MILAN - The match between Inter and Sassuolo finished goalless. There were a number of saves from both goalkeepers at the match in front of 11,000 children at San Siro that was adorned with banners from the BUU - Brothers Universally United anti-discrimination campaign. Despite all the chances, stalemate won out. The point sees the Nerazzurri remain third in the table, on 40 points from 20 games.
The match was lively from the opening exchanges with the visitors showing a positive attitude. Five minutes in, Berardi fired wide from about 20 metres out. There was a big chance for Sassuolo in the 14th minute. The ball was played forward by Duncan, knocked on by Boateng who played in Locatelli who was all alone against Handanovic who managed the close down the angle and force him to shoot wide. Inter responded three minutes later. Politano burst away on the right, Brozovic played in a floated cross and Vecino fired just over. In the 19th and 20th minutes, Sassuolo forced Handanovic into making two saves. First, he saved down the middle from Berardi before making a diving stop from Boateng’s right-foot effort. Berardi went close again in the 34th minute when his left-footed shot narrowly missed the corner. After getting through the pressure applied by Sassuolo, Inter got back onto the front foot. In the 31st minute, a low Perisic cross was redirected towards goal by Politano but Consigli made a great stop to put it behind for a corner. The final chance of the half also fell for Spalletti’s men. After a quick throw, Vecino got onto a loose ball in the box and called Consigli into action with his left-footed shot. Despite all the drama, the sides went back to the changing rooms with the score still 0-0.
The second half started with no changes at the break. In the 55th minute, Sassuolo went close as Handanovic was forced to produce a great save to keep out Boateng’s header following Berardi’s cross. Spalletti then looked to shake things up, bringing on Nainggolan in Joao Mario’s place. In the 71st minute, a slick Nerazzurri move saw D’Ambrosio cross the ball in from the right towards Icardi, but the captain’s header was well off target. The match remained an even contest, with neither side being able to find the back of the net. Spalletti therefore decided to bring on Lautaro and Borja Valero for Politano and Vecino to try to break the deadlock. El Toro was immediately involved in the action, but his 83rd-minute header from D’Ambrosio’s cross was too close to Consigli. The away side then came forward as the match came to a close: Boga (who had come on for Djuricic) played a dangerous ball across the Inter box, but Boateng was unable to convert it. There were also chances in stoppage time: both Handanovic and Skriniar were on hand to block efforts heading towards Inter’s goal as the Nerazzurri tried to scramble the ball clear. Finally, Brozovic's corner was headed towards goal by Lautaro, but Consigli was there to make the save.
Inter’s attention will now turn to the next Serie A match: on Sunday 27 January at 18:00 CET, Luciano Spalletti’s men will face Torino away from home.
INTER 0-0 SASSUOLO
INTER: 1 Handanovic; 33 D'Ambrosio, 6 De Vrij, 37 Skriniar, 18 Asamoah; 8 Vecino (82' , 20 Borja Valero), 77 Brozovic, 15 Joao Mario (60' 14 Nainggolan); 16 Politano (82' 10 Lautaro), 9 Icardi, 44 Perisic
Coach: Luciano Spalletti
SASSUOLO: 47 Consigli; 21 Lirola, 23 Magnani, 13 Peluso, 6 Rogerio; 73 Locatelli, 12 Sensi (76' 4 Magnanelli), 32 Duncan (73' 68 Bourabia); 25 Berardi, 27 Boateng, 9 Djuricic (62' 20 Boga)
Substitutes: 28 Satalino, 79 Pegolo, 5 Lemos, 10 Matri, 30 Babacar, 31 Ferrari, 39 Dell'Orco, 98 Adjapong, 99 Brignola
Coach: Roberto De Zerbi
Added time: 1' + 3'
Assistants: De Meo, Marrazzo
Fourth official: Fourneau
VAR officials: Banti, Vivenzi