Inter Milan’s hopes of challenging Napoli for the Serie A title took a massive blow against Sampdoria away from home.
Simone Inzaghi’s men were held to a goalless draw which saw them fall 15 points behind the league leaders Napoli after 22 games.
Despite dominating the majority of the game, the second-placed Inter failed to find a way past Emil Audero and an organised Sampdoria defence.
Romelu Lukaku gave a glimpse of what was to come after just two minutes with Audero having to tip his powerful strike away from the goal.
His striker partner Lautaro Martinez then wasted his chance of opening the scoring in the 20th minute but miskicked the ball inside the box before Matteo Darmian sent his following attempt over the bar.
After surviving the onslaught in the first half, the hosts grew in confidence as Inter’s flame withered in the second stanza, breaking up their buildup play time after time.
Audero had to stay vigilant until the final whistle to deny Hakan Calhanoglu from his long-range strike before saving Francesco Acerbi’s effort two minutes into stoppage time.
Boos greeted Inter at the final whistle from their supporters who saw their team’s chances of regaining the Scudetto almost come to an end.