Roma, Inter play out goalless draw

AS Roma missed the chance to put pressure on Serie A leaders Juventus after playing out a frustrating goalless draw with Inter Milan in front of a half empty Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Rudi Garcia’s side stay second on 58 points after an underwhelming display in an eerily quiet stadium shorn of the boisterous support from the Curva Sud and Curva Nord sections, closed following offensive chanting in previous home games.
“The atmosphere was a bit strange, and it's a shame because the whole world would have seen a high-profile match like tonight's.

“I think especially for a foreign audience seeing a stadium that empty is a real shame,” said Garcia.

“I think its damaging to Italian football apart from anything else.”

The closest the hosts came to claiming the three points was after half an hour when Mattia Destro was ruled offside as his close-range shot rebounded off the post and back to Inter ’keeper Samir Handanovic, who comically spilled the ball over the line.

"”he draw was the right result. Neither team had a lot of chances. We wanted to win tonight but a draw was fair,” said Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic.

The Bosnia midfielder came on as a 55th minute substitute for Adem Ljajic and could have snatched the three points when put through on goal with 15 minutes to go, but Handanovic brilliantly tipped his low shot wide.

“It was a good save. I definitely should have done better but it was a very good save,” added Pjanic.

Inter stay fifth on 41 points, six ahead of Milan, but should have had a penalty in the 15th minute when Mauro Icardi was tugged back in the area by Medhi Benatia just as the Inter striker flashed a volley wide.

There was further controversy when TV images showed Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi punch Icardi from behind when marking the striker at a first-half free-kick.

Inter defender Juan Jesus was then caught by the cameras punching Roma defender Alessio Romagnoli in the second half.

Both players were lucky not to have been seen by referee Mauro Bergonzi.

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