic in the second half paid off as the Montenegrin forward headed home the winner in injury time.
The Giallorossi triumph has opened up the Serie A title race at a stage when Inter were threatening to run away with it. Roma are just five points off the pace and AC Milan – after a disappointing few weeks – are only two behind after Zlatan Ibrahimovic sunk Genoa.
Overachieving Chievo can leapfrog Rafael Benitez’s side at the head of the table with victory over Lazio this afternoon in a match that they are 11/8 to win.
Will Roma build on last night’s morale booster? They are 1/3 to beat CFR Cluj in the Champions League on Tuesday.