Read Vijay Rahaman’s Serie A review for Matchday 7, containing impartial judgments on all the weekend’s action, originally posted here.
Roma 3-1 Lazio
I have been following Serie A for 30 years, and I can’t remember a Derby della Capitale ever being the first game of any weekend, so it was exciting that it occurred on Saturday evening 3 pm Italian time.
The opening half an hour was end to end with both teams having chances to score, but it was not until Roman born and bred player Lorenzo Pellegrini replaced an injured Javier Pastore that the deadlock was broken.
It was almost as if the Argentine never left the field, because the Giallorossi number 7 scored with a back-heel, just like Pastore had done twice so far this season. He scored in an empty net after the Lazio defense including goalkeeper Tomas Strakosha had left his line to try and collect a long ball, that was delivered from Roma’s half.
Inexplicably, the Biancocelesti’s equalizer also came from an error!
Roma’s defense decided to play around with the ball, and Federico Fazio inadvertently pass the ball into an open space that Ciro Immobile pounced on, and said Thank you very much, and scored past a hapless Robert Olsen in goal.
Up until Saturday’s encounter, the only player to score for both clubs in the Derby was the Swedish striker Arne Selmosson almost 60 years ago, however that all change in the 71st minute, as Alexander Kolarov blasted a free-kick through the Lazio wall into the net.
His discussion with striker Edin Dzeko just before the goal was scored has gone viral, and it just shows how important communication between teammates are.
Il Lupi were the designated “home” team for the Stadio Olympico that they both share, and they increased their lead and confirmed the oints, when Fazio scored with a header from a Pellegrini cross.
Roma’s retreat seems to have work, while Lazio’s recent good form has been halted.
Juventus 3-1 Napoli
This season was supposed to be different for the Scudetto race, but at the end of September, and just seven matches in, the Bianconerri seems to have already wrapped up an 8th straight title!
It began so well for the Partenopei, as Dres Mertens gave them the lead after just ten minutes. A hash of a pass from Leonardo Bonucci was pounced on by Brazilian Allan, who thread the ball towards Jose Callejon who found an unmarked Mertens in the box to tap in.
Last season, the Campania based side scored late to win, but this early goal, gave a shot up the arm to the home team this time, and the Old Lady stormed back.
Ronaldo has been brought in to score the goals to end Juve’s 22 year European drought, however, he provided three assists to put them back on top in this game and continue their brilliant start to the Serie A season.
A cross to Mandzukic for a header in the 26th minute, a shot that hit the post that the Croatian tap home in the 49th and a header from a corner that Bonucci met with a sliding finish in the 76th…
The away team were not helped by Mario Rui’s red card from two yellow cards, the second of which was a over the ball challenge on Dybala.
With all their supposed title contenders all being inconsistent, I don’t see Juve being stopped!
Inter 2-0 Cagliari
The Nerazzurri have found some stability!
Four straight wins, this one with goals from two new recruits, means La Beneamata have a calm atmosphere heading to Eindhoven to play PSV in Europe.
A lot of Inter’s future hopes rest on Lautaro Martinez, and he finally got his first goal for his new club, as he met a Dalbert cross in the 12th minute to head home. Inter manager Luciano Spaletti rotated his squad, and his players replayed his faith in them.
However, the home team had to sweet somewhat for the win, as they sat back and allowed the Sardinians to come onto them, but fortunate for them it did not backfire.
I am a fan of Matteo Politano and I know all he needed was a top club to push his carear forward, and he scored a sumptuous strike to double the lead. A rasping volley from just inside the 18 yard box cannoned into the net.
A win, three points, two new players scoring, crisis averted?
Bologna 2-1 Udinese
A solid home win here for the Rossoblu, but they had to come back from a goal down to earn the three points.
Ignacio Pussetto gave the Frulians the lead after a lovely finish inside the box after beating his defender, and hitting an outside of the foot volley.
The Emilia-Romagna side scored two goals late in both halves to grab the win. First, a Federico Santandar blast that hit the under side of the crossbar in the 42nd and then a Riccardo Orsolini left footed first time shot from a cross in the 82nd beat the keeper on the inside of the post.
Both clubs have new managers, and who does the best will depend on who’s players adapts to the tactics quicker.
Chievo 0-1 Torino
This match was also decided late on as Simone Zaza scored his first goal for the Granata with just two minutes of the match remaining. There is not much else to say about these two sides except, The Flying Donkeys look like heading to Serie B, while Torino have a lot of work to do if they are to make Europe.
Fiorentina 2-0 Atalanta
This match was supposed to be about two of the youngest and most entertaining sides in Calcio, however, an Italian starlet that many in Italy are pinning their hopes on to help revive the Azzurri grabbed the headlines.
Federico Chiesa picked up the ball in his own half at the hour mark, dribbled past two La Dea defenders, went into the box and was adjudged to have been brought down by Rafael Toloi….
Was it a harsh call? Yes!
Could VAR overturned it? Yes!
However, I am in the minority here, in saying that it was clever play from the forward….He ran in front of the defender, fully well knowing there would be contact…There is no difference with that and a defender making a “tactical” foul to stop a quick counter in my humble honest opinion!
To label Chiesa a “diver” is too rush of a judgement…
Jordan Veretout converted the spot kick and La Viola was leading…
The Bergamaschi try as they might, were not able to level the score and it was the Tuscans who scored the second and final goal of the evening through Cristiano Biraghi. A sublime free-kick was saved by the Atalanta keeper, only for the goal to be given as it had crossed the line…
At the final whistle, the away team’s manager Gasperini had a right old go at his counterpart Stefano Pioli, however, I believe that was more in frustrating than anything personal…
Frosinone 1-2 Genoa
What else is there to say about Krzysztok Piatek???
My vocabulary is well and truly running out of words to use for the Polish star!
He scored a double in this game and became the first player since the 1949-1950 season to score eight goals in his first six games, added to his four in the Coppa Italia, that is twelve in seven for the 4.5 M Euro signing from Cravocia.
Both were scored within the space of just four minutes and both were set up by Kouame, and these two are building a nice understanding between them.
The home team scored their first of the season through a penalty just before half time, but that was a mere consolation, and the Grifone went back to Liguria with all three points.
Will Piatek still be with Genoa by the end of the January mercato?
Parma 1-0 Empoli
Just call Gervinho the renaissance man!
Another goal, another win and another three points for the Crociati moved them into the top half of the standings. A cool calm finish it was from the Ivory Coast player after he had been sent through by Barilla.
Europe may be a step too far for Parma, but their Serie A status is not as daunting as some had them before the season started.
Sassuolo 1-4 Milan
Heading to the Mapei stadium, Milanisti would have been fearing the worst!
They have struggled against the Neroverdi here ever since they got into the top flight of Italian football, and with the Rossoneri’s poor start to the season and the home team knowing a win would move them up to second place, manager Genarro Gattuso was under immense pressure.
However, his team responded…
They took the lead with a wonderful run and strike from Franck Kessie, who took the ball and went all of 60 yards and place the ball into the bottom left hand of the goal with his left foot.
Spanish winger Suso has said that Gattuso is not to blame for il Diavolo’s patchy form, and he stepped up more than most with a brace. The first a bullet shot just after half time and the second, with a deflected shot after his free-kick had hit the wall on the stroke of the 90th minute.
In between his strikes, fellow Spaniard Samu Castillejo got his first goal since his summer mover, also with a left footed strike and also from outside the penalty box!
The away side did not keep a clean sheet though as Filip Duricic scored in the 68th minute to cause a nervy end for Milan.
Can this game be the start of the revival for Milan and do Sassuolo brush off this defeat and move on…
Sampdoria 2-1 Spal
Monday Night Football in Serie A….
The Blucerchiati’s home form continued with a solid victory over surprising Spal at the Luigi Ferraris.
However, the away team took the lead through former Milan player Alberto Paloschi, as he tapped in a shot after the Samp keeper could only parry a shot from outside the box.
The home team equalised quite spectacularly at that!
Forwards Gregorire Defrel and Fabio Quagliarella have built up a great partnership even in this young season, and they combined to set up Karol Linetty, who’s volley rattled into the net just four minutes after they conceded.
On the hour mark, Defrel continued his return to form with Samp, as he met a Quagliarella cross after his initial shot was saved, and the French man stroked the ball home.
Samp leapfrog Spal in the table into 8th place after the win.
So what to make of another round of Serie A football? The Scudetto is probably already over, Chievo and Frosinone need a miracle to survive, both Milanese and Roman clubs continue to go up and down, while Chiesa should be given the benefit of the doubt before people throw around diving and “cheating” accusations….
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