When a Southern Italian club manages to end the supremacy of the Northern giants, one that lasted for more than twenty seasons in a row, we can only assume that this wasn’t a usual Serie A campaign by any means. Whether your club enjoyed a scintillating season or endured a woeful one, the Serie A supporters as a mass won’t forget the remarkable events witnessed during the 2022/23 season and all the everlasting moments it bore.
So it’s time to recap an entire thrilling campaign by recalling 25 of its most significant events, which include some shocking moments or fabulous achievements that left us all in awe.
NB: All the moments mentioned below occurred during the Serie A 2022/23 season. Any events that ensued in the Coppa Italia or the European competitions are ineligible from the list.
Kvara Announces His Arrival
Verona 2-5 Napoli (Round 1)
To begin our recap, it’s only fitting to start from the very beginning of this remarkable story. On the first round of the season, a Georgian talent announced his arrival on the scene, leading Napoli to an opening-day routing in Verona.
While the commentators were still struggling to pronounce his name, it was all too easy for Khvicha Kvaratskhelia on the pitch, making his bones with a goal and an assist in what was an overall breathtaking display at the Bentegodi.
Week after week, the 22-year-old cemented his status as one of the most devastating young wingers in Europe and an absolute cheat code of a left winger, with Lorenzo Insigne’s memory gradually fading at the Maradona Stadium.
Udinese Smash Roma
Udinese 4-0 Roma (Round 5)
During the first stretch of the season, Udinese established themselves as the ultimate underdogs on the back of a smashing run that saw them temporarily occupy a Champions League spot.
While Inter were also among their victims, their most resounding statement was made at the expense of their Roman visitors who made their long way back to the Eternal City after conceding four unanswered goals, much to the dismay of José Mourinho.
While the Zebrette eventually ran out of steam, succumbing to mid-table mediocrity, their supporters will remember that early run with a sense of nostalgia while wondering how the season would have unfolded had they managed to maintain their early form.
VAR Deny Milik
Juventus 2-2 Salernitana (Round 6)
When it comes to the most controversial Serie A moments of the 2022/23 campaign, this one might land at the very top.
Juventus were on the cusp of sustaining their first defeat of the season when hosting Salernitana at the Allianz Stadium. The Bianconeri were down by two goals by halftime, but Leonardo Bonucci scored on the rebound after seeing his spot kick saved by Luigi Sepe to make it 2-2 in the 90th minute.
Nevertheless, the Bianconeri kept pushing for a winner, and the crowds in Turin celebrated wildly when Arkadiusz Milik nodded the ball from a corner kick.
But in what was one of the most scandalous interventions ever made by VAR, the goal was denied due to Bonucci’s “offside” position, although the defender wasn’t even in an active position, and even if that was the case, Antonio Candreva would have undoubtedly played him onside.
It was later revealed that the cameras that were at the disposal of the VAR couldn’t spot Candreva’s position, but for the Bianconeri, it was two points taken away from them, perhaps foreshadowing the events of what turned out to be a miserable campaign on all levels for Madama.
Historic Palladino Debut
Monza 1-0 Juventus (Round 7)
Speaking of calamitous events that involved Juventus, Massimiliano Allegri’s men collapsed at the U-Power Stadium while former Bianconero player Raffaele Palladino made history on his Serie A managerial debut after taking charge of Monza’s first team.
The young tactician led the Biancorossi to their first-ever Serie A win at the expense of Juventus who went down to 10-man when Angel Di Maria foolishly elbowed Armando Izzo. This victory ushered in a prosperous era for the newly promoted side that became the ultimate Dark Horse in Italy’s top flight.
Astonishingly, Monza went on to complete the double over the Old Lady, winning the reverse fixture at the Allianz Stadium in a 2-0 result.
Nevertheless, the taste of the maiden victory remains unique.
Simeone Silences San Siro
Milan 1-2 Napoli (Round 7)
There are moments in football when a team realizes that a certain objective can be achieved, and for Napoli, they genuinely began to believe in winning the 2022/23 Scudetto title after beating the reigning defending Serie A champions on their own turf at San Siro.
While Olivier Giroud’s goal canceled out Matteo Politano’s opener, Giovanni Simeone came off the bench to snatch the winner, proving that the Partenopei aren’t completely dependent on Victor Osimhen (who missed that clash through injury).
Madness in Florence
Fiorentina 3-4 Inter (Round 11)
When it comes to picking the ultimate best contest of the Serie A 2022/23 season, this one could well land on top of the list due to the unforgettable moments of thrill and agony that occurred in this rollercoaster of an evening in Florence.
Inter took the lead on three separate occasions, while Fiorentina managed to find three equalizers, including one in the 90th-minute courtesy of Luka Jovic, much to the delight of the Purple crowds at the Artemio Franchi.
But when Henrikh Mkhitaryan finished off a swift counter-attack at the 95th, the despaired Viola knew there was no way back this time and that the Nerazzurri have prevailed in that absolute thriller.
THAT Osimhen Strike
Roma 0-1 Napoli (Round 11)
When Roma and Napoli clashed heads at the Olimpico Stadium, Mourinho brought out his best tactical tricks in the hopes of neutralizing the danger of his visitors’ marauding frontline.
But while his ploys succeeded for the larger part, it only took a single moment of magic from Victor Osimhen to break the Roman resistance and sabotage the Special One’s plans.
The Nigerian left usually-unyielding Chris Smalling in his wake to reach the ball first before smashing a venomous shot from a seemingly impossible angle.
Ironically, The Capocannoniere winner scored another fabulous goal in the return fixture against Roma, but his magnificent strike at the Olimpico is surely the finest one he scored his 26-goal tally.
Juventus Prevail in Derby d’Italia
Juventus 2-0 Inter (Round 13)
Despite the woes they endured on both domestic and European levels, Juventus still managed to complete a memorable double win over their arch-rivals Inter in Serie A.
In their first meeting, the Bianconeri were beginning to put together a promising winning streak. While it eventually proved to be another false dawn, Madama‘s joyous victory in the first Derby d’Italia for the season remains a significant victory even if it occurred in a largely depressing season.
Although the Nerazzurri dominated the action in the first half, the Bianconeri pounced on two counter-attacks led by Filip Kostic to snatch a cerebral victory.
Allegri-Ball at its finest.
Inter End Napoli Run
Inter 1-0 Napoli (Round 16)
After the lengthy World Cup break, Napoli were looking to pick up from where they had left, by subduing another fellow Scudetto contender. Yet, Inter rose to defend their Northern ego.
In one of the most memorable moments of the campaign, The Nerazzurri became the first club to emerge victorious over Luciano Spalletti’s men in the 22/23 season thanks to Edin Dzeko’s winner.
This result sparked hopes of an epic Scudetto battle that could feature up to four clubs. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
Roma Snatch Draw in Milano
Milan 2-2 Roma (Round 17)
Interestingly, the two battles between Milan and Roma this season had striking similarities. Both encounters ended with the visitors snatching an injury-time equalizer.
Nonetheless, the first meeting was arguably the more intriguing. The Rossoneri thought they had the three points within their grasp, but somehow allowed a two-goal lead to slip through their fingers in the final minutes despite dominating the action for the vast majority of the time.
This disappointing outcome announced the beginning of a dreadful run of results for Stefano Pioli’s men.
Napoli Dismantle Juventus
Napoli 5-1 Juventus (Round 18)
One day, Serie A fans will look back to the 22/23 season and say this was the moment when Napoli truly put the exclamation mark on their Scudetto-winning campaign.
Juventus arrived at the Maradona Stadium riding an eight-match winning streak and eight clean sheets in a row, but they haplessly watched their momentum getting mercilessly wrecked by Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen and company in what will go down as one of the most famous routings in Calcio history.
Six-Goal Thriller at Allianz
Juventus 3-3 Atalanta (Round 19)
Following their humiliating defeat in Naples, Juventus were on the receiving end of another agonizing blow in the shape of a 15-point deduction (later reduced to ten). So when the Bianconeri hosted an Atalanta side that was fresh from an 8-2 win over Salernitana, the Old Lady’s supporters feared the worst.
Yet, Massimiliano Allegri’s men decided to throw caution to the wind, resulting in one of the most entertaining encounters of the season with the two sides equally sharing six goals in a thrilling back-and-forth battle.
Milan Hit Rock Bottom
Milan 2-5 Sassuolo (Round 20)
In the previous round, Milan had been the victims of a 0-4 thrashing at the hands of Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. Nonetheless, it’s the 2-5 defeat to Sassuolo at the San Siro that probably symbolized the rock bottom of the club’s campaign.
Pioli’s men looked clueless on the pitch while the Neroverdi were running riots in what was a baffling scene at the heart of Milano.
Cremonese Earn Maiden Win
Cremonese 2-1 Roma (Round 24)
While Roma fans would love to forget everything that ensued in February 2023, Cremonese supporters might mark it as their most glorious month, as it began by upsetting the Giallorossi and eliminating them from the Coppa Italia quarter-final, before clinching their maiden Serie A victory over the same opponent at the end of the month.
Admittedly, it took the Tigers too long to secure a win in Italy’s top flight, with their slow start eventually leading to their inevitable relegation, but their stunning 2-1 victory over Roma will remain one of the most remarkable moments in Serie A 2022/23.
Sassuolo Win Olimpico Battle
Roma 3-4 Sassuolo (Round 26)
If you’re a fan of chaotic football, this had everything you would have hoped for, and some more. A Fascinating goal from Paulo Dybala, silly defensive blunders, spot kicks, a red card three attempted comebacks (that didn’t come to fruition), and it wouldn’t have been complete without an underdog victory.
Another Derby, Another Ibanez Blunder
Lazio 1-0 Roma (Round 27)
In the first Derby della Capitale of the season, Lazio had sealed the win thanks to Felipe Anderson’s winner which came as a result of a woeful blunder from Roger Ibanez.
So in a shocking twist, the same result was replicated with the Brazilian defender finding a new way to act as the ultimate culprit, this time by earning his marching orders in the 32nd minute, leaving Roma with a man down.
This prompted the sarcastic section of Biancoceleste supporters to don Lazio jerseys with Ibanez’s name slapped on the back.
Leao Runs Wild in Naples
Napoli 0-4 Milan (Round 28)
When Napoli hosted Milan at the Maradona Stadium, the Partenopei were already deemed to be the uncrowned champions. Even Paolo Maldini admitted it during his famous halftime spat with Luciano Spalletti who took an issue with Rafael Leao’s goal celebration.
This brings us to the Portuguese star who was on a rampage on that unforgettable evening in Naples. The Rossoneri star was simply unplayable as he led his side towards a shocking 4-0 victory, restoring some of the pride that the team lost during the troublesome campaign.
For their part, Napoli’s ultras ended the night fighting among themselves while simultaneously protesting against club president Aurelio De Laurentiis in a typically chaotic Neapolitan fashion.
Lukaku Revives Inter
Inter 3-1 Lazio (Round 32)
This title could also be applied to Inter’s resounding victory over Empoli in Round 31. Nonetheless, the win over a direct Top-four contender served as a confirmation for the following statement: Lukaku is Back!
The Belgian’s return to Inter had been underwhelming, to say the least. However, the striker picked up the pace in the final stretch of the season.
While he didn’t score against Lazio, he provided two fabulous assists to Lautaro and Robin Gosens to turn the result upside down.
Dia Halts Scudetto Celebrations
Napoli 1-1 Salernitana (Round 32)
When the news of Lazio’s defeat to Inter reached Napoli, the city braced itself for a historic Scudetto party. All they had to do is beat their Campanian cousins at home to mathematically secure the Italian crown.
So when Mathias Olivera put them in the lead against Salernitana, the imminent champions thought they had it. Surely nothing would stand in their way now…
Yet, Boulaye Dia wasn’t planning on serving as a witness to his opponents’ triumph. The Senegalese striker pulled off an absolute scorcher to equalize the scoring. You could almost sense the enchantment evaporating from the Stadium at that particular moment.
Even if this underwhelming only delayed the party, their supporters will never forget the man who forced them to put the champagne on ice for another four days.
Napoli Crowned in Udine
Udinese 1-1 Napoli (Round 33)
As we mentioned above, Napoli’s crowning was only a matter of time. Nonetheless, this might just be one of the most incredible moments in the 2022/23 season, not just in Serie A, but in the sporting world.
When Sandi Lovric scored the opener for Udinese, some began to entertain the thought of an unprecedented bottle job.
But luckily for the Southerners, Osimhen rose to the occasion and put these fears to bed. When it came to scoring the goal that clinched the Scudetto title, you can’t ask for a better fit than the Nigerian who has cemented himself as a genuine idol for the young and old in the five hundred domes city.
Vlahovic Silences Haters
Atalanta 0-2 Juventus (Round 34)
Unfortunately for Calcio, racism incidents continue to intertwine with Italian football stadiums. Perhaps one day we’ll be able to remove this cancer from the Beautiful Game, but for now, the players are still forced to take matters into their own hands.
So every once in a while, football presents you with a bittersweet moment, like a footballer silencing his abusers with a last-gasp scorcher. There’s no need to explain why Dusan Vlahovic’s strike in Bergamo evoked feelings of both satisfaction and melancholy simultaneously.
Let’s hope for a brighter future in this regard.
Milan Ultras Lecture the Players
Spezia 2-0 Milan (Round 35)
Following a shocking defeat in Spezia, Milan’s Champions League hopes were hanging by a thread (or perhaps left at the mercy of a court ruling). But it was the events that occurred after the final whistle that left fans and observers bewildered.
Stefano Pioli and his men went on to greet the visiting supporters in an apologetic manner. The result? A bizarre lecture from the Ultras groups.
While the nature of the message remains unclear, seeing an entire squad standing in silence while listening to the leaders of the organized fan groups painted Italian football in a somber light.
Lecce Secure Survival
Monza 0-1 Lecce (Round 37)
At the start of the season, Lecce were one of the favorites to crumble back to Serie B following a solitary campaign in the top flight.
But while the Southerners do not possess the most lavish squad, a combination between youth and experience, skills and tenacity did the trick for Marco Baroni’s side who deservedly booked their spot in Serie A next season.
It took a spot kick from Lorenzo Colombo in the 101st minute to seal mathematical survival. This is when the manager went to his knees overwhelmed by emotions in a sight that summarizes the Giallorossi’s combative campaign.
Zlatan Bids Football Farewell
Milan 3-1 Verona (Round 38)
Whatever we say or do, it’s almost impossible to give justice to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, neither the player nor the bigger-than-life persona.
Although the giant Swede’s retirement was overdue, worldwide football fans were hardly ready to greet the iconic striker.
Nevertheless, the 41-year-old promised Milan fans that he’ll be around in some shape or form, so let’s see what’s next in the unusual life of the legendary Ibra.
Verona Win Relegation Playoff
Spezia 1-3 Verona (Relegation Playoff)
As if the 2022/23 season didn’t provide us with enough memorable moments, the Calcio gods granted us an encore weekend as Spezia and Verona clashed in a Serie A relegation playoff after finishing level on points.
Despite finishing the match with a man down, the Gialloblu emerged victorious thanks to a brace from Cyril Ngonge and some heroics between the posts from their custodian Lorenzo Montipo.
Thus, the club that was at the bottom of the table by the winter break succeeded in pulling off a miraculous escape, while Spezia joined Cremonese and Sampdoria in their undesired trip to Serie B.
So until the next one!
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