Nerazzurri take home a clean sheet but fail to find a breakthrough in their final pre-season friendly

ANCONA – Inter ended their pre-season with a 0-0 draw as an inspired display by AEK Athens substitute keeper Anestis denied the Nerazzurri a late winner in Ancona.

The opening ten minutes were played at a lively pace with AEK harrying hard and Inter managing to keep on top of things. Brozovic fired off the first shot 15 minutes in, but it was weak and deflected behind.

Six minutes later Gnoukouri picked out Icardi and the Argentine put in cross for Brozovic only for Baroja to come off his line and claim.

Icardi and Jovetic were seeking each other out as they look to hone their budding partnership and the Argentine went close on the half-hour mark when he rifled a shot at goal from 30 yards, Baroja struggling to keep it out but somehow succeeding.

Palacio replaced Icardi ten minutes into the second half and immediately set about making his presence felt. El Trenza burst down the wing before sending in a ball only for the Greek rearguard to clear their lines.

Jovetic then lined up his sights in the 73rd minute but saw his low effort skid wide. There followed a lull in the action before the Nerazzurri came alive again in the last ten minutes.

On 82 minutes Kondogbia showed great skill to bring down a high ball in the box before taking aim and firing at goal, but Anestis - who replaced Baroja in the second half - came up trumps to beat it away.

A minute later the Greek shotstopper was at it again, this time denying the recently introduced Rey Manaj with another fine save. The 18-year-old Albanian had another chance to snatch a late winner when Jovetic slipped him in with a minute of normal time left to play, only for Anestis to rush off his line and block his shot.

The keeper's heroics meant it finished 0-0 and Inter now have a week to prepare for their opening league encounter: the Nerazzurri host Atalanta at San Siro on Sunday 23 August for their 2015/16 Serie A curtain-raiser.

Inter: 1 Handanovic; 33 D'Ambrosio (Nagatomo 76), 24 Murillo, 25 Miranda, 5 Juan Jesus; 7 Kondogbia, 27 Gnoukouri, 17 Medel (Manaj 76); 77 Brozovic; 35 Jovetic, 9 Icardi (Palacio 55).

Subs not used: 30 Carrizo, 46 Berni, 10 Kovacic, 14 Montoya, 21 Santon, 23 Ranocchia, 93 Dimarco.
Coach: Roberto Mancini.
AEK Athens: 1 Baroja (Anestis 64) ; 12 Rodrigo Galo, 5 Lampropoulos, 55 Tzanetopoulos (Arzo 55) , 23 Didac Vila (Soiledis 46); 8 Simoes (Platellas 46), 10 Anakoglou, 18 Johansson, 9 Vargas, 7 Helder Barbosa (Vasilantonopoulos 69); 21 Aravidis (Djebbour 55).
Subs not used: 30 Vauras, 3 Petavrakis, 14 Grontis, 15 Svarnas, 17 Zoric, 26 Kolovetsios, 44 Ablaye Yare, 99 Chrisantus.
Coach: Traianos Dellas.
Booked: Medel 41, Miranda 78.
Added time: 0 + 4 minutes.
Referee: Sebastiano Peruzzo.

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tags: friendly
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