Top 5 Stories from Serie A Round 15: Ronaldo and Lukaku Shows

The short vacation is over. Italian football made its 2021 debut with an action-packed Sunday that saw all 20 Serie A teams competing for their first points of the year. No major upsets were on display, as Juventus, Milan, Inter, Roma, Napoli and Atalanta all won their respective fixtures without major trouble. So let’s find out what were the major takeaways from Sunday’s action with our Top 5 stories from Serie A Round 15.

Big Serie A Boys Soar in Round 15

As we mentioned above, the six big Serie A sides who are the most obvious contenders to finish within the European spots by the end of the season, all won their respective round 15 fixtures.

Inter had to come from behind to punish Crotone 6-2 at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium, while their neighbors Milan were able to beat Benevento away from home. Eden Dzeko’s goal was enough to seal Roma’s victory over Sampdoria, and Atalanta hammered Sassuolo in a 5-1 victory.

Elsewhere, Napoli comfortably won their away match at Cagliari 4-1, while Juventus bounced back to beat Udinese in the same result. In conclusion, the top clubs were able to shrug aside their lesser counterparts, while they await their upcoming direct clashes between one another.

Despite Lautaro’s Hat-trick Lukaku is Still the Man at Inter 

In the very first Serie A match of 2021, Crotone surprised Inter with two first half goals as the two sides opened round 15 with a real goal-fest. Nonetheless, the Nerazzurri’s attackers were in a spectacular form, and Lautaro Martinez earned his first ever hat-trick with the club. Romelu Lukaku, Achraf Hakimi and an own goal by Luca Marrone all added to the final score, as it ended 6-2 for Antonio Conte’s men.

Although the Argentine star took the match ball home, it must be said that it was actually the Lukaku show from start to finish. The Belgian giant was behind most of the goals and the visitors had no answer for his incredible strength and technique with which he opened up highways inside their areas.

Antonio Conte will be delighted with Lautaro’s return to scoring, but he will be hoping that Lukaku’s recent injury doesn’t take him away for too long as the former Everton man is undeniably irreplaceable in the coach’s tactical scheme.

Giampaolo’s Escape Pushes Liverani Toward the Edge

Torino president Urbano Cairo has been surprisingly generous when it comes to giving his coach Marco Giampaolo one chance after the other to save his job. The Granata entered their round 15 encounter against Parma at the very bottom of the Serie A table, but a 3-0 victory over Parma lifted them up to the 17th spot.

Torino had been showing flashes of decent football with Giampaolo, which is why the club decided to keep faith in him despite blowing up several match leads this season, but their convincing win over the Ducali could be the beginning of a better chapter for the former Milan coach.

On the other hand, Fabio Liverani’s Parma is yet to convince this season, and with only two league victories so far, the management could opt to axe the former Lazio and Fiorentina midfielder and bring back the underrated Roberto D’Aversa who only left the club during the summer after overseeing a successful period helping the former UEFA Cup winners to rise again from the Serie C darkness.

Atalanta and Sassuolo Deliver the Expected 

Calcio purists highlighted the round 15 fixture between Atalanta and Sassuolo as a “not-to-miss” clash between arguably the two most exciting clubs in Serie A. Whilst La Dea dominated the encounter from start to finish – scoring five goals before the Neroverdi got their consolation – the final 5-1 result wasn’t much of a surprise.

Atalanta and Sassuolo – despite their different tactical approaches – share a similar mentality. It’s killed or be killed. Win brilliantly or lose badly. It can be said that they are two faces of the same coin, but once you flip it, only one can land on top.

These two clubs probably won’t win any silverware this season, but their exciting displays and willingness to take risks make them invaluable assets for Italian football.

Ronaldo and Milan Impress Before their Big Serie A Showdown

Next Wednesday, Juventus and Milan will lock horns in a real clash of the titans. It’s going to be a battle between the long-time reigning champions and the current league leaders who are looking to dethrone them.

But before the midweek Serie A crunch meeting, Milan had to pay a visit for an old friend on round 15, as Filippo Inzaghi’s Benevento were hoping to keep their brilliant run going. However, Stefano Pioli’s men were able to maintain top spot with a 2-0 victory despite playing with 10-men after Sandro Tonali’s needless dismissal.

On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo’s top form masked some of the Bianconeri‘s weaknesses, as he steered his side into a big 4-1 win over Udinese with two goals and an assist.

Juventus have struggled to find consistency throughout the season so far, but they will be hoping that their Portuguese superstar – as well as Paulo Dybala – to be sharp enough if they are hoping to earn a result that would bring them back to the fold in the Scudetto race.