Matias Vecino snatched a point four minutes from time but Inter's winless run in Serie A continued as Roma left San Siro with a 1-1 draw.
Eusebio Di Francesco's side entered the match amid mounting speculation over Chelsea launching a bid for top scorer Edin Dzeko, but it was former AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy who came to the fore with a coolly taken 31st-minute opener.
Mauro Icardi led Inter's charge during the closing stages as Brazil goalkeeper Alisson produced a pair of world-class saves to deny the Argentina striker.
But Di Francesco's decision to bring on defenders Bruno Peres and Juan Jesus invited an unsustainable level of pressure and Vecino was the beneficiary, powering home a pinpoint cross from Marcelo Brozovic.
Inter, who were unbeaten in Serie A until the middle of last month, have taken four points from a run of six winless games but remain three points ahead of Roma in the final Champions League berth.
In an open contest marked by some skittish defensive efforts early on, it was a surprise it took until the 17th minute for the first clear opening to fall Inter's way.
Joao Cancelo got past Gerson on the Roma left and whipped in a pinpoint cross for Ivan Perisic to head against the back stanchion when he should have worked Alisson.
Mauro Icardi had penalty appeals rejected for the hosts as he went to ground under attention from Kostas Manolas and Federico Fazio that was more clumsy than overly impeding, while Perisic fired too close to Alisson after neatly turning Alessandro Florenzi.
It was, therefore, slightly against the run of play when Roma took the lead – Davide Santon badly misjudged a long punt from the Roma keeper, so much so that El Shaarawy could recover from a loose first touch to dink a finish beyond Samir Handanovic.
Icardi stabbed wide under pressure from Fazio, failing to get the ball out of his feet in the 34th minute before it was Roma's turn to have a penalty claim turned down, with Florenzi tumbling after Miranda tugged at his shirt.
Spalletti sent on Brozovic for the ineffective Roberto Gagliardini but Inter remained short of fluency as Roma continued to disrupt them with intelligent pressing.
Miranda did enough to prevent Dzeko from heading home a 54th-minute corner, while the flailing Santon caught El Shaarawy with a stray arm as the Roma man sensed a second goal. Referee Davide Massa spared the French defender further ignominy.
And end-to-end feel remained as Alisson scrambled to get behind an Antonio Candreva strike before Manolas was unable to apply the finish when Dzeko flicked on Aleksandar Kolarov's dangerous cross.
Massa was not so lenient in the 69th minute, giving a deserved yellow card to Cancelo for an embarrassing dive vaguely in the vicinity of Fazio.
Spalletti's decision to introduce Eder lifted Inter entering the final 20 minutes, with Candreva's replacement instantly bursting into the box from the right channel and firing at Alisson.
Roma's keeper made a far more taxing save five minutes later, tipping brilliantly on to the post when Icardi seemed certain to turn home Perisic's cross on the half volley.
Eder then headed over from Cancelo's latest fine delivery. Alisson's further heroics down to his left from Icardi suggested it probably would not have mattered had the Italy forward hit the target.
Dzeko had just departed to the bench by the time Vecino ensured he would not enjoy a winning farewell if this is to be his goodbye.
Key Opta stats:
- Both of Vecino's goals this season have come against Roma.
- El Shaarawy has been involved in four of Roma's last eight goals.
- Roma's last two away goals in Serie A have been scored by El Shaarawy.
|Derby´s Rowett seeks permission for Stoke talks|
|Messi physically and mentally ready for the World Cup, Sampaoli proclaims|
|Murray expected to return at Rosmalen Grass Court Championships|
|More to Madrid than just Ronaldo - Robertson|
|Wolff: Red Bull and Ferrari favourites in Monaco|
|Iniesta hailed by Xavi as ´the most talented player in the history of Spain´|
|If you Googled ´European nights´, Liverpool would be top result - Klopp|
|Icardi cut from Argentina World Cup squad|
|Test recall a ´fantastic surprise´ for Buttler|
|Klopp needs Premier League to be a Liverpool great – Johnston|
|Salah is ´definitely´ world´s best - Lovren|
|Rhinos captain Watkins ruled out for eight months|
|No clue - Klopp defiant over Can to Juventus claims|
|Younis tips Babar for Pakistan greatness|
|Germany squad numbers hint at World Cup good news for Neuer|
|WATCH: Moto3 rider makes spectacular jump over crashed rival|
|Leaving out Morata ´painful´ for Spain boss Lopetegui|
|Gustard to leave England role for Harlequins|
|Nainggolan retires from Belgium duty after World Cup snub|
|Spain striker Morata misses out on World Cup selection|
|LeBron or Kawhi could lead Lakers to the Finals - World Peace|
|Serena steps up Roland Garros training ahead of French Open|
|Nainggolan left out of Belgium´s World Cup squad|
|The long goodbye: Iniesta sits alone in Camp Nou after final Barcelona match|
|Wane to leave Warriors at end of season|
|Dr Fury will see you now - Tyson plans future career in medicine|
|Harden, D´Antoni rue ´soft´ Rockets performance in Warriors drubbing|
|Liverpool players can change their lives in Kiev, says Gerrard|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Can great deeds of the past fuel the bid for Champions League glory?|
|Wash your mouth out! - Curry´s expletive outburst earns scolding from mother|
|Rakitic lost for words as Iniesta heads for Barcelona exit|
|Conte: Chelsea must overhaul squad to change style|
|Johnston: Liverpool can´t lose Suarez, Coutinho and Salah!|
|Messi: I like Griezmann, he´s one of the best|
|Ohtani says he´s not good enough for Home Run Derby yet|
|Mendy: France are eyeing World Cup glory|
|Scott accepts two-week ban for Walker punch|
|Braves rally for six runs in the ninth to defeat Marlins|
|MLS Review: Red Bulls upstage Atlanta thanks to Wright-Phillips brace|
|Warriors breeze past Rockets in game three|
|We have a quality squad – Man City chairman hints at caution in transfer market|
|Wise cruises to maiden PGA Tour victory at Byron Nelson|
|Matic: United can fight for Premier League and Champions League with experience|
|Golden Knights GM on Stanley Cup Finals berth: I don´t know how we did it|
|I did a ´s*** job´ defending LeBron James – Morris|
|Dembele suffers sprained right ankle|
|We know Fellaini´s not going to renew with United – Mirabelli suggests Milan move|
|Cavs´ Lue not satisfied with just one win|
|They even whistled at Torres – Simeone backs Griezmann|
|I arrived as a boy, I leave as a man – Iniesta in emotional Barcelona farewell|
|Lingard: Wembley loss my worst feeling in football|
|Cahill: Conte uncertainty affecting Chelsea|
|Sarri has run out of time – Napoli chief De Laurentiis|
|Barca boss Valverde salutes departing Iniesta|
|I feel like I´ve been run over by a truck or had 15 pints - Crutchlow|
|Four sent off as Ajaccio win chaotic Le Havre play-off on penalties|
|Sweden win shoot-out to retain world title|
|De Vrij penalty was destiny for Inter - Icardi|
|PSG? Maybe one day - Pogba coy over long-term future at Manchester United|
|Messi wins fifth European Golden Shoe|
|Gattuso calls for more malice at Milan|
|Barcelona 1 Real Sociedad 0: Coutinho stunner lights up Iniesta´s farewell|
|Lazio 2 Inter 3: Spalletti´s men seal Champions League qualification with stunning comeback|
|Royals reach play-offs as Kings XI come up short|
|Nadal sees clearly after Rome rain is gone|
|Double whammy for Zverevs as Mischa bows out in Geneva|
|Atletico Madrid pay fitting tribute to tearful Torres|
|Hull FC claim derby spoils, Dragons off the bottom|
|Buzarnescu battles through as McHale impresses in Nuremberg|
|Neymar an artist who will not need special treatment - new PSG coach Tuchel|