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Inter Milan's Samir Handanovic restricts Roma to narrow victory

Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic
Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic prevented his team from conceding more than two goals.

Roma played out a 2-1 win against Inter Milan at the Olimpico Stadium on Sunday, with the Giallorossi earning a deserved win over their often-exposed opponents.

As much as the Nerazzurri created chances of their own (Ever Banega hit the post early), half-time couldn't come too early for them, Roma fluffing glorious openings with Mohamed Salah and Edin Dzeko, who netted the opener early on.

A more balanced second half could have seen goals from both sides, until Banega capped off a splendid move with a clever finish.

The Nerazzurri's respite lasted a whole four minutes, Kostas Manolas heading in the winner from a free kick.

Positives

Without Samir Handanovic, the scoreline would have been embarrassing. Antonio Candreva is also worthy of high praise, a constant threat on the right and a good example to follow in terms of effort.

Negatives

Inter's tactical setup was made to allow Roma -- Salah particularly -- to make marauding runs and cut them to pieces. Frank de Boer's defence is an issue, too: we've seen plenty of teams snatch a draw after performances of this kind, and conceding on that free kick did them in.

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Manager rating out of 10

4 -- De Boer laid a big fat egg here. Who knew that playing possession-based football against Roma was a bad idea? The Lupa has a bad defence in the first place, just you watch while Juventus catch it on the counter and win here 1-0. Got the Assane Gnoukouri and Yuto Nagatomo substitutions right, but threw in Stefan Jovetic, too.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Samir Handanovic, 8 -- Potentially late off his line on the opener, but fans will frankly forgive this man after the string of saves he made throughout the game, including a stunner on what looked like a certain Edin Dzeko goal.

DF Cristian Ansaldi, 5 -- Positive but error-prone going forward, the Argentine was sometimes caught in possession and missed a few tackles, too.

DF Joao Miranda, 5 -- Needs to sink one of those headers. He's been as inaccurate with those as Banega has with his shooting. Beyond that he often lost aerial duels with Dzeko, and Roma missed all those chances themselves, not because of any last-ditch tackles.

DF Jeison Murillo, 5 -- Like Miranda, one sympathises because it isn't his fault that Inter are caught with their trousers down on every counter-attack. Then again, he lost Dzeko for Roma's opener and often looked lost in his marking duties.

DF Davide Santon, 5 -- Doesn't have the pace to deal with Salah, but it was still nice to see him get regular playing time. Didn't look aggressive going forward at all.

MF Gary Medel, 6 -- Tackled well and looked aggressive when pressing the ball carrier, but was sloppy with his passing and ran out of steam in the second half.

MF Joao Mario, 5 -- Is he still out of shape? Looked a shadow of the man who dazzled in the Derby d'Italia, and was at fault for the opener, not the only time he was to have his pocket picked, either.

Mauro Icardi looked a pale shadow of his usual self in Inter's attack.

MF Ever Banega, 7 -- Beyond scoring Inter's equaliser, the former Sevilla everyman was industrious in the creative department and brought teammates forward, too. Gave the ball away a few times. Had an effort that hit the post, the exception to what has generally been ineffective shooting so far.

MF Antonio Candreva, 7 -- Always a threat, either with his direct runs or nice crosses, which the Roma defence did well to clear. Missed a nice chance when he volleyed wide off a set piece, and threw away a counter with a poor shot.

MF Ivan Perisic, 6 -- Infuriating mistakes alternated with dangerous attacks, a decent free kick and mazy runs. Still nowhere near as involved as Candreva, and his crossing is still off.

FW Mauro Icardi, 5 -- As much as Inter didn't play through the middle, the Argentine lost plenty of one-on-ones and didn't look that involved. The quality of the crossing has to do with that, too. Not encouraging that Dzeko looked more composed.

Substitutes

MF Assane Gnoukouri, 6 -- Added a more direct approach when he came on, but faded when it became clear that Inter's problems ran deeper. Fluffed a great chance by skewing the ball when unmarked in the box.

DF Yuto Nagatomo, N/R -- Was actually useful early on, when his running allowed Inter to penetrate on the left. Still a liability on the ball.

FW Stevan Jovetic, 5 -- Committed the foul that led to Roma's goal, a horrible blunder made even worse by the fact that his opponent's back was turned.

Edoardo Dalmonte covers Inter Milan for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @EdoDalmonte.

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