Juventus’ 1-1 draw with Inter Milan on Sunday night rounded off Matchday 9 in Serie A. The league’s two showcase fixtures last weekend somewhat disappointed the masses despite the late drama in the Derby d’Italia, but the rest of the division continued to entertain.
Once again, the once-revered art of defending was absent in the majority of contests as 35 goals were scored on Matchday 9 – a remarkable figure considering the Derby d’Italia and Derby del Sole produced a measly two goals between them.
Here’s a round-up of all of the action across Italy.
Simeone show sinks Lazio
Lazio’s woes away from the Olimpico continued on Matchday 9 as they were thumped 4-1 by a Giovanni Simeone-led Hellas Verona.
The 26-year-old son of Diego ‘El Cholo’ Simeone scored all four in the victory to take his Serie A goal tally to six, already matching last season’s haul with Cagliari. The Argentine scored a couple of belters, too, with his second an absolute peach from outside the area.
After the hosts raced into a 2-0 lead, Ciro Immobile halved the deficit early in the second half before Simeone struck twice more to take the game away from the Biancocelesti. Despite claiming victories over AS Roma and Inter Milan, it’s certainly been an indifferent start to life in the Eternal City for Maurizio Sarri and his future could unravel quicker than you might expect.
Roma end Napoli’s 100% start
Fresh of their Norwegian humbling, Roma produced an impressive display to end Napoli’s 100% start to the Serie A season.
The contest would end in a stalemate, with managers Jose Mourinho and Luciano Spalletti both given their marching orders by the referee.
The two sides were culpable of spurning glorious opportunities, too. Tammy Abraham placed his one-v-one effort wide, while Gianluca Mancini should’ve headed home in the second half for the home side. Mancini did prevent Victor Osimhen from opening the scoring with a superb bit of last-ditch defending, and the prolific Nigerian also hit the bar with a stooping header.
This was a fairly entertaining 0-0 draw, and I’m sure both sides will be content with the result.
Milan rise to the top
It was a battle, but AC Milan outlasted a nine-man Bologna on Saturday night to reach the summit of Serie A for the first time this season.
The Rossoneri appeared in total control in the first half as a deflected Rafael Leao effort and emphatic Davide Calabria drive handed them a 2-0 advantage after Adama Soumaoro was dismissed. Bologna, however, failed to turn over and seven minutes into the second half they were level at two apiece.
Roberto Soriano’s sending off then swung the momentum back in Milan’s favour, but the hosts defended resolutely to hold off a confident Rossoneri. It wasn’t until the 84th minute when the visitors eventually broke through, as Ismael Bennacer beat Łukasz Skorupski with a wonderful strike from the edge of the area.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic then sealed the victory for Milan, having earlier converted into his own net, with a tidy curled finish from outside the box.
Viola bounce back & Atalanta falter
After losing three of their previous four, Fiorentina were in desperate need of a win as they welcomed the lowly Cagliari to the Artemio Franchi.
Fortunately, Dusan Vlahovic had himself a day. The Serb’s endured a fairly subdued start to the season, with the vast majority of his goals coming from the penalty spot. On Sunday, though, he was at his best and he capped off a fine display with a quite brilliant free-kick that depicted his exemplary ball-striking and underrated technique.
Vlahovic bagged his side’s third in a 3-0 win, with Cristiano Biraghi and Nico Gonzalez also on the scoresheet.
Earlier on Sunday, Atalanta succumbed to another late show as Udinese snatched a point in Bergamo. The visitors made life difficult for La Dea, who were missing several key personnel in defence, but a trademark Ruslan Malinovskyi piledriver gave them a second-half lead.
Luca Gotti’s side were a threat throughout, though, and Atalanta’s lead never felt secure. However, it wasn’t until the 94th minute when they grabbed their equaliser as Beto nodded home from a corner.
There were goals aplenty in the rest of the weekend’s fixtures as Serie A continues to entertain. On Friday night, Torino won a topsy-turvy encounter with Genoa 3-2, while Sampdoria earned their first win since Matchday 4 as they beat Spezia 2-1.
Then, on Saturday, Andrea Pinamonti scored twice as Empoli beat Salernitana 4-2. The visitors had raced into a 4-0 lead before the hosts made the scoreline more respectable after the break.
Sassuolo were also triumphant on Matchday 9 ahead of their trip to Juventus. Italy Under-21 international Davide Frattesi scored his first Serie A goal as the Neroverdi battled from a goal behind to win 3-1.