Juventus claimed all three points with a familiar display of authority as Roma won their 9th consecutive match this season. Milan failed to collect all three points as Napoli closed the gap at the top.
Hellas Verona’s climb to the top four was halted by Internazionale, as the home team began the match-day by pumping in four goals past the visitors. Verona arrived at Milan on the back of some impressive victories but it was clear from the very first minute that Internazionale had ideas of their won, with their own revival underway. Inter opened the scoring when Moras put the ball into the back of his own net and extended their lead through Palacio in the opening 20 minutes of the match. However, Verona rallied after that goal and threatened to score in the next half an hour.
Internazionale were very well on their back foot in that duration and that period of dominance yielded a superb goal from Martinho. Sadly, the home team soon put an end to that attacking spree and scored their third goal through Cambiasso. Rolando made it 4-1 soon after and Verona were left chasing shadows. Romulo restored some sanity when he scored Verona’s second and the last goal of the match. The victory took Internazionale to the fourth place in the league table. During the match, the home team created a high number of chances relative to their possession and stole the ball away often. They were also equally effective at creating chances through individual brilliances as well as through dead-ball scenarios. While Internazionale favored a short passing game, Verona were more intent on playing with width, a move which sometimes saw them being exposed in the middle.
Napoli then welcomed Torino at the Stadio San Paolo, and a victory later found themselves at the second spot in the table, five points adrift of runaway leaders, Roma. Both Napoli and Torino favored playing the long ball quite often. They also both attacked through the middle and played a short passing game. However, two first-half penalties from Higuain settled the match in favor of the hosts. The first of those penalties came when Bellamo tripped Mertens inside the box. Higuain’s shot found the roof of the net and his confidence soared after that. Immediately after that he fired a long-range shot and he followed it up with a shot on the turn which was blocked out by Padelli.
Confusion reigned for the second goal of the match. It appeared that a point-blank range volley was stopped by Glik using his arm, but the referee did not stop play for that. However, once the ball travelled to Napoli’s half, he awarded the penalty – much to the displeasure of the Torino players as well as the fans. Higuain was equal to the task and scored his second. Napoli continued to create chances in the second half, but their efforts were thwarted each time by Padelli, who had as many as 5 saves. Torino did try to stage a fight-back, but their efforts went out of the window when Basha was shown a straight red.
Milan next visited Ennio Tardini, looking to carry their momentum from the Champions League showdown against Barcelona. However, Serie A has not been their favorite hunting ground for some time now, and for the second season running, collected only 11 points from their opening 9 fixtures. The match started at a slow pace, but the home team soon took control of the match with two individual goals. Balotelli started his first match in quite some time but were off the pace on many occasions and also did not help his case with a booking. Gabriel started his second consecutive Serie A match after his impressive show against Udinese. However, the young Brazilian could not stop Parolo’s angled shot after Abate failed to clear the ball.
Balotelli got himself booked looking for a penalty and it soon became apparent that this was not going to be one of his nights. Former Milan player, Cassano scored the second in the first-half extra time. Allegri appeared furious at the outcome and Milan appeared a much-changed side in the second half. Milan had a large quantity of possession in Parma’s half, as they favored the long ball and attacked usually down the right flank. Matri scored his first goal for Milan and it was soon followed by one from Silvestre – another summer signing. Kaka was now on the field and it appeared Milan would go ahead once more. His runs caused all sorts of trouble for Parma and he had two good chances to put Milan forward. However, individual errors continued to haunt Milan as Zapata conceded a free-kick close to the Milan box and Parolo converted from the resulting kick.
Juventus next welcomed Genoa, looking to go back to their winning ways. Last week’s lost to Fiorentina did leave a bitter taste in their mouth, which was further compounded by their mid-week loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League. Llorente and Tevez stared for Juventus and both were in impressive form till Giovinco replaced Llorente in the second half. Juventus scored their first from a Vidal penalty, while their second came from a fine solo effort by Tevez. The home team were in no mood to play perfect hosts as they looked to pile on the pressure and score more goals. However, one player from Genoa stood out and it was largely due to his contribution that Juventus scored only two. Perin had as many as 7 saves to his name in the match and repeatedly kept out Tevez and Pirlo. The victory took Juventus to the third spot in the league, with Conte still on the lookout for his third consecutive Scudetto.
Elsewhere, Roma maintained their perfect start to this season with their 9th consecutive victory. After humbling Napoli last week, it was time for them to take down Udinese in their own home. Roma were without their inspirational leader Totti, who was out through injury. However, that did not stop them from attacking the home team from the word go. Pjanic, Florenzi, Borriello all came close to scoring but their efforts did not yield any fruit. On the other hand, Muriel, Di Natale and Pinzi all tried their luck but none of them found the back of the net. Maicon’s red in the second half turned the match into an interesting affair as now Udinese attacked with more zeal. However, Bradley’s goal in the last 10 minutes of the match saw off a determined Udinese.