The Nerazzurri wasted no more ground on Napoli

Inter dropped further ground on runaway Serie A leaders Napoli after a disappointing performance resulted in a goalless draw at Sampdoria on Monday.

Simone Inzaghi’s side have won seven out of nine games across all competitions in an impressive start to 2023, but managed to draw a clean sheet at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium.

The hosts attacked Dejan Stankovic very little throughout, with Inter’s 13 first-half efforts in a one-sided contest going nil before an equally dominant second period.

The Nerazzurri were unable to find the necessary leads, however, with the stalemate leaving Inter trailing Napoli with 15 points and leading the pack in pursuit of the second three by just three.

Romelu Lukaku’s thumping effort was parried by Emil Audero and Hakan Calhanoglu drilled narrowly wide as Inter dominated the early going.

Matteo Darmian fired over just after Lautaro Martinez’s inexplicable failure to connect from close range, before Robin Gosens went close with a header as Inzaghi’s visitors failed to capitalize on their first-half dominance.

Manolo Gabbiadini pulled Sampdoria’s rare chance off target after the interval, although Inter continued to monopolize possession in search of openings that he could not find.

Calhanoglu’s sharp effort was blocked by Audero before the Turkey international sent the wrong side of the goalkeeper’s left post.

The Sampdoria goalkeeper tipped over Francesco Acerbi’s long-range drive before Martinez failed to convert a last-minute scramble inside the area as Inter were able to find a deserved late winner.

What does it mean? A rare draw stops Inter roll

Inter have won nine of 11 meetings with Sampdoria in Serie A, winning the last two rounds 3-0, so the unexpected second-bottom side could be in for a surprise.

The result was difficult for Inter, too, as it was only their second final in their last 31 top-flight Italian games – hitting their stride as they seek an eighth win in 10 games over all competition from the new year. started.

Napoli are all but crowned Scudetto champions already, but with Porto on the horizon in the Champions League later in February, Inzaghi will understand that Inter need to improve in the future.

Nuytinck neutralizes Inter’s attack

Bram Nuytinck was the star of the show for the Sampdoria back line, ably supported by the goalkeeper and captain Audero behind him.

The 32-year-old Dutch defender showed all his experience in a convincing performance, resulting in the most tackles (four) and clearances (nine) of any player on the pitch.

Gabbiadini struggles

Gabbiadini has scored three Serie A goals in 2023, having had a hand in just four goals (two goals, two assists) throughout last year.

But the Samp striker struggled in this game, failing to find the target with two laudable chances to leave his tally at one goal in 12 meetings with Inter in the competition.

What lies ahead?

Inter are at home to Udinese on Saturday, when Sampdoria host Bologna.

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