Inter Milan, in the hands of Rome, leaves Juventus free to claim first place in Serie A
MILAN: Inter de Milan On Friday, Rome had a goalless draw at San Siro, leaving the way open for Italian champions Juventus to claim first place in A series this weekend.
Antonio Conte's side have a two-point advantage on Juventus who play straight at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
The match in San Siro was overshadowed by a storm of racism after the controversial Black Friday headline of the Italian sports newspaper Corriere dello Sport.
The front-page headline accompanied an article about the first A series meeting between former Manchester United teammates Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling.
Conte's team was toothless in the attack days before their Champions League clash against Barcelona, against a well-organized Rome.
Lukaku, Marcelo Brozovic and Matias Vecino lost opportunities for the hosts, as Rome snatched a beautiful spot to move fourth to the places of the Champions League.
Inter was missing in the midfield with Stefano Sensi, Nicolo Barella and Roberto Gagliardini, all with Roma's missing goalie Pau Lopez, while Edin Dzeko started on the bench after the flu, but arrived for the last 25 minutes.
Midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo took Dzeko's place in front with Rome dominating the first half hour, although Inter had the best opportunities with Antonio Mirante denying Lukaku after a mistake by Jordan Veretout.
A similar error by the Roma goalkeeper was almost costly when Mirante passed the ball directly to Lukaku at the edge of the area just before the break, but Marcelo Brozovic sent wasteful over the crossbar.
Mirante proved to be decisive against Matias Vecino right after the break, in a balanced second half that provided few scoring opportunities.
Inter held on to top spot but their advantage remains under threat from third-placed straight .
The Roma are only one point ahead of Cagliari, and the Sardis travel to Sassuolo on Sunday.