Marcelo Brozovic hit the woodwork, Lecce missed a sitter and VAR was used twice, including for a penalty revoked against Inter.
The Salentini were without a single home win this season and on a run of four consecutive Serie A defeats, also missing Marco Calderoni, Diego Farias and Yevhen Shakhov, so moved to three at the back. Inter could start Stefano Sensi and Nicolò Barella together for the first time since October, but Roberto Gagliardini, Matias Vecino, Kwadwo Asamoah and Danilo D’Ambrosio didn’t make the trip.
Romelu Lukaku drilled just wide from the D, but Lecce really should’ve taken the lead on eight minutes when Marco Mancosu incredibly turned over when undisturbed at the far post on Andrea Rispoli’s cross.
Lukaku did have the ball in the net, but only after the referee had blown the whistle for his foul on the defender.
There was controversy moments later, as Giulio Donati was booked for a studs-up challenge that caught Barella flush on the shin. After an on-field VAR review, the referee stuck by his original decision that it was just a yellow, but it was a close call.
Marcelo Brozovic could not have come much closer to an opening goal, as after a give-and-go with Lukaku on the edge of the box, his right-foot curler thumped the upright.
Brozovic threatened again on Lautaro Martinez’s lay-off, forcing a double save from close range out of Gabriel.
There was controversy on the stroke of half-time, as the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. However, Khouma Babacar clearly headed the ball down on to Sensi’s hand, with his arm flush to his body. It could not be considered handball, something the referee realised after an on-field VAR review.
Lecce 0-0 Inter (Half-Time)
Lecce:Gabriel; Rossettini, Lucioni, Dell’Orco; Rispoli, Deiola, Petriccione, Donati; Mancosu; Babacar, Lapadula
Inter: Handanovic; Godin, De Vrij, Skriniar; Candreva, Barella, Brozovic, Sensi, Biraghi; Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez
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