Inter draws at Juventus 0-0 to stay unbeaten atop Serie A
Inter Milan survived its toughest test yet as it drew at Juventus 0-0 to stay unbeaten and on top of Serie A on Saturday.
Inter barely sighted the goal, and Samir Handanovic was certainly the busier of the two goalkeepers in the Derby d’Italia.
Wojciech Szczesny stepped in for the injured Gianluigi Buffon but he was mainly a spectator between the posts for Juventus.
“Having taken away a point without conceding a goal is good,” Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said.
“But everything we have got up until now we have earned and we need to keep that in our heads. Instead, we had a bit of fear, as if we didn’t deserve to be here, as if some of them still don’t believe how much they have grown.
“Tonight we could have done something more, we weren’t as determined as we have been in other situations: In some moments it seemed as if we were happy to sit back, as if just having the ball was enough. Instead we should have been more fervent in trying to do more.”
Mario Mandzukic hit the crossbar and Juventus remained third, two points behind Inter and level with Napoli, which hosts Fiorentina on Sunday.
It was the first time Juventus has failed to score in 45 Serie A matches.
“The lads should be congratulated, they had a good game without ever conceding a shot on target,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “It wasn’t easy because Inter is a compact team, with good technical quality. We only lacked a goal.
“Inter can fight right to the end, it can fight for the title as can Juventus. I feel my team isn’t very good yet, as I would want it to be, but we were coming from a week in which we had to play to progress in the Champions League and from the win in Napoli.”
Juventus could have taken the lead with less than 10 minutes to go but Handanovic parried Mandzukic’s effort and the Croatia striker’s header on the rebound was cleared off the line by Miranda.
Ivan Perisic scored a hat trick as Inter beat Chievo Verona 5-0 last weekend but he almost netted at the wrong end in Turin. Gonzalo Higuain sent in a ball over the top to Cuadrado and Perisic’s header forced Handanovic to fingertip it over the bar.
Paulo Dybala, who surprisingly started on the Juventus bench, was brought on for the final 15 minutes but had little impact.
What was effective was the oft-criticized Juventus defense, which stifled Inter captain Mauro Icardi, who had 16 goals from his previous 15 matches.
Cagliari recovered from two goals down to draw at high-flying Sampdoria 2-2 thanks in part to a bizarre goal from Diego Farias.
Unlucky Cagliari lost four players to injury before halftime, including goalkeeper Rafael during the warmup.
It was also 2-0 down at the break because of Fabio Quagliarella, who was set up both times by Gaston Ramirez.
However, Cagliari pulled one back 11 minutes after the interval when a clearance from Samp goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano ricocheted off the back of an oblivious Farias and into the back of the net.
Leonardo Pavoletti leveled four minutes later.
Cagliari moved seven points clear of the relegation zone, while Sampdoria remained sixth.