Napoli and Inter played out a 1-1 draw in what was quite an interesting match at the Diego Maradona stadium today. the Partenopei got off to a brilliant start winning an early penalty which was converted by captain Lorenzo Insigne. The hosts seemed to be the more dominant team during the first half as they continued to create more chances and often troubled Inter’s defence.
However, the Nerazzurri found their equalizer early in the second half thanks to a fine finish from Edin Dzeko. Both sides sought to find a winner, but neither could do so.
Eventually, Inter and Napoli will both settle for one point, especially the latter. the Nerazzurri, who were without their manager Simone Inzaghi, have now endured two consecutive games without a win and will look to grab all three points in their next league game against Sassuolo
Starting XI: Koulibaly back for Napoli, Inter make five changes
Luciano Spalletti has only done one in Napoli’s XI, namely the return of Kalidou Koulibaly after leading Senegal to victory in the recently concluded AFCON. He replaced Juan Jesus in central defense.
Inter have made five changes since winning the Coppa Italia against Roma. Stefan de Vrij and Federico Dimarco were back in the starting XI, replacing Danilo D’Ambrosio and Alessandro Bastoni who was ruled out with an ankle injury.
Denzel Dumfries started at right-back ahead of Matteo Darmian while Arturo Vidal came on in place of Hakan Calhanoglu. In the lead, Lautaro Martinez was back in the line-up, replacing Alexis Sanchez.
Penalty badge places Napoli in front
Both teams started strong and Napoli won an early penalty after Stefan de Vrij fouled Victor Osimhen. Up stepped Insignia and he found the target to put the Partenopei forward.
Minutes later, Napoli were close to doubling their lead when Piotr Zielinski’s shot hit the outside of the post. The hosts were forced to make an early switch as Matteo Politano couldn’t continue and was replaced by Elif Elmas.
Napoli had good chances to find the net but couldn’t make the most of them. First, Osimhen hit the side netting before Insigne’s shot went off target. The Nigerian had another chance to shoot but his shot was deflected by De Vrij for a corner but nothing came of it.
Inter had a good chance to score in the 35th minute when Ivan Perisic’s cross hit Dzeko. However, Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina retained the Bosnian’s lead. the Nerazzurri had another chance when Martinez’s pass found Dumfries but the right-back’s shot couldn’t find the target.
Dzeko Strike saves a point for Inter
Inter couldn’t have started the second half any better as Dzeko got the equalizer he craved. The forward was a little lucky when the ball came his way, but his finish was brilliant and netted his tenth Serie A goal of the season.
Napoli were looking to restore their lead and Osimhen had a good chance to do so but Samir Handanovic denied it with a fine save. Minutes later, Ivan Perisic sent a delivery towards Dumfries but Koulibaly issued a crucial challenge to ensure the ball went out of play.
Both teams challenged each other’s backline, with Elmas coming very close to scoring. However, Handanovic made another crucial save to prevent the North Macedonian.
With the game well into its final ten minutes, Inter made their first substitutions with Calhanoglu and Sanchez replacing Vidal and Sanchez respectively.
the Nerazzurri made most attacks in the last few minutes
What’s next for Napoli and Inter
The two teams will have a European football fight in the coming days. Napoli travel to Catalonia for their Europa League game against what looks like a rejuvenated Barcelona. Inter host Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16.
February 12, 2022 – Serie A 2021-2022 Matchday 25
NAPLES – INTER 1-1
GOAL GOALS: 7′ Badge (N, pen.)47′ Dzeko (I)
|NAPLES (4-2-3-1): Ospine; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Fabian Ruiz (74′ Anguissa) Lobotka; Politano (26′ Elmas), Zielinski (84′ Juan Jesus), Insigne (84′ Ounas); Osimhen (84′ Mertens) (Meret, Malcuit, Demme, Marfella, Ghoulam, Petagna, Zanoli) Coach: spalletti|
|INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Dimarco (91′ D’Ambrosio); Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu (84′ Vidal), Perisic; Dzeko, Lautaro Martinez (83′ Sanchez) (Cordaz, Radu, Gagliardini, Kolarov, Ranocchia, Darmian, Carboni, Caicedo) Coach: S.Inzaghi|
ARBITRATOR: Mr. Doveri from Rome
REMARKS: Yellow cards: Badges (N), Brozovic (I) ; Additional time: 1st half 2′, 2nd half 5′