Ivan Perisic cancelled out Stephan El Shaarawy's stunner as Inter protected their six-point lead over Roma in a 1-1 draw at San Siro on Saturday.
Victory for either side would have given a new complexion to the scramble for top-four places but the Nerazzurri did neighbours AC Milan a favour by eking out a well-earned draw.
Croatia international Perisic netted seven minutes after Mauro Icardi's second-half introduction to hold Claudio Ranieri's men, who took an early lead through playmaker El Shaarawy's 14th-minute arrow.
Roma's inability to see out the result means they remain a point adrift of the fourth-placed Rossoneri, who earlier settled for the same scoreline at Parma.
Lautaro Martinez replaced the benched Icardi in attack and forced Antonio Mirante to turn a header against the upright in the eighth minute.
Perisic fluffed the follow-up to that chance and soon received a lesson in composure from El Shaarawy, who cut inside two defenders and brilliantly fired beyond Samir Handanovic.
Federico Fazio then produced a crucial last-ditch challenge on Matias Vecino, before Danilo D'Ambrosio nodded wide at close range.
Inter were given a reprieve of their own after the restart when Lorenzo Pellegrini failed to find the target at the end of a quick break.
Ex-Giallorossi boss Luciano Spalletti turned to Icardi in the 54th minute but it was an unmarked Perisic restoring parity in the 61st minute, making amends for his earlier miss by heading in D'Ambrosio's cross.
Martinez volleyed over with the chance to add a quickfire second and the spoils were shared after Inter captain Handanovic parried away Aleksandar Kolarov's late opportunity, the left-back stumbling under a nudge by Keita Balde.
What does it mean? Nerazzurri preserve status quo
Inter took a handy lead over Roma into this match but, with Juventus their next opponents, knew they had to avoid defeat to stay in pole position for third spot.
A draw will do, even if the time they spent in the attacking third might have warranted more than a point.
Fazio unfazed against Inter attack
Greater responsibility fell on the experienced Fazio's shoulders following defensive partner Kostas Manolas' pre-match withdrawal.
The 32-year-old stepped up for Roma, marking his 100th appearance with a performance that included 10 clearances, while little blame for the equaliser can be apportioned to a player who was busy grappling with Icardi.
There is no doubting Cengiz Under's ability as a player but this was not his most memorable match.
The talented attacking midfielder made just eight passes and lost each of his six duels before being replaced by Nicolo Zaniolo at half-time.
Key Opta Facts
- Inter have failed to win three successive league home games in a single Serie A campaign for the first time since February 2018.
- El Shaarawy has scored 10+ goals in a single Serie A campaign for only the second time in his career (after the 16 goals scored in 2012-13 with AC Milan).
- El Shaarawy has scored six goals in his last seven Serie A appearances at San Siro.
- No defender has provided more assists than Danilo D'Ambrosio in Serie A this season (five).
Inter entertain freshly minted Scudetto winners Juventus next Saturday, the same day as Roma's clash with Cagliari at Stadio Olimpico.
21 de mayo 2019
|BREAKING NEWS: Giroud extends Chelsea contract|
|De Ligt drops Barcelona hint: It would be nice to play with Frenkie|
|Griezmann rejection ´hurt´ Barcelona, says Xavi|
|Rosberg ´strongly inspired´ by Lauda|
|Borussia Dortmund sign Germany defender Schulz|
|My blood is blue - Giroud relishing facing Arsenal in Europa League final|
|Wolff: Mercedes has lost a guiding light in legendary Lauda|
|Archer, Dawson named in England squad|
|Niki Lauda: Hill mourns ´remarkable´ three-time F1 champion|
|Bale named in Wales training squad amid Madrid exit speculation|
|Osasuna seal LaLiga return|
|Don´t underrate Warriors´ five straight NBA Finals – Kerr|
|Mets snap five-game losing streak|
|Warriors first team to five straight NBA Finals since 1966 Celtics|
|Green plans to fly out reporter for NBA Finals: You were good luck today|
|Three takeaways from Warriors´ sweep of Trail Blazers|
|Curry & Warriors team-mate Green make NBA playoff history|
|Warriors sweep Trail Blazers to reach NBA Finals|
|Mbappe wanted Madrid but PSG convinced him to stay – Emery|
|Pelinka: Lakers can win NBA championship next year|
|Three-time F1 champion Niki Lauda dies aged 70|
|Pochettino or Sarri for Juve? We´ll see – Lippi|
|Buccaneers release McCoy after nine seasons|
|England want to leave Europe and they´re in two finals – Mancini jokes about Brexit|
|Raptors star Leonard ´will be ready´ to face Bucks – Nurse|
|Iguodala out of Game 4 against Trail Blazers|
|Allegri inducted into Italian Football Hall of Fame|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger ´genuinely sorry´ for Brown comments|
|Mets´ Cespedes fractures ankle in ranch accident|
|Italy remain at top table, Great Britain rally to relegate France|
|Guardiola convinced Kompany´s destined to return to Manchester City|
|Yastremska sets up Stosur clash in Strasbourg|
20 de mayo 2019
|Anderson stars for Lancashire on return from injury|
|Ebden and Seppi shocked in Geneva, Humbert shines at Lyon Open|
|AFC Champions League Review: Spain great Xavi ends playing career with defeat|
|Bernardo Silva makes Champions League pledge after winning Man City award|
|Henin impressed by Halep ahead of French Open defence|
|I love you, I´m out - Departing Kompany has his mic-drop moment in City´s trophy parade|
|Abelardo opts to leave post as Alaves coach|
|Magic Johnson points finger at Pelinka after Lakers power struggle|
|Junaid deletes inflammatory tweet following World Cup squad omission|
|Bosz: Champions League improves chances of keeping Brandt & Havertz|
|PSG insist Mbappe will stay despite forward´s ´new project´ comments|
|Former Salford forward Turgut hospitalised with ´severe injuries´|
|Potter takes over as Brighton and Hove Albion boss|
|Ancelotti happy at Napoli amid Juventus links|
|Hemel Stags on course for Ottawa relocation, New York club a work in progress|
|Nadal overtakes Federer´s top-10 streak|
|Omitting Wahab and Amir would have been foolish - Inzamam|
|Scotland appoint Kilmarnock boss Clarke|
|I´ll keep my place if Pogba arrives at Madrid – Kroos|
|Kroos: Madrid struggles ´normal´ after Champions League dominance|
|Pogba, Hazard and Mbappe in, Bale and Isco out? - Real Madrid set for busy close-season|
|Double amputee Monger stunned by Grand Prix de Pau triumph|
|Walter to take over Stuttgart from next season|
|Giannis expects Milwaukee to buck their ideas up after Game 3 loss|
|Bolivian FA confirms death of referee Victor Hugo Hurtado|
|Australia opener Burns leaves Lancashire for personal reasons|
|Record-breaking female driver Chadwick lands Williams development chance|
|Semedo cleared of concussion to boost Barcelona|
|Iguodala questionable for Game 4|
|Neymar should not captain Brazil at Copa America - Edmilson|
|Wahab, Amir and Asif named in final Pakistan World Cup squad|
|Bale staying at Madrid impossible as Zidane is ´not keen´ - Calderon|
|Kroos agrees Real Madrid extension to 2023|
|Gundogan to renew contract talks with Manchester City|
|Folau opts not to appeal against Rugby Australia ban, still considering options|
|Nadal clear French Open favourite – Djokovic|
|Nedved: No Juve decision amid Sarri and Inzaghi links|
|Gil Marin: We need players totally committed to Atletico|