Serie A: Roma 0 Inter 0
By Football News
Roma dropped points at home for only the third time in Serie A this season as Inter came away from Stadio Olimpico with a 0-0 draw.
Both sides had their chances throughout Saturday's match, with Roma looking particularly potent at times, but ultimately the two sets of defenders and goalkeepers came out on top.
Roma began the match at a ferocious pace as Gervinho and Adem Ljajic caused the Inter defence considerable problems, but the visitors kept the score level due to a combination of dogged defending and poor finishing.
Mattia Destro thought he had broken the deadlock in the 33rd minute only to be flagged offside, while Rodrigo Palacio had Inter's best chance of the first half, heading over from eight yards.
Miralem Pjanic should have sealed three points for Roma in the final 20 minutes, but Samir Handanovic pulled off an impressive stop, leaving Rudi Garcia's men eight points behind leaders Juventus.
The home side were without their captain and talisman Francesco Totti due to injury, while former Lazio star Hernanes was only fit enough to take a place on the Inter bench.
Roma started with purpose and Gervinho almost gave them the lead in the sixth minute as he burst into the area and met Daniele De Rossi's lofted pass with a first-time volley on the swivel, but Handanovic made a save down to his left.
In the 10th minute, Ljajic created another good opening as he impressively burst away from Jonathan after an excellent turn and flashed the ball across the face of goal, a little too far ahead of Destro.
Inter gradually grew into the contest and Rodrigo Palacio went close 20 minutes in as he headed Ricky Alvarez's left-wing cross just over.
Destro did find the net for Roma just after the half-hour mark, but it was disallowed as the Italian was offside following Radja Nainggolan's initial flick-on.
Inter could have been awarded a penalty at the beginning of the second half as De Rossi appeared to punch Mauro Icardi in the face while defending a corner, but the referee failed to spot the incident.
With 23 minutes to go, Vasilis Torosidis got forward to great effect on the right, playing a low cross in towards Gervinho in the danger zone, but Rolando crucially came across to knock it behind.
Handanovic came to Inter's rescue in the 74th minute as substitute Miralem Pjanic raced on to Nainggolan's scooped pass and struck a half-volley towards the bottom-left corner, only to see the goalkeeper acrobatically palm it away and effectively secure a point.