Tops and Flops of Serie A Round 8: Magical Sassuolo, Unlucky Inzaghi

Following the first international break of the campaign, Calcio fans rejoiced with the return of their favorite domestic league. This weekend witnessed several routings all across the Italian peninsula.

Juventus won a match for a change, while Inter’s miserable run continued with a home defeat at the hands of Roma. For their part, Milan emerged victorious following some late drama at Empoli, but Napoli and Atalanta remain untroubled on top of the standings.

So let’s wrap up some of the action in the Tops and Flops from Serie A Round 8.

Top (Player): André-Frank Zambo Anguissa

While the Cameroonian’s arrival to Napoli was initially met with skepticism, the former Fulham man is now easily one of the best midfielders in Serie A.

The 26-year-old is playing higher up the field this season, and has already cemented himself as a fabulous box-to-box midfielder.

Against Torino, Anguissa displayed his prowess by bagging an early brace. His first goal was a clinical header. As for the second, he ran halfway through pitch with the ball at his feet before beating Vanja Milinkovic-Savic at the near corner.

A splendid outing!

Top (Super-Sub): Ante Rebic

Instead of picking out a flop, let’s honor Ante Rebic’s second-half cameo which instigated Milan’s late charge in Tuscany.

The Croatian’s smart movement and confident finishing broke the deadlock for the Rossoneri. He then returned the favor for Rafael Leao with a wonderful through ball that allowed his teammate to put the exclamation mark on the victory against Empoli.

Flop (Manager): Ivan Juric

Unfortunately for Ivan Juric, it all went wrong for his side at the Maradona Stadium, and it was partially his own fault.

For instance, the Croatian adopted a relatively attacking formation with Nikola Vlasic, Aleksei Miranchuk and Antonio Sanabria all starting, providing Napoli with enough space to inflict damage through counter attacks, which is a specialty of Luciano Spalletti’s side.

Furthermore, Juric failed to keep his temper in check, receiving his marching orders following an outburst against the referee’s decision, which could cause him a lengthy ban.

Top (Manager): Raffaele Palladino

Despite spending his playing career as a journeyman, Raffaele Palladino’s coaching adventure has started on an incredibly promising note.

If the circumstances helped him earn his maiden Serie A victory over Juventus last time around, Monza’s win over Sampdoria in Round 8 was simply indisputable.

Palladino has now become the first manager to win his first two Serie A outings since Roberto Donadoni in 2005.

Top (Owner): Silvio Berlusconi

As we’ve been informed by Monza’s legal department, every time we praise the club or any of it’s employees, credit must also be given to the Biancorossi’s proud owner and president, Silvio Berlusconi.

While promoting the Primavera manager after sacking the first team coach sounds like a déjà vu plan, the former primer minister would insist that Palladino’s exploits is a part of genius vision.

And who are we to argue with Don Silvio’s statements?

Flop (Team): Sampdoria

Speaking of Sampdoria, this team has officially hit rock bottom, succumbing to a devastating 0-3 defeat at the hands of Monza in front of their own supporters.

The signs of the Blucerchiati’s decline have been present since the previous campaign, as Marco Giampaolo’s second tenure at the Marassi has been nothing short of disastrous.

Perhaps promoting the Primavera coach – whoever he is – wouldn’t be a terrible idea, as the situation can’t get any worse.

Top (Team): Sassuolo

While Sassuolo seemed to be a depleted side by the end of the transfer market, new stars are now emerging, as it’s always been the case at the Mapei Stadium.

In Serie A Round 8, Alessio Dionisi’s men ran riot when hosting the hapless Salernitana, scoring five superb goals courtesy of five different stars.

Armand Laurienté, Kristian Thorstvedt and Agustin Alvarez looked particularly impressive, while Domenico Berardi’s absence went unnoticed.

Top (Team): Lazio

Even though they were outscored by Sassuolo, Lazio’s thumping 4-0 win over Spezia also deserves a mention.

Maurizio Sarri’s team looked splendid from start to finish, with Sergei Milinkovic-Savic, Felipe Anderson and Mattia Zaccagni all looking in a spectacular form.

Coincidentally, Ciro Immbile’s strikes weren’t even needed, with the Euro 2020 winner sending his spot kick towards the stands.

Flop: Inzaghi’s Luck

This season, fans and observers alike have been slightly harsh on Simone Inzaghi (us included). The manager’s poor decisions and perplexing substitutions have been blamed for Inter’s early shortcomings.

Nonetheless, the former Lazio man hardly committed any tactical blunders when hosting Roma at the Giuseppe Meazza, yet, the outcome was just the same.

At the time when the Nerazzurri were pushing for a winner (with Calhanoglu hitting the post), Chris Smalling snatched the win for the visitors.

Sadly for Inzaghi, the man can’t seem to catch a break nowadays. Whether it’s his tactics or simply his poor luck, his campaign appears to be doomed from the get-go.

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