Napoli maintained pole position in Serie A as Walter Mazzarri’s men wreaked havoc at Sassuolo and Fernando Llorente is finally singing on the pitch for the Old Lady. The derby of the eternal city saw Roma get one over their bittersweet neighbours, Lazio. All this and more in this Serie A roundup.
The derby of Rome took center stage in the fourth week of action in Italy as Rudi Garcia’s Roma went into the Olimpico with the sole thought of avenging the humiliation the club had suffered in the wake of their tame submission against bitter rivals Lazio in the Coppa Italia final in May. At the end of the 90 minutes, it was the Giallorossi that emerged as the kings of the eternal city, as they cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory against the Biancazzurri. Garcia’s men dominated the game for the majority of the game as Lazio hardly managed to cut through Roma’s rear-guard. The Romans now remain only one of two teams that have a 100% record after four game weeks.
Napoli Dominate Milan
Rafael Benitez’s Napoli continued their crusade at the top as they bagged all three points against a struggling Milan at the San Siro. Massimiliano Allegri’s men looked short of quality and confidence against a team bursting with confidence, as Mario Balotelli missed a penalty for the first time in senior football courtesy Pepe Reina. The Italian striker was the epicenter of Milan’s attacks and played out a rather eventful game as he missed a penalty, scored and was ultimately sent off too. Looking at the game in total, the Napoli midfield dominated proceedings for major chunks as the Milan diamond could not contend with the dynamism of the triangle made up of Behrami, Dzemaili and Hamsik. The Partonopei looked lethal on the counter with the pace of Callejon and Insigne causing a lot of trouble for an almost non-existent Milan backline.
Defender Ignazio Abate was critical of his side’s performance and said –
“We have only four points and have a lot of work to do. We have to start winning games, starting with the match against Bologna on Wednesday. Compared to the start of last season, we have more identity but maybe we’re missing a bit of competitiveness. I think we have some work to do with our self-confidence as well as this team really has quality. We just have to be more cynical.”
Inter Annihilate Sassuolo
Elsewhere, Walter Mazzarri’s Inter continued their faultless start to the season scoring 7 past a crisis stricken Sassuolo. The Nerazzurri welcomed back Diego Milito to the team after a lengthy spell on the sidelines and El Principe celebrated his return with a well taken brace. Yuto Nagatomo and Freddy Guarin were among the standout players for the visitors who now have gathered 10 points out of a possible 12. A jubilant Mazzarri had this to say after the game –
“What matters most to us is how we play, how much improvement we make, how many mistakes we make. What matters, besides the result, is that we go into games with the right approach and we’re doing that very well. Of course we have ambitions, you always do, because you can always keep improving – that’s precisely what we’re looking to do. There are lots of players showing improvement in this team and they have the potential to achieve great things. The main thing is we try to stay fit and keep helping each other. I’ve got lots of options in this squad.”
Llorente Breaks Duck
Down at Turin, Juventus continued to play themselves into the groove with a sedate win against new boys Hallas Verona. The Old Lady were the dominant force in the game, but the same does not fully reflect in the score-sheet. Carlos Tevez continued his hot streak of scoring and his fellow new boy, Fernando Llorente finally got the monkey off his back with a crucial goal that sealed the 3 points. The Spaniard, who has been the subject of much scrutiny since his move to Italy, finally delivered the goods, lasting nearly 70 minutes and putting in a firm statement of his undoubted quality upfront.
Giusseppe Rossi Manages The Goal Burden
The departure of Stefan Jovetic during the mercato was initially viewed as a roadblock in the Viola’s quest of playing among Europe’s elite, but if the recent form of Giuseppe Rossi is anything to go by, Fiorentina may well have a real gem on their hands. The striker appears a man re-born since a string of injuries deterred his career in Villareal. The forward was on the score-sheet once more in the weekend as Fiorentina cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory at Atalanta. A long term injury to Gomez meant that Rossi would have to shoulder the goal coring duties for the Viola, and the Italian has not disappointed thus far.
Meanwhile, Genoa played out a dull 0-0 draw at home to Livorno. Torino continued their steady start to the season with an away win against Bologna. Catanaia picked up their first points of the season, playing out a cagey goalless draw against Parma. Cagilari and Sampdoria played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Stadio Nero Rocco. The sharing of points kept Sampdoria on the borderline of the danger zone whereas Cagilari maintained their top ten position in the Serie A Table. Chievo registered their first win of the season against Udinese, taking their tally at par with the visitors at 4 points. After four weeks of action, Bologna, Sassuolo, Sampdoria, Parma and Catania are the teams without a single win. However, things can only go uphill for these teams, particularly for Sampdoria and Catania, two clubs reeling after the departure of key men during the mercato.