It might have been Halloween weekend in Italy, but the top Calcio stars were more recognizable than ever. Zlatan Ibrahimovic put on another show against Udinese to keep his Milan on top of the table, whilst a returning Cristiano Ronaldo acted as Juve’s savior once again, and Gervinho almost secured a Parma victory over Inter with his sublime brace , making it a weekend to remember for the veterans. So here are our Top 5 stories from Serie A round 6.
Ibra vs CR7 – The Long Awaited Battle
For almost 17 years, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been considered two of the best footballers around, and even after all those years, they’re still at the top of their games.
And yet, the two legendary strikers never had a proper head to head battle, as they had always found themselves playing in different leagues – except for the 2009-2010 season, when Zlatan had his ill-fated Barcelona stint.
But the Swede’s glorious return to Milan has finally enabled football fans to perhaps get over their overran Messi-Ronaldo rivalry, and enjoy another thrilling battle between two legends vying for Serie A supremacy.
With Zlatan’s match winning performance against Udinese – including an overhead strike – and Ronaldo’s immediate scoring return following his Covid-19 absence, the two legends could be about to lock horns in an epic battle on all fronts, with the best player award, the top scorer award and above all the Scudetto, all on the line.
Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have scored in every Serie A game they've played in this season ?
? 3 Games
⚽️ 5 Goals
? 4 Games
⚽️ 7 Goals
We need to rethink the prime age for footballers ? pic.twitter.com/iHJiPrkrDj
— Sport360° (@Sport360) November 2, 2020
Milan Can No Longer Hide Their Scudetto Credentials
Speaking of the black and red devils, after six rounds, Milan find themselves sitting at the top of the table, with 16 points from possible 18, only dropping points in a controversial 3-3 draw against Roma last week.
In round 6, after failing to maintain their early lead, the Rossoneri conceded a second half equalizer as Rodrigo De Paul brought Udinese back to the match. The Milan of the last few years would have mentally faltered after conceding. But the present-day Milan have something different about them, as the legendary Ibrahimovic led the side to victory with his late thrilling goal.
The Milan supporters might be a suspicious bunch – perhaps after suffering some traumatizing football experiences over the past decade – and they might point out that their side will eventually drop points at a certain stage, but guess what? So is everyone else, including Juventus, Inter, and Napoli who are all already dropping valuable points. So Milan must concede to their new label, and accept the fact they are – at least for the moment – serious Scudetto contenders.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) November 1, 2020
Brilliant Musa Barrow Should Get Better Recognition
We don’t usually dedicate an entire story on one young prospect, but in Musa Barrow’s case, it feels like a small amendment from the football world towards the often neglected 21-year-old Gambian.
Despite rising through the ranks of Atalanta two seasons ago and scoring some vital goals for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side, the veteran tactician had to allow Barrow to leave in the hunt for more playing time, and the young forward immediately fitted in the plans of Sinisa Mihajlovic at Bologna, becoming a menacing presence for the opposition, whether on the left wing, or in the striker position.
Although his start to the current Serie A season hasn’t been impeccable, the Gambian reminded everyone of his incredible potential, securing his side a thrilling victory over Cagliari with a sublime brace. If he can continue to produce performances like that, Musa Barrow should be one of the more sought-after players in the next summer transfer market.
24 – Musa Barrow is the first player to score 10+ goals with Bologna in Serie A with less than 25 games played (24) since Alberto Gilardino (22, in February 2013). Outstanding.#BolognaCagliari pic.twitter.com/TJoam2dpdv
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) October 31, 2020
Sassuolo Looking to Emulate Atalanta’s Success
Roberto De Zerbi has rightfully cemented himself as one the best young managers in Italy, as the 41-year-old has been able to do the unthinkable at Sassuolo, producing some neat football while earning great results in the process. And after a Round 6 victory over Napoli at the San Paolo, Sassuolo now find themselves second in the Serie A table.
Although their current position might not last for long, but their 8th place finish last season along with their incredible start for this one will no wonder make the Neroverdi dream of a bright future, especially with Gasperini’s Atalanta presenting a living example of what a provincial side can achieve with a smart project and a right mindset.
Sassuolo have the highest possession stats of any team in Serie A at around 60%. The philosophy comes from their manager Roberto De Zerbi. We profile him and Sassuolo in our latest episode.
— Football Today (@FT_Podcast_) October 29, 2020
Iachini and Giampaolo Leading The Sacking Race
It’s Serie A Round 6, and we’re yet to have our first managerial causality, so well done everyone! But as calcio fans know by now, this won’t last for too long, and early contenders are beginning to rise for the unwanted “honor” of being the first manager sacked in the 2020-2021 season.
While the likes of Parma, Genoa, Udinese and Crotone are all seated in uncomfortable table positions, it’s Fiorentina’s Guiseppe Iachini and Torino’s Marco Giampaolo who find themselves in the hot water. With just one point from five matches, the former Milan manager could receive the early sacking for the second season in a row, especially if Torino loses on Wednesday against Genoa, which would undoubtedly be a devastating prospect for his managerial career.
On the other hand, Fiorentina have gathered 7 points from their first 6 matches – which included a difficult fixture list – but president Rocco Commisso had some much higher expectations for his club after a busy calciomercato session, and thus Guiseppe Iachini could find himself sacked in the near future, with Maurizio Sarri already being mentioned as a potential replacement.
#Juventus have opened talks with Maurizio #Sarri for the termination of the contract, but there isn’t an agreement about the severance pay. Sarri’s contract (€5,5M/year) expires in 2022. No talks at the moment between Sarri and Fiorentina. #transfers
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) October 30, 2020