Inter play out a draw against Napoli as AC Milan became the new leaders

(Football news) Inter Milan played out a 1-1 draw against Napoli as  Edin Dzeko responded to an early Lorenzo Insigne penalty. The result leaves the Italian champions one point clear of Napoli who are below them with a game in hand, but  AC Milan beat Sampdoria on Sunday to go on top of the table with a shot that thumped the post. Inter struck back quickly in the second half when Dzeko pounced on a favourable deflection to hammer home a cool finish, as Simone Inzaghi's side avoided a second defeat in a row following last weekend's Milan derby loss.The Nerazzurri's derby defeat has opened up the title race and has handed Napoli the chance to go top with a win and also win their  first league title since the Diego Maradona-inspired 1989-90 season.

Napoli took an early lead when the referee had awarded a penalty after VAR intervened , which captain Insigne scored calmly. Zielinski was inches away from  Napoli's lead with a curling shot from the edge of the box that struck the woodwork, while Denzel Dumfries dragged a shot which was well wide from the target , as Inter's best chance of the first half. Inter didn’t take long to get things levelled less than two minutes after the restart when Dzeko drilled a finish off the bar and in from close range. The visitors had captain Samir Handanovic to thank for keeping them level, asmade brillant stops in the end to earn a hard fought point

AC Milan reclaimed the lead in the Serie A standings as they won 1-0 against Sampdoria. Stefano Pioli went  ahead of Inter Milan and Napoli, who drew 1-1 in Naples on Saturday, to go on top with 55 points. It also meant that they completed a superb week, in which they defeated rivals Inter in the Milan derby and hammered Lazio 4-0 in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals, leaving Inter Milan are a  point behind with a game in hand and Napoli two points back in third place. Portugal international Leao skipped past his marker easily as he found the bottom corner after eight minutes to notch up his 10th goal of the season in all competitions. 

Sampdoria goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone kept his side in the match with some fine stops, but it was not a happy return for former Rossoneri boss Marco Giampaolo, whose side remained 16th with 23 points. Pioli was impressed with his side's maturity as they have come back after a rough patch to win some crucial games. Milan knew that those crucial three points would send them top as they look to win their first Serie A title since 2010-11.

"We can call it a perfect week because you can't do better than this, We are proud and satisfied but we won't rest on our laurels because that would be stupid. We need to reset everything and continue along this path." said Sandro Tonali.

Juventus left it late to earn a 1-1 against Atalanta as Juventus defender Danilo headed home a stoppage-time equaliser to rescue a point. The Brazilian Danilo nodded in from a corner in the 92nd minute as he cancelled out a long-range thunderbolt from Ruslan Malinovskyi that had put Atalanta in a commanding position. Both the teams had their chances in a thrilling encounter, as Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello denied Dusan Vlahovic with a superb save and Hans Hateboer hit the bar for Atalanta in the first half of the game. January signing Vlahovic led them to believe that that Juve could still be in the title race, but coach Massimiliano Allegri ruled that out, with his side now nine points behind leaders AC Milan. Juve still remained fourth on 46 points, two ahead of Atalanta, but Gian Piero Gasperini's side have one more game in hand.

"That was already official before tonight, there are too many points to make up on the three teams above us, We would need to always win, it's impossible. We must focus on fourth place and improving our performances." Allegri told the media 

Also read: Real Madrid and Barcelona draw while Atletico Madrid score late winner

The other results were:

  • Sassuolo 2 (Smalling(og), Traore) – 2 AS Roma (Abraham, Cristante)
  • Verona 4 (Depaoli, Barak, Capari, Tameze) – 0 Udinese
  • Torino 1 (Brekalo) – 2 Venezia (Haps, Crnigoj)
  • Empoli 1 (Pinamonti) – 1 Cagliari (Pavoletti)
  • Lazio 3 (Immobile, Zaccagni x2) – 0 Bologna
  • Genoa 1 (Destro) – 1 Salernitana (Bonazzoli)


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