SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 16 - 9 Dec 2017 (19.45 UK)
Juventus 0 - 0 Inter
Juventus Stadium

Mario Mandzukic had the best chances and hit the crossbar, but Juventus and Serie A leaders Inter played out a goalless draw.

This was a top of the table showdown between third and first, as well as the bitter rivalry of the Derby d’Italia. Gigi Buffon, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Marko Pjaca were injured, but Max Allegri surprisingly dropped Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa and Alex Sandro for a 4-3-3 formation. Leaders Inter had Roberto Gagliardini, Joao Miranda and Matias Vecino back, but benched the ex-Atalanta midfielder in favour of Marcelo Brozovic, moving Borja Valero to a deeper role.

There was a huge Juventus chance after eight minutes, as Juan Cuadrado’s deflected cross found Mario Mandzukic at the back post. His volley off the inside of the boot was beaten away by Samir Handanovic and a diving header on the rebound cleared off the line by Miranda.

Juve seemed to invite Inter to take the initiative, Giorgio Chiellini with a decisive interception to stop the Brozovic through ball releasing Matias Vecino clear on goal, while Wojciech Szczesny plucked a wayward Brozovic cross-shot out from under the bar.

Birthday boy Kwadwo Asamoah lost Antonio Candreva at the by-line, but Chiellini was again there for a crucial block.

Sami Khedira’s effort was too weak to trouble Handanovic on a Blaise Matuidi chest down, as Juve were happy to allow Inter futile possession.

The frustration got to Gonzalo Higuain, who was booked for dissent, but Mandzukic had another great chance on the stroke of half-time when his towering header from a Cuadrado cross thumped the bar.

Inter had possession, but this was their first Serie A match since May 2014 without a shot on goal in the first half.

Danilo D’Ambrosio made a decisive interception to take Cuadrado’s cross off the head of Mandzukic at the far post. Mauro Icardi had penalty appeals for a shot charged down by Medhi Benatia, but it deflected off his leg on to his hand and therefore could not be considered voluntary handball.

Ivan Perisic risked an own goal by intercepting Higuan’s dinked pass for Cuadrado, but Handanovic fingertipped it over the bar. The goalkeeper flapped at a cross and Khedira’s angled drive flashed inches wide with a deflection off Dalbert.

Handanovic beat away a Kwadwo Asamoah scorcher and Dybala was introduced for the final 15 minutes. Mandzukic had another great opportunity, but lost his footing in this goalless stalemate.


Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Benatia, Chiellini, Asamoah; Khedira (Dybala 75), Pjanic (Bentancur 85), Matuidi; Cuadrado, Higuain, Mandzukic
Inter: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Santon (Dalbert 63); Vecino, Borja Valero; Candreva (Gagliardini 69), Brozovic, Perisic; Icardi (Eder 85)
Ref: Valeri