With the Spanish Clasico and the Manchester Derby both on display this weekend, Calcio had to bring out the big guns to keep its supporters gazed on Serie A fixtures. While the showdown between Inter and Roma was neither sweet on the eye or ear, the action elsewhere certainly delivered, including a thrilling clash at the Maradona Stadium and a historic comeback courtesy of Cagliari. So let’s take a closer look at the most captivating events of the Italian weekend in the Tops and Flops from Serie A Round 10.
Top (Player): Gianluca Scamacca
Slowly but surely, Gianluca Scamacca is establishing himself as the best Italian striker of his generation. On Monday, the 24-year-old put Empoli to the sword with a fabulous brace in addition to an assist. Atalanta emerged victorious 3-0.
The former West Ham man could have easily mustered a hat-trick but was denied by the post on two occasions.
Flop (Player): Amir Rrahmani
With Milan in town, Napoli needed a game Amir Rrahamin to marshal the backline against Olivier Giroud and company. But instead, the Kosovan lost the aerial duel against the big Frenchman who scored a brace of headers in the first half.
Luckily for the defender, Matteo Politano and Giacomo Raspadori rescued a point for the Partnenopei, but it remains a night to forget for the former Verona man.
Top (Super-Sub): Leonardo Pavolellti
Until Scamacca’s majestic performance on Monday, Leonardo Pavoletti was the ultimate pick for the Top player of Serie A Round 10.
Nevertheless, we still have to find a way to commemorate the heroics of the Cagliari captain who came off the bench to lead an absolutely surreal come-from-behind win. The veteran striker provided an assist for the goal that started the revolt, before scoring the 3-3 equalizer and the 4-3 winner.
It’s worth mentioning that Pavoletti was also the author of the late winner that earned the Isolani their promotion to the top flight.
Top (Coach): Claudio Ranieri
Yet another glorious day in the elusive managerial career of Claudio Ranieri. With his side down by three goals against Frosinone, the Tinkerman made all the right calls, introducing substitutes like Pavoletti and Gaetano Oristanio who lead the charge.
But more importantly, the veteran manager’s positivity was the beacon that kept the flame alive even when the situation seemed hopeless.
Flop (Coach): Eusebio Di Francesco
On the contrary, Eusebio Di Francesco will struggle to explain how his team squandered a three-goal lead in the final 20 minutes of that Sardinian epic.
The Frosinone coach was perhaps the culprit by instructing his men to lower their stance, which ultimately invited Cagliari to their areas at a time when the match should have been a closed chapter by all accounts.
Top (Team): Atalanta
Atalanta was arguably the Serie A side that came the closest to producing a masterclass display in Round 10, brushing aside an Empoli team that looked revitalized in recent weeks.
Scamacca was certainly the ultimate star of the show, but the rest of the crew definitely did their part as well. The Orobici continue to push for a Champions League spot.
Flop (Team): Roma
Roma entered the big clash against Inter seeking a draw. Even Bryan Cristante admitted as much in his post-match interview. The Giallorossi weren’t interested in creating chances or mounting pressure against Simone Inzaghi’s men, but were only looking to frustrate their hosts and, by extension, those of us watching at home.
Now had the capital side achieved its goal and come away with something, perhaps their fans would have excused their hollow performance. Nevertheless, Marcus Thuram’s late winner meant that the Romans’ Lombardian campaign was a failure on all fronts.
Top (Match): Cagliari vs Frosinone
When the Serie A season comes to its closure, this unbelievable encounter from Round 10 will surely be on the shortlist for the best match of the campaign.
While the young Matias Soulé thought he had led Frosinone towards an away victory with a personal brace, the Serie B champions somehow managed to throw it all away. Cagliari mounted an epic comeback that started in the 70th minute and ended with Leonardo Pavoletti scoring twice in added time to seal a 4-3 victory.
What a way to earn your first victory of the season!
Flop (Match): Inter vs Roma
The buildup of this match was all about Romelu Lukaku’s much-anticipated return to Inter. In the end, this encounter was almost as cringe as the Beglian’s agonizing summer transfer saga.
The Nerazzurri supporters unleashed a wave of deafening whistles every time the Roma striker was anywhere near the ball, while the action on the pitch was lukewarm, to say the least, with the visitors doing their best to derail the Nerazzurri.
Thanks to Thuram’s winner, we had something to write home about instead of the needless act that occurred in the stands.
Top (Reunion): Alberto Gilardino & Filippo Inzaghi
Once upon a time at Milan, Alberto Gilardino was an up-and-coming striker trying to carve himself a starting spot in Carlo Ancelotti’s lineup at the expense of the legendary Pippo Inzaghi. The two shared a respectful rivalry while winning a World Cup and a Champions League as part of the same teams.
Therefore, their reunion on Friday as opponents on the sideline was a heartwarming sight. But In the end, it was Gilardino’s Genoa that claimed a 1-0 win over Inzaghi’s Salernitana at the Luigi Ferraris.
Flop (Luck): Moise Kean
At this point, Moise Kean must be wondering what he has to do to place his name on the scoresheet. The Juventus striker bagged a brace against Verona, including a fabulous solo effort, but VAR has a knack for canceling his goals (it has now ensued thrice this season).
The first strike was disallowed for the most marginal offside call you’d ever witness, while the second was due to a debated foul on Davide Faraoni.
Top (Actor): Davide Faraoni
Speaking of the devil, the Verona skipper certainly made the most of Kean’s push. But unfortunately for the wingback, he could now find himself in trouble as the camera caught him play-acting.
The 32-year-old was preparing to stand back up, but then threw himself on the ground once again with a maximum dramatic effect when he saw Kean scoring, in a successful attempt to receive VAR’s attention.
Could the spell turn against the sorcerer?
— Juventus Club Svezia/Podcast Juventus Club Svezia (@ClubSvezia) October 30, 2023
Top (Goal): Gianluca Scamacca
While we saw some lovely goals in Serie A Round 10, including winners from Bologna’s Joshua Zirkzee and Genoa’s Albert Gudmundsson, it simply had to be Scamacca’s backheel strike.
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) October 31, 2023
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