(Football news) Napoli’s unbeaten start to the season and their remarkable 11-match winning streak in Serie A ended when Edin Dzeko’s second-half strike secured Inter a 1-0 victory. While Napoli dominated possession in a goalless first half, veteran Inter striker Dzeko broke the deadlock in the 56th minute when he brilliantly headed in a cross from Federico DiMarco. Napoli after the result are still top of the table with 41 points after 16 games as their lead to second-placed AC Milan was cut down to five points, while Inter are on 33 points in 4th place.
Inter came close to scoring after four minutes when Lukaku crossed the ball into the box, but DiMarco sent his effort wide. Lukaku then came close to scoring after his shot went over the bar after 41 minutes. Barella fed DiMarco a ball in the box but Napoli keeper Alex Meret saved his effort, before the offside flag was raised. The visitors’ pressure eventually paid off as Edin Dzeko broke the deadlock as Napoli struggled to create opportunities. The side from Naples had their best chance at the 90th minute mark when Giacomo Raspadori managed to get a shot on goal from inside the box but Cameroon keeper Andre Onana made a reflex save.
“Being the first to beat Napoli, who were the only side in Europe’s top leagues without defeat this season, is a big confidence booster,” Inter manager Simone Inzaghi said to DAZN. “I am very proud of my team because they helped each other out on the field, they were a pleasure to watch and we put in a great performance for the fans.”
“We can do more in terms of quality, some of our players were a little below par today,” Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti said. “You are meant to move the ball side to side to pull the opposition out of shape, but that doesn’t work when you do it slowly and without the usual quality.”
“Games have different moments, towards the end of the first half, we went deeper and allowed Napoli more possession, but we could’ve scored three goals in the first half,” Inzaghi said.
Sandro Tonali scored a brilliant goal and set up another to help AC Milan get a crucial 2-1 victory against Salernitana. The Serie A returned after a seven-week break from the World Cup and the winter break. Rafael Leao and Tonali scored in the first half as second-placed AC Milan moved to 36 points as they are five points behind league leaders Napoli. Forward Rafael Leao gave AC Milan a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute when he picked up a pass from midfielder as Leao rounded the goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa for a brilliant finish.
Striker Olivier Giroud sent an easy header wide off target but it did not prove to be a huge miss for the visitors as Tonali doubled their lead within five minutes with a brilliant long-range strike into the bottom corner. Brahim Diaz who came close twice in the first half, finally found the net around the hour-mark from a set piece but the goal was disallowed because he was offside. Milan could have added more goals but they missed a lot of chances. Salernitana substitute Federico Bonazzoli got a consolation goal for the hosts in the 83rd minute as Ochoa made 9 saves in the match.
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