It was a crazy finale as Inter fought back twice from Jose Callejon goals to hold Napoli 2-2.
The tension was sky high at San Siro, as Walter Mazzarri was hanging by a thread after two consecutive defeats to Cagliari and Fiorentina. He faced his former club, as did Rafa Benitez, but Walter Gargano missed out with a fractured cheekbone. Mateo Kovacic and Gary Medel shook off injuries, though Daniel Osvaldo, Yuto Nagatomo, Danilo D’Ambrosio, Jonathan and Hugo Campagnaro were sidelined.
Mazzarri was on the Napoli bench the last time they won this fixture, 3-0 in 2011-12. Mauro Icardi had the first real chance on 18 minutes, springing the offside trap on a Hernanes through ball only for Raul Albiol to get enough of a touch to deflect for a corner.
Icardi then turned a glancing header inches wide and Hernanes blasted over for a promising counter-attack, while Handanovic parried a Marek Hamsik cross-shot at the near post and David Lopez’s shot was deflected wide.
Hernanes was very unlucky on 39 minutes, as he chested down with his back to goal on the edge of the box, spun round and smashed the shot against the base of the upright.
Handanovic bravely rushed out to punch a dangerous Insigne ball off Gonzalo Higuain’s head.
After the restart it was Napoli’s turn to thump the woodwork, as Insigne sprung the offside trap and under pressure from Joel Obi fired on to the post.
Nemanja Vidic nodded a corner over the bar and Handanovic had his gloves stung by a Jose Callejon snapshot.
The deadlock was eventually broken when Vidic nodded on a throw-in and Callejon pounced, smashing an angled drive past Handanovic.
However, the lead lasted only a few minutes before substitute Fredy Guarin tapped in at the back post as Icardi flicked on Dodo’s corner. The Colombian had only been on the pitch for 70 seconds and it was his first touch.
Mazzarri saw red for straying outside his technical area and Vidic made up for the earlier error by charging down a Higuain strike in the box.
However, Inter’s defence was caught out by a smart David Lopez ball over the top that Callejon met with a magnificent volley with the inside of his left foot.
It still wasn’t over, as in stoppages Hernanes ghosted between defenders and leapt into the air for a well-taken header to equalise yet again.
Ibrahima Mbaye almost won it for Inter with the last move of the game, but nodded a corner just wide.
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