Napoli's flawless start in Italy ends in 0-0 draw with Inter

Paola Ditto
Ottobre 22, 2017

Napoli's flawless start to Serie A finally came to an end on Saturday in an enthralling 0-0 home draw with Inter Milan, the only other unbeaten side in the Italian top flight.

The result brings an end to Napoli's eight-match winning streak to start the season and their nine-match winning run at home, although they remain two points above Inter at the top of the table.

Napoli, who dropped points for the first time this campaign, were the better side but could not find a way past Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

But they came up against a stubborn Inter, chasing a first win in Naples in 20 years, and who underlined their title credentials in front of 50,000 spectators at the San Paolo Stadium. It was boosted by Lorenzo Insigne passing fit to start after injuring a thigh on Tuesday in the Champions League defeat at Manchester City.

Inter had to wait until the 42nd minute for their first really clear opening when Mauro Icardi - hat-trick hero from Inter's victory in the Milan derby last weekend - found space inside the box, but Pepe Reina pulled off a fine save to deny the skipper.

Handanovic then kept out an effort from Insigne following a great ball over the top from Marek Hamsik.

Napoli nearly went in front but Handanovic pulled off a stunning double save to deny first Jose Callejon and then keep out Dries Mertens' rebound attempt from point-blank range.

Napoli finished well, with substitute Piotr Zielinski hitting a powerful drive which was blocked in the box before Mertens stretched for one final attempt which was tipped around the post by Handanovic.

Sampdoria demolished Crotone 5-0 to sit two points behind Juventus and Lazio with a game in hand.

The Genoa club were three goals up by half-time with Gianmarco Ferrari heading in after three minutes against his former club.

Fabio Quagliarella doubled Samp's lead from the spot after Arlind Ajeti dragged back Duvan Zapata by the jersey and Gianluca Caprari got a third before halftime.

Karol Linetty and Dawid Kownacki added to the scoreline after the break.

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