‘Welcome to Juveland’ was the message posted by the official account of Juventus on Facebook after they thrashed a hapless Roma outfit. For all the pre-match assault on Juve by Roma’s coach Zdenek Zeman, his side looked rather timid against the Bianconeri juggernaut. His words, it seemed, had motivated the home side and his team was about to face their anger and how. The first 20 minutes would see Maarten Stekelenburg pick the ball out of his net thrice. Goals from Pirlo, Vidal and Matri had done the early damage, enough for Juventus to sit back and relax.
With the Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus began the second half a bit more casually and slowed the tempo down. Roma looked to take advantage and pulled one back as Pablo Osvaldo scored from the spot. The home side then restored their three-goal cushion as Andrea Barzagli embarked on a lung-bursting run to set-up substitute Sebastian Giovinco, who rounded off Stekelenburg to score his 3rd goal of the season.
Juventus, once again highlighted their dominance in Serie A and few would bet against them retaining their Scudetto while Roma have shown that clearly are a work in progress. A project which doesn’t look like it has developed since the appointment of Zeman. Yet, the controversial Czech has to satisfy the hunger of an ever-demanding Giallorossi faithful.
Early season indications point only towards Napoli as a potential ‘anti-Juve’ as the Italian media have branded them. They remain level on points with the Champions after they overcame Ciro Ferrara’s Sampdoria in controversial fashion. Edinson Cavani, who has now firmly cemented himself as the best striker in the league, scored from the spot after Marek Hamsik was judged to have been fouled by Gastaledello. The decision to award the penalty to Napoli was contentious as replays hinted at a foul outside of the box. Gastaldello suffered his second booking and was promptly given his marching orders.
Napoli remain the best bet to try and derail Juventus and are level on points with 16 at the top of the table. With the distractions of the Champions League now completely diminished and with a front-three which is arguably the fiercest in the league, the Partenopei have warranted their ‘anti-Juve’ title. Whether they can maintain their challenge throughout the season and not fade away remains to be seen but for now, Walter Mazzarri’s side can certainly remain optimistic.
In Milan, it was Inter’s turn to bury the San Siro curse and celebrate their first home win of the campaign against Vincenzo Montella’s Fiorentina. Diego Milito and Antonio Cassano got their name on the score-sheet for the Nerazzurri while Romulo scored for the Viola. This win sees Andrea Stramaccioni’s side climb up to third place in the points table, four behind Juventus. Inter, may not be viewed as front-runners for the Scudetto but they certainly could find themselves as outside contenders for the Serie A throne.
Fiorentina, meanwhile aren’t quite the finished article yet. They may have started the campaign with great enthusiasm and spirit but this project needs time, especially given the amount of new faces signed by the Florence based outfit. Montella, though, is undoubtedly the man to take them forward and with Jovetic in attack, aiming for a European spot is by no means far-fetched.
AC Milan slipped up yet again in a water-logged Tardini stadium in a 1-1 draw against Parma. Stephan El Shaarawy proving once more why he is so highly-rated in Calcio, scored the opener for Milan netting his fourth goal in three games. The Pharaoh looked threatening throughout the game and if Milan are to recover from their stuttering start to the season, El Shaarawy will have to be the protagonist. Parma found their equalizer courtesy of a Daniele Galloppa free-kick. Galliani came out in support of manager Allegri once again, assuring fans that the club have no intention of giving him the sack.
Elsewhere, Palermo, Bolongna and Torino all recorded emphatic victories over Chievo, Catania and Atalanta respectively. Fabrizio Miccoli’s individual showing at the Barbera is perhaps the best we’ve seen this weekend. Three goals against Chievo, the best of the lot coming in the form of a volley from all of 41 metres sent the Palermo fans into raptures. A strike that undoubtedly is the one of the contenders of the best goal Serie A.
Cagliari are grounded at the bottom of the table and are the only side in the league yet to win a game. Massimo Ficcadenti could be seeing red as his job looks in danger with media outlets reporting his departure is imminent. His side embarrassingly conceded defeat to newly-promoted outfit Pescara at the Is Arena. Gigi Del Neri and Delio Rossi have been touted as possible replacements.
We leave you with this beauty from Miccoli.