MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 17: Wesley Sneijder of FC Inter Milan during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and AS Roma at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on September 17, 2011 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
With both sides in crisis and looking for the opening win of the season, Internazionale and AS Roma desperately needed to perform to climb up the table
Both Inter Milan and AS Roma have had uncharacteristically woeful start to their campaigns going into their Saturday night clash. Under the management of Gian Piero Gasperini, Inter have had their worst start to a season in ninety years. Losing three games on the bounce, including an embarrassing loss to Trabzonspor in the Champions League. While Roma's revolution has seen them been crash out of the Europa League in the first round and lose their first match in Serie A against Cagliari. It was a guessing game as to which side would come out on top in what was dubbed the 'crisis derby'.
Gasperini has been slated by fans and players a like for his stubborn perseverance with the 3-4-3 formation.Palermo ripped the Nerazzurri apart with their pace in the first game in the league last week. Italian paper La Gazzetta dello Sport even ran a twenty page special on where he had gone wrong. Despite all this Gasperini persisted with his three man defence.
Luis Enrique has the huge task of getting an entirely new team to get results on the board immediately. Over the past few weeks Francesco Totti has been his biggest problem, as the controversial playmaker has been kicking up a fuss after not being played when they crashed out of the Europa League.
As referee Paolo Mazzoleni blew to kicked us off, the heavens opened above the Giuseppe Meazza stadium. When the two sides met in September last season Roma ran out winners thanks to a Mirko Vucinic strike, but in corresponding fixture in February Inter came out on top in a eight goal thriller.
The Giallorossi had the most of the opening chances, with new strikers Pablo Osvaldo and ex-Chelsea man Fabio Borini having a few half chances. Roma's new goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg was knocked unconscious after a collision with Inter centre back Lucio. The Dutch man was immediately put on an oxygen machine and stretchered off before being rushed to hospital. Romanian Bogdan Lobont replaced him between the sticks. Lucio was subsequently booked.
Totti and Borini combined on multiple occasions to put Inter's three man backline into difficulty. At one point Borini's cross almost caused Lucio to score an own goal. While Diego Forlan and Diego Milito had numerous long range efforts that did not trouble Lobont in goals. David Pizarro was brought down in a dangerous position by Esteban Cambiasso, but the referee saw nothing in it.
Inter full back Yuto Nagatomo had the best chance of the first half, as Wesley Sneijder played a ball across the box to the Japanese international who shot back across the goals and marginally over the crossbar.
Roma almost went a goal up after half time, as Sneijder slipped and Julio Cesar was forced to come out to block the oncoming Osvaldo. Inter fell asleep after the restart and were lucky as Roma didn't have the conviction to put the ball in the net.
Substitue Mauro Zarate went on a solo run that resulted in a powerful strike that went inches wide. Zarate was almost through on goal after a cleverly worked Sneijder pass, but Fernando Gago got a crucial interception. Yet again the ex-Lazio striker couldn't get his shot on target after a run.
With five minutes to go Zarate was at it again, but this time he was the creator, as he pulled the ball back to Sneijder who's shot was cleared off the line by Simon Kjaer. Inter looked like they were going to get a winner through Sneijder with seconds left, but Lobont was equal to it.
A goalless draw was not the expected result, but in the end both sides deserved their point. It turned out after the game that Stekelenburg was unconscious for ten minutes, but is now conscious and only needed stitches. Inter and Roma will now have to wait until next week to get their first win on the board.