Inter missed out on the chance to climb to the top of Serie A as they played out a surprisingly low-key 0-0 draw with defending champions Juventus at San Siro.
Fiorentina’s 2-1 defeat at Napoli earlier on Sunday handed Roberto Mancini’s men the opportunity to replace them at the summit, but the point means Inter remain third, behind Roma on goal difference.
The latest edition of the Derby d’Italia was an evenly-matched affair and clear-cut goalscoring opportunities were at a premium – both sides striking the woodwork on one occasion as the two defences held firm.
Marcelo Brozovic’s dipping shot was superbly touched onto the crossbar by Gianluigi Buffon midway through the first half, while Sami Khedira struck the base of the post with 20 minutes remaining.
The draw leaves Juve down in 14th, still eight points behind their rivals and nine adrift of leaders Fiorentina.
It has been a far from ideal start to the campaign for Massimiliano Allegri’s Juve, although they will take heart from a commendable point.
Allegri’s side will now look forward to a home Champions League clash with Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday, in which they will aim to maintain their 100 per cent record in that competition.
It was Juve who had the first real sight of goal in the fourth minute when Juan Cuadrado saw his stinging drive palmed away at the near post by Samir Handanovic.
Following an otherwise quiet opening to the game, Inter burst into life midway through the half as a flurry of action saw Juve survive three scares.
After Inter had penalty appeals waved away when Brozovic’s cross struck the arm of Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini put in a superb block to deny Stevan Jovetic a shot on goal.
In making the block, Chiellini collided with Buffon – the keeper subsequently receiving treatment – and Juve were grateful for his presence shortly afterwards as he brilliantly tipped Brozovic’s wickedly curling effort onto the bar.
As in the opening period, Juve were first to threaten at the start of the second half and once again it was Cuadrado who tested Handanovic – this time the Colombian’s shot squeezing between the legs of the goalkeeper and into the side netting.
Inter went on the offensive by way of response, Buffon diving low to his right to hold onto Jovetic’s dipping volley from 30 yards.
The visitors ought to have gone in front with 20 minutes to go when Alvaro Morata – who had recovered from a knock sustained while on Spain duty – teed up Khedira, but the Germany international’s placed effort from close range struck the left-hand post and went behind.
It proved to be the final chance of note, Inter wasting a couple of promising free-kick opportunities in the closing stages as the game petered out into an uninspiring draw.
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