Despite Inter's early domination of the ball, Mandzukic could have given Juve the lead as early as the eighth minute when a Cuadrado cross wormed its way through a crowd of defenders, but the Croat shot straight at Inter keeper Samir Handanovic from close range. Unfortunate Mandzukic went closer than anyone did to scoring just before the end of a tight first half, meeting another cross from his Colombian teammate only to to see his powerful header thwack the crossbar. The second half continued as the first ended, but Juve couldn't capitalise on a wobbling Inter team that was struggling to get out of its own half, with the excellent Handanovic on hand to repel the hosts when they didn't fluff chances on their own.
0 - Prior to Inter, the last team that kept a clean sheet in an away Serie A game against Juventus was Udinese, back in August 2015. Wall. #JuventusInter— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 9, 2017
Mandzukic - Juve's freshest player after missing the 2-0 win at Olympiakos that secured their placed in the last 16 of the Champions League - had the best opportunity to win the match with just eight minutes left. He was found alone in the area with space to shoot, but he slipped before he could pull the trigger and Inter escaped with a precious point. "Inter are top of the table, are a quality team and worked really hard. We were great in the second half and were only lacking a goal," said Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri. "It’s a shame we didn’t win, but considering how much we can improve, I am happy with the performance, as Inter are competitive to fight for the title to the end."
?️ | #Handanovic after keeping his eighth clean-sheet this season: "Our mentality must be to never rest on our laurels"? https://t.co/uRgh1O2OqS#ForzaInter ⚫️? #JuventusInter pic.twitter.com/aznTcmF2hz — Inter (@Inter_en) December 9, 2017
But midfielder Miralem Pjanic conceded the draw felt like a missed opportunity for Juve as they chase a seventh straight league crown. "The disappointment of the team in the locker room was evident, as we were the stronger side on the field and didn’t take our chances," Pjanic said. "It’s a pity, as we were superior on the night and could’ve done more to win...I see this as two dropped points, as Inter never really had scoring opportunities." Sixth-placed Sampdoria missed the chance to close in on the Champions League places earlier after throwing away a two-goal half-time lead created by Fabio Quagliarella to draw 2-2 at Cagliari, who stay 13th on 17 points thanks to goals in four minutes from Diego Farias and Leonardo Pavoletti. Marco Giampaolo's Samp are seven points behind Roma in fourth, who travel to Chievo in Sunday's early match. RESULTS Juventus 0 Inter Milan 0 Cagliari 2 (Farias 56, Pavoletti 60) Sampdoria 2 (Quagliarella 12, 19)
“There are certainly plenty of positives to take. The only thing lacking was a goal. We played well in the second half too."@OfficialAllegri gives his thoughts on #JuveInter ➡️ https://t.co/2WEUwsQwo7 pic.twitter.com/hJq0kAVzJ9 — JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) December 10, 2017