The Top 5 Stories of Serie A Round 5: Goals and Goals Again!

It feels like we start every week’s version with almost the same line, but it truly was another incredibly exciting weekend of calcio. With the number of goals refusing to slow down, and thrilling matches being played all around the Italian peninsula, here are our top 5 stories for Serie A Round 5.

Gasperini Is Playing a Dangerous Game at Atalanta 

By the end of summer transfer market, we lauded Atalanta’s impressive calciomercato, which further enhanced La Dea’s incredible squad, and would allow the side to rotate while playing on both local and European fronts. 

However, Gian Piero Gasperini might have taken his newly employed rotation policy a step too far, resting almost half of his starting formation against Sampdoria – including key players Duvan Zapata, Hans Hateboer, Robin Gosens, and Remo Freuler – as his plan backfired in a humbling 3-1 defeat at home

After initially showcasing some great displays that befitted a championship-chasing team, The start of the Champions League campaign saw Atalanta lose two matches prior to their European encounters. And although Atalanta could end up enjoying a great UCL Campaign, a failure to qualify to next season’s version could see the squad dismantled during the summer with its top players looking for more prolific destinations. Thus Gasperini should revise his strategy before it’s too late. 

Inter and Napoli Showcasing Their Strong Characters

The Nerazzurri and the Partenopei both suffered from unexpected troubles on the road. After their Champions League draw on Wednesday, Antonio Conte’s men lacked match-pace and energy on Saturday. But after a sterile first half, they were able to put two goals past Genoa, mainly due to their determination, plus the presence of an in-form star player like Romelu Lukaku. 

In Serie A Round 5, Napoli on the other hand, found themselves trailing in the Campania derby, courtesy of their former player Roberto Insigne. But luckily for Gennaro Gattuso, he still had another Insigne brother among his ranks who can score a goal, and Andrea Petagna opened his account for the club, as Napoli mounted a comeback and earned a hard-fought victory. 

The ability to overcome difficulties and earn points away from home – even against some smaller opposition – is a trait reserved for the elite. Thus, Antonio Conte and Gennaro Gattuso should be lauded for installing a strong character in their respective sides. 

It’s Not All Doomed Yet for Pirlo and Juventus 

This topic might need an entire analysis on its own. However, it should be said that despite dropping another valuable two points in Serie A Round 5 against Hellas Verona, the glass is still half-full for Juventus. 

In the absence of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, club captain Giorgio Chiellini, key defenders Matthijs De Ligt and Alex Sandro, Andrea Pirlo was left without any veteran player on the pitch when Leonardo Bonucci walked out injured as well. 

However, a young Juventus lineup – which was an unthinkable thought in the near past – fought its way back to the game, with the likes of Alvaro Morata, Paulo Dybala (who’s still trying to regain his best physical form) and goal-scorer Dejan Kulusevski, almost snatched a late victory, if it wasn’t for the woodwork and Marco Silvestri’s heroics. 

So even though it’s not all bad for Pirlo, the young manager must start grabbing the three points while he can still catch-up with the sides in front of him. 

The Goals Are Here To Stay! 

After the thrills of the previous round which saw a whopping 41 goals scored, who would have thought that Serie A round 5 would deliver the exact same amount of goals?! 

The match-day started on Friday and ended on Monday in two fascinating 3-3 draws. And in-between them, every fixture had at least a minimum account of 2 goals scored, including an exciting 4-2 for Cagliari over Crotone, and a 3-2 Fiorentina victory over Udinese

So with 82 goals scored in two back-to-back rounds, as promised in our pre-season prediction, a goal-pouring Serie A campaign is in store for the loyal calcio fans. 

Milan and Roma Epic Served as Flag Bearer for Italian Football 

A Monday night fixture sandwiched in-between a busy weekend and an upcoming Champions League round could get lost in the shuffle, but any football fan who didn’t tune in to watch the epic encounter between Milan and Roma at the San Siro, missed out on an incredible show. 

Early goals. Late goals. Legends scoring. Young players scoring. Goalkeeping howlers. Goalkeeping heroics. Controversial refereeing decisions. And two top sides remain undefeated so far in the season (at least on the pitch) after a thrilling battle for 90 minutes. It literally had everything – except maybe for the San Siro large crowds. 

So with the astonishing number of goals mentioned above, and the never-ending thrilling matches delivered every weekend, what else does the football fan need to tune-in and enjoy the unique taste of Italian football?