Mauro Icardi had little impact on his return to San Siro as Champions League-hopefuls Atalanta held Inter to a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
Icardi missed almost two months of action before Wednesday's win over Genoa, with speculation over his future, a contract stand-off and conflicting fitness claims all playing a part in the saga, but his re-emergence at San Siro fell flat.
Inter edged an entertaining first half, though they were unable to make the breakthrough, with Icardi particularly culpable when wasting a one-on-one situation.
Atalanta improved in the second half and caused Inter issues, but like their hosts they were unable to find a way through, meaning they failed to move above fourth-placed AC Milan, whom Inter move five points clear of.
Matias Vecino looked particularly threatening during the exchanges, first having a goal disallowed for straying just offside, before forcing Pierluigi Gollini into an acrobatic save with a looping long-range half-volley.
Icardi then spurned a glorious chance in the 31st minute, as he tried to take on Gollini and made a mess of it, much to the crowd's annoyance.
Gollini again had to be alert just prior to the break, saving Matteo Politano's shot after the winger had a previous attempt crucially blocked by Jose Luis Palomino.
Inter had a lucky escape early in the second half – Josip Ilicic doing brilliantly to flash the ball across the face of goal, but Alejandro Gomez could only get the slightest of touches to it.
The hosts had one final chance to claim all three points, but Timothy Castagne headed clear just before Danilo D'Ambrosio could convert from Icardi's flick-on.