Dejan Stankovic gave Inter Milan a narrow advantage in their Coppa Italia semi-final against Roma by scoring the only goal of Tuesday's first leg at the Stadio Olimpico.
The Serbian struck on the stroke of half-time to silence the home crowd and leave the holders as favourites ahead of the return leg in Milan on May 11.
Inter, who beat Roma in last season's final, were looking to bounce back from two straight defeats in all competitions.
With Roma captain Francesco Totti suspended, coach Vincenzo Montella opted to play with Marco Borriello.
Inter enjoyed a strong start and first tested Roma goalkeeper Alexander Doni in the opening minute.
Wesley Sneijder's 30-yard strike was met by a fine save from Doni.
Roma replied with Borriello serving Mirko Vucinic inside the area and his close-range shot going just wide of the far post.
Midway through the first half, Lucio's header from Maicon's cross was kept out by Doni.
Inter pressed forward and Andrea Ranocchia could have given his team a 41st minute lead had his powerful header from Sneijder's cross not gone over the bar.
Inter's efforts paid off before half-time.
Esteban Cambiasso fed Stankovic just outside the area and his right-footed effort beat Doni.
Roma struggled to beat Inter's well-placed defence after the re-start and relied on long-range shooting.
In the 55th minute, John Arne Riise's 30-yard bullet strike went wide.
Shortly after, Simone Perrotta's header from David Pizarro's cross went off target as an opportunity went begging for Roma.
Inter should have extended their lead in the 79th minute but Doni fully stretched to clear Sneijder's eight-yard strike after being fed by Goran Pandev.
With one minute remaining, Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar made a good save to clear Rodrigo Taddei's strike from distance in what was Roma's last chance for an equaliser.
The Coppa Italia is the best chance for either side to win a trophy this season.