Serie A: Table toppers Inter Milan draw blank for first time this season after being held 0-0 by AS Roma

Serie A leaders Inter Milan failed to score for the first time this season as they were held to a 0-0 draw by AS Roma at San Siro on Friday, giving rivals Juventus a chance to go back to the head of the table.

Reuters December 07, 2019 08:17:40 IST
Serie A: Table toppers Inter Milan draw blank for first time this season after being held 0-0 by AS Roma
  • Serie A leaders Inter Milan failed to score for the first time this season as they were held to a 0-0 draw by AS Roma at San Siro on Friday, giving rivals Juventus a chance to go back to the head of the table.

  • The result put Inter on 38 points from 15 games, two clear of Juve who can reclaim top spot with a win at third-placed Lazio on Saturday. Lazio have 30 points, one ahead of Roma in fourth.

  • Before Friday's match, Inter had scored at least one goal in each of their 19 matches since Antonio Conte replaced Luciano Spalletti as coach.

Milan: Serie A leaders Inter Milan failed to score for the first time this season as they were held to a 0-0 draw by AS Roma at San Siro on Friday, giving rivals Juventus a chance to go back to the head of the table.

Serie A Table toppers Inter Milan draw blank for first time this season after being held 00 by AS Roma

Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez vies for the ball with Roma's Gianluca Mancini during their Serie A match at the San Siro stadium. AP

The result put Inter on 38 points from 15 games, two clear of Juve who can reclaim top spot with a win at third-placed Lazio on Saturday. Lazio have 30 points, one ahead of Roma in fourth.

Before Friday’s match, Inter had scored at least one goal in each of their 19 matches since Antonio Conte replaced Luciano Spalletti as coach.

The build-up to the game was overshadowed when the Corriere dello Sport newspaper used the words “Black Friday” to describe the clash of Inter forward Romelu Lukaku and Roma defender Chris Smalling, with a front page photo of the two black players.

Lukaku described the headline as the dumbest he had ever seen.

“These are the games where you have to score goals because we had the chances and we forced them to make errors with our pressure and the runs from midfield,” said Conte.

“We could have been more determined in front of goal and we would have brought home the three points.”

Early Present

Inter were handed an early present when Jordan Veretout’s backpass was intercepted by Lukaku but the Belgian international’s shot was saved by Antonio Mirante.

Roma pressed the self-destruct button twice just before halftime when Diego Perotti gave the ball away to Matias Vecino who failed to take advantage and then Mirante passed to Lukaku on the edge of the area, a chance which was also squandered.

In between, Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo tested Samir Handanovic in one of their few genuine chances.

Mirante also produced a fine fingertip save early in the second to keep out another Vecino effort.

Late in the game, Lautaro Martinez failed to make proper contact with Vecino’s inviting pass into the area and Gianluca Mancini was able to clear the danger for Roma.

“We made some wrong choices in the final third of the field but we played well,” said Roma coach Paulo Fonseca. “There were some moments where we were in complete control of the match.

“We tried to play without fear. We made some mistakes but I want courage.”

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