Tops and Flops of Serie A Round 5: Gatti and Szczesny star in Juventus Tragicomedy

When it comes to the most exciting weekends of Calcio, this one certainly won’t land on anyone’s favorite list. If truth is to be told, this was a rather uneventful, matchday in Italian football, perhaps outside of the chaotic events that ensued at the Mapei Stadium. Inter and Milan both needed a single strike to collect all three points, while Roma, Lazio and Napoli had to settle for underwhelming draws. Nevertheless, there were still various interesting elements to pick up, and we’ll recap them in our own fashion by enlisting the tops and flops from Serie A Round 5.

Top (Player): Giacomo Bonaventura

Giacomo Bonaventura is aging like a fine wine. At the age of 34, the midfielder remains a pillar for Fiorentina in every sense of the word.

On Sunday, Jack put Udinese to the sword, first by providing a sublime assist to Lucas Martinez Quarta, putting the Argentine defender through on goal with a stunning touch, and then by showcasing his clinical finish as he placed a ball neatly just inside the post to secure a 2-0 win for the Tuscans in Friuli.

Amid the lack of inspirational displays in Serie A Round 5, a goal and an assist were enough to earn the veteran the recognition that he most certainly deserves.

Flop (Player): Federico Gatti

As you would expect, Juventus are bound to dominate the Flop sections this week. So let’s begin with the main star of the horror show, Mr. Federico Gatti.

While it’s hard not to feel some compassion for the former bricklayer who suffered the most traumatizing experience of his playing career, we must admit that it was an incredibly poor display from the 25-year-old who was one of the main culprits in Juve’s 2-4 defeat at the hands of Sassuolo

The Italian’s poor pass culminated in the hosts’ second goal, while he completely lost track of Armand Laurienté ahead of the third. And finally, his calamitous evening reached its climax with the most bizarre of own goals, when he decided to pass backwards towards his goal which was completely abandoned by Wojciech Szczesny (we’ll get to him later on).

Top (Coach): Aurelio Andreazzoli

We rarely pick the coach of a losing team in the Top section, much less the manager of a club that’s yet to register a single point in five rounds nor score a single goal.

Yet, Empoli showcased enough encouraging signs on Aurelio Andreazzoli’s return to the club to suggest that things could be looking up for the Tuscan side.

The Azzurri didn’t have the technical capacity or the physical attributes to cope with Inter for 90 minutes, but the team displayed some improvement in terms of tactical organization as well as a fighting spirit. They were able to frustrate Simone Inzaghi’s men for an entire half and only conceded a wonder goal from Federico Dimarco.

So whether it was merely the shocking effect of Paolo Zanetti’s sacking or the beginning of a genuine restoration under Andreazzoli, only time will tell.

Flop (Coach): Rudi Garcia

Paradoxically, our Flop coach of Round 5 didn’t sustain a defeat, yet, it certainly felt like one for Napoli who have now dropped points in their last three Serie A outings, leaving their title defense in great jeopardy as early as September.

Whether he knew it or not, Rudi Garcia accepted one of the most daunting tasks in football by replacing Luciano Spalletti. Replicating the latter’s feat in the Southern Italian city was always going to be a massive challenge.

In their away encounter at the Dall’Ara, Napoli once again seemed to be a team lacking ideas, while the auras that surrounded last season’s stars Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia are slowly fading.

For his part, the French manager isn’t adding any sort of tactical identity to his side. If anything, he’s gradually losing grip on what remains of the radiant team that took Italy and Europe by storm last season.

Napoli Player Ratings vs Bologna: Wasteful Osimhen Leaves In Rage

Top (Team): Atalanta

In a week filled with draws and slim wins, a 2-0 home win over Cagliari was enough for Atalanta to get the nod. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men dominated the match from start to finish, never giving the Rossoblu the chance to get a foothold on the match.

Moreover, Charles De Ketelaere continues to impress, delivering a fabulous assist to Ademola Lookman for the opener.

Flop (Team): Juventus

We mentioned Gatti above and we’ll shed some light on Szczesny’s masterpiece of a display in a while. But in earnest, Juventus, as a team, were poor in general, perhaps barring Federico Chiesa who’s proving to be the main glimmer of hope in Turin.

The Bianconeri will certainly have to do better if they intend to restore their status among the elite this season.

Juventus Player Ratings vs Sassuolo: Szczesny and Gatti Horror Show

Top (Goalkeeper): Pietro Terracciano

We talked about Bonaventura’s exploits above. However, Fiorentina wouldn’t have been able to secure the 2-0 win in Udine if it wasn’t for a series of heroic saves from Pietro Terracciano who continues to defy the odds.

Flop (Goalkeeper): Wojciech Szczesny

Wojciech Szczesny might be one of the most experienced and reliable goalkeepers in Serie A, but his display in Round 5 was most likely his worst since joining Juventus in 2017.

The Pole failed to handle Lauriente’s shot which came straight at him, gifting Sassolo their opening goal. He could also have parried away the Frenchman’s shot more properly on the third, but instead, he pushed it toward Andrea Pinamonti who pounced on the rebound.

Finally, Tek insisted on leaving his line to play a late set piece. But instead of sending it wide, he opted to pick Gatti in an awkward position, which sparked the jaw-dropping own goal.

Top (goal): Federico Dimarco

Even when he’s not at his best, Federico Dimarco only needs one moment of pure magic and sheer striking power to change the course of the match.

The wingback preserves Inter’s perfect start of the season by producing a goal-of-the-season contender with a vicious left foot that almost ripped the net.

Flop (Reaction): Victor Osimhen

As we argued above, Garcia hasn’t been convincing since taking the reins at Napoli. However, this doesn’t justify the scene that Victor Osimhen made while exiting the pitch.

The Nigerian was so frustrated by his late substitution against Bologna that he was visibly shouting at this coach while making his way toward the dugout.

After failing to hit the target from the spot kick – which ultimately cost his side a couple of points – the striker would have been better off avoiding this ill-advised row.

Flop (kit): Udinese

What were they thinking?!

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