This weeks Serie A review is condensed and brief, however, it covers both Matchday 4 & 5 and it will cover the key talking points from both rounds.
The big clash over the last weekend was the always anticipated Derby della Madonnina between Milan and Inter. The city rivalry was dominated for the most part by the Nerazzurri who ran out 2-0 victors with two second half goals. In the first half, both teams created chances, with the Biscione coming closest with a Danilo D’Ambrosio effort hitting the post when he had an open goal. The Rossoneri had the ball in the net, through Krzysztof Piatek, but it was ruled out when there was a handball from Franck Kessie. The best chance after the break was for the Diavolo, as Suso went barreling down on goal and while in the penalty box and with three of his teammates free, the Spaniard choose to shoot, which was blocked and the red & black half of the city would not get as close again. Soon after the re-start, Marcelo Brozovic’s effort took a slight deflection, that left goalkeeper Gigio Donnarumma with no chance. Half an hour later and the points were sealed when Romelu Lukaku glanced a Nicolo Barella header in to the goal and made it four wins from four for Antonio Conte’s men. Each side hit the post late on in the encounter, but no more goals were had and that now makes it seven games unbeaten for Inter in the league in the Derby.
Other Talking Points
Atalanta staged a late comeback versus Fiorentina at home. La Viola took a deserved 2-0 lead in Parma through a Jose Luis Palomino own-goal and a lovely first time volley from Franck Ribery after a brilliant Federico Chiesa pass. With less than 10 minutes on the clock, La Dea, who are well-known entertainers of calcio, struck back twice. First with a Josip Ilicic volley from a cross. Then the Lombardians equalised with virtually the last kick of the game through a Timothy Castagne volley from just outside the penalty area from a corner. Cagliari continued their impressive start to the campaign with a 3-1 win over Genoa. Both Roman teams won: the Giallorossi with a last-minute Edin Dzeko header, while the Biancocelesti with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Parma. Sampdoria picked up their first points with a slender win over Torino. Sassuolo and Napoli both completed wins over Spal and Lecce by three goal margins.
There were quite a few tasty ties in Serie A this past mid-week, but the clash at the Stadio Olimpico in the Italian capital was arguably chief among them. Roma played hosts to Atalanta with both teams in good form, having won both of their previous matches in the league. Both teams are great going forward, while being quite suspect at the back. In the first half, both teams missed chances each: Edin Dzeko had a curling effort saved when inside in the box while Ilicic saw his volley go just wide. It was more of the same after the break. Nicolo Zaniolo had a great opportunity, as after he beat his covering defender, he barreled down on goal but seemed to get the ball caught under his feet and his shot was easily cleared away with the goal gaping. Palomino had a free header from a corner, but his effort went just wide. The Bergamaschi did take the lead with a power strike from one of their main men again: Duvan Zapata. The home team missed a point-blank shot when Nikola Kalinic was inside the six yard box, but Pierluigi Gollini got down in time to save the shot from the Croatian. Zapata hit the post a while after, but the away side did eventually found a second goal. From a quickly taken free-kick Mario Pasalic flicked the ball with his head and it found an un-marked Marten de Roon, and the Dutchman headed the all into an open goal.
Other Talking Points
In the game between Brescia and Juventus, the home fans were heard making racist gestures at Juve’s Bosnian player Miralem Pjanic. In the aftermath, it was announced that La Leonessa had been punished with a one year suspended sentence of the Curva Nord. La Viola got their first victory of the campaign against Sampdoria, with a German Pezzella header and a brilliant run and finish from Chiesa. The shock of the round came in Campania as Napoli lost to Cagliari at the San Paolo. The Partenopei missed countless chances and as it seemed to happen all to often to them, they were made to pay it. With 87 minutes on the clock, Nahitan Nandez crossed the ball inside the home team’s penalty area, and somehow Lucas Castro was left all alone and coolly buried his header past a hapless Alex Meret in goal. Parma beat Sassuolo in an Emilia-Romagna Derby by a single goal and Inter maintained their perfect start to the season, with a victory by 1-0 as well over a Lazio side that had its chances. Promoted Lecce picked up an impressive win over Spal in Ferrara, while the pressure on Milan manager Marco Giampaolo was ramped up, after losing to Torino after taking the lead.
It’s an intense part of the season and teams will need to make that quick turn around for the Matchday 6 matches.