Inter picked up a huge 1-0 win over Napoli at the San Siro and handed Luciano Spalletti’s side their first defeat of the season and their first loss of 2023.
It was a deserved win over Inter in the end, as Napoli fell flat when it truly mattered – slightly reminiscent of the previous season when they were at the top of the table but dropped vital points. With Romelu Lukaku returning to action for Inter and Napoli playing both Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen, it was going to be a compelling game.
Inter began well, as Lukaku isolated Kim Min-jae and nearly set up Federico Dimarco, but the left wing-back skied his shot over from close range. As Napoli struggled to make an impact, Inter lost another chance to go ahead as Lukaku set up Matteo Darmian in a central position, but the right wing-back blazed his shot over.
In the 41st minute, it was Lukaku who missed a big chance to take the lead for Inter. After being put through on goal and with Kim beside him, the Belgian fired a shot over Alex Meret’s goal.
Inter kept the tempo up in the second half and Napoli struggled to create. A majestic Edin Dzeko header in the 56th minute handed the lead for the Nerazzurri, who kept the Partenopei at bay and reduced them to only flashes of goal. It was only in the 90th minute that Giacomo Raspadori had a chance to equalise but the ex-Sassuolo man flashes his shot close to Andre Onana’s body.
Inter’s win means that there is only an eight-point gap between them and Napoli now. Milan’s win over Salernitana means that they are five points away from the top and Juventus’ win over Cremonese means that they’re seven behind the Naples outfit.
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN