Napoli 1-1 Roma: Szczesny earns Roma point in Serie A clash
Last Updated: 13/12/15 7:45pm
Wojciech Szczesny excelled in the Roma goal as Serie A title hopefuls Napoli were held to a 0-0 draw at the Stadio San Paolo.
Fourth-placed Roma looked more likely to score in the first half but Maurizio Sarri's Napoli turned the screw after the break, with only on-loan Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny standing between them and a seventh straight home win.
The Giallorossi might complain that Daniele De Rossi had a late goal ruled out due to a debatable line call, but in reality taking a point from their top four rivals represents a timely upturn in league form after a severe slump.
It would not be a case of winner-takes-all with Napoli able to draw to within two points of leaders Inter Milan at best.
Roma were another three points behind heading into the match and so looked a little more impatient from the off.
Mohamed Salah whipped the ball just past a post within five minutes and Edin Dzeko soon missed the mark with a header.
Napoli bit back with Lorenzo Insigne vaulting a challenge from Alessandro Florenzi to drive a shot inches wide of the target.
Kostas Manolas almost scored with a volley from Iago Falque's cross in the 27th minute, with the rest of the half's flow disrupted by an injury to a referee's assistant.
Napoli were dangerous again six minutes after the restart. Insigne's daisy-cutting cross from the left was snaffled by Szczesny before any blue shirted player could tap the ball past him.
Faouzi Ghoulam's delivery to Jose Callejon was a better one but the Spaniard could not get his head to it with Szczesny caught cold.
The best chance of the match fell to Marek Hamsik on the hour mark. Gonzalo Higuain put his Slovakian team-mate into a one-on-one with Szczesny with a clever through-ball, only for the finish to cross the goalmouth and go out.
Szczesny got low to deny Insigne at the end of a fine dribble before Roma had a De Rossi goal ruled out in the 81st minute - Antonio Rudiger's cross was adjudged to have flown over the goal-line while in mid-air.
Roma's Polish keeper stood tall to make two smart saves when Allan put Hamsik through in the final five minutes and then, with full-time fast approaching, he kept substitute Omar El Kaddouri out at his near post.