While Serie A was in full force during the weekend, Juventus and Lazio faced off in Saudi Arabia for the Italian Supercup. The Bianconeri received another footballing lesson as they lost 1-3 to the Eagles for the second time in 15 days. Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta inflicted a shameful 5-0 defeat to Stefano Pioli’s Milan, while Inter dominantly burst through Genoa.
The year is 1999. In the South of Sweden, Malmo FF prepare for a new season, and looking to bring more firepower to their attack they choose to give a chance to a young Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Fast forward 20 years, and the same man is still making headlines: After terminating his contract with Los Angeles Galaxy, Zlatan seems to be looking for a new challenge.
After having played earlier this week due to their Super Cup commitment, Juventus travel to Riyadh to face Lazio, the only team to have inflicted defeat upon them so far this season. Meanwhile, Roma were generous guests on Friday night as they showered Fiorentina with four goals in Florence, in a match that has been dubbed in recent years as the “Batistuta Derby.”
In a week where Aurelio De Laurentiis outdid himself, Inter managed to fall out of the Champions League despite playing Barcelona’s combined, almost B-Team, and Lazio managed to keep up with the leading pack, it’s been an entertaining seven days in Belpaese. Let’s take a look at what happened in last weekend’s Serie A match-ups.
After some bitter-sweet results by Italian clubs in the mid-week European competitions, we turn our focus to this weekend’s Round 16 of Serie A, which includes some exciting match-ups in the week of Milan’s celebration of their 120th anniversary. The famously-dubbed Derby della Lanterna between Genoa and Sampdoria will be the main course of the program.
This weeks’ Champions League roundup sees three Italian sides through the knockout stages but perhaps not exactly the teams you’d expected. Inter went into the game against Barcelona knowing that only a win would aid them in their attempts to progress, but a weakened Spanish eleven offered no solace to the Nerazzurri’s hopes of European qualification.
After a valiant performance at Anfield where Ancelotti’s men held on for a hard earned point, Napoli secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League in emphatic style at home to Genk. Hours later Carlo Ancelotti was out of a job, his dismissal immediately overshadowed by President Aurelio De Laurentiis’ swift appointment of Gennaro Gattuso.
An entertaining football weekend in Italy was overshadowed by Corriere dello Sport’s unfortunate headline introducing match-clou Inter-Roma. Antonio Conte’s men couldn’t take advantage of the Giallorossi’s disconnected performance and the game ended in a goalless draw, while Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio extended their string of good results.
This week’s Serie A match program promises to have some mouth-watering clashes, despite the biggest game of the weekend between Inter and Roma having already been played, ending in a goalless stalemate on Friday night. Bologna’s coach Sinisa Mihajlovic will hopefully be able to make his fifth dugout appearance since he was diagnosed with leukemia this summer.
In Champions League Round 5, Juventus beat Atletico Madrid to cement their place in the knockout rounds, while Inter grabbed the win they needed to remain in contention for qualification. Atalanta dispatched of Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb, whereas Liverpool and Napoli settled for one point which still leaves the Partenopei with hope of snatching top spot.
The story of Napoli this season so far has been somewhat intriguing and difficult to comprehend. In Serie A, they are currently 7th in the table, unable to win against sides battling for survival. In Champions League, however, they are a different team, as they showed on Wednesday by going tooth and nail against defending European Champions Liverpool.
A 1-1 stalemate didn’t heal either contender’s wounds as Milan and Napoli split the ante in the match clou of Serie A Round 13. Saturday’s clash at the San Siro Stadium confirmed that both Stefano Pioli and Carlo Ancelotti have still much to work on, at the end of a game where Giacomo Bonaventura answered to Hirving Lozano’s opener in the space of five minutes.