Tops and Flops of Serie A Round 13: Roma Pay for Ibanez Derby Blunder

With three top clashes on the menu, the 13th round of Serie A wasn’t like any other. The first grand battle was between the two clubs who started the weekend in the top two spots on the table, while the second happened to be one of the most fiery derbies in Europe, and third is arguably the biggest rivalry in the history of Calcio. So let’s recap the most interesting events from an action-packed weekend by shedding light on the best and worst performers of the Serie A weekend in the Tops and Flops from Round 13.

Top (Player): Filip Kostic

With Federico Chiesa finally returning from a lengthy layoff, many observers expected Filip Kostic to be the one who makes way for the Euro 2020 hero.

Nonetheless, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri will have to find a way to include both men in his starting formation, because based on his display in the Derby d’Italia, the Serbian is undroppable at the moment.

The 30-year-old created Adrien Rabiot’s opener with a stunning run that came out of nowhere, before adding another assist to his name when Nicolò Fagioli doubled the lead, killing any hopes of an Inter resurgence.

Moreover, the winger also provided the assist for Danilo’s disallowed goal with a sublime corner kick, and almost scored himself, but his effort crashed against the post.

Flop (Player): Roger Ibanez

This season, Roger Ibanez has made leaps and bounds, cementing himself as one of the finest defenders in Serie A. He even made his debut for Brazil recently.

The 23-year-old is no longer an error-prone player as he once was, but apparently, he still has a knack for overplaying his hand.

But if you’re going to commit a blunder, just don’t let be in a Derby. Especially not this Derby!

The former Atalanta man gifted Lazio the lead when he allowed Pedro to dispossess him inside his own penalty box. Felipe Anderson’s goal proved to be the lone difference between the two eternal rivals.

To be fair, Roma had another hour of play to make up for it, but struggled to create chances. So while the responsibility doesn’t solely lie on Ibanez, he remains the undisputed main culprit for the defeat.

Flop to Top: Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhen has already cemented himself as a terrifying striker and perhaps a defender’s worst nightmare. But while we all know about his prowess on the pitch, he also displayed his immense character with the way he bounced back during the clash between Atalanta and Napoli.

The Nigerian’s handball gave the hosts the lead from the spot, but it only took him a few minutes to pick himself up and drag his team back to the match, first by nodding home the equalizer, and then by providing the assist for Eljif Elmas’ winner.


Flop (Manager): Simone Inzaghi

Simone Inzaghi’s tactical decisions often leaves fans and observers alike puzzled. But while the manager can be impulsive with his flurry of substitutions at times, he did the opposite during the Derby d’Italia.

While Juventus took the lead in 52nd minute, the Inter coach waited for another 20 minutes to make his first change, even though the Nerazzurri looked out of steam – keeping the in-form Joaquin Correa on the bench for the majority of the match.

Top (Manager): Thiago Motta

On the contrary, here’s a manager who rolled the dice early in the second half and was rewarded for it with three valuable points.

When Bologna were trailing 0-1 to Torino, Thiago Motta decided to ring the changes at half-time and it immediately paid off, as two of his substitutes (Emanuel Vignato and Riccardo Orsolini) combined for the equalizer, while Roberto Soriano provided the assist for the winner also after coming off the bench.

Flop (Team): Sampdoria

Lifeless, complacent and increasingly poor. Sampdoria simply don’t look like a team worthy of playing in Serie A, and their abysmal display against Fiorentina in Round 13 was a further confirmation of their dire state.

Dejan Stankovic obviously doesn’t possess a magical stick, and the issue appears to be much deeper that an incapable technical staff.

Top (Team): Lazio

It wasn’t a spectacular Derby performance by any means, nor a vintage Sarrismo display, but it was just what Lazio needed following back-to-back defeats and a Europa League elimination.

In the absence of their two biggest stars (Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic), the Eagles had to make up by playing like a team.

Maurizio Sarri’s men pounced on Roma’s blunder to take a lead, before showcasing their solidity and compactness to preserve the slim advantage while hardly giving anything away for their crosstown rivals.

Top (Gamesmanship): Stefan Radu

Stafan Radu is the longest serving one-club man among active Serie A players. The veteran rarely sees the pitch these days, but his still had to make his presence felt during the Derby della Capitale.

In the dying minutes. the Romanian played on the nerves of Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio, by hiding the ball behind his back when the goalkeeper rushed toward Lazio’s bench to retrieve it.

The Portuguese was expectedly livid, and shoved the defender in his attempt to reclaim the ball, and of course a melee ensued afterward… much to the delight of the Biancocelesti who were more than happy to run the clock.

Flop (Sportsmanship): Stefan Radu

Check the previous paragraph. Poor sportsmanship or cheeky gamesmanship? Perhaps two sides of the same coin.

Top (Goalkeeper): Luigi Sepe

How often do we see a goalkeeper saving two straight penalties. Salernitana’s Luigi Sepe achieved this feat when he denied Cremonese’s Daniel Ciofani twice in a row during the exciting 2-2 draw between the two sides.

Unfortunately for the custodian, the visitors pounced on the rebound on both occasions (the original spot kick and the replayed one).

Top and Flop: Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud has been unstoppable this week. After guiding Milan towards the Champions League knockout stages with a colossal display against Salzburg, he scored a late winner from a signature acrobatic effort to settle the tie against the resilient Spezia.

The problem?

The Frenchman took his jersey off during his wild celebration, earning himself a second yellow in the process, and ruling himself out of the Rossoneri’s midweek trip to Cremonese, where his services would have definitely came handy.

Was the celebration worth the ban? We’ll find out on Wednesday.

Top (Goal): David Okereke

While Giroud’s fantastic effort sure;y has a claim for being the best from Round 13, we still prefer David Okereke’s stunning volley against Salernitana, although the official Serie A YouTube apparently disagrees.

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