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Handanovic Stars As Inter Get Point In Turin

Inter remain in top spot in Serie A after holding Juventus to a goalless draw in Turin on Saturday night and then seeing Napoli held to the same score at home to Fiorentina on Sunday.

Inter left Turin with a point due to the heroics of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, who single-handily kept Inter in the game with Juve having 19 shots to just six from Inter, only one of which was on target.

But the statistic that really counted left the teams level and preserved Inter’s one-point advantage and their unbeaten record.

Inter began well and dominated possession in the early stages, although they were very nearly behind in the ninth minute.

A Juan Cuadrado cross from the right somehow made its way through a number of Inter defenders in the middle of the box and found Mandzukic in space.

The Croatian probably should have scored but Handanovic produced an excellent save and then, when the ball came back to Mandzukic, his follow-up header was cleared from just in front of the line by Miranda.

Handanovic was in for a busy evening while his opposite number Wojciech Szczesny, a stand-in for the injured Gianluigi Buffon, was largely a spectator.

The next test for Handanovic arrived in the 36th minute, when he got down sharply to keep out Sami Khedira’s volley.

The Slovenian was beaten just before half-time when Mandzukic showed tremendous determination to meet Cuadrado’s cross with a powerful header only for the ball to come back off the bar.

Juve’s dominance intensified after the break.

A sublime turn from Gonazlo Higuain set up another shooting opportunity for Mandzukic but his effort was too close to Handanovic.

The keeper was called on to keep out his own man in the 60th minute when a lovely one-two between Cuadrado and Higuain saw the Argentinian send in an inviting ball that Ivan Perisic got a head to.

He could only direct it towards his own goal but Handanovic stuck out a hand to push the ball over the bar.

Inter were struggling to cope with Juve’s attacking threat and Khedira was the next to go close, shooting wide after Handanovic had come out of his goal to meet a cross.

The Inter keeper was then in action again, this time getting down well to keep out Kwadwo Asamoah’s fierce effort.

Inter fans will take heart from the result in that they have gone away to Napoli and Juventus in the last six weeks and came away with two clean sheets and two points. If Inter can continue that kind of defensive strength for the rest of the season, this might turn into a trophy winning one!

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