Inter, Milan, and Roma in better shape than before, Ancelotti tinkering and winning and a Rugby style penalty from Empoli (that has probably not landed yet), Lazio returning to winning ways, Piatek still scoring. Just a few of the key stories from another weekend of Calcio, provided by Vijay Rahaman.
Torino 3-2 Frosinone
When the fixture list came out in July, this match-up was not one that anybody would have picked out for entertainment, however, on Friday Night Football in Serie A, it delivered!
Granata captain, Andrea Belotti, who has been dropped by Italy manager Roberto Mancini for the upcoming matches, had a point to prove, and he started it off early…In the 10th minute, he hit the post, but it would be left to others to find the net for the home side.
It was Venezuelan player Tomas Rincon who opened the scoring after Simone Zaza played a lovely 1st-time ball into his run, he took two touches, and then unleashed a powerful right-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net!
It stayed this way until the half-time interval, but there would be four more goals in the second.
Daniele Baselli tap in from a rebound off a cross to make it 2-0 to Torino, and given how poor the Canarini have been, one would expect the home side to coast to a win….However, there was some fight left in the Lazio based side.
They tied the game within the space of six minutes, first through Edoardo Goldaniga from a corner, and then a Camillio Ciano header when he was left unmarked as he rose to meet a Joel Campbell cross.
Just six minutes later, however, and the home side took the lead again, this time for good, for the win and all three points, through a ferocious strike from Spanish attacking midfielder Alex Berenguer from outside the box.
Torino have a respectable twelve points, while Frosinone looks dead and buried.
Cagliari 2-0 Bologna
Two crosses from Lucas Castro, two headers, two goals and three points for the Sardinians! Joao Pedro (who has been in great form since returning from his ban) and Leonardo Pavoletti grabbed the goals in the 22nd and 68th respectively. The win moves the Islanders above the Rossoblu in the process.
Udinese 0-2 Juventus
Two goals in the first half from the Bianconerri made it eight wins in the league and ten in all competitions to start the season!
The first was scored by Uruguayan Rodrigo Bentancur with a point-blank header from a counter-attack after the home side had a corner. The second, by Cristiano Ronaldo, with a rasping left-footed drive after a pass by Mario Mandzukic inside the box.
It could have been much worse for the hosts had their goalkeeper Scuffet not make some miraculous saves.
La Vecchia Signora well-oiled machine marches on, while the Frulians have some ways to go to confirm their Serie A status.
Empoli 0-2 Roma
The home team plays a nice brand of football, that is pleasing on the eye and any neutral would enjoy themselves at the Castellani stadium, however, their need to be more clinical in front of goal if they are to avoid going right back down to Serie B.
All of their best chances fell to Francesco Caputo and he had a day to forget!
In the 1st half, it was the Giallorossi that took the lead through a header from French World Cup winner Steven N’Zonzi, from a free-kick.
Empoli did hit the post from a direct free-kick, but then a moment that could go down into Calcio folklore occurred with a Caputo calamity!
Roma were somewhat harshly penalized for a Cengiz Under handball, and the referee gave the home side a penalty, which Caputo stepped up to take. The Altamura born player hit the dead ball way into the Tuscan night sky!
He looked to the spot as if to claim it was the pitch’s fault, but it was just a badly taken spot kick….He missed two other chances soon after, both with his right foot, both inside the box and both when they attacked the Romans left side.
The first flew over the crossbar again, and the second hit the side netting….
They were made to pay for those misses, as Edin Dzeko continued his fantastic start to the season, with a blast into the roof of the net after being played through by Stefan El Shaarawy in the 85th minute.
It followed up his hat-trick in midweek…
There is an air of normalcy with Roma, while Empoli must find a way to have an end product for all their lovely build-up play.
Genoa 1-3 Parma
Lunchtime kick-offs in Serie A is a relatively new thing, but previous and this match turned out to be quite entertaining.
The Crociati traveled to Liguria missing their top two forwards in Gervinho and Roberto Inglese, but their performance and the result, suggests, they have the squad depth to cope without.
Off-course Polish poacher Piatek got his customary goal, now 12 in just 9 games for the club since his arrival!
The away side were not overawed, as they scored three goals in the space of just fourteen minutes, to shock their hosts and grab all three points.
Former Genoa player Rigoni with a tap-in from a corner in the 16th started the comeback….Piatek was literally millimeters from a second for the home side when his header seemed to have crossed the line, however, replays showed the entire ball did not cross over the line, so no goal.
Luca Silligardi with a great solo strike when cutting inside and blasting the ball with his left foot and Fabio Ceravolo with a guiding header, made the game 3-1 for the Emilians. There would be no scoring after that goal though….
Parma jump over their hosts in the table and are well and truly back!
Atalanta 0-1 Sampdoria
Quite how La Dea lost this game, they alone know!
The home team dominated every aspect of this encounter, hitting the post through Duvan Zapata, talisman Papu Gomez, and a few others close calls…
It was left to Samp defender Lorenzo Tonelli, who was jeered throughout the match by the home tifosi (due to a controversial encounter when he was as Empoli against Atalanta striker German Denis), to head home the winner for the Blucherchiati.
The Bergamaschi are hovering above the relegation zone, while Samp can dream of a return to Europe.
Lazio 1-0 Fiorentina
A match that promised an entertaining encounter, will be more remembered unfortunately for the constant bickering between the players.
Ciro Immobile grabbed the lone goal of the game, when he met a flick-on header off a corner, to prod home the ball with the outside of his right foot. It looked like a training ground move to me, so kudos to the Biancocelesti manager Simone Inzaghi for the tactic.
Lazio will be looking to find some sort of stability when domestic play resumes after the international break, while La Viola’s young side can only learn from these defeats.
Milan 3-1 Chievo
The Rossoneri have found some continuity of their own similar to the likes of Inter and Roma after a poor start to the season.
A brace by Gonzalo Higuain and a deflected shot from Giacomo Bonaventura, meant that il Diavolo won all their matches so far in October. Special praise must be made of Spanish winger Suso!
The Cadiz born attacker has been at the heart of everything that is good with Milan, and he was instrumental again, as he set up all three of the home team’s strikes. After his fine performance against Sassuolo last week, manager Rino Gattuso, will be hoping he has finally found a consistent creative player in his team.
It was not all good news, as they failed to keep a clean sheet again, as Sergio Pellisier at the age of 39 scored just after the hour mark, to make it a somewhat nervy end to the game.
The Flying Donkeys are almost certain relegation candidates, while Milan will have the small matter of the Derby della Madonnina when they come back.
Napoli 2-0 Sassuolo
Another game, major changes, but the result is the same, a Napoli win!
Manager Carlo Ancelotti is using the entire Partenopei squad, I am sure in the hopes that everyone stays fresh come May next year. He left Milik, Insigne, Callejon, Allan and Hamsik on the bench!
Yet again, the players responded with Algerian forward Adam Ounas opening his account for the club in Serie A in just the third minute, after the home team pressed the Neroverdi into a mistake. The former Bordeaux player smashed a volley after beating a defender inside the penalty box.
The Campania based side continued to press for more goals, with Zielinski, Insigne(who came on early in the 2nd half)….However, the Naples born Insigne would not be denied and he curled a trademark shot into the top left of the goal in the 77th minute and the points were sealed in style.
Rogerio was sent off for the away team for a tackle on Callejon, which was harsh, and there was no way back for the Mapei side….
Napoli, are once again Juve’s seemingly only realistic challenger, while Sassuolo are still in a solid 8th place, despite two consecutive defeats.
Spal 1-2 Inter
A Mauro Icardi double gave the Nerazzurri the perfect send off to the international break, but it was not all plain sailing for them. Gli Estensi side are another one of the so called lesser teams, that play an entertaining brand of football and gave the away side a great fight.
The Inter skipper Icardi, scored with a fortuitous but typical strikers goal, with a glancing header just before the quarter hour mark. Just a few minutes later, Spal had a chance to tie the game up with a penalty, but their own captain Antenucci missed.
Former Milan man Alberto Paloschi came on in the second half, and just six minutes later tied the game up, after guiding the ball home, after a cross went right through the away side’s defense.
Slack marking on the part of Spal meant that they left Icardi all by himself, Ivan Perisic picked him out, and the Argentine calmly stroked the ball past the goalkeeper Gomis and Inter now led 2-1.
It is a lead that they would not relinquish, and La Beanamata’s now seemingly steely determination held on for the win.
No more “Pazza Inter” at least not for another week, while Spal can be very happy with the performance so far this season.
As we head to the international break, some clubs that were in mini-crises have seemingly stabilized, two of the three relegation teams may already be known and there is no stopping Juve. On resumptions, to end off October, besides the aforementioned Derby della Madonnina, we have the Derby del Sud, between Napoli and Roma and Milan vs Genoa make up their game. By that time, we will have a better understanding of which teams really are moving forward.