MILAN (AP) — Defending champion Inter Milan gave a signal of intent as it crushed Roma 3-1 to move on top of Serie A on a miserable return to San Siro for former coach José Mourinho on Saturday.
Denzel Dumfries, Marcelo Brozović and Lautaro Martínez scored for Inter and Henrikh Mkhitaryan netted a late consolation.
Inter moved a point above AC Milan, which faces a tricky trip to Lazio on Sunday.
It was the third straight match in which Inter scored three, having done so at Spezia last weekend in the league and on Tuesday in the Italian Cup semifinal against Milan.
Roma’s first loss in 12 league matches left it five points behind fourth-placed Juventus.
It was Mourinho’s first return to Inter as an opposing coach since he left the club in 2010 after steering it to the treble of the Italian league, Cup and Champions League. Inter beat Roma 3-0 in the Italian capital in December.
Roma almost broke the deadlock in the 29th minute but Gianluca Mancini headed a free kick just wide of the top right corner.
Instead, it was Inter which took the lead moments later as Dumfries ran onto a delightful through-ball from Hakan Çalhanoğlu and slotted it between the legs of the onrushing Roma goalkeeper Rui Patrício.
Inter doubled its lead five minutes from halftime with a splendid goal from Brozović, who cut inside and beat Chris Smalling before curling into the top right corner.
And the match was all but over seven minutes after the break when Martínez was left unmarked to head in a corner from close range.
Despite the scoreline, Mourinho was still able to give a small smile and a wave when the Inter fans sang his name in the 72nd minute.
Roma pulled one back when Eldor Shomurodov cut the ball back for a fierce Mkhitaryan strike into the top right corner.
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Daniella Matar, The Associated Press