After 11 rounds, one might argue that the Scudetto race is beginning to take shape. Perhaps it’s too early to envision a two-horse race featuring Inter and Juventus. Still, the two league leaders have once again displayed their efficiency and cerebral superiority by earning two hard-fought wins in the difficult atmospheres of Bergamo and Florence. On the other hand, Milan remain lost in a dark tunnel, while Napoli are trying to climb their way back into contention. So let’s revise the most intriguing events of Serie A Round 11 while naming the Tops and Flops of the weekend.
Top (Player): Arijon Ibrahimovic
The Serie A gods might take an Ibra with one hand but they give an Ibra with the other.
At the tender age of 17, Arijon Ibrahimovic is proving that sharing the last name of a non-related footballing icon mustn’t be his most recognizable characteristic.
After scoring a Coppa Italia goal in midweek, Eusebio Di Francesco handed the teenager his full Serie A debut in Round 11, and what a masterstroke this turned out to be!
The Bayern Munich-owned winger provided the assist for Marvin Cuni’s jaw-dropping strike before smashing the ball home to double his side’s lead over Empoli who were only able to pull one back at the end of the match.
Keep an eye on this starlet… in fact, keep an eye on the whole Frosinone squad which is full of exciting youngsters.
Flop (Player): Edoardo Goldaniga
Luckily for Edoardo Goldaniga, Cagliari prevailed over Genoa thanks to Gabriele Zappa’s winner. But still, the defender gifted Albert Gudmundsson an equalizer with an absurd piece of defending.
The Rossoblu centre-back terribly misjudged the altitude of a cross inside his own box, So instead of clearing the ball with his foot, he decided to make an awkward dive to head away the low ball, which made for a comedic scene.
Claudio Ranieri certainly didn’t enjoy this one.
Top (Coach): Thiago Motta
Despite a rather lukewarm summer transfer market, Bologna remain on the rise. So it’s time to show some love for their brilliant manager Thiago Motta.
The Italo-Brazilian displayed his tactical prowess by producing a dominant showing against Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio and coming away with a well-deserved win thanks to Lewis Ferguson’s solitary goal.
After Round 11, the Rossoblu sit in an outstanding sixth place in the Serie A table. They haven’t lost since the opening day against Milan.
Surely the former Inter and PSG midfielder will find himself a more prestigious dugout sooner rather than later.
Flop (Coach): Stefano Pioli
This weekend, Stefano Pioli decided to shake things up, introducing a crooked 4-4-2 formation. However, it just didn’t pan out Milan as we would have hoped for against Udinese who secured a famous win at the San Siro thanks to a debatable penalty kick from Roberto Pereyra.
But all controversy aside, the Rossoneri were both wasteful and below par. Pairing Olivier Giroud with Luka Jovic upfront certainly backfired, while Yunus Msuah didn’t enjoy his best outing as a hybrid winger.
So it’s back to the drawing board for the Milan manager who’s now standing on increasingly thinner ice.
Top (Team): Monza
While most results in Round 11 ended with a one-goal margin, Monza’s commanding showing at the Bentegodi sets them as the most impressive Serie A team in the weekend.
Lorenzo Colombo was on fire, bagging a personal brace that included a truly fantastic goal. Raffaele Palladino’s men won their encounter against Verona by three goals to one, and made it seem like a routine feat.
Flop (Team): Lazio
While Milan at least came close to scoring on several occasions, Lazio were simply abysmal in their miserable trip to Bologna.
The Biancocelesti hardly showed any grit, allowing their hosts to frustrate them and drive them out of the game.
The capital side continues to register inconsistent results in what is turning out to be an unpleasant campaign for Sarri and his men.
Top (Goalkeeper): Marco Silvestri
Udinese secured a memorable win over Milan away from home, and the bulk of the credit must go to Marco Silvestri who pulled off a series of acrobatic saves.
The former Verona goalkeeper might be one of of the most underrated custodians in Serie A, but he certainly stole the limelight in Round 11.
Flop (Goalkeeper): Guillermo Ochoa
At the age of 38, one must wonder if Salernitana goalkeeper Gullermo Ochoa is beginning to lose it, or if it’s simply a temporary poor stretch.
Whatever the case may be, the Mexican had a torrid outing between the sticks in the Campanian derby.
While conceding the Napoli opener from Giacomo Raspadori is justifiable, Eljif Elmas’ shot should have never escaped him.
The coming weeks and months should shed some light on this situation, as Pippo Inzaghi ponders his options in goal.
Flop to Top: Romelu Lukaku
After enduring an inferno at the Giuseppe Meazza last weekend, Romelu Lukaku desperately needed a positive display when Roma hosted Lecce at the Olimpico.
Nevertheless, it started terribly wrong for the Belgian who failed to convert from the spot. His feeble shot was denied by Wladimiro Falcone.
But in the most stunning of finales, the Romans turned the result upside-down by scoring twice in added time, and as fate would have it, Lukaku delivered the winner that completed the remarkable comeback.
Is there anyone else in football who can transform himself from hero to zero or vice versa in the blink of an eye quite like Big Rom?!
Top (Defense): Juventus
While it wasn’t the most exciting encounter of the weekend, this recap would be incomplete without mentioning Juventus and their show of grandeur at the back.
The Bianconeri took an early lead in Florence when Fabio Miretti opened his Serie A account, but Max Allegri commanded his troops to drop back and defend the lead as if their lives depended on it.
So props to Gleison Bremer, Daniele Rugani and the rest for embracing the art of defending while reveling in the Corto Muso mantra.
Top (Assist): Hakan Calhanoglu
While it wasn’t officially an assist as it didn’t result in a direct goal, we just had to find a way to heap some praise on Hakan Calhanoglu’s outrageous through ball that made its way past all Atalanta defenses, forcing Juan Musso to give away a spot kick for a foul on Matteo Darmian.
The Turk deservedly converted the opener, putting Inter on the right track toward an all-important win over Atalanta in Bergamo.
Aside from that magical moment, the former Milan man continues to cement himself as one of the best deep-lying playmakers in Europe.
Top (Goal): Marvin Cuni
Before Monday night, Colombo’s strike was the most deserving candidate. Yet, nothing beats a delightful backheel volley.
So take a bow, Mr. Cuni!
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA) November 6, 2023
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