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The last round of Serie A didn’t offer any big match. However, it did tell us many things, and underlined once again the supremacy of the bigger teams over the weaker sides.
Napoli is still leading the league. The Partenopei got home with another important three-point win, beating 1–0 a well-organized and compact Udinese and their new coach Massimo Oddo. Napoli won an ugly match, showing those personality and charisma that only big clubs have. Once again, full credit to a mature team, led by an extraordinary Maurizio Sarri, who is teaching his boys an important aspect of a winning mindset: In calcio, those who make the less mistakes, win.
Exactly those mistakes that Inter has learned to avoid. Cagliari was the perfect victim for Luciano Spalletti’ side. The Sardinians played a courageous game, and expressed some really good football at times. They went for the ball, put high pressure, and tried to defend by attacking. Cagliari’s coach Diego Lopez asked his side to conduct the game. But that is not easy, when your only heavy player able to score is Leonardo Pavoletti.
Spalletti lived up to his nickname of Lucky Luciano. However, it needs to be highlighted that he has been doing a great job with Inter so far. His team is not only Mauro Icardi. It’s also an incredible Samir Handanovic, and two superlative inside forwards like Ivan Perisic and Antonio Candreva (Knock knock again, Ventura…anyone home?), together with a stable and balanced midfield-defense line.
Now, the question of the day. What was Daniele De Rossi thinking when he decided to slap Gianluca Lapadula, earning a red card, conceding a penalty to Genoa and leaving his mates outnumbered? Until that episode, Roma were playing a good game, as Genoa were not able to break the solidity of Eusebio Di Francesco’s players. Yes, there were a couple of attempts to score made by the Grifoni. But still, watching the game we all had the feeling that Roma was about to get the three points. De Rossi’s hara-kiri and the consequent penalty, resulted in a 1-1 final score. Come on De Rossi, did you forget that we have the VAR now?
Juventus, La Vecchia Signora (“The Old Lady”) outclassed Crotone with their head already to the big match of next Friday against Napoli. But the game with Crotone was not an easy one. The Calabresi put the barricades up, and initially managed to stop the Bianconeri, but the quality gap eventually proved to be too wide. Massimiliano Allegri decided to preserve a few players to make sure they are ready for the next, decisive game where they will likely miss Gonzalo Higuain, who’s undergoing surgery due to a hand injury. Napoli supporters can wait with serenity and enthusiasm. In case of victory, they would gain a seven-point advantage versus Gianluigi Buffon & Co.
To conclude, a small thought about Vincenzo Montella. Milan decided to sack him yesterday. Vincenzino paid the price for inheriting a quite confused project – a mix of many ideas, new players, and annoying financial doubts raised about their new Chinese owners by important papers such as The New York Times and AS.
Today, Milan is still a work-extremely-in-progress, with managers like Marco Fassone and Massimiliano Mirabelli acting more Italian than ever. Were Mino Raiola’s summer doubts about the Milan project legitimate?
Feature Photo: Simone Arveda / ANSA via AP