Santander stuns Inter, Roma rescue a point against AC Milan

MILAN (AFP) – Federico Santander scored the winner as struggling Bologna stunned Inter Milan 1-0 to pile the pressure on coach Luciano Spalletti as Roma rescued a point with a 1-1 draw to AC Milan in Serie A on Sunday night.

Santander’s header gave new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic the perfect start as his relegation-threatened side earned their first win in over four months.

But Spalletti’s Inter were booed off the pitch at the San Siro after their third-place cushion was cut to four points on city rivals AC Milan, who occupy the final Champions League berth, with Roma a further point back in fifth.

Paraguayan forward Santander broke through after 33 minutes with his header enough to seal just a third win this season and first since September 30.

Inter are still searching for their first win of 2019, being held to a goalless draw by Sassuolo and losing 1-0 to Torino in Serie A before exiting the Coppa Italia on penalties to Lazio in the San Siro this week.

“Unfortunately when we have to fight or to cope with difficulties we lack something, that bit of dash that can make you make a difference,” said Spalletti.

“In any case, I repeat, I don’t feel under scrutiny. The team is still behind me, I’m convinced,” added the former Roma and Zenit St Petersburg coach.

The damage could have been worse but for a solid performance from goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, with captain Mauro Icardi proving wasteful, extending his goal drought in Serie A to six games.

Bologna keeper Lukasz Skorupski denied Andrea Ranocchia a late equaliser as the northern side reignited their push for top-flight survival.

“I couldn’t have dreamed of a better start,” said Serb Mihajlovic.

“This proves that if you are brave you can do anything – you can beat Inter at the San Siro.”

At the Stadio Olimpico, Roma eased the pressure on their coach Eusebio Di Francesco who was still stunned by a 7-1 Coppa Italia whipping by Fiorentina.