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Manolas breaks Inter Milan hearts with late Roma winner

Milan (AFP) – Greek defender Kostas Manolas relaunched Roma’s Serie A title hopes with a superb late header to hand the Giallorossi a precious 2-1 win over inconsistent Inter Milan on Sunday.

Frank De Boer’s Inter travelled to the Stadio Olimpico looking to bounce back from a second successive defeat in the Europa League and last week’s 1-1 draw at home to Bologna.

But despite Ever Banega’s 72nd minute strike levelling Edin Dzeko’s fifth-minute opener and providing hope of a late fightback, Inter were left on the back foot only minutes later.

Dead ball specialist Alessandro Florenzi stepped up to strike a free kick from the right flank and Manolas, left unmarked yards inside the area, capitalised to beat Samir Handanovic at his near post with a superbly-placed header.

Inter were lucky not to suffer more punishment in the dying minutes, Handanovic producing heroics to keep out a powerful Dzeko header with his right hand at his far post.

Roma held on for a fourth win of the season that moved Luciano Spalletti’s men up to third, five points behind leaders and champions Juventus and just one behind Napoli, who suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Atalanta.

Thanks to results elsewhere, Inter dropped to ninth at seven points off the lead and two points behind city rivals AC Milan, who launched a late fightback to secure a 4-3 win over Sassuolo at the San Siro.

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