Date: 11th January 2020 at 10:53pm
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Samir Handanovic saved an 88th minute penalty to avoid defeat for Inter, as the Nerazzurri drew 1-1 against Atalanta at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday night.

While the hosts were ahead from the fourth minute thanks to Lautaro Martinez’s early strike, a second half goal by Gosens had given the Gian Piero Gasperini’s side hopes to complete a late comeback.

It almost came to pass as Alessandro Bastoni gave away a penalty right at the death, but Samir Handanovic was equal to Luis Muriel’s spot kick and earned Inter a point.

As a result, Inter now top the Serie A table and are one point ahead Juventus, but things could change when the Bianconeri travel to Roma on Sunday, and could leapfrog the Antonio Conte’s outfit to end the first half of the season as winter champions.

Once again Inter proved deadly in the opening minutes. First, Lukaku hit the post with a low strike 30 seconds into the game, though he was offside.

But, the Belgian was involved again shortly after, as he combined brilliantly with Lautaro, who found himself in on goal and he fired through Pierluigi Gollini’s legs to put Inter ahead with four minutes on the clock.

Despite falling behind early on, Atalanta looked eager to find an equaliser and they almost got it when Lautaro was dispossessed allowing Mario Pasalic to run towards goal and release a strong shot which sailed just wide of Samir Handanovic’s post.

With both sides showcasing impressive intensity, it was Inter who went close again as Lautaro was nicely set up by Lukaku, but his lob over Gollini from a narrow angle was cleared off the line by Rafael Toloi.

The Brazilian defender should have levelled after 40 minutes when his header following a Papu Gomez’s freekick was saved by Handanovic, but Toloi wasn’t quick enough to smash the rebound home.

While the Atalanta man asked for a penalty, consultation with VAR only led to a corner.

Ruslan Malinvosky came on for Duvan Zapata and lost no time in making his presence felt, as his delightful left-footed attempt from the edge of the box slammed against the post.

Inter struggled to keep possession as Atalanta stepped up the pace leaving the hosts with no choice but to play several long balls into Lukaku in order to ease the pressure.

Despite a strenuous defence, Inter could do nothing when a deflected cross by Ilicic ended into the path of Gosens, as the German produced a smart finish to put things level.

Referee Gianluca Rocchi added more drama to the final stages of the game when he awarded Atalanta a penalty after Malinovsky fell following contact with Bastoni.

Luis Muriel was denied from the spot by Samir Handanovic as his name rung around the Meazza with Inter fans delighted with their captain.