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Internazionale v Napoli Live Commentary & Result, 16/12/2020, Serie A

Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Until next time, goodbye.

Inter are next in action in Serie A on Sunday against Spezia at home. Napoli face Lazio on the road on the same day.

Inter close the gap to Milan at the top of Serie A to one point courtesy of a 1-0 win over 10-man Napoli at San Siro. Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot after Matteo Darmian was brought down by David Ospina. Lorenzo Insigne was then dismissed for dissent. Despite their lead and their numerical advantage, the Nerazzurri rode their luck surviving a slew of missed chances by the visitors. Samir Handanovic was outstanding to deny Insigne, Matteo Politano and Giovanni Di Lorenzo before Andrea Petagna struck the post in stoppage time. Antonio Conte will not care as his side earned the three points, but it was a mediocre outing from the hosts.

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90′ + 4′ Sensi draws a foul from Petagna to earn a free-kick for the home side. Inter are almost over the line.

90′ + 2′ OFF THE POST! How have Napoli not scored this evening? Petagna rattles the post in stoppage time as he latches on to Di Lorenzo’s cross and turns Bastoni with ease. He fires a left-footed strike low towards the bottom-right corner, but the woodwork denies him.

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S. Handanovič

Yellow Card

90′ + 1′ Handanovic is booked for time-wasting from a free-kick.

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90′ SAVE! Handanovic to the rescue for Inter again. Di Lorenzo plays a neat one-two with Elmas in the right inside channel. He takes a touch before firing a low strike towards goal. The Inter keeper remains solid and denies the full-back with his feet.

89′ Skriniar collides with Lozano and gives away a free-kick. Ruiz launches a cross into the book, but the Nerazzurri hold firm at the back.

D. D’Ambrosio

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Yellow Card

88′ D’Ambrosio goes into the book for a foul on Politano.

86′ WIDE! Ruiz delivers the free-kick into the box and it is cleared only as far as Politano. The Italian takes a touch before shooting at goal on his right foot, but his attempt is deflected into the side-netting by Gagliardini.

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86′ D’Ambrosio replaces Young for the closing stages of the contest.

85′ Skriniar goes in a fraction late on Lozano and goes into the book. Napoli have a free-kick in a useful position on the left flank.

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84′ Elmas comes on to the field in the middle of the park for Demme.

84′ Mario Rui is replaced down the left flank by Ghoulam.

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84′ WIDE! Di Lorenzo takes a stride towards goal and is invited to shoot by the Inter defence. He connects on his left foot, only to slice his effort wide of the target.

81′ Hakimi brings down Mario Rui on the left flank as the visitors keep the pressure on. However, Inter are able to clear their lines from Mario Rui’s cross into the middle.

80′ SAVE! Handanovic denies Napoli for the second time of the half. Lozano bustles out De Vrij for possession in the right inside channel and cuts a ball back for Politano to strike. He fires his effort hard towards the target, but the Inter keeper beats it away.

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80′ Lukaku goes into the book for blocking off Ospina, although it appeared that the keeper ran into the forward.

79′ Petagna has to be alert to head a deep cross from Hakimi away from the lurking presence of Young at the back post.

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77′ Martinez is withdrawn for the home side and is replaced by Hakimi. The forward is not thrilled with the decision.

76′ It has all come apart for Napoli in the space of a few minutes. They were the better side in the second half, but one moment has turned the game on its head.

M. Politano

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P. Zieliński

74′ Politano replaces Zielinski in the final third for the visitors.

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74′ Ruiz replaces Bakayoko in the middle of the park for the visitors.

74′ Lozano goes into the book for a foul on Darmian.

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73′ GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! LUKAKU CONVERTS!!! 1-0 INTER!!! The home side take the lead from the penalty spot as the Belgian holds his composure. Lukaku fires his effort low and hard on his left foot into the bottom-left corner, sending Ospina the wrong way. Inter have the advantage and could be making their way to the top of Serie A tonight.

72′ OFF! Insigne vents his frustration at the referee for the penalty decision and goes over the top. The official brandishes a red card to dismiss the forward for dissent. A huge moment in the game and potentially the title race in Serie A.

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71′ Ospina goes into the book for bringing down Darmian.

70′ PENALTY TO INTER! Darmian is brought down by Ospina in the box and the referee points to the spot. The defender tries to pounce on a deflected strike from Sensi and is felled in the process by the Napoli keeper.

69′ WHAT A SAVE! Handanovic denies Insigne on the line. Zielinski fires a low ball into the box that Insigne flicks towards goal on his right foot with a sublime piece of skill. The Inter keeper spots it late, but reacts just in time to palm it away from the net.

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67′ Brozovic is withdrawn and he makes his way to the sideline with a limp. Sensi replaces the midfielder.

66′ There is a huge opportunity for either of these sides this evening considering that Milan are currently behind against Genoa. A victory for Inter would lift them top of the table.

65′ Insigne whips the ball into the box, but the Inter defence are alert to clear the danger.

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64′ Bastoni shoves Lozano to the floor on the right flank, handing the visitors a free-kick in a dangerous position.

63′ OFFSIDE! Lozano puts the ball over the bar from close range, but he is relieved to see the offside flag raised. Insigne lifts a ball into the right inside channel and the Mexico international chests it down to control the delivery. He has to stretch to connect on his right foot from six yards out, but he can only steer his effort over the bar. Fortunately for Lozano, the flag is raised after the fact.

62′ A concern for the home side as Brozovic is down on the deck in the centre circle. He gets back to his feet, but does not look comfortable.

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60′ Barella probes down the right flank, but he gets ushered out by the presence of Koulibaly down the right flank.

59′ Bakayoko slides in hard on Martinez from behind and is booked by the referee.

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58′ Insigne whips a cross into the box with pace towards the near post, but Lukaku rises to nod it out for a throw-in down the right flank. 

57′ Brozovic bundles over Lozano on the charge and goes into the book.

56′ Lukaku plays Young into space down the left, but the wing-back fails to combine with Gagliardini in the box as the layoff from the midfielder is poor under pressure.

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54′ OVER! Lozano intercepts a loose pass from Brozovic and finds Insigne, who offloads down the left for Mario Rui. The full-back picks out the run of Insigne in space on the edge of the box, but the forward drives his effort over the bar.

53′ Demme draws a foul down the left flank from Brozovic, but the resulting free-kick from Mario Rui is cleared by the Inter defence.

52′ Insigne plays Petagna into space down the left inside channel, but the forward is forced backwards by the presence of De Vrij.

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50′ Lukaku tries to bustle Di Lorenzo off the ball in the centre circle, but he fouls the Napoli full-back in the process.

48′ Both sides are trying to find their rhythm once again at the start of the second half.

46′ We’re back underway at San Siro.

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Inter have been lacklustre in the final third in the first half outside of Martinez’s effort. The Nerazzurri are going to have be bolder in their approach to find the back of the net this evening.

It’s all square at the break between Inter and Napoli in their Serie A clash. Lautaro Martinez had the best opening of the half for the home side, placing his left-footed strike wide of the post. Napoli had a decent opportunity through Piotr Zielinski, who also put his effort wide. The most notable moment of the opening period was an injury sustained by Dries Mertens, who was carried off the field in the early stages of the game. It looked serious for the Belgian, which would be a massive blow for Gennaro Gattuso’s men.


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45′ + 2′ Napoli clear their lines from Brozovic’s corner as the referee brings an end to the first half.

45′ + 2′ Demme loses possession and has to slide to clear it away from Lukaku on the edge of the box, conceding a corner in the process.

45′ There will be two minutes of added time.

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45′ Lukaku is a relieved man to see Martinez penalised for a foul. He heads wide of the right post from close range after being teed up by his team-mate. However, the whistle goes not for a goal-kick, bit for shove on Di Lorenzo by the Argentine.

44′ Outside of the chance for Martinez, Inter have been flat in the final third. Conte will be slightly concerned by his side’s play in the Napoli half.

42′ Zielinski plays the resulting corner short to Insigne, who sends a cross into the box. Skriniar does well to edge out Petagna in the middle before the ball travels out for a goal-kick.

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41′ Insigne runs at the Inter defence, charging into the left inside channel. However, he sees his strike diverted behind by De Vrij.

38′ Petagna makes good progress down the right flank and cuts the ball back to Zielinski, but the Pole sees his effort blocked. Petagna gathers the ball, but is in an offside position.

37′ SAVE! Barella turns on the right flank and he sends a left-footed cross into the box for Gagliardini. The Italian rises to head at goal, but Ospina gets across to produce a comfortable save.

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36′ The visitors have enjoyed decent spells in the Inter half and have looked lively on the break. Gattuso’s men are posing problems for the Nerazzurri.

34′ WIDE! Lozano makes a burst forward and offloads into space for Petagna. The forward tees up Zielinski, who fires at goal, but he places his right-footed strike just wide of the left post.

33′ Brozovic hangs a deep cross to the left flank that Young rises to head across goal. Ospina is alert once again and claims ahead of Lukaku.

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31′ Barella is back on his feet and the game resumes. However, there have been a lot of niggly challenges in the game. It’s something to monitor as the contest progresses.

30′ Barella goes down under pressure from Koulibaly on the edge of the box. The referee waves play on, but the Inter man remains down on the deck in apparent pain.

28′ Lozano surges down the right flank and lifts a cross to the back post. Mario Rui tries to help it back across, but De Vrij clears Petagna’s attempted strike behind for a corner.

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27′ Barella takes a huge risk in his own box trying to play out from the back. Mario Rui almost makes the interception, but the loose ball travels to Handanovic to clear the danger.

25′ Inter are struggling to break down the visitors in possession. The balance of play has been fairly even in the opening 25 minutes.

23′ Brozovic lifts his cross from the corner into the box, but Ospina claims it ahead of the lurking Lukaku.

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23′ Skriniar floats a ball forward for Gagliardini to chase, forcing Manolas to backpedal and head behind for an Inter corner.

22′ Young crosses deep from the left flank towards the run of Barella. The midfielder tries to pick out Martinez with his offload, but Koulibaly is there to make the interception.

21′ Zielinski tries to lift a ball over the top for Petagna, but he floats his delivery straight at Handanovic.

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19′ Lozano has a charge at the Inter backline down the right flank, but his cross is deflected into the hands of Handanovic by Bastoni.

18′ Barella turns his ankle as he stretches for the ball on the right flank. He falls to the ground, but he escapes a serious injury getting back to his feet.

17′ CLOSE! Koulibaly gives the ball away in the final third and it allows Barella to tee up Martinez in the box. The Argentine turns and fires at goal on his left foot, but he places his effort inches wide of the right post.

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16′ Petagna replaces Mertens for Napoli in the final third.

16′ Mertens is being carried off down the sideline by two of Napoli’s medical staff. Not good news for the visitors both in the short and long term.

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15′ Inter attempt to capitalise on their numerical advantage, but the visitors are holding their own with 10 men.

13′ Mertens remains on the floor after falling to the ground clutching his leg. There was no contact with Bastoni and it may force him from the field here.

12′ Mertens is played into space down the right inside channel and he tries to force a low ball across the face of goal. Bastoni blocks the cross, but the Belgian then wheels away in pain.

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9′ Barella is brought down by Demme in the middle of the park, handing Inter a free-kick in a useful position.

8′ Koulibaly sends Mario Rui down the left flank and he cuts the ball back to Mertens, The Belgian tees up Lozano for a strike at goal that he places wide of the left post. However, the flag was up anyway for an offside against Mario Rui in the build-up.

7′ Mertens almost latches on to a ball over the top, but De Vrij stretches to knock it away from the forward.

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6′ Skriniar continues to throw his weight around and sends Rui to the deck in a hard challenge.

4′ Inter are trying to get their foot on the ball to establish an early rhythm, but the pressing from the Albiceleste has been solid to disrupt their progress. 

2′ Skriniar throws Demme to the ground before the corner is delivered, handing a free-kick to the visitors.

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2′ Lukaku flicks the ball into the path of Barella down the right flank, but Manolas gets across to divert his attempted cross behind for a corner.

1′ We’re underway at San Siro.

Inter won both league games against Napoli last season. Antonio Conte could become the second coach in history to win his first three Serie A matches as Nerazzurri boss against the Partenopei, after Alfredo Foni between 1952 and 1953.

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Napoli have made four changes to their team from their 2-1 triumph over Sampdoria at the weekend. Ospina starts between the posts in place of Meret, who drops to the bench. Mario Rui slots into the back four to replace Ghoulam, while Bakayoko slots into the midfield. Lozano gets the nod on the right flank in the final third. Ruiz, Ghoulam and Politano join Meret on the bench.

Inter have made three changes to their side that started the 3-1 win over Cagliari last time out. Gagliardini, Young and Martinez all come into the side to replace Eriksen, Perisic and Sanchez. Sanchez is missing with a groin injury, while Eriksen and Perisic drop to the bench this evening.

NAPOLI SUBS: Alex Meret, Kevin Malcuit, Eljif Elmas, Fabian Ruiz, Nikita Contini, Nikola Maksimovic, Matteo Politano, Elseid Hysaj, Fazio Ghoulam, Amir Rrahmani, Andrea Petagna, Stanislav Lobotka.

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NAPOLI (4-2-3-1): David Ospina; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Kostas Manolas, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Tiemoue Bakayoko, Diego Demme; Hirving Lozano, Piotr Zielinski, Lorenzo Insigne; Dries Mertens.

INTER SUBS: Achraf Hakimi, Aleksandar Kolarov, Stefano Sensi, Andrea Ranocchia, Ivan Perisic, Christian Eriksen, Daniele Padelli, Danilo D’Ambrosio, Ionut Radu.

INTER (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Stefan de Vrij, Milan Skriniar, Alessandro Bastoni; Matteo Darmian, Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Roberto Gagliardini, Ashley Young; Lautaro Martinez, Romelu Lukaku.

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Napoli are well in contention at the top of the table after enjoying a comeback win of their own over Sampdoria last time out. A goal from Jakub Jankto put Gennaro Gattuson’s side behind, but second-half strikes from Hirving Lozano and Andrea Petagna guided them to the win. La Albiceleste are four points behind Milan at the top of the table, but they can put the pressure on by surpassing Inter into second by taking the three points tonight.

Inter bounced back from the disappointment of their Champions League exit with a fine performance to defeat Cagliari on the road. It was looking bleak for Antonio Conte’s men with 15 minutes to play, trailing the home side 1-0. However, the Nerazzurri rallied to claim a vital three points courtesy of goals from Nicolo Barella, Danilo D’Ambrosio and Romelu Lukaku. They begin the evening three points behind Milan at the top of the table, although Inter could overtake their rivals with a win and a defeat for the Rossoneri against Genoa.

Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the Serie A clash between Inter and Napoli at San Siro.

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