Rising to the occasion
DeRossi-led AS Roma tops Inter for Italy Super Cup
Posted: Sunday August 19, 2007 6:50PM; Updated: Monday August 20, 2007 1:12PM
MILAN (Reuters) -- AS Roma lifted Italy's Super Cup on Sunday after Daniele De Rossi's penalty 12 minutes from time gave them a 1-0 win over league champions Inter Milan.
Inter missed several good chances in the curtain raiser to the Italian campaign and Roma, who beat Inter in last season's Cup final, triumphed after Nicolas Burdisso felled Francesco Totti in the area.
De Rossi's spotkick just evaded the fingertips of Julio Cesar to nestle in the corner and spark wild celebrations from the visiting Roma fans, whose side finished a distant second to Inter in Serie A last term.
"This evening the players that have gone on the field have played with personality and deserved to win this Super Cup," Roma coach Luciano Spalletti told reporters.
"It is a great satisfaction for us and and for our fans. Only those who have been at Roma can understand."
Roberto Mancini's Inter are again expected to be the main challengers this season, which kicks off next weekend, but Roma's victory will have also encouraged AC Milan and Juventus that they can compete.
Inter ran away with last season's title with Juve demoted to Serie B and Milan deducted points for their roles in a match-fixing scandal.
French midfielder Ludovic Giuly, who arrived from Barcelona in July, had a glorious chance for Roma early on but blasted a loose ball in the area over the bar.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic played a neat interchange with new strike partner David Suazo before shooting just wide.
Inter, who beat AC Milan and Juventus in a triangular friendly tournament on Tuesday, left Brazil striker Adriano out of their classy squad while Luis Figo came off the bench in the second half, in which Inter were again profligate.
Suazo headed straight at Roma keeper Doni when unmarked and Figo allowed the keeper to steal the ball having been sent clean through by a superb pass from Ibrahimovic.
Roma substitute Simone Perrotta was then bizarrely sent off as he waited to come on to the pitch, with the officials appearing to indicate he had said something to a linesman.
The visitors still kept 11 men on the field, however, and scored almost immediately.
Romania defender Cristian Chivu, who moved to Inter from Roma for 13 million euros ($17.48 million) in the close season, was booed by the visiting supporters early on but was given an easier ride in the second period.
"For sure we have made some mistakes and we must improve. A little bit of freshness was missing," Chivu said.
Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.