Tops and Flops of Serie A Round 23: Abraham Shines in Dull Weekend

Unfortunately for Calcio fans, the previous weekend turned out to be even duller than the upcoming international break (now this was obviously an exaggeration from our part, but you get the point). The most anticipated clash of the weekend ended in a goalless stalemate between Milan and Juventus, in addition to two other matches that shared the same result. In total, five out of ten matches ended in draws, while Inter came away as the big winners as they extended their lead on the top of the table thanks to a last-gasp winner from Edin Dzeko. So here are out tops and flops from Serie A round 23.

Top (Player): Tammy Abraham

While the top Serie A scorers like Ciro Immobile, Dusan Vlahovic and Giovanni Simeone couldn’t add to their tally in round 23 for either failing to score or missing out on the action altogether, Tammy Abraham is slowly rising in the ranks.

The Englishman broke the deadlock for Roma away at Empoli with a clinical show before adding the second with a header that went just beyond the line. The former Chelsea man’s maneuver was also behind the Giallorossi’s fourth goal.

Slowly but surely, the 24-year-old is cementing himself as the main man in the Italian capital.

Flop: Old Bones

In the highly-anticipated encounter at the San Siro, the biggest star of the show walked off the pitch even before the half-hour mark. The latest Zlatan Ibrahimovic injury setback is a perfect metaphor to describe the disappointing affair between the two Serie A giants.

Sadly for the Old Lion, father time in finally catching up with him, reducing the legendary striker into a part-time player.

The 40-year-old has never backed down from a challenge, but he’s finally pitted against an opponent that can’t be resisted.

Top (Manager): Thiago Motta

For the second week in a row, the young manager earns the recognition (and what a great honor it is).

While beating a wounded Sampdoria side doesn’t place in the same level of achievements with Spezia’s shocking win over Milan last week, they all count for three points, as the Ligurians can now hope to stay in Serie A for a third straight season, and credit must be given for the former Inter midfielder.

Flop (Manager): Aurelio Andreazzoli

The veteran manager is one of the most progressive minds in Italian football, and his work with the Tuscans is highly-appreciated.

However, the Italian tactician committed too many men forward while going against José Mourinho’s counter-attacking side, and he paid the price with a first half routing.

While Empoli tried to mount a stunning second half comeback, making up for four goals was always going to be an incredibly tough task.

Top (Team): Roma

We talked about Abraham’s brilliant performance above, but truth to be told, Nicolò Zaniolo, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Sergio Oliveira all deserve mentions following the Lupi’s spectacular first half performance.

It may have only lasted for 45 minutes before Empoli’s attempted comeback in the second half, but in the dullness of round 23, it was enough to be considered as the best team display of the Serie A weekend.

Flop (Team): Sampdoria

New manager, same old result. Of course we can’t blame Marco Giampaolo for his unmemorable comeback to Sampdoria, as the club has been in utter mess on all levels since the start of the season.

Not even a Ligurian derby against Spezia was enough to light a fire within the Blucerchiati’s players, who rarely troubled Spezia and ended up succumbing to yet another defeat.

The road to redemption will be long one.

Flop: Scheduling

While some crosstown rivals share the same stadium, the Lega Serie A always made sure to play one match in the same venue per weekend, which makes the decision to host two back-to-back encounters at the Giuseppe Meazza a completely baffling decision – especially in the winter.

The turf was already in a poor state when Inter hosted Venezia on Saturday, so you can only imagine what it was like for Milan and Juventus to play on the same field just 24 hours later.

A simply perplexing blunder.