Monday August 24 2015
Juventus beaten in early shock

It wasn’t just the champions who slipped up on the opening week.  Roma, Napoli and Milan also fell at the first hurdle on a surprising opening day in Serie A, writes Richard Hall.

Juventus hosted Udinese on Sunday looking to start off the season as they had finished the last. Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo and Carlos Tevez had moved on for pastures new but reinforcements had been brought in. These signings made the Old Lady confident of containing an unbeaten run of 48 matches at Juventus Stadium.  The Champions missed a host of chances, in particular a close range effort from Mario Mandzukic, before the unthinkable happened. Udinese scored. Cyril Thereaus’s 78th minute strike stunned the home crowd, and inflicted a defeat on a team that only lost three matches last season.

The defeat for Juventus was perhaps more of an eye opener as they had seen what had happened to Roma the day before. The Giallorossi played out a 1-1 with Hellas Verona in glorious sunshine on Saturday evening. The team from the Eternal City lacked tempo according to coach Rudi Garcia, but in truth they should have been much more clinical in front of goal. Rafael produced save after save before unfortunately being at fault for Alessandro Florenzi’s equaliser. This now sets up a titanic clash against Juve next week as both teams will be looking to land a serious blow to their rival’s title aspirations.

The other Roman team had played on Saturday night and dispatched Bologna with consummate ease. The team from Emilia-Romagna looked out of their depth as Lazio’s high pressure game saw them concede two goals in the first 23 minutes. The Aquile could have had more but Bologna rallied and even grabbed one back. The game was notable for a superb debut by ex-Ajax man Ricardo Kishna who grabbed a debut goal.  Interviewed after the game however, he admitted how Lazio had dropped off after he had scored and that this could have cost them.

Sunday night saw seven fixtures kick off at the same time as the season through up even more drama. A new look Milan travelled to Florence in the hope of once again becoming a force to be reckoned with. Sadly for them, the Viola took advantage after the Rossoneri had a man sent off and two goals promptly followed, Marcos Alonso’s free kick the pick of the bunch. The Florentines celebrated Paolo Sousa’s first game in charge with a well-earned three points.

With the big spenders being systematically knocked down one by one, what of Napoli? Whilst not breaking the bank like Milan or Inter the Neapolitans had a new look and a new coach. After only three minutes the Maurizio Sarri revolution looked to have begun as Marek Hamsik gave them the lead over Sassuolo after only three minutes. Incredibly, the home team fought back to win 2-1 and dealt a blow to another potential title contender.

So what of Inter? Surely, if patterns for bizarre results against lesser opposition was ‘en vogue’, then the Nerazzurri would certainly be involved. The game at San Siro looked to be heading for the only 0-0 draw of the weekend before Stevan Jovetic curled a shot into the far corner, reminiscent of Andreas Brehme against Holland in Italia 90. It was tough for Atalanta who had played well early in the game but this 94th minute goal saw Roberto Mancini’s men buck the opening weekend trend.

Elsewhere, there was more late drama as Abdelhamid El Kaoutari also scored a late winner for Palermo against Genoa in an entertaining game in Sicily. The Genoese will perhaps rue early chances missed and Palermo will thank Stefano Sorrentino for the 1-0 win. New boys Carpi were on the end of a thrashing from Sampdoria. The game ended 5-2 to Walter Zenga’s men but it was 5-0 after 36 minutes, and looking like it could be much worse. Things started differently for the other new boys Frosinone who went 1-0 up after seven minutes as Danilo Soddimo scored their first ever Serie A goal. Torino hit back with two goals of their own to ruin the fairy tale and take all three points. Finally Chievo showed the characteristics that have kept them in Serie A for so long. One goal down to Empoli, they resolutely fought back to win 1-3 away from home.

Have your say...
and also how exactly are they garbage ? madzu's finishing was off but got to the ball in a great position all game long and dybala came on for 20 mins and nearly instantly assisted had pogba not over complicated things.
on the 24th August, 2015 at 4:11pm
@Interista . you're happy you won a game by getting lucky in your 20 mins of extra time ? we on the other hand totally and utterly dominated udinese from start to finish with a total of 66% possession, 10 corners to 2 and 21 shots to 4, all whilst having players like marchisio,dybala,khedira,morata and alex sandro sitting on the bench or injured.Enjoy it whilst you can cause i predict another 5th-7th place finish for your rubbish team, oh and enjoy missing icardi, basically your only good player
on the 24th August, 2015 at 4:09pm
Talk about bizarro world. Juve lose at home, Roma drop points to Chievo while Torino and i cartonati are in first lol.
on the 24th August, 2015 at 4:02pm
I think Juve played well and created many chances, totally dominated Udinese in the first half, but the finishing wasn't there and not for the first time. mandzukic was always present but wasteful, Pogba and Coman were lacklustre but showed occasional brilliance. Licthsteiner and evra still got it. Dybala had quality when he came on….it will take time but there's potential there.

But please Allegri, no more Padoin or Isla, they are a waste of a good shirt
on the 24th August, 2015 at 3:51pm
@Marc F, another reason is the constant bus parking from lesser teams. I understand defending and trying to play for a point against a bigger side but having 11 players in your penalty area and doing nothing constructive is boring and annoying. It is such a relief to score and beat a bus parking side, more so when the goal comes in the 94th minute.
on the 24th August, 2015 at 3:39pm
I love Serie A and have been a Milan fan for a very long time. I'm so disappointed in how the Italian teams constantly kill the game's flow with pass backs to the keeper. Before 25 mins was even up yesterday Milan passed back to Lopez at least 10 times. And I mean pass backs from half or even in the attacking end. This is one of the reasons why outsiders can't stand the league. Sadly I can't blame them either.
on the 24th August, 2015 at 2:39pm
Hahahahahahahaha where are all the Rube fans? You seem to be very vocal usually. Told you Mandzukic and Dybala are garbage.
on the 24th August, 2015 at 2:25pm

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