Serie A Saturday Action Recap: Napoli Come from Behind

It has been one hell of a day in Serie A as after weeks of low-scoring, uninspiring fixtures, Italian clubs rediscovered their scoring prowess. Not all of them, though, with Juventus continuing to play under every expectation early in the season.  

Let’s take a look at everything that happened in Serie A on Saturday.

Juventus Unconvincing in Uneventful Draw at Fiorentina

Fiorentina and Juventus shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Saturday’s opening Serie A fixture.

Even without standout striker Dusan Vlahovic, Massimiliano Allegri’s side took an early lead through his deputy Arkadiusz Milik, who has now scored in back-to-back league appearances for the Bianconeri.

The former Napoli goal-getter took advantage of Fiorentina’s defensive shortcomings to put Juventus in front ten minutes into the game despite the visitors’ seemingly conservative approach.

Interestingly, Milik kneeled down to meet Filip Kostic’s low cross and squeeze it past Pietro Terracciano with his stomach to give the Turin side an advantage. 

However, Allegri’s defensive-minded philosophy backfired on Juventus again as Christian Kouame punished the visitors for their lackadaisical attitude following Riccardo Sottil’s exquisite action past the defenders.

Real Madrid loanee Luka Jovic spurned a golden opportunity to turn the match on its head on the stroke of halftime, with Mattia Perin denying his spot-kick thanks to a fortuitous deflection off the post. 

Despite breaking their underwhelming 448-minute scoring duck, Fiorentina wanted more in the second half but failed to penetrate Juventus’ backline.

In the meantime, despite maintaining their unbeaten start to the new Serie A season (W2, D3), Allegri’s team did not attempt a single shot on target in the second 45 minutes.

In the end, Fiorentina took their undefeated home streak against Juventus on home turf to four straight games, their first such feat against the record-time Italian champions in the 21st century. 

Derby della Madonnina Belongs to Milan

Milan had to wait over a decade to put together two consecutive Serie A wins over arch-rivals Inter, but the patience paid off as they claimed a morale-boosting 3-2 victory at the sold-out San Siro.

Things did not look well for Stefano Pioli’s side when Joaquin Correa slotted in Marcelo Brozovic. The Croat capitalised on a highway in front of Mike Maignan’s goal to give the Nerazzurri a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute.

However, as has often been the case during Simone Inzaghi’s tenure, last season’s Serie A runners-up immediately dropped back to defend their slender advantage but to no avail.

Milan replied almost instantaneously as Sandro Tonali intercepted Brozovic’s poor pass at the halfway point and served Rafael Leao on a silver platter.

The Portuguese ace hammered the ball past Samir Handanovic with a delightful finish from well inside the box to ensure a 1-1 parity at the break. 

Pioli’s men picked up where they left off quickly after the restart, with Leao assisting last season’s Derby della Madonnina hero Olivier Giroud for Milan’s second in the 54th minute.

To complete an out-of-this-world derby performance, last season’s Serie A MVP dribbled his way past Alessandro Bastoni and Stefan De Vrij before beating Handanovic with another composed finish. 

Inter bounced back following the introduction of Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian striker got on the end of Matteo Darmian’s cross at the near post and reduced the deficit with an instinctive first-touch finish. 

But Inzaghi’s lads failed to find the all-important third goal, only thanks to Maignan’s astonishing saves that stretch Milan’s unbeaten Serie A streak to 21 fixtures!

Napoli Come from Behind to Gain Serie A Leadership 

Napoli fought back to overhaul a 1-0 deficit and defeat Lazio 2-1 in a mouth-watering Serie A contest at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening. 

Former Partenopei boss Maurizio Sarri enjoyed a blistering start to the game as Mattia Zaccagni found the bottom corner of Alex Meret’s goal only four minutes into the match. 

It took Luciano Spalletti’s side a while to recover from an early shock, but summer signing Kim Min-Jae headed home in the 37th minute to throw the visitors a lifeline.

Napoli took control of proceedings in the second half Victor Osimhen hit the post and the new Naples cult hero Khvicha Kvaratskhelia inexplicably blazed over from six yards out.

However, the Georgian winger redeemed himself soon after as his thunderous attempt from the edge of the box left Lazio keeper Ivan Provedel with no chance in the 61st minute.

It proved to be the final score that saw Napoli temporarily move to the top of the Serie A table and the Bianconcelesti suffer their first league defeat of the season.