Tops and Flops of Serie A Round 28: Inter Tame Bologna, D’Aversa Loses Temper

Last weekend, our recap included some captivating events that caught the imagination of Serie A fanatics. But while one might be inclined to believe that this weekend would struggle to follow suit, guess what? it may have gone beyond in terms of mayhem. Instead of one acrobatic goal, we got two. Rather than a coach making threats with his hand gestures, we got one who proceeded in the action. Too bad we have nothing regarding a thrilling title race on display, as this one is getting even duller with every passing week. Nevertheless, let’s recall the action from the Italian peninsula by identifying the Tops and Flops of Serie A Round 28.

Top (Player): Dany Mota

Truth be told, there was a lack of genuine eye-catching individual displays this weekend. Therefore, Dany Mota arguably did enough to snatch the recognition.

The Portuguese striker produced a sensational scissor-kick goal in Monza’s 3-2 victory away at Genoa. But while one shouldn’t be surprised by his attacking prowess, the 25-year-old also pulled up an impeccable block to preserve his side’s lead.

So with vital contributions at both ends of the pitch, the Biancorossi surely owe this victory to the versatile striker.

Flop (Player): Federico Fazio

Salernitana’s campaign continues to dissolve in front of our very eyes. And with the squad’s most experienced veterans beginning to commit amateur mistakes, you know it’s a lost cause.

In the 2-4 defeat to Cagliari, Argentine defender Federico Fazio made two major blunders, with each costing the Granata a goal. On the first occasion, he gave away possession cheaply, while on the second, he failed to properly clear the ball, which gifted Eldor Shomurodov another goal.

Top (Manager): Davide Ballardini

For the first time this season, Sassuolo managed to register a victory in the absence of Domenico Berardi. So kudos to Davide Ballardini who found a winning recipe that doesn’t include the club’s all-time goalscorer, something that his predecessor Alessio Dionisi failed to achieve on nine occasions.

The Neroverdi earned an invaluable 1-0 win over fellow relegation strugglers Frosinone to lift the team’s spirit at this crucial timing.

There is hope after all for the Emilians, especially with a tried-and-tested tactician like Ballardini at the wheel.

Flop (Manager): Roberto D’Aversa

Roberto D’Aversa is the ultimate pick in this category. Not because of Lecce’s defeat or the horrifying slump that culminated in his sacking, but for the action that ensued after the final whistle.

The cameras caught the manager storming into the pitch and headbutting Verona striker Thomas Henry. While the coup perhaps wasn’t as vicious as the player made it look with his reaction, it remains a shocking incident that should have been avoided at all costs.

To make matters even worse, the manager then claimed that he entered the pitch to maintain order and prevent a post-match melee. If so, then it truly was a horrible execution on his part.

So if his team’s skid wasn’t enough, that regrettable incident gave the Lecce management a perfect alibi to wield the axe on the coach’s tenure.

Top (Team): Inter

Since there were no lopsided results this weekend, Inter deserve recognition for the way they negotiated their encounter with the high-flying Bologna.

In a clash between the two most in-form clubs in Serie A, it was the league leaders who prevailed to maintain a perfect record in 2024 while registering their tenth league win in a row.

The Nerazzurri managed to tame the Rossoblu who have been causing havoc for the rest of the field, completely nullifying the threat of Joshua Zirkzee and company. Moreso, they pulled it off while Lautaro Martinez remained an unused sub.

How many teams can afford to leave the league’s runaway top goalscorer on the bench for the entire match and still register an away victory over a Top Four side?

Simone Inzaghi’s men continue to amaze.

Flop (Team): Lazio

Sadly for Lazio, their campaign has come undone in a matter of days.

The capital side have been struggling for consistency in the league since the start of the season, but have now suffered back-to-back defeats at home that might have dashed their Top Four (or Five) hopes.

Last week’s defeat to Milan was understandable, especially amid the surreal circumstances, and the same can be said about their Champions League elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich. However, it’s hard to justify Monday’s 1-2 loss to Udinese, despite the absentees.

The Biancoceleste had luck on their side this time as they managed to equalize through an own goal, but they immediately allowed the Zebrette to restore the lead.

Top (Goalkeeper): Michele Di Gregorio

We don’t usually pick a goalkeeper who conceded two goals in this category, but Michele Di Gregorio still played a vital role in Monza’s thrilling 3-2 win over Genoa.

The Grifone had the bulk of the chances, but the Italian custodian pulled off a series of excellent saves to maintain his side’s advantage.

The Inter youth product even denied Albert Gudmundsson from the spot, but could do little about the rebound.

Flop (Goalkeeper): Guillermo Ochoa

Whether it’s father time catching up with Guillermo Ochoa or is it Salernitana’s miserable campaign taking its toll on his form, the goalkeeper endured an abysmal afternoon in Sardinia.

The Mexican looked shaky between the sticks. He certainly would have been able to save one or two of Cagliari’s four goals on his day.

Top (Match): Fiorentina vs Roma

Whenever these two teams collide, fireworks are almost guaranteed. Fiorentina took the lead on two occasions much to the delight of the Purple crowds at Artemio Franchi, but Roma still managed to salvage a draw with a last-minute equalizer with Diego Llorente picking the ideal timing to score his first of the season.

To make matters even more agonizing for the Viola, their captain Cristiano Biraghi had the chance to kill off the match from the spot by making it 3-1, but he couldn’t beat Mile Svillar.

The encounter also witnessed an intriguing tactical battle between the two managers, with Daniele De Rossi uncharacteristically starting with a three-man defense, only to switch back to a four-man backline after the break which certainly paid dividends.

Flop (Match): Milan vs Empoli

While it wasn’t a terrible match by any means, it was simply too straightforward in the absence of any sort of interesting twists.

Christian Pulisic put the Rossoneri in the lead thanks to a deflected shot, and Empoli never truly managed to fashion threatening opportunities, as they appeared resigned to defeat from the moment they conceded the solitary goal.

Top (Super-Sub): Eldor Shomurodov

After spending almost three months on the sidelines, Shomurodov made a brief cameo last weekend. But his true return to action ensued this weekend in Cagliari’s 4-2 win over Salernitana.

The Uzbekistan international entered the pitch after the interval and scored a brace that sealed three instrumental points for the Sardinians.

Although Fazio and Ochoa’s aforementioned woes helped his case, the former Roma man certainly deserves the plaudits for the impact he made.

Flop (Not-So-Super-Sub): Kaio Jorge

Kaio Jorge entered the pitch for Frosinone against Sassuolo in the 83rd and then had the chance to snatch an equalizer when his side was awarded a penalty kick in added time.

Sadly for the Brazilian, he couldn’t hit the target, thus condemning his side to a defeat in a direct relegation scrap.

Trusting young substitutes with spot-kick duty can often backfire.

Top (Assist): Alessandro Bastoni

Alessandro Bastoni partially gets the nod in his category due to the fact that he can deliver sublime crosses like the best in the game despite being a centre-back.

The Italy international delivered an outswinger that evaded the entire backline before being directed to goal by fellow Nerazzurri defender Yann Bisseck who produced a clinical finish.

This goal simply depicts what this Inter side is all about.

Top (Goal): Antonio Sanabria

While Mota’s scissor kick is equally deserving of recognition, we’ve already highlighted the Portuguese’s heroics above.

Thus, Antonio Sanabria’s sensational bicycle kick on Friday night is the goal of the week, especially since it earned Torino a hard-fought draw against Napoli.

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