Serie A Game of the Week – Round 28: Inter vs Napoli

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A pair of thrillers went down over the weekend, with both Lazio and Milan scoring at the very last second. Although it was not a high scoring game, Inter-Napoli was the match of the week because of its intensity, but more importantly for its significance in the Scudetto and the Champions League races.

The Derby della Madonnina was postponed last week, so Inter were looking to bounce back from a tough defeat in Genoa, where they did not show up, but they had gathered some good results in a row at San Siro. The Partenopei were seeking atonement after last week’s unusual home loss against Roma, where their defence fell apart.

No relevant injuries for either side: Luciano Spalletti benched Matia Vecino and Borja Valero and picked Rafinha, Roberto Gagliardini and Marcelo Brozovic in the midfield, while Maurizio Sarri used his usual XI featuring Marek Hamsik in the midfield and Dries Mertens upfront.

Napoli were the aggressors for the whole game, with Lorenzo Insigne in particular looking very spry. While the Azzurri held the ball for most of the time, the first really threatening chance came in the final portion of the first half on a lefty attempt from distance by Antonio Candreva, which did not miss the goal by a lot. The guests answered back with a curly shot by Insigne at the beginning of the second half.

Insigne had the biggest scoring opportunity at the 67th minutes, when Allan found him with a slick through ball after a cut in the box, but his lob on Samir Handanovic died over the bar. The Nerazzurri put together a pair of good counters finished by Eder, but he was not able to put it past Pepe Reina. Their defence held on despite the final pressure by Napoli and the insertions of Piotr Zielinski and Arek Milik. They did a great job all night long bottling up Dries Mertens.

The Partenopei dropped points in another big game and, after leading the way in the standings for most of the year, they are now chasing Juventus, which will have the opportunity to go up by four points in the midweek game against Atalanta. Inter lost some ground on Roma, but not from Lazio. On the other hand, Milan are surging and they might join the hunt for a Champions League berth if they keep it up.

It was a good day for defences in the fantasy game: both goalkeepers collected seven points, the whole backlines five and the midfielders two thanks to the clean sheets. Allan, Insigne, Gagliardini and Raul Albiol were booked, so they lost one point there.

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