What was set to be a huge match between Napoli and Inter turned out to be a rather dull affair. The Neapolitans looked comfortable with a draw as their players still seemed tired from their blistering match with Premier League leaders Manchester City. Inter on the other hand seemed eager to take the game to Napoli however Sarri’s tactical discipline took the sting out of Spalletti’s fervent side.
— Serie A TIM (@SerieA_TIM) October 21, 2017
The Match as it Happened
Napoli started the match very well at the San Paolo maintaining majority of their possession in Inter’s defensive half. Napoli pinged passes around Spalletti’s men with near telepathic ability. By the 20th minute the Partenopei’s triangle passing culminated in a clear chance for Mertens at point blank range only to be blocked by the ever reliable Handandovic.
Hero of the night ? pic.twitter.com/EHWVpjrlHo
— ItalianFootballTV (@IFTVofficial) October 21, 2017
As the match progressed Inter struggled to maintain possession with Sarri’s high press brutally interfering with the nerazurri’s build up play. Sarri’s intent to maintain possession lead to a rather slow game with Napoli hoping to pry open the Inter defense. Despite several chances on goal Inter’s Milan Skriniar seemed impenetrable blocking several one two passes between Napoli’s attacking trio.
After 90 minutes the game finished as a draw with Napoli recording 62% possession and four shots on target.
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) October 21, 2017
Inter depending heavily on Candreva’s counter attacking runs only recorded 38% possession with most of it being in their own half.
When comparing the pass success percentages of both teams it was clear that Napoli were more clinical in their possession of the ball with 90% pass success compared to Inter’s 81%.
Both Inter and Napoli were heavily reliant on one wing with Inter playing 48% of the time on their right wing and Napoli playing 54% of the time on their left wing. Because of this the majority of the opportunities for both teams came from those respective sides.
— Inter (@Inter_en) October 21, 2017
Napoli Retain their Lead in the Serie A
After Saturday night’s game Napoli maintain a six point lead over former champions Juventus and a meager two point lead over second place Inter. This being said the Partenopei look poised to maintain their Serie A dominance throughout October with Genoa and Sassulo being the last fixtures of the month.
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) October 21, 2017
Inter on the other hand, will have one last test in the month of October as they face a blistering Sampdoria side that scored five goals against Crotone this weekend. Regardless of today’s result both Inter and Napoli must retain their composure as a hungry Juventus squad is eager to move up the Serie A standings after a slow start to the season.