Serie A: Inter maintains lead at the top after goalless draw with Juventus

Danilo D Ambrosio (photo: Action Images)

Unbeaten Inter Milan maintained their lead at the top of Serie A after a hard-fought goalless draw at arch-rivals Juventus on Saturday.

Luciano Spalletti‘s Inter leave Turin two points ahead of second-placed Napoli, who are level on 38 points with Juventus and have the chance to reclaim top spot at home to Fiorentina on Sunday.

Sixth-placed Sampdoria missed the chance to close in on the Champions League places earlier after throwing away a two-goal halftime lead created by Fabio Quagliarella to draw 2-2 at Cagliari, who stay 13th on 17 points thanks to goals in four minutes from Diego Farias and Leonardo Pavoletti.

Marco Giampaolo’s Samp are seven points behind Roma in fourth, who travel to Chievo in Sunday’s early match.

Inter can be considered fortunate to escape the Allianz Stadium with a point after watching the dominant hosts create a series of chances, most of which were created by Juan Cuadrado and fell to wasteful Mario Mandzukic.

The Croat shot straight at Inter keeper Samir Handanovic when an eighth-minute Cuadrado cross wormed its way through a crowd of defenders.

Mandzukic went closest again just before the end of a tight first half, meeting another cross from his Colombian teammate only to to see his header thwack the crossbar.

The second half continued as the first ended, but Juve couldn’t capitalise on a rocking Inter team that struggled to get out of its own half, with the excellent Handanovic on hand to repel the hosts when they didn’t fluff chances on their own.

Mandzukic had the chance to win the match with just eight minutes left when another Cuadrado cross found him with space to shoot, but he slipped before he could get a shot away and Inter escaped with a precious point.

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