Top 5 Stories from Serie A Round 9: Milan, the Ultimate Weekend Winners

While we’re fast approaching the month of November, the Serie A standings are beginning to take shape. This weekend, Calcio fans awaited two major clashes on Sunday evening, nonetheless, they both ended with draws, paving the way for another club to climb its way to the top. But prior to the two big encounters, the round was blessed with a host of thrilling battles that witnessed an enormous number of goals. So let’s take a look at the Top 5 Stories from Serie A Round 9.


Most observers would argue that the term “catenaccio” has no place in modern Italian football. This word was used to describe the ultimate defensive tactics that were deployed by some Italian clubs during the middle of previous century.

It’s enough to take a look at the large score-lines witnessed today to realize that Serie A clubs are now a adopting a much more progressive approach.

But facing the threat of getting sacked, Sampdoria manager Roberto D’Aversa almost reignited the old ways when defending his lead against Spezia.

He started the match in 4-4-2 formation, but ended up adding three extra defenders (Dragusin, Chabot and Ferrari) during the match, so he Blucerchiati were playing with five center backs in addition to the two fullbacks by the end of the match.

The strategy almost backfired as the visitors grabbed a late goal after controlling much of the action in the second half, but they still hang on to their 2-1 lead, as the former Parma tactician clung to his job.

Milan the Ultimate Winners

In Round 9, Roma ended Napoli’s perfect Serie A run with an uneventful stalemate at the Olimpico, while the clash between Inter and Juventus provided controversy without crowning a winner.

Atalanta squandered a 1-0 lead as they conceded a late equalizer against Udinese, while Lazio were smacked by Hellas Verona.

All these results mean that only one of the Top 7 clubs managed to escape with a win during the weekend. Milan suffered more than they should against 9-man Bologna, but at the end of the day, their individuals made all the difference as they now sit beside the Partenopei at the top of the table.

The Smaller Sides Deliver the Fireworks

As we mentioned above, the most awaited contests of the weekend didn’t truly fulfill their promise. However, the sides who lay between the middle and the bottom of the table produced the excitement.

On Saturday, Empoli entertained the hot Salerno crowd, beating Salernitana 4-2, while Torino overcame Genoa 3-2, and Sassuolo put on a solid display to shrug aside Venezia in a 3-1 win.

These results from Round 9 prove that every single Serie A fixture has the potential to be a thrilling encounter.

A New Super Duo

Any striker who manages to pull off four goals in a match should rightfully claim all the credit in the world. However, Giovanni Simeone’s heroics against Lazio were also down to the brilliant work of his Verona teammates, with Gianluca Caprari chief among them.

The Italian provided two assists for El Cholito, and this could be the beginning of a magnificent attacking partnership made up of two players who were yet to fulfill their potential in their respective careers thus far.

It wouldn’t be the first time that we witness such a blossoming partnership at a midtable club, as we all remember the likes of Cassano-Pazzini (Sampdoria, 2010) and Cerci-Immobile (Torino, 2014).

Coaches vs Referees

When four managers from the top Serie A clubs all receive their marching orders in round 9, then there’s obviously an issue that needs to be addressed.

While Simone Inzaghi admitted his mistake (angrily throwing a shirt to the pitch following the penalty decision), Gian Piero Gasperini, José Mourinho and Luciano Spalletti all felt that they didn’t do anything that warrants them a red card.

Whether their claims are right or wrong, referees clearly have a more strict policy towards the type of objections that the coaches are allowed to speak these days.

While a line has to be drawn to prevent the officials from getting insulted, an open discussion needs to ensue between the managers and the refs to fully understand the limits and reorganize the relationship between the two parties.

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