Stadio San Paolo, Napoli, Italy
Inter’s attempt to end a 19-year winless run in the league at the Stadio San Paolo was unsuccessful as the Nerrazzuri were thrashed 3-0 in Naples.
Two early goals from Piotr Zieliński and Marek Hamšík put the Neapolitans ahead before Lorenzo Insigne’s second-half strike sealed the victory which inflicted a first league defeat for new Inter Manager Stefano Pioli.
The hosts were quicker out of the blocks than their Milan opponents and went ahead after just two minutes when a crossfield-pass from Hamšík was nodded into the path of Zieliński by José Callejón and the Polish midfielder’s scuffed effort managed to spin beyond Samir Handanović and into the bottom-corner.
Napoli managed to get a quick-fire second, three minutes later when Zieliński played Hamšík through on-goal, the Slovakian had just the keeper to beat and composed himself before slotting home past Handanović.
The Neapolitans went close to a third on the 18th minute when an Insigne cross found Manolo Gabbiadini, who headed an effort just wide after getting the better of Miranda.
A minute later Inter went close when Éver Banega found Mauro Icardi, who fired an effort just wide on-the-turn. Seconds later the Argentine was given another great chance when he was played through on-goal but his effort was smothered by Pepe Reina after Rául Albiol had lost possession deep into his own-half.
Ten minutes later Inter had another good opportunity when Antonio Candreva sent Icardi through on-goal again but the Nerazzurri skipper opted to find a teammate instead of shooting and the chance went begging. Three minutes later Icardi was played through on-goal but again Reina was there to deny the Argentine, whose effort was palmed away by the Spaniard.
Two minutes later the Neapolitans went close to a third when Callejón found Gabbiadini, who controlled the ball well before firing a powerful effort that forced a fine save from Handanović. Seven minutes later the hosts went close again when Gabbiadini found Hamšík, whose well-struck half-volley was palmed away by Handanović.
On the stroke of half-time Napoli went close to extending their lead when Insigne surged forward on the counter to find Zieliński, but his effort was blocked.
The Nerazzurri initially started the second-half well and went close in the 47th minute when Napoli failed to deal with a Candreva cross with the ball eventually falling to Ivan Perišić, who curled an effort inches wide of the far-post.
Three minutes later Napoli went close to making it three when Faouzi Ghoulam’s curling effort following a corner was tipped over by Handanović. The hosts made it three following a succession of corners a minute later. Handanović tipped a corner into the path of Albiol, whose cut-back found Insigne, whose first-time effort managed to find the back of the net.
Five minutes later the Neapolitans should have made it four when Hamšík exchanged a nice one-two with Insigne, who found the Slovakian again with a pull-back and he should have fired home but his effort was straight at Handanović, who palmed the effort away. Eight minutes later they had another good chance when Gabbiadini surged forward, he had support but went alone to test Handanović at his near-post.
Three minutes later the Nerazzurri had a good chance to reduce the deficit when a Perišić pull-back fell to Candreva, whose powerful effort was somehow palmed away by Reina. Two minutes later Perišić went close again when he fired a powerful strike from-range but Reina produced a comfortable save.
In the 82nd minute substitute Christian Maggio went close when his audacious effort from a tight-angle looped onto the roof of the net.
A minute later Inter had a good chance when substitute Éder found Perišić, who turned before firing an effort just wide although the flag had already gone up for offside. Two minutes later the visitors went close to pulling a goal back when a deflected cross from substitute Rodrigo Palacio was tipped behind at the near-post by Reina.
Two minutes from time the hosts had two good chances to add to their tally. First Callejón sent in a teasing cross into the path of Gabbiadini, whose acrobatic volley was sliced wide before a Maggio cross fell to substitute Emanuele Giaccherini on the volley but he miscued his effort.
Inter did have one last chance to grab a late consolation a minute later when a fine cross from Marcelo Brozović was met by Perišić but he headed the ball wide when he should have scored.
The result meant that Napoli moved into sixth on 28 points whilst Inter remained in eighth on 21 points before the rest of the weekend’s fixtures. The defeat meant that it has been more than 19 years since Inter last defeated Napoli in the league at the Stadio San Paolo.