Tops and Flops of Serie A Round 6: Berardi Stuns Inter, Mourinho Sinks

Following a lukewarm weekend, the Calcio gods swiftly repaid their loyal worshipers with an action-packed midweek round that witnessed two stunning upsets. While Juventus, Milan, Lazio and Napoli all collected routine wins, Inter suffered their first defeat of the season, as Sassuolo set the Scudetto race ablaze by beating a second Italian giant in the space of four days.

The matchday concluded when a shell-shocked Roma side was routed in Genoa. So let’s recap the most thrilling action from the midweek in our Tops and Flops from Serie A Round 6.

Top (Player): Domenico Berardi

In Round 6, there were several worthy contenders for the top spot, including last season’s Serie A MVP Khvicha Kvaratskhelia who pulled off his first masterclass of the season, and Albert Gudmundsson who kept the Roma defenders on his trail.

Nevertheless, putting the league leaders to the sword on their own turf is a rare boon. Domenico Berardi consolidated his status as the giant killer with a sublime assist and a jaw-dropping screamer that turned the result upside-down against Inter.

What a player!

Flop (Players): Mohamed Kaba & Alexis Saelemaekers

This round, we saw not one, but two players, enter the pitch in the second half and earn themselves a couple of yellow cards and subsequently leave their teams in a numerical disadvantage.

The two recipients of this honor are Lecce midfielder Mohamed Kaba who earned his marching orders against Juventus, and Bologna winger Alexis Saelemaekers in the tie against Monza.

Top (Manager): Alessio Dionisi

We spoke about Berardi’s prowess above, but it also takes tactical genius, bravery and superb preparation skills to earn six points against Juventus and Inter in the space of four days.

So take a bow, Sir Alessio Dionisi, the giant slayer!

The way that Sassuolo can keep the biggest clubs in the country on their heels and harrying them on the counter has been a sight to behold over the past week.

Flop (Manager): José Mourinho

Sadly for José Mourinho, none of his maneuvers worked at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium. He just didn’t have the answers for a brilliant and vastly determined Genoa side led by a young and clever tactician in the form of Alberto Gilardino.

At one point, the Special One unleashed four strikers (Dybala, Lukaku, Belotti and Azmoun) in addition to Stephan El Shaarawy, yet, it was the Grifone who were grabbing the goals, registering a famous 4-1 victory over their Roman visitors.

Top (Team): Genoa

As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, Genoa were simply unplayable. Gudmundsson is rapidly establishing himself as one of the best ballers in Serie A, while Mateo Retegui continues to justify his Italy call-ups with his fabulous finishing.

And let’s not forget about the solid defense led by the young Radu Dragusin.

Flop (Team): Salernitana

Against the wounded Empoli in Round 6, Salernitana had a glorious chance to record their first win in Serie A this season. Yet, it seemed as if the Granata never showed up at the Carlo Castellani.

The Southerners were completely outplayed by the Tuscans who scored their first goal and earned their first points of the season, leaving their visitors’ morale at an all-time low and Paulo Sousa on the brink.

Top (Goalkeeper): Michele Di Gregorio

The contest between Monza and Bologna was arguably the dullest affair of the round, but Michele Di Gregorio had to pull off five saves to secure a point for the Biancorossi and avoid an undesirable home defeat.

Flop (Goalkeeper): Boris Radunovic

Sadly for Boris Radunovic, this is his second appearance in this category in just six editions. The Cagliari goalkeeper gifted Milan the equalizer on Wednesday. He was also poor on the next two Rossoneri goals.

The Sardinians arguably possess one of the weakest squads in the league, so if they’re going to stand a chance at survival, they must somehow unearth a more competent custodian.

Top (Moment): Baldanzi’s Winner

The first five rounds of the season must have felt like an eternity for the Empoli faithful who were still anticipating their club’s first goal of the season.

Finally, the young Tommaso Baldanzi broke the duck, scoring a winner that delivered the club’s first three points of the campaign, much to the delight of the supporters at the Castellani.

The Azzurri seemed to have turned the page since the return of the vastly experienced Aurelio Andreazzoli.

Top (Surprise): Yacine Adli

When Milan first signed Yacine Adli in the summer of 2021, the fans were excited about the arrival of one of the most promising stars in Ligue 1.

Yet, the Rossoneri kept him on loan at Bordeaux for another season, and once he eventually arrived, Stefano Pioli never truly trusted him with a significant role in the squad.

Nevertheless, the French-Algerian refused to run away, insisting on staying and fighting for a spot… any spot.

On Wednesday, the 23-year-old surprisingly started for Milan as a central midfielder in Cagliari. Although he only lasted for an hour, his display should be encouraging enough to warrant additional chances.

So major props to Yacine for never giving up on himself.

Top (Goal): Lazar Samardzic

Perhaps Berardi’s stunner against Inter was equally deserving, but Lazar Samardzic left the entire Napoli defense in his wake, leaving several of them on the ground following some dashing dribbling before casually placing the ball past Alex Meret.

Although it was a mere consolation goal, it remains one of the most wonderful solo efforts of the Serie A campaign thus far.

Top & Flop (Rollercoaster): Napoli

In less than 24 hours, Napoli displayed all of its fascinating facets: The good, the bad and the ugly.

Even in the silly age of TikTok, an official club account mocking its own player remains an absurd scene. But kudos to Victor Osimhen for leaving all the controversy on the sidelines and reminding the world of what he does best: Scoring goals like that the elite, cold-blooded hitman that he is.

Moreover, this was the club’s best all-around performance under the guidance of Rudi Garcia, and shockingly, it occurred on the same day when a social media scandal threatened to erupt an internal conflict and further disrupt what feels like a fragile peace.

Ah, the elusive Napoli charm…

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