Tops and Flops of Serie A Round 25: Mourinho Slips Again

This weekend, Calcio fans had two highly-anticipated Serie A clashes in store for them. Napoli and Inter locked horns at the Maradona Stadium in a significant fixture for the Scudetto race, while Atalanta hosted Juventus in Bergamo with a Champions League spot on the line. However, both fixtures ended in 1-1 draws. With everyone around them dropping points, Milan turned out to be the big winners of the weekend, as they took the lead (at least on a temporary basis) on the heels of their victory over Sampdoria. So let’s take a look at the Tops and Flops from Serie A round 25.

Top (Player): Mattia Zaccagni

Last season, Mattia Zaccagni was one of the revelations in Serie A with a spectacular campaign at Verona, earning himself a transfer to Lazio in the process.

Though his start to life in the capital was a rather slow one, the winger is finally cementing himself as a stalwart for the Biancocelesti.

During Bologna’s routing, the Italian had a part to play in all three goals – Earning the spot kick that culminated in Ciro Immobile’s opener, before killing off the match with a personal brace of his own.

Roberto Mancini surely took note.

Flop (Player): Stefan de Vrij

Perhaps it’s a bit harsh to label the Inter defender as the ultimate flop of round 25, but the Dutchman’s mistakes in the last two league fixtures have temporarily cost his side the Serie A lead.

After allowing Olivier Giroud enough space to seal the Derby for Milan last week, the former Lazio star clipped Victor Osimhen’s leg, giving away a needless penalty kick for Napoli.

Luckily for de Vrij, Edin Dzeko salvaged a point for the Nerazzurri, otherwise the backlash would have been uglier.

Top (Manager): Paolo Zanetti

Despite all the ups and downs since the start of the season, Paolo Zanetti deserves a fair share of credit for keeping Venezia afloat… for now.

The newly-promoted side are still fighting to avoid an immediate relegation, and they bolstered their chances with three unlikely points away to Torino.

The Granata took an expected lead, but the Arancioneroverdi shocked them by turning the result upside-down.

Venezia are a team that never gives up, and after putting themselves in the driver seat, they reverted to a more defensive approach to preserve their lead, securing a win that has the manager’s touch all over it.

Flop (Manager): José Mourinho

Even though Roma escaped the Mapei Stadium with a late equalizer, the Giallorossi remain a side that is lacking in confidence, as their Champions League hopes are slowly fading away.

In essence, José Mourinho is right with his scathing comments on the weak mentality of his players who tend to disappear in the big clashes.

However, his over-critical attitude has been counter-productive, with very few improving signs thus far.

Perhaps a warmer approach would be more beneficial at this point.

Top (Team): Verona

Although we picked Zaccagni as the top player of Serie A round 25, several Verona players could have made for decent choices, including Adrien Tameze, Fabio Depaoli, Lorenzo Montipò and of course Gianluca Caprari.

Moreover, Igor Tudor could have been the top manager of the weekend.

But all in all, the Gialloblu put on an incredible display of strength, with four unanswered goals past Udinese, and thus, they utterly deserve to be the best side of the matchday,

Flop (Team): Bologna

Perhaps it’s a déjà vu story, but Bologna have once again pulled the breaks in the middle of the campaign.

Sinisa Mihajlovic might be one of the best tacticians in Italian football, and the squad at his disposal should allow the Rossoblu to aim a little bit higher.

But following an encouraging first half of the campaign, the Emilians appear to be enjoying the ride until the end of the season while finding themselves in a rather safe position.

Top (Goalkeepers): Mike Maignan and Wladimiro Falcone

In the meeting between Milan and Sampdoria at the San Siro, Mike Maignan and Wladimiro Falcone each put on a stunning display, and neither deserved to be on the losing side.

Of course the Rossoneri won the fixture thanks to Rafael Leao’s lone strike, but coincidentally, it was Maignan who provided the assist with a sublime long ball.

With a clean sheet and an a match-winning assist , the Frenchman couldn’t hope for a better performance in round 25, as he continues to prove himself as one of the best shot-stoppers in Serie A.

Nonetheless, Falcone’s performance deserves a mention, as the Italian produced one brilliant save after the other to preserve the Blucerchiati’s chances in taking something away from the encounter – even if his efforts turned out to be fruitless at the end of the day.