18.10.2015 23:12 - in: Match report S

      All square at the San Siro

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      Juventus earn a hard-fought point in a pulsating yet goalless draw against Inter at the San Siro

      The Bianconeri earned a hard-fought point against Inter in a high-octane encounter at the San Siro that offered everything except a goal.

      In a typically intriguing and tense affair at the San Siro of few clear scoring opportunities, the Bianconeri and Nerrazzurri played out their first 0-0 draw since October 2010.

      Massimiliano Allegri’s men started the game brightly and forced Samir Handanovic into a smart save, Juan Cuadrado dispatching a venomous drive goal-bound after only four minutes.

      But Inter would quickly grow into the contest themselves and might have taken a 29th minute lead when Marcelo Brozovic tried to catch out Gigi Buffon with a clever chip and the Juve  keeper had to be at full reach to tip the ball onto the bar.

      The second period would begin in identical fashion to the first, Cuadrado once again bringing a save out of Handanovic moments after the restart as his low drive ricocheted off the Slovenian’s legs before spinning just wide of the upright.

      On 69 minutes the visitors would have the hosts’ other post shuddering when Sami Khedira could not quite direct his strike between the sticks, in what represented his side’s finest opportunity of the evening.

      While the Nerazzurri carried a counter-attacking threat, the Bianconeri controlled possession, enjoying 57.7 per cent of the ball from half-time onwards, but were unable to convert their supremacy into further chances, as the match ended goalless.

      Juventus came quickly out of the traps and created the first chance of the evening after four minutes, when Alvaro Morata played in Cuadrado. The Colombian, bombing down the right, unleashed a ferocious effort from inside the 18-yard box, but Handanovic was at hand to push the ball clear.

      The Bianconeri forwards were causing Inter problems, utilising their pace to draw the Nerazzurri defenders out of position on a couple of occasions. After weathering the early storm, the hosts had their first sight of Buffon’s goal on 12 minutes, Stevan Jovetic curling his free-kick wide of the target.

      The Montenegrin would then test Buffon with a close-range shot after latching onto Jeison Murillo’s incisive through ball after 26 minutes.

      And moments later the experienced keeper was called upon again, tipping Brozovic’s clever attempt from a wide position onto the crossbar, as Roberto Mancini’s men enjoyed their most dangerous passage of play so far.

      The home side continued to press forwards in search of a breakthrough goal, but Juventus’ rearguard held firm to ensure that a pulsating first-half ended goalless.

      Just two minutes into the second period, the Bianconeri were left wondering how they hadn’t taken the lead when Simone Zaza did well to pull Murillo out of position before feeding Cuadrado, whose low strike cannoned off Handanovic’s feet to finish whiskers wide of the post.

      Down the other end of the pitch, Jovetic was enjoying a lively match playing in behind strike partner Mauro Icardi and the 25-year-old, making his first start since returning from injury, forced Buffon into parrying a swerving half-volley from outside the box.

      On 69 minutes, the visitors had their best chance of the evening. Morata demonstrated great strength to hold up the ball and laid the ball on a plate for Khedira, but the German’s placed effort would strike the outside of the post and drift away from danger.

      With ten minutes remaining, Icardi tried to catch out the Bianconeri backline with an early cross destined for the head of Ivan Perisic, but Andrea Barzagli showed every ounce of his quality and experience to nick the ball away from the Croatian with a perfectly-timed intervention.

      Juventus would enjoy the better of possession in the latter stages, as they pressed for a second Serie A away win of the campaign, but were unable to worry Handanovic with any further efforts of note, Mario Mandzukic’s stoppage time volley lacking the necessary power to nick a winner for Allegri’s men.

      The Tuscan tactician will be encouraged by the manner in which his charges responded to the sustained pressure exerted on them by a dangerous home outfit, but will look for sharper shooting in their next fixture, Wednesday’s Champions League meeting with Borussia Monchengladbach at Juventus Stadium.

      Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Cuadrado, Khedira, Marchisio, Pogba, Evra, Morata (Mandzukic 71), Zaza (Dybala 78)
      Unused substitutes: Neto, Audero, Rugani, Alex Sandro, Padoin, Lemina, Sturaro, Hernanes, Asamoah, Pereyra
      Coach: Allegri

      Handanovic, Santon, Miranda, Murillo, Juan Jesus, Medel (Kondogbia 90+2), Felipe Melo (Guarin 64), Brozovic, Perisic, Jovetic (Palacio 90+2), Icardi
      Unused substitutes: Carrizo, Biabiany, Telles, Montoya, Ranocchia, Gnoukouri, D'Ambrosio, Nagatomo, Manaj
      Coach: Mancini

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