The games between Inter and Roma have become a modern classic, taking on the same kind of rivalry as some of the Italian derbies. The matches between those teams always count and even if the win does not change their league position they will fight for honour and victory to the last whistle.
Since 1993 there have been 42 games between the sides. The odds are against Giallorossi as they have lost 20 and managed to win just 10 games. There have been 138 goals in those 42 games, but taking into consideration value of the clubs and their players it is not surprising.
It is a common thing in Italy that the large clubs deal with each other in the transfer market, with Roma and Inter proving no exception. The recent transfer moves of Romanian defender Christian Chivu or Brazilian winger Mancini, who both changed Rome for Milan validating this theory.
One of the most exciting games ever played between these two sides was the Super Coppa Italia match in season 2006/2007. The Nerazzurri had been awarded the 2006 Serie A title after Calciopoli and were playing as “champions” in place of the disgraced and relegated Juventus and faced up against Coppa Italia holders Roma.
The match had everything needed to satisfy viewers all over the world. Roma was a better side and was dictating the tempo in the first half. After 30 minutes of play and goals from Mancini and two from Aquilani Inter was three down, but Massimo Moratti did not spend millions on transfers to lose easily. Just before break, new face Patrick Vieira scored. In the second half inter came back into the came through Hernan Crespo, giving their fans hope scoring half an hour before the final whistle. Then, the impossible happened – ten minutes after Argentinean’s goal, Frenchman Vieira scored his second in the game and the scores were level. The winning goal was scored in extra time by Luis Figo with a sensational free-kick.
Then Coach of Inter Roberto Mancini said after the game: “We really wanted to win this game. It was the first important game of the coming season and we wanted to start it good.” They did start and finish it good. Roma was the first of many teams to suffer at the hands of Inter’s dominance on the Nerazzurri’s run to their first on-pitch Scudetto since 1989.
Yet again another interesting game in a history of rivalry between Nerazzurri and Giallorossi was the latest Super Coppa Italia match. It was the first official game with Jose Mourinho as Inter Coach. The game was preceded by a minutes silence in memory of the recently passed Roma president of 15 years, Franco Sensi. From the start both teams were looking for chances. Inter was a better side in the first half and managed to score a goal in 19th minute – new boy Sulley Muntari giving the Nerazzurri the lead. Mourinho’s boys were controlling the situation in the second half, but surprisingly Daniele De Rossi scored a great goal from a distance. Just ten minutes before the end of the game youngster Mario Balotelli put Inter back in front. When everyone was thinking about the final whistle Mirko Vucinic scored to equalise late on. Extra time did not produce a winner as the match went to penalties. It was a super game in a Super Cup. Misses from Francesco Totti and Juan for Roma and just one from Stankovic for Inter saw the Nerazzurri win again. It was hard on a Roma side who had drawn inspiration from Alexander Doni’s heroics in goal. That game witnessed the first signs of what Ibrahimovic could do under the Special One’s wings. He has been in an outstanding form, but he just could not find the net at the day. Luciano Spalletti’s team had to leave the pitch without the trophy once more. He lost both against Mancini and Mourinho. Yet again the win over the Giallorossi signaled the start of another imperious hold on the league, with Mourinho’s men seemingly running away with the title in February.
The history shows that Giallorossi and Nerazzurri produced the best games while playing in the Super Cup, but does it mean that we cannot expect such a great game in the Seria A? Matches between these two sides are always games for everything and neither of the teams will leave the pitch without giving everything they have to win.