Monday September 21 2015
Five-star Napoli steal the show

Both Milan clubs worked hard to gain three points this weekend, whilst Napoli demolished Lazio in a five goal thrashing at San Paolo, writes Richard Hall.

Stadio Bentogodi was bathed in sunshine in Sunday’s early kick off in what was a top of the table clash. Inter had won three out of three and were coming off the back of success in the Derby Della Madonnina. The ‘Flying Donkeys’ were also in fine form after scoring seven goals in their first two games before earning a creditable draw with Juventus.

The home side fell foul of an individual piece of brilliance from Mauro Icardi, as the Argentine showed off his predatory instincts to grab the only goal of the game. It was tough on Chievo who had dominated large parts of the first half but could not break down a dogged and determined Nerazzurri. Felipe Melo and Gary Medel gave the away side extra character and steel, and whilst not winning over many with the style of their play, they got the job done. This functional and pragmatic Inter is a world away from the team last season and with only one goal conceded and five scored so far this term, they will happily wait for the creativity to come.

Milan are the polar opposite of their city rivals this term as their cavalier approach and potent attack in countered by a shaky and soft under belly.  After losing two of the three opening rounds to Fiorentina and Inter in the Derby, the Rossoneri perhaps were not looking forward to taking on an unbeaten Palermo. Carlos Bacca and Giacomo Bonaventura had twice given Milan the lead before Oscar Hiljemark twice got the visitors back into the game.

It was Bacca who managed to head home with 15 minutes to go but Palermo could and perhaps should have levelled on two occasions after this. Milan will take heart that they are scoring goals but will need to work hard in defence to cut out some of the mistakes. Progress is being made however, and Bacca in particular looks at home in the red and black.

Sunday night at the San Paolo brought a particularly entertaining game and Napoli followed up their thrashing of Club Brugge in the Europe League with a demolition of Lazio. Maurizio Sarri sat back and watched with pride as his team turned on the style against what on the night was a poor Lazio showing. Lorenzo Insigne continued to look reborn as he floated around the Lazio penalty area looking like an old school attacking midfielder. With three or four touches at a time, rather than the usual two, he wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Napoli side on the late 1980s. His performance was perhaps only topped by the deadly Gonzalo Higuain, whose brace finished off what was a poor night for the Roman squad.

Juventus also had something to smile about in more ways than one. A 0-2 away win against Genoa saw them get back to winning ways in comical style. Paul Pogba hit the crossbar from all of two yards out but the ball bounced back and hit goalkeeper Eugenio Lamanna before rolling into the net. Juventus dominated after this with Pogba later scoring a penalty. There’s a long way to go for the Old Lady but the corner, it seems, has been turned.

Torino moved up to second thanks to a 2-0 win against Sampdoria courtesy of Fabio Quagliarella. The veteran striker continued his Indian summer with a brace as they dispatched a very capable Blucerchiati team. This isn’t a fixture the away side like however, and they have only won eight of 48 in the history of Serie A.

Elsewhere, Fiorentina’s Khouma Babacar saved his teams blushed against Carpi. The game ended 1-0 but special mention should go to Viola keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu who kept his team in the game. Carpi have only one point, though it’s one more than Frosinone thanks to Bologna’s home victory. Anthony Mounier gave the home side their first win of the season as Frosinone once again played well but gained nothing.

Ten man Hellas Verona broke the hearts of the Bergamo faithful as they responded to a Maxi Moralez opener late on.  Eros Pisano 96th minute header was a cruel blow for Atalanta who believed they should have had three points. Udinese could be going into crisis mode as the Pozzo family’s team keep falling short. Empoli won this game in dramatic style also, as the game was tied at 1-1, Massimo Maccarone managed to win the game in the 92nd minute.

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Have your say...
Higuain continues to show that when he is in top form he is the best striker in Serie A. Unfortunately being the best 40% of the time just doesn't cut it.
on the 23rd September, 2015 at 5:12pm
Inter will fail again as they do not have a good enough squad to compensate for injuries or suspensions. Mancini will not do better than 5th this year. Wait till they play the big boys of Juve, Napoli, Roma & Fiorentina and then we can see how they are. The season still has a long way to go but I think it will be Roma, Rubentus then Napoli for CL
on the 23rd September, 2015 at 12:24pm
Inter can win the next 3 matches: at home Verona and Fiorentina, away trip to Sampdoria... Very realistical target.. Come on Inter!
on the 22nd September, 2015 at 1:31pm
Inter to win the race hopefully...
on the 22nd September, 2015 at 1:24pm
As far as i gather from these early rounds, This season is going to be extra special!. Because, this scudetto will cost a lot of scratches&scrambles from the top five teams in the shapes of roma, juventas, napoli, inter & ac milan. Roma is fabourite as they are vying it for last two years with same grit and this year they upgraded them a bit more. In cotrast where roma upgraded, juventas degraded in terms of foundation; although they remain the king of serie a. You know? If any team scores ten goals in 2 match. Then they have something lethal that likes of real & barca have, And that is firepower!. Sarri will unleash Napoli for good as day by day he gets holds of the team. Inter are like flash in the pan this season and it will tames a bit. And milan shall redeem themselves finally. Whoa! This season will be one exciting five crazy horse racing which will be decided by inch !!
on the 21st September, 2015 at 5:54pm

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