Inter Milan and AS Roma settle for goalless draw

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Inter Milan and AS Roma settled for a goalless draw which gave them their first point each of the Italian Serie A season at the San Siro on Saturday in a game which avoided plunging either side into further crisis.

Although Inter halted their spiral of three defeats in three games, including a humiliating home loss to outsiders Trabzonspor in the Champions League midweek, they rarely threatened Roma who have also had a mediocre start to the season.

Roma, beaten at home by Cagliari in the opening match and already out of the Europa League, failed to transform their possession into goals as Inter created more chances.

AS Roma coach Luis Enrique said he was satisfied with his team’s progression.

“The most important thing is to have shown character with the pressure we were under even if the result could have been better,” he said.

“We had most of the ball possession and it was difficult because Inter had a big game. Now we have to convert this into points which in the end gives you confidence.”

Inter Milan coach Gian Piero Gasperini regretted his side’s “missed opportunities”.

In Saturday’s early match Cagliari beat promoted Novara 2-1 at home to go top with six points from two games, ahead of Sunday’s matches with AC Milan travelling to Napoli.

Inter failed to make the most of their chances with a diving header from Diego Milito five minutes into the second half finishing off target and a solo effort from Mauro Zarate on 64 minutes going wide.

Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder had the three points at the tip of his boot four minutes from time only for defender Simon Kjaer to clear on the line.

Roma were hampered after goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg was struck in the face by the boot of Brazilian defender Lucio after just 16 minutes and stretchered off.

Pablo Osvaldo had two shots (12, 46) and Miralem Pjanic threatened Julio Cesar on several occasions.

In Sardinia, Cagliari took provisional pole thanks to goals from Brazilian Thiago Ribeiro (38) and Argentine Joaquin Larrivey (86), before Japan’s Takayuki Morimoto got one back for Novara two minutes from time.

Napoli face an early test of their title credentials as they host champions AC Milan on Sunday night.

Both sides earned impressive away draws in the Champions League in midweek, Milan securing a 2-2 draw in Barcelona and Napoli also claiming a point in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City.

Juventus will hope to continue their fine start to the campaign as they travel to newly-promoted Siena.

Another newly-promoted side, Atalanta, face Palermo — currently being led by interim-coach Devis Mangia — looking to close the gap at the bottom.

Following a draw at Genoa on the opening week of the season, Atalanta sit bottom with minus five points having begun the season with a six-point penalty for their role in a betting scandal.

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