On Saturday, AS Roma were defeated 3-0 at home by Internazionale, the former club of manager Jose Mourinho, as the champions climbed to second place in Serie A and handed the capital club their fourth defeat in six league games.
In 2010, Mourinho led Inter to an unprecedented treble, but in his 46th match as an opposing coach, he suffered his second Serie A home defeat of his career, the other coming against AC Milan in October.
After a thrashing, the Portuguese pointed to his team’s absentees, which included suspended Tammy Abraham and Rick Karsdorp, as well as injured captain Lorenzo Pellegrini.
“In normal circumstances, Inter are stronger than us; in these circumstances, they are much stronger,” Mourinho told DAZN.
“There was a very limited selection today due to injuries and suspensions. Our attacking potential was practically nil; we had three chances to score but failed to do so “Mourinho continued.
“You can’t concede goals like the first and third when you’re playing with a new defensive system.”
At the Stadio Olimpico, the Nerazzurri dominated, with Hakan Calhanoglu scoring directly from a corner after 15 minutes, and Edin Dzeko doubling the lead nine minutes later against the team he left in the close season.
Inter Milan stormed to a fourth consecutive league win with a deserved third goal from Denzel Dumfries six minutes before halftime.
Inter are in second place with 37 points, one point ahead of Napoli, who play Atalanta in the final game of the season. With 25 points, Roma is in fifth place.
Calhanoglu’s inswinging corner found its way through goalkeeper Rui Patricio’s legs at the front post, putting Roma on the back foot.
“It went in the first time I tried it at the front post. It was a bit of a fluke, but I’m glad I got it “DAZN spoke with Calhanoglu.
“We dominated today and didn’t give anything away. It was a fantastic match.”
For the Nerazzurri’s second goal, the Turkey international was involved once more, this time finding Dzeko in the box for the Bosnian to finish.
Dzeko refused to celebrate against the club for which he scored 119 goals in a five-year spell, but the 35-year-old was soon on the attack with a shot that required a one-handed save and a header that flew narrowly wide.
Dumfries came to Inter’s rescue two minutes later, blocking a Matias Vina shot from a rare Roma attack before heading in an inviting Alessandro Bastoni cross for his first Inter goal.
Inter had an unassailable lead after the first half bombardment, and shell-shocked Roma couldn’t muster a response after the break.
Inter substitute Stefano Sensi should have done better when he fired over from 12 yards late on, but Nicolo Zaniolo’s fierce effort hit the side netting for the hosts.