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Inter earns 0-0 draw with Napoli

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Defense shines as Nerazzuri keep pace with Lazio for Champions League position.

FC Internazionale v SSC Napoli - Serie A
Joao Cancelo (R) of FC Internazionale Milano is challenged by Jorginho of SSC Napoli during the serie A match between FC Internazionale and SSC Napoli at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on March 11, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

A total of three shots on goal were all either Inter Milan or Napoli could muster as the teams battled to a 0-0 draw at the San Siro.

It was a repeat of their reverse fixture in Naples earlier this season.

FC Internazionale v SSC Napoli - Serie A
Marek Hamsik of SSC Napoli is challenged by Milan Skriniar (R) and Joao Miranda de Souza Filho (L) of FC Internazionale Milano during the serie A match between FC Internazionale and SSC Napoli at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on March 11, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

The draw keeps Napoli in second behind Juventus after the Old Lady’s 2-0 against Udinese. Inter holds in fifth position, a point behind Lazio — who drew 2-2 with Cagliari — and four back of Roma.

After a defensive first half, Inter opened the second half nearly scoring after Milan Skriniar came close to heading home a free kick delivery from Joao Cancelo in the 49th minute.

Over the first five minutes of the second half, Inter dominated possession by pressing forward.

In the 52nd minute, a cross from Danilio D’Ambrosio nearly found the foot of Mauro Icardi, but instead was put out — very close to goal — by Kalidou Koulibaly.

Inter continued to press, but only an Éder shot on goal proved to be the lone official shot on target for the Nerazzurri.

Inter’s defense continued to shut down Napoli’s attack. Joao Miranda, Skriniar and even Joao Cancelo kept goalkeeper Samir Handanovic out of trouble and seemed to frustrate Napoli for the entire game.

Inter took their first real shot toward goal in the 37th minute when Antonio Candreva cut from the right to the inside and blasted a shot from just outside the area. His attempt went wide left of the net.

That proved to be the best chance of the half for Inter, who struggled to find offensive pace the entire first 45 minutes of the game.

While offense was a big struggle in the first 45 minutes, finding open passing lanes proved to be an even bigger problem for the Nerazzurri. According to WhoScored.com, Inter had just an 83 percent pass success percentage in the first half on 34.4 percent possession.

The Nerazzurri had more than 20 errant passes in the first half.

Defensively, Milan Skriniar and the Inter defense held against a shot from Marek Hamsik and a drive from Lorenzo Insigne — of which Skriniar thwarted with a brilliant slide tackle.

Inter will now hit the road and take on Sampdoria on March 18.


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