ROME, October 4 – Inter Milan lost top spot in Serie A as Juventus held them to a dull 0-0 draw at the San Siro on Sunday.
Lazio took over the league leadership as Stefano Mauri scored the only goal of the game to beat Brescia 1-0.
Inter drop to second with Napoli moving up to third as they beat second-bottom AS Roma 2-0 at the San Paolo stadium in Naples.
But the big game of the day turned out to be a hugely disappointing affair.
Inter had to win to go back to the top of the table while Juve knew a defeat would leave them six points behind their fierce rivals at this early stage of the season.
After the game, everyone agreed a draw was fair.
"It was a very tactical game, it’s difficult to play every three days and now we’re going away on an internationals break," said Inter’s Serbia midfielder Dejan Stankovic.
"It was a difficult game but that’s ok. It’s good that the league is tight because it keeps you concentrated, you can’t take it easy because there are seven or eight teams all close."
Juve coach Luigi Delneri was satisfied too.
"We had two or three chances and so did Inter, it seems like the right result to me," he said.
With so much at stake it was perhaps unsurprising that the first half was a cagey affair.
Juve had the ball in the net on 32 minutes but Vincenzo Iaquinta was ruled offside from Milo Krasic’s cross.
That heralded a flurry of chances as Esteban Cambiasso volleyed over the bar and Samuel Eto’o chipped the ball to the back post where Diego Milito stretched out a leg but could not direct the ball back into the goal.
The second half was no more eventful although Krasic created space following a positive run and forced Julio Cesar into a diving save to his left.
Wesley Sneijder tried his luck at the other end but couldn’t hit the target while Fabio Quagliarella saw a speculative effort for Juve fly just high and wide.
Brazilian full-back Maicon then got on the end of a Sneijder free-kick but his header was too close to Marco Storari.
Juve broke up the other end but although Quagliarella got in behind the Inter defence he could only prod his shot at Cesar.
Inter came closest to breaking the deadlock as Milito brilliantly controlled Cambiasso’s ball over the top but his swift finish from eight yards bobbled just wide.
It was a good day to be wearing sky blue in Serie A on Sunday as Lazio and Napoli each made a statement of their title credentials.
Mauri scored the only goal of the game following a sweet move on the stroke of half-time and followed that up with a recall to the Italy squad later in the day.
Marek Hamsik and a Juan own goal showed Napoli are ready to take the next step up this season and fight for a Champions League place while Roma continue to suffer a disastrous start to the season.
It was Napoli’s first home win of the season and Hamsik said that rather than the league table was the most important aspect of their victory.
"We’re happy but it’s the beginning of the season, it’s only the beginning, it’s tight in the table and if you lose a game six teams overtake you," he said.
"It was important to win at home and get that monkey off our backs. The league table is very close so it’s too soon to talk (of the title)."
Napoli got the goal their domination deserved on 72 minutes as Lavezzi chipped the ball down the line for Dossena who pulled the ball back into the box for Hamsik, charging in unmarked, and although he drilled his shot straight at Lobont, the ball squeezed under the Romanian and trickled over the line.
Napoli sealed the richly deserved victory when Hugo Campagnaro’s cross from the right seven minutes from time hit Roma centre-backs Nicolas Burdisso and then Juan before deceiving Lobont.