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Samir Handanovic flawless in Inter's 0-0 draw with Juventus

Samir Handanovic flawless in Inter's 0-0 draw with Juventus
From ESPN - December 10, 2017

Inter managed to come away from the J Stadium with a precious point after a hard-fought 0-0 draw. Juventus had most of the chances, Mario Mandzukic forcing a fine save off Samir Handanovic and seeing his follow-up be cleared off the line by Joao Miranda. The first half ended with the Croatian seeing a header hit the bar. A more subdued second period saw possession football rule the roost, Inter's only chance being sent just wide by Marcelo Brozovic.

Positives

Juventus were better, but they hardly can be said to have laid siege to Inter's goal. The second half was a masterclass in keeping possession and working the ball into whatever space became available. It's beautiful to watch Inter be (mostly) solid at the back, despite some bad individual performances. This team is more than the sum of its parts, and did not lose its nerve. The second half was not an abdication by Massimiliano Allegri (as some have claimed), as the Tuscan respected Inter's ability to counter and made sure that his side remained compact.

Negatives

The Nerazzurri could have attacked more, and had some lapses at the back. They really did not trouble Wojciech Szczesny at all.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- Gianni Brera would have been so proud of this game that he would have invited Luciano Spalletti for a boozy lunch in his favourite Milanese haunt, followed by a Nereo Rocco-like siesta on top of the lockers [this really happened, by the way].

Inter looked a lot more comfortable in the second half, and played with the kind of cohesion and aplomb that we have not seen since the days of Jose Mourinho. And it took the "Special One" longer to get here.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Samir Handanovic, 9 -- He is surely the best goalkeeper in the league right now. Decisive on Mandzukic and on several other occasions. Good at clearances. Makes you want to buy an Inter goalkeeper's jersey. Have not owned one since this beauty.

DF Danilo D'Ambrosio, 5 -- Not really his day. Mandzukic was also his responsibility, and the ex-Granata tends not to have the feet for this kind of game, where accuracy is key. Opponents know that pressuring him can reap rich rewards.

DF Milan Skriniar, 7 -- Despite an early lapse, he was exceptional. Unlike a certain reserve we could name, the Slovakian does not lose control, but just puts his slip-ups behind him.

DF Joao Miranda, 8 -- An absolute mountain. Good to see him peak just when the club needs him the most. Had Gonzalo Higuan in his pocket. It would have been so like El Pipita to get a justified shellacking in the press, then avenge himself by netting winners against both Napoli and Inter.

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