A thrilling Roma ran riot at San Siro, inspired by Francesco Totti to beat Inter 3-1 in a hugely entertaining encounter.
This was a huge battle between teams who have radically changed over the summer, while Andrea Stramaccioni faced his mentor and club where he made his career as Coach of the youth academy. Mattia Destro returned from suspension to make his Serie A debut for Roma against his former club, though Michael Bradley and Dodo were still absent. Inter scraped through to the Europa League with a last-gasp 2-2 draw against Vaslui on Thursday and missed the injured Samir Handanovic, Cristian Chivu, Dejan Stankovic, Ricky Alvarez, Joel Obi, MacDonald Mariga and Gaby Mudingayi.
Alvaro Pereira was thrown straight into the starting XI, while Roma gave Panagiotis Tachtsidis his debut.
Roma dominated possession early on and took a deserved lead after 15 minutes. Francesco Totti chipped up a cross from the left and Alessandro Florenzi was totally unmarked from the penalty spot for a perfect looping header into the far bottom corner. It was his first Serie A start.
Just seconds later it was almost 1-1, but Maarten Stekelenburg timed his intervention well to stop Diego Milito when clear on goal.
Milito was furious, claiming Federico Balzaretti had pulled his shirt as he tried to nod in a cross, but the referee waved play on.
Daniele De Rossi picked up a knock to his foot and tried to play on, but eventually had to limp off for Marquinho.
Yuto Nagatomo cut in past Ivan Piris and turned wide, while Nicolas Burdisso used his body to charge down a Milito solo effort and a well-timed Balzaretti tackle stopped Antonio Cassano.
Wesley Sneijder’s free kick was comfortably plucked out of the air, but in first half stoppages Inter got an equaliser.
Cassano netted against his old club with his first goal for the Nerazzurri, taking down a Sneijder pass and turning Leandro Castan, but the shot took a massive deflection off Burdisso to loop into the air over a helpless Stekelenburg.
After the restart Osvaldo sprung the offside trap on to fire over the bar, then Destro skipped past Nagatomo to roll across for Totti, but Osvaldo dived in first and the chance went begging.
Balzaretti also went off with an injury, then Burdisso needed a great sliding tackle to block Milito and Fredy Guarin’s long-range effort tested Stekelenburg.
Roma restored their advantage on 67 minutes with a classic counter-attack. Osvaldo sprung the offside trap on a Totti through ball and the Italian-Argentine immediately chipped the on-rushing Luca Castellazzi into an empty net.
It was wide open, as a Matias Silvestre clearance fell to the totally unmarked Florenzi, who this time let the nerves get to him and completely mis-hit the half-volley. Marquinho also surprised the defence, but couldn’t get his head to a dangerous cross.
Roma were pouring forward with numerous scoring opportunities and finally converted one, as Marquinho ran on to an Osvaldo chipped cross and squeezed the finish in from practically the by-line, an implausibly tight angle.
Osvaldo was sent off in stoppages for a second yellow card when using his hands to parry the ball, but appeared to be protecting his face.
Sent off: Osvaldo 91 (R)