With another Serie A ’clash of the titans’ coming up this week-end, Luca Manes of Goal.com wrote a nice little article on past encounters between Scudetto contenders Inter and Roma. Here it is, with a few edits and pictures added.
Roma and Inter have played each other 13 times in the last 3 seasons. In fact we should really say 14 times, as the two teams also faced-off in August for the Italian Super-Cup.
Roma and Inter have produced some incredible games in recent years. The UEFA Cup Final in 1991 is one such example. At that time the trophy was decided over two legs and Inter won the cup thanks to a 2-0 victory at San Siro in the first game, Lothar Matthäus and Nicola Berti scoring the goals. The Giallorossi were unlucky in the second leg in Rome, where a late Ruggiero Rizzitelli goal was not enough to deny the win to German trio Brehme, Matthäus and Klinsmann and legendary coach Giovanni Trapattoni.
Another astonishing clash was the 5-4 goal-fest won by Inter in 1999. The Nerazzurri profited from the ultra-attacking 4-3-3 formation employed by Roma’s Czech Coach Zdenek Zeman. A young Ronaldo netted two of Inter’s goals that day.
Fabio Capello took over from Zeman in 1999 and also struggled to overcome the San Siro curse, even losing to Inter and a very rare Hakan Şükür goal in 2000-01, when Roma won their 3rd Scudetto. The game in the Eternal City was a different affair and a late goal by the ‘Little Airplane’ Montella gave Roma an entertaining 3-2 victory.
In 2002 a sparkling Álvaro Recoba performance sealed a 3-1 win in Milan in what appeared to be the decisive step towards the title – however the ‘tragedy’ of May 5 proved otherwise as Inter capitulated to Lazio on the final day of the season and allowed Marcello Lippi’s Juventus to ‘steal’ the title from them.. Two years later Roma demolished Inter 4-1 in a match most remembered for an extraordinary performance by Antonio Cassano.
But let’s go back to the 14 games I mentioned at the beginning of the article. It has to be said that they include a lot of Italian Cup finals. Going through all the recent scores you start to realize just how much Roma have improved recently. In 2004-05 the Romanisti struggled to a 3-3 draw, having trailed 3-1. In that game Francesco Totti scored his 99th goal in the Italian top division, failing to reach the 100 mark a few seconds from time.
Luciano Spalletti finally broke the San Siro curse when he took over in 2005, as Roma recorded their first win in Milan for 11 years. Not since 1994, when former Giallorossi defender Gianluca Festa got a bit confused and scored a fantastic own goal with a 20-yard lob had Roma won at the Giuseppe Meazza. Festa obviously didn’t realize that he was now playing for the Nerazzurri and not Roma.
However the 2005-06 campaign had some nice moments for Inter as well. The 1-1 draw at the Olimpico halted Roma’s impressive streak of 11 wins in a row. Marco Materazzi was the hero of that game, equalizing a few minutes from time.
In May, Inter lifted their second Italian Cup in a row, as a much depleted Roma succumbed to a 3-1 defeat in Milan. The tables turned in the following year’s Coppa Italia Final as Roma demolished Inter 6-2 at the Olimpico. Several weeks earlier the Giallorossi had postponed Inter’s 15th Scudetto celebrations after beating them 3-1 at San Siro.
The recent trend of results definitely seems to favour Roma. Last August in the Super Cup, a great performance by the Giallorossi led to their second triumph in the competition. Daniele De Rossi’s penalty wiped away the bad memories of the last Super-Cup encounter, in 2006, when Roma managed to lose a game they were winning 3-0 after just half an hour.