Another slip in the Serie A title race, another game in which the adventure of Inter’s opposition caused real problems

Ambition. The word ran through the pre-game press conferences of Paulo Fonseca and Antonio Conte like mozzarella in Roman supplì: the mouth-watering core ingredient that elevates all the rest. Both managers wanted their audiences to know that this was a weekend that mattered, an occasion for which the recipe had to be just right.

Fonseca’s Roma were seeking validation for their rise to third in the table. They won only a single game against Serie A’s top four last season, his first at the club, and that against a Juventus side who had already sewn up the title. The Giallorossi were yet to demonstrate that they had learned how to handle the big occasions in this campaign, collecting only two points, and conceding 13 times, in fixtures against Milan, Juventus, Atalanta and Napoli.

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