What a weekend of Calcio! On Friday night, Napoli and Juventus played the partitissima of the week. Man of the Match was Gonzalo Higuain, who conquered the arena of Fuorigrotta, the San Paolo Stadium of Napoli. The three points went to Juventus, which almost never fail this kind of games. Despite that, we are sure that both teams will keep fighting for the Scudetto until the end of the season.
With their first defeat of the season, Napoli – which were in a 9-month, 24-game non-losing streak – lost the leadership in the league table, now held by Luciano Spalletti’s Inter. The Neroazzurri took full advantage of their chance to get to the first position by hammering Chievo Verona 5-0. Lucky Luciano and his band are doing something spectacular, making their supporters dream again of something called Scudetto after a few years. But Next week, the most difficult of tests is waiting for them: Will they be able to defeat Juventus at their home ground Allianz Stadium?
If Inter can smile, the other side of Milano keeps crying. New coach Ringhio Gattuso, who was called to substitute Vincenzo Montella and to solve Milan’s problems, didn’t bring the energy and aggressiveness needed to take home three points against Benevento. On the contrary, the Sanniti finally managed to get their first point of the season, thanks to goalie Alberto Brignoli, who equalised at the 95’ minute. What a goal, Brignoli!
Let’s not forget about another great game played by a squared, organized, and sparkling Lazio. The Biancocelesti inflicted Sampdoria their second loss in a row, with coach Simone Inzaghi overturning the game with three “perfect changes” (Patric, Jordan Lukaku and Felipe Caceido). Finally. The Blucerchiati had to concede their first home defeat despite another great performance by Duvan Zapata. Chapeau, Mr. Inzaghi!
By the way, do you remember when Napoli decided to spend 40 million € for players like Leonardo Pavoletti and Manolo Gabbiadini (both have already left the club…), thinking that Zapata couldn’t play an important role for the Partenopei? Thank you, President De Laurentiis!
The match at Renato Dall’Ara Stadium between Bologna and Cagliari ended in a fair draw. Roberto Donadoni’s Rossoblu tried to go for their third win in a row, but Joao Pedro made sure that Cagliari could get back to Sardinia with one important point. The Islanders are now six points away from the relegation zone.
Another beautiful game took place at the Stadio Olimpico of Torino, where Josip Ilicic answered back to Nicolas Nkoulou to fix the battle between Torino and Atalanta on a 1-1 score. The Orobici, which have been showing some exciting football in Europa League so far, are slowing finding their edge in Serie A as well. A different story for Torino and their coach Siniša Mihajlović, which collected only one victory in the last ten games. Is the Serbian trainer’s position at risk?
Fiorentina and Roma both took three points out of their home matches. The Viola had not been winning in their last four games, but finally managed to break the negative trend by topping Sassuolo. Stefano Pioli’s team played a fast and clear football, and scored three goals thanks to a superlative Cyril Théréau – two assists and the man of the match token for him. Not bad!
On Friday, Roma had won a crucial game without counting on their disqualified captain Daniele De Rossi, and injuried Radja Nainggolan, Diego Perotti, Grégoire Defrel, and Rick Karsdorp. But trainer Eusebio Di Francesco showed once again to have big attributes, and to deserve a spot in the next Champions League.
SPAL, on the other hand, didn’t live their best week of the year, as the 1-3 loss in Rome followed an earlier week elimination from Coppa Italia at the hands of Serie B club Cittadella. The Ferraresi will need to do more than this to avoid relegation.
Speaking of relegation, Hellas Verona also missed a chance to make a jump forward, as their opponent Genoa won at Marc’Antonio Bentegodi Stadium with a heavy finalization by Adel Taarabt. Overall, Hellas showed a better quality of play, but Genoa were cynic enough to grab the three points. An easy game for Udinese at the Ezio Scida Stadium, where they beat with three goals a weak, disorganized, and disunited Crotone.