Monday December 4 2017
Wk15: Everything must end

All chains in football are finite, writes Susy Campanale, including Napoli unbeaten runs, Benevento losing streaks and Juventus title celebrations.

Everything ends. Nothing is eternal. There is no need to panic. Napoli lost their first match, Benevento earned their first point and Sampdoria’s perfect home record was terminated. At some stage, Juventus will fail to win the Scudetto.

Are Napoli the next coming of Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan? No. Are they a very good team who still have an excellent chance of winning the Scudetto? Yes. Losing their unbeaten record will not change that, even if naturally they would’ve preferred if it hadn’t been to Juventus and at the hands – one hand, considering the other was in plaster following surgery – of their formerly beloved Gonzalo Higuain. Nicknamed Core Ingrato – ungrateful heart – after an old Neapolitan song, Pipita’s presence on the scoresheet made a bad situation feel a hundred times worse.

The Partenopei had to lose eventually, but doing so to the Old Lady prompted exaggerated reactions from all sides. Maurizio Sarri’s team are not suddenly a disaster, nor have Juve automatically resolved all of their issues. It’s one game. We’ll see come the end of the season how it pans out in the wider scheme of things, but for now my advice would be for nobody to get ahead of themselves.

Inter are on top of the table for the first time since January 2016 and achieved it by sweeping Chievo aside 5-0. It was an almost perfect showing from Luciano Spalletti’s side and means they remain the only unbeaten team in Serie A this season. Most notably, it showed the strength in depth at their disposal, because where Roberto Gagliardini, Joao Miranda and Matias Vecino missed out, Joao Mario, Marcelo Brozovic and even Andrea Ranocchia delivered the goods.

The Nerazzurri are genuine title contenders, there’s no doubting that, but we have yet to see how they’ll react when that unbeaten run comes to an end. Like Napoli, it must happen at some stage and the reaction will be more decisive than the initial result.

Everything has a natural conclusion, such as Benevento’s extraordinary 14-round losing streak. Le Streghe really don’t do things by halves. Every time they seemed to be on the verge of that elusive result, they’d concede a last-second goal or give away a ridiculous penalty. What better way to make history with their first ever Serie A point than against Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan with the goalkeeper on target in stoppages? Nobody will forget that moment in a hurry. Alberto Brignoli did what all goalkeepers do with the last kick of the game – ran up there to put another body in the box and confuse the marking. He certainly didn’t think he was going to score, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Milan fans wish they could forget it, but this seems to be their destiny: being on the receiving end of an historic comeback that everyone remembers decades later. We can only hope that soon enough there will be something positive for the Rossoneri to write in the popular consciousness once more. Vincenzo Montella had come to the end of the line, that was clear, but Gattuso isn’t exactly a natural progression. How many barely-qualified former star players do they need to appoint before opting for someone with expertise rather than name recognition? As Spalletti has shown at Inter this term, grit can only get you so far without tactical organisation. Every element of the Nerazzurri squad know what they are meant to be doing and that simply cannot be said of Milan’s men.

Lazio have a clear identity and belief in that is what kept them going at Marassi. Sampdoria’s 100 per cent home record had to end eventually and it’s rather fitting it should be against the side that won all their away fixtures. Statistically, that isn’t true, but the only ‘away’ match the Aquile lost was the derby with Roma in their very own Stadio Olimpico. With that trend, maybe it’s Lazio who ought to be pushing for the move to a new stadium rather than their local rivals.

Simone Inzaghi’s side will eventually slip up on their travels, just as Torino will stop sharing the spoils. Mattia Destro’s goal drought ended, after all, and that means truly anything is possible.

Have your say...
You know Milan has hit a new low when even Susy has a somber tone to her weekend report...sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down. Sorry not sorry.
on the 4th December, 2017 at 11:53pm
@Edward how can you compare Sacchi's Milan side to any side Mourinho managed? When did Sacchi ever park 2 planes? Is that you are confusing Capello's Milan to Sacchi's? You must be, otherwise you won't come up with what you are saying. Inter are leading the league while Milan are a laughing stock but you fans still feel inferior always searching for gratification from the rest of Italy. Enjoy the moment ans stop giving a fook what Milan fans think of your team.
on the 4th December, 2017 at 6:10pm
That Benevento goal though....bahahahaha.
on the 4th December, 2017 at 6:04pm
What's humiliating are your endless complaints. Simply pathetic.

I admit that I laughed at Gattuso's appointment, which means more bad karma. Then that last match happened and I'm sure I've earned enough to last this whole season.

Again, I don't know Milan's situation so I can't provide real insight. It just seems shortsighted to appoint Gattuso knowing his record and sacking Montella only after a draw. At this rate, I'd recommend Benitez for interim coach if available.
on the 4th December, 2017 at 5:41pm
How many times must you wax poetic about the humiliating dead league known as Serie A? You still pontificate about the relevance of this rotting corpse. Rest assured, Juventus will NEVER lose the scudetto again. When they finally decide its not worth their effort, what is hilariously called Serie A will be a shadow of itself, if the top clubs haven't left for the super league already.
on the 4th December, 2017 at 4:25pm
I am surprised Suzy was able to hold back the "Icardi Dependence" theme in her Serie A recap this week. Regardless of the result, no one can deny that inter are playing as a team for the first time in a long time. Sometimes the team plays in a way that allows Icardi to score several goals, and sometimes the team adapts and gets others on the score sheet. You know, like an actual team. Needless to say I am very excited to see Juve v Inter to see how we handle the reigning champions in Turin.
on the 4th December, 2017 at 3:05pm
@viktor Mauri is a youngster with potential.Kessie has been struggling & could use the rest & competition.So why shouldn't Mauri get some playing time?The next Europa League game is a perfect time to give him 90 mins.But like I said,regardless of who's on the pitch,the back 3 will always hold this team back.When we used 433 in preseason,Europa qualifiers,& first 2 Serie A games there was better cohesion,organisation,& play.The Lazio match was bad but we didnt have our best players on the pitch.
on the 4th December, 2017 at 2:36pm
The result of the weekend was Lazio's.
on the 4th December, 2017 at 1:39pm
Denis Thats right, I apologise for forgetting the narrative - If Inter play defensively, it is cattenacio. If Milan do it is ' a display of typical Italian defensive quality'. Sacchi's Milan reminded me of a typical great Mourinho side. Quality everywhere and great at winning tight games. P.S. I have read some doozies too!
on the 4th December, 2017 at 1:36pm
@Sheva Milan

Did you just debated over wether to use Mauri before Kessie? Or actually to even use Mauri? lol
on the 4th December, 2017 at 1:14pm
@Edward Sacchi won the league once and the European cup twice. He had left by 1992 as Marseilles' Papin, Pele n Waddle had knocked out his side in 1991. To call that side very defensive is 1 of the most ridiculous things I have read on here and i've seen some doozies. Brozovic was very impressive for Inter but Joao Mario being the only player that disappointed me. I still do not like Candreva or Dambrossio. Milinković-Savić is a magnificent midfielder, 1 of the best as he has everything.
on the 4th December, 2017 at 12:54pm
Regardless of the coach,this Milan team will never succeed with a back 3.They dont have enough quality to make up for the man they lose up the pitch & the center backs are struggling.The only reason they use a back 3 is Bonucci.Beyond that,it's time to put trust in Silva,Cutrone,Locatelli,Calabria,&Mauri(Kessie not good or creative enough to be an undisputed starter).A 442 seems perfect for this team with Loca,Kessie/Mauri,Jack,Suso in in the middle behind Cutrone,Silva.A 433 is also good
on the 4th December, 2017 at 12:49pm
Gattuso is too hot headed and temperamental to be a coach. He must learn to control his own emotions before even considering becoming a coach..
on the 4th December, 2017 at 11:48am
Gattuso has 122 games in management for Sion, Palermo, OFI Crete, Pisa and now Milan and has won just 38, drawn 44 and lost 40. He's conceded more goals than he's scored: 110 v 121. How does someone with a win rate of just 31% and a goal defiance of -11 with clubs that aren't even in a top league have the top job?

It's nothing short of a disgrace.
on the 4th December, 2017 at 10:52am
inter have been so impressive ,i just wonder why brozovic sits on the bench ,the guys taken every oppurtunity given to him, also karamoah showed glimpses of what hes capable of ,he should be given more game time also, same goes for dalbert as a matter of fact ,i feel this is the perfect sqaud ,
on the 4th December, 2017 at 8:02am
Sacchi's Milan were the best side in the world for a few years and a side I admired but they 'only' won the 88 & 92 championships and the 89 & 90 European cups when it was a straight knockout competition, they were very defensive and physical as well I remember, no need to distort the past.
on the 4th December, 2017 at 6:06am

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