Serie A: The Recap of the 3rd Round

Three sisters are leading the standings with nine points and three wins in three games. Juventus, Inter and Napoli were the teams mostly credited as contenders for the Scudetto during the pre-season, and they indeed seem to have something more than the pursuing pack.

The contingent of leading teams from two weeks ago lost Sampdoria, which was forced to take a break as their match against Roma was cancelled due to bad weather, and Milan, which suffered an unexpected route against Lazio at Stadio Olimpico.

Lazio came out as a potentially dangerous outsider, together with Torino, whereas traditionally tough sides like Atalanta, Fiorentina and Udinese raised their head after a difficult start.

Among the newly-promoted teams, Spal and Benevento are showing some good calcio, even if le Streghe have still to conquer their first Serie A point ever. Conversely, Verona seems to be one step below the rest of the pack, and their coach is already at risk.

Atalanta-Sassuolo 2-1
With their mind at the upcoming Europa League debut against Everton, Atalanta still managed to get their first three points of the season overcoming a game that had seen Sassuolo take the lead. The Neroverdi scored with midfielder Stefano Sensi, but La Dea‘s Danish Andreas Cornelius equalized in the first half. Andrea Petagna’s winning goal was hotly challenged by Sassuolo in view of an alleged offensive foul, but referee Gianluca Manganiello had a different opinion.

Benevento-Torino 0-1
Serie A rookies Benevento have surely been the unluckiest team so far. Third loss in a row for the team trained by Marco Baroni, but once again a tenacious performance. It took a very late goal by Iago Falque Silva for Torino to get the three points, but even their coach Sinisa Mihajlovic admitted that a tie would have been a fairer outcome.

Bologna-Napoli 0-3
Just like two weeks ago against Atalanta, Maurizio Sarri’s gang showed that they can win even after suffering for more than one half. Bologna went close to take the lead on multiple occasions, by their attempts were neutralized by the Partenopei’s goalie Pepe Reina. Then Napoli accelerated and scored three goals with José Callejòn, Dries Mertens and Piotr Zielinksi, that maintained the Neapolitans at the top of the standings.

Cagliari-Crotone 1-0
An afternoon of celebration for Cagliari, who made their official debut at the Sardegna Arena. For the inauguration of their brand-new stadium built in only 127 days (a sort of miracle, for the Italian standards…), coach Massimo Rastelli had asked his boys for a victory. The three points came thanks to a goal by home grown striker Massimo Sau, the perfect representative for a team with a very strong regional identity.

Inter-Spal 2-0
Inter tamed a tenacious Spal with a penalty kick by Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic’s second goal to retain their leadership in the standings. It took more than five minutes for referee Claudio Gavillucci to award Inter a penalty that he had originally believed to be a free kick. Technology assistance did correct his decision, but why did it take so long? The VAR continues to provide food for discussion. Icardi’s 5th goal confirmed him as the Serie A top scorer, together with Juventus’ Paulo Dybala.

Juventus-Chievo 3-0
Massimiliano Allegri operated a turnover to preserve some of his best players for tomorrow’s stellar debut against Barcelona in Champions League. Gianluigi Buffon’s designated heir Wojciech Szczesny, as well as newcomers Douglas Costa and Blaise Matuidi made their debut in the starting lineup and helped Juventus pull an easy win against Chievo, which was propitiated by Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala’s scorings. An own-goal by Perparim Hetemaj set the score to 3-0. The Gialloblu managed to hold the fort for 45 minutes, but Juventus was simply too much for them.

was cancelled due to the heavy rains that hit the Liguria region. The match will be rescheduled for late October.

Udinese-Genoa 1-0
First win for Udinese, second loss in a row for Genoa at the end of a match with few emotions. Jakub Jankto broke the balance 15 minutes into the game, then Genoa’s Andrea Bertolacci was shown a red card after the VAR showed a foul of his was eligible for direct expulsion. Il Grifone (“The Griffin,” as the Genoa squad is called) also lost striker Gianluca Lapadula because of an injury, and basically had no real chances to react.

Verona-Fiorentina 0-5
Verona, we have a problem here. The Scaligeri suffered a humiliating home defeat with three goals conceded in the first 24 minutes. Coach Fabio Pecchia was hotly contested by his supporters, and his position is already at risk. Fiorentina took advantage of a non-existing opponent to gain their first win and cast away the doubts arisen in their previous two games.