Nothing could separate Inter and Napoli as they met at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Saturday evening, opening a door for AC Milan to go top of Serie A with a win over Sampdoria on Sunday.
Edin Dzeko’s second-half strike saw the champions and current leaders come back to draw 1-1 after Lorenzo Insigne had opened the scoring early in the first half from the penalty spot.
In what was billed as a real six-pointer at the top of the table, Napoli were handed a huge chance when Stefan de Vrij’s bad week continued as he brought down Victor Osimhen inside the Inter area. Insigne stepped up and smashed it into the top corner, even with Samir Handanovic going the right way.
The Inter ‘keeper had one of his better performances and Simone Inzaghi has him to thank for managing to help the Nerazzurri to avoid defeat on the night, as a loss could have seen the champions end the weekend as low as third.
Napoli continued to press early and Matteo Politano was involved as they came close to doubling their lead. The ex-Inter winger carved out a chance for Piotr Zielinski, though the Pole’s effort hit the post and went behind. The hosts continued to stay on top for the majority of the first half, though both Eden Dzeko and Denzel Dumfries had chances to level before the break.
The equaliser came shortly after the restart though, with Dzeko finding the net. Lautaro Martinez delivered a cross that Dzeko initially fluffed, but the ball bounced kindly off Giovanni Di Lorenzo and back to the No.9, who made no mistake at the second time of asking, smashing his close-range effort in off the crossbar.
Inter then could have sensed an opportunity, but Osimhen had a chance to restore Napoli’s lead before the Partenopei grew back into the game. Elif Elmas had a chance of his own, but Handanovic did well to deny it.
No other goals were to come though, and both will end the game relieved to have avoided defeat, though Napoli will feel as though Inter were there for the taking.
Milan can now move above their cross-city rivals and into top spot by beating Sampdoria in Sunday’s 12:30 kick off at the Stadio San Siro, though Inter will still have a game in hand.