After a bright start from both sides, the first chance on target came in the 13th minute, as Brayan Perea lashed a shot towards Pepe Reina from the edge of the box. The Spanish keeper, however, was able to punch the ball away.
Six minutes later, Balde Diao Keita tried to lob the ball over Reina after winning it back from a Napoli goal kick, but he was flagged for offside, while for the Partenopei, Gokhan Inler scuffed a shot in the 24th minute.
With five minutes to go in the first half, Gonzalo Higuain very nearly broke the deadlock, but defender Diego Novaretti was at hand to put the ball behind and stop the Napoli striker from scoring a tap-in from close range.
The action then became frantic as both teams eagerly pushed forward to try todraw first blood before the break, culminating in a fierce effort by Jorginho which rattled the post from close range.