Top 5 Stories of Serie A Round 8: Ronaldo, Lukaku and Ibra Braces

The last international break of the year is finally over, and fans of Italian football were thankful for being able to enjoy another weekend of exciting Serie A fixtures. Juventus, Lazio and Roma all won their fixtures with ease, whilst Inter had to fight back to earn a victory over Torino. But the lead remained in Milan’s hands after managing to beat Napoli in the weekend’s top clash. So here are our Top 5 stories of Serie A Round 8.

Resilient Lazio Deserve Respect 

A lot had been said about Lazio this season, as the capital side had their fair share of Covid-19 controversy after allegedly using players who weren’t yet medically cleared. But it must be said, throughout all the difficult times that the Biancocelesti went through due to the pandemic, Simone Inzaghi’s men kept fighting bravely.

Despite the fact that the first team squad was ravaged with players testing positive, Lazio never failed to show up to a domestic or European fixture, nor even did they threat to do so, as the remaining members of the squad – who were physically and mentally exhausted – managed to salvage one result after another to keep the side alive and kicking on all fronts.

On Saturday, Lazio’s Serie A round 8 encounter against Crotone was threatened due to floods in Calabria. And yet, Lazio took on the field, without complaints, and earned themselves a 2-0 victory on a disastrous pitch. It may only be bottom of the table Crotone, but if Lazio maintain their serious and professional mentality, then better things await.

We Might Be Witnessing Last Chapter of Gasperini’s Atalanta

Unfortunately for football purists, all great stories eventually come to an end – an anti-climatic ending more often than not – think of Ranieri’s Leicester as an example. Although we’re not implying that Atalanta’s role as a top Italian side has reached its expiry date – as the club still possess an incredible squad supported by an impeccable scouting system – Gian Piero Gasperini’s cycle should probably be over by the end of the season.

Facing Spezia in Round 8 of Serie A, Atalanta took on a side which they would have hampered with seven goals or so last season. And yet, La Dea shockingly fell to an uninspiring goalless draw. Whilst the former Genoa coach can still turn things around for the better, it feels that his side has reached its peak last season, and the players are no longer as enthusiastic as they used to be.

Gasperini would be wise to finish the season in the best way possible, and then look for a new adventure elsewhere while leaving his beloved Atalanta on a high note, before things head south.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan Cementing Himself as Roma’s Main-Man

In the last few seasons, Roma mainly relied on their star and captain Eden Dzeko to unlock opposition defenses. The Bosnian’s importance for the Giallorossi wasn’t solely based on his goals, but also for the way that he set up his teammates, which made him a compulsory station for almost every Roman attack. So it’s needless to mention that Paulo Fonseca felt the heat when he heard the news of Dzeko’s positive Covid-19 test.

Whilst the captain’s replacement on the pitch has been Borja Mayoral, it’s actually Henrikh Mkhitaryan who took role of the de-facto leader in attack, and the Armenian has become Rome’s hero and savior in the last few matches, and scored a spectacular goal in the Serie A round 8 encounter against Parma.

The former Arsenal man is growing in form and confidence with every match, and his sublime displays can be a key for a successful Roma campaign.

Sassuolo on Top of the Table Was an Extraordinary Sight

It might have only lasted for few hours, but football fans around the globe were shocked to learn that on Sunday afternoon, a provincial club called Sassuolo took the Serie A lead after a routine away win against Hellas Verona.

For their part, calcio fans who are tracking Roberto De Zerbi’s revolution in Emilia-Romagna were a little less shocked with the temporary lead, especially with young guns like Domenico Berardi, Jeremie Boga and Manuel Locatelli taking their respective games up a notch.

Although Milan regained their lead with the win over Napoli later in the evening, Sassuolo’s adventure will be one of the biggest and most interesting talking point of the current season.

Serie A Is Now the Land of the Giants

If underdog stories isn’t really your thing, then how about this one. The three biggest clubs in Serie A history, Juventus, Milan and Inter, won their three respective round 8 fixtures, thanks to three braces, from three of the biggest football stars in the world – Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku.

Surely there’s much more to these sides than the giants listed above, as the likes of Matthijs De Ligt, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Hernandez all played crucial parts during the weekend, but witnessing three world class strikers each trying to drag his club to the Scudetto title – while battling for the top goalscorer award at the same time – is a dream come true for calcio fanatics.