Genoa vs Inter Milan, Final Score 0-0: Genoa secure Serie A survival.

Gabriele Maltinti

Genoa and Inter Milan played out a 0-0 draw at the Marassi, with the point ensuring Genoa’s Serie A survival.

Palermo's defeat at Fiorentina, which was being played at the same time means that Davide Ballardini's side are safe for another season. The point also stretched the Grifone's lead over Siena to seven points, which also relegated the Tuscans.

The draw seemed to suit both sides. Genoa lined up without injured quintet Damiano Ferronetti, Cesare Bovo, Marco Rossi, Ruben Olivera and Cristobal Jorquera, while the visitors continued to battle a lengthy injury crisis.

Andrea Stramaccioni was without suspended defensive pair Alvaro Pereira and Juan Jesus, while Jonathan and Cristian Chivu joined the absentee list in midweek.

As a result, the Nerazzurri coach was forced to hand 19-year-old Primavera player Simone Pasa his full Serie A debut, while Ezequiel Schelotto was pushed into a full-back role. Yuto Nagatomo and Antonio Cassano returned, but the latter was only fit enough for the bench. Despite carrying knocks, Mateo Kovacic and Andrea Ranocchia both played through the pain barrier.

Inter succeeded in containing their hosts thanks to Samir Handanovic's heroics between the sticks. After Antonio Floro Flores stung his palms from distance early on, the shotstopper performed a one handed save to deny Marco Borriello's header. Floro Flores inadvertently got in the way of Marco Rigoni's goalbound shot, then, on the stroke of half time, Handanovic flew to tip clear Andrea Bertolacci's 30-yard screamer.

Genoa started the second half much like they ended the first. Juan Manuel Vargas guided a weak header off the ground into Handanovic's gloves when only yards from goal, before Borriello sent an ambitious bicycle kick wide.

Fredy Guarin showed flashes for Inter, who introduced Cassano to a round of whistles from the home fans. The visitors almost stole a victory inside the final 20 minutes from a chance out of nothing. Tommaso Rocchi turned his marker on the edge of the area and his hopeful effort ricocheted off the crossbar. Andrea Ranocchia went off injured for the second straight game to hand Lukas Spendlhofer his first taste of Serie A.

Unsurprisingly, the game petered out as news broke of Palermo's defeat. At the final whistle, the Genoa players threw their strips into the crowd and celebrated with their families as a wave of joy and relief spread over the Marassi.

Genoa: Frey; Granqvist, Portanova, Manfredini, Antonelli; Vargas, (Moretti 90) Matuzalem, Rigoni; Bertolacci; Borriello, (Immobile 86) Floro Flores (Kucka 75)

Inter Milan: Handanovic; Schelotto, Ranocchia, (Spendlhofer 77) Pasa, Nagatomo; Kuzmanovic, Kovacic, Cambiasso; Guarin, (Benassi 83) Alvarez; (Cassano 60) Rocchi

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