Tops and Flops of Serie A Round 33: Napoli Crowned, Inter Unleashed

Champions at last! After botching their first “championship point”, Napoli did just enough to put themselves over the line, securing their first Scudetto title in 33 years thanks to Victor Osimhen’s equalizer in Udine. The writing has been on the wall for a long time now, but Thursday night proved to be THE night for the Neapolitans who have been eagerly waiting for this moment for more than three decades. However, there was so much action going on in Italy this midweek and we’ll wrap it up by identifying the Tops and Flops from Serie A Round 33.

Top (Player): Boulaye Dia

Let’s admit it: This is Boulaye Dia’s world and we’re just living in it!

The Senegalese couldn’t carve himself a spot at Villarreal so he joined Salernitana on loan last summer, and what a signing that turned out to be.

Three days after ruining Napoli’s Scudetto celebrations with a sensational equalizer at the Maradona Stadium, the 26-year-old scored a marvelous hattrick in the thrilling 3-3 draw against Fiorentina.

Even though he was the culprit on a couple of the Tuscans’ goals, his fabulous three strikes (especially the first two) are enough to warrant this recognition.

Flop (Player): Zeki Celik

Unfortunately for Roma’s Zeki Celik, he endured an abysmal outing at the U-Power Stadium. The Turkish wingback gave the ball away with a sloppy pass which almost gifted Monza a goal.

He then left José Mourinho’s side with a man down after picking up a second yellow card for a needless challenge. The Giallorossi eventually settled for a draw at a time when a win would have come in handy.

Top (Manager): Massimiliano Allegri

While we can easily name several Serie A coaches who enjoyed more success in Round 33, let’s call this one an encouragement recognition.

For once, Massimiliano Allegri opted for technique over physical strength in the middle of the park, with Leandro Paredes joining a couple of young Juventus midfielders. In the end, the Bianconeri earned a 2-1 win over Lecce at the Allianz Stadium.

Now surely the outcome wasn’t glorious by any means, but at least the team displayed decent rhythm and fluidity, which have been sorely missing during the last month or so.

Flop (Manager): Marco Zaffaroni/Salvatore Bocchetti

Instead of one, Verona have two managers in the dugout. Since Salvatore Bocchetti still doesn’t possess the required license to coach in Serie A, Marco Zaffaroni is the man officially in charge.

However, neither tactician was able to come out with a tactical solution while their players on the pitch were getting steamrolled at the hands of Simone Inzaghi’s Inter. The Gialloblu conceded six unanswered goals on their own turf – a trio of strikes in each half.

In truth, no one expected Verona to come away with a result against the on-form Nerazzurri, but fans might fear a mental breakdown following this horrific beatdown at a time when the club is embroiled in a razor-tight relegation dogfight against Spezia.

Top (Team): Inter

Speaking of the Bentegodi demolition, Inter were simply majestic on Wednesday night. This is the type of performance that has a bittersweet effect on the Nerazzurri faithful.

On one hand, Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko and company displayed sublime football, but on the other hand, one would wonder why the team didn’t produce such outings more often and make a genuine run for the Scudetto title.

In any case, the sublime Round 33 displays from the likes of Dzeko and Marcelo Brozovic will surely raise the team’s morale amid the crushing Top Four battle in Serie A and the universally-anticipated EuroDerby in the Champions League semi-finals.

Flop (Team): Milan

At a time when Inter are soaring, Milan maintained balance in the Fashion Capital with a forgettable display against Cremonese. While it wasn’t a completely disastrous performance, wasting two points at this stage of the season while playing at home against a side that already has one foot in Serie B is simply unacceptable.

While Charles De Ketelaere can’t seem to put the goal in the back of the net if his life depended on it, Pierre Kalulu and Malick Thiaw had a horror show at the back as they failed to clear their line despite a numerical advantage against David Okereke who left them both on the ground before beating Mike Maignan.

Stefano Pioli must be furious as his team’s Top Four chances are becoming increasingly complicated.

Top (Goalkeeper): Marco Carnesecchi

Although Milan should have done better to break the deadlock rather than wait for injury time to grab a less-than-satisfying equalizer, the Rossoneri stars found a brilliant goalkeeper in their way as Marco Carnesecchi pulled off a string of wonderful saves to deny the likes of De Ketelaere and Divock Origi.

Whether his parent club Atalanta will give him a chance or not next remains to be seen, but the young custodian will surely have a future in Serie A, with his Round 33 performance serving as a further testament to his unquestionable talent.

Flop (Goalkeeper): Michele Di Gregorio

Speaking of brilliant up-and-coming goalkeepers, Michele Di Gregorio is undeniably a force to be reckoned with, but the Monza man committed a howler that gifted Roma the lead.

The 25-year-old must improve his footwork if he intends to carve himself a place among the best shot-stoppers in Italian football.

Top (Match): Salernitana vs Fiorentina

As we mentioned above, Boulaye Dia was in spectacular form, completing a personal hattrick. Yet, every time the Senegalese put his team in the lead, Fiorentina managed to draw level in what turned out to be a six-goal thriller at the Arechi Stadium.

Top (Goal): Marten De Roon

This midweek witnessed several jaw-dropping strikes, including a half-volley from Dusan Vlahovic and a long-range screamer courtesy of Hakan Calhanoglu.

Yet, Marten De Roon’s spectacular enchanting volley wins the day.

Top (assist): Marcos Antonio

In his maiden Serie A campaign, Lazio midfielder Marcos Antonio has been struggling for playing time, but he made the most of the opportunity against Sassuolo in Round 33, delivering an astonishing assist that put his Brazilian compatriot Felipe Anderson through on goal.

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