Curtains went up this weekend on a new edition of the Italian football elite division, and all the top teams got full score by outclassing their opponents with 3 goals.
Here and here is how Juventus, Napoli and Inter did it. But many more matches were played on Sunday. Let’s then take a quick a look at what happened in this inaugural scorching summer night:
Not exactly the most exciting of games in Bergamo. In the day in which, for the first time in 26 years, Roma’s eternal captain Francesco Totti entered a stadium as a manager rather than as a player for his team, it took (oh, the irony!) a free kick from a former city rivals Lazio player – new joiner Serbian defender Aleks Kolarov – for the Giallorossi to come back home with 3 points.
One goal each for Bologna and Torino: a beautiful blast by home side’s Federico Di Francesco, and a less impressive equaliser by Adem Ljajic on which Bologna’s goalie could have done a better job. But the true protagonist of the match at Stadio Dall’Ara ended up being the VAR technology, which was…well, not working. At least until minute 33 in the second half, when the stadium speaker announced that technical difficulties had been solved and the video assistant technology could be finally used – just in time to generate the first controversy of the season: Torino’s Andrea Belotti scored a goal right after being erroneously caught in offside position. The video technology confirmed the assistant referee’s mistake, but could not help allowing a goal scored after the referee’s whistle. At full time, Granata’s trainer Sinisa Mihajlovic was furious.
Serie A, with its endless discussions, is back.
Milan’s new football managers have been spending the whole Summer looking for a new striker without realizing that they may already have a good home grown solution. Patrick Cutrone gained a penalty after 6 minutes which also caused the direct expulsion of his marker, then scored a second goal after Franck Kessié had converted the penalty. With more than 80 minutes to play with one man less, Crotone could only try to limit the damage received. An additional goal by Suso set the score to 3-0.
A good start for Spal, a team who just came back to the top tier of Italian football after 49 years. The club from Ferrara left Stadio Olimpico in Rome with one precious point, despite three key absences in its lineup. Man of the match was substitute goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, who saved multiple shots to the frustration of Lazio’s strikers.
For almost one half of the game, Benevento lived the dream of starting their first ever Serie A campaign with a stunning away victory, thanks to a left-footed shot by Amato Ciciretti that could very well be the best goal of the week. But then another striker, Sampdoria’s veteran Fabio Quagliarella, broke the spell and turned the situation around with two goals in 20 minutes.
The most significant moment of this goalless draw came after 82 minutes, when 15-year-old Genoa striker Anthony Salcedo made his debut and became the 6th youngest player to make a Serie A appearance. Genoa played a more aggressive game than the home side, but Sassuolo’s goalie Andrea Consigli prevented the score from changing.
Whoa, Chievo! Verona second team’s victory at the Dacia Arena can be considered the upset of the week. Conversely, a disappointing start for Udinese, and specifically for his keeper, “lost talent” Simone Scuffet whose mistakes on both goals by Chievo were evident. A gol dell’ex by former Chievo player Cyril Théréau was not enough for the team from north-east region Friuli to compensate Roberto Inglese and Valter Birsa’s scoring.