All Square At The Allianz: Juventus 0-0 Inter

December 9, 2017

Juventus 0-0 Inter. The first Derby d'Italia of the season finished all square as Juventus and Inter eventually cancelled each other out. Although the result doesn't look incredibly thrilling, the game consisted of interesting tactical battles between both sides, specifically in midfield which ultimately left both Gonzalo Higuaín and Mauro Icardi frustrated without any service.

Mario Mandžukić had the best chances for either side. The Croat was denied by Samir Handanović after the ball broke to him on the half volley and was then denied by the crossbar. Juan Cuadrado whipped a fine cross to the far post for Mandžukić, who easily won the header over full back Danilo D'Ambrosio, but he couldn't direct the ball under the bar. Sami Khedira also had a effort saved by the Inter number one, with it increasingly looking like it was going to be 'one of those' nights for Juve.

While Inter looked composed and confident in keeping possession throughout the first half, they couldn't conjure up anything for top scorer Mauro Icardi, with their first shot on target coming in the second half through a deflected Antonio Candreva strike. Wojciech Szczęsny won't have faced many action-less nights throughout his career.

The second half was pretty much a game of attack versus defence with Inter just trying to survive the storm. Wave after wave after Juve attack was only met by stern defending from Inter, notably Miranda and Milan Škriniar, who again looked comfortable at the heart of Inter's defence.

When Icardi finally got an opportunity to strike his left footed effort was deflected off Medhi Benatia, with replays showing it struck the Moroccan's arm. Even with the help of VAR, which wasn't used, it's unlikely whether a penalty would have been awarded, given the short distance the ball had travelled.

 

Despite the introduction of Paulo Dybala, who was left on the bench, Juventus couldn't find the goal that would send them to the top of the Serie A table. Although Juventus will be frustrated to not have scored, they have now gone five games in a row keeping a clean sheet. Games which included Napoli, Barcelona and tonight, Inter. On another day they could, and maybe should, have scored at least once this evening.

Inter showed why they're capable of seriously fighting for the Scudetto this season with their organised defending that for the past few seasons has been lacklustre. It's not a stretch to assume they would have lost this fixture by two or three goals last season, but Luciano Spalletti has completely changed the mindset of the Inter team. Their unbeaten streak continues and while Napoli may regain top spot tomorrow, Inter will expect to be in a title fight come May.