Juventus moved three points clear at the top of the table after Roma suffered a 2-0 loss away at the Stadio San Paolo. Lazio continued their impressive winning run while both the Milan clubs suffered embarrassing defeats.

Napoli stun Roma in Derby Del Sole

Napoli recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over league leaders AS Roma at the Stadio San Paolo on Saturday afternoon. An early goal in the first half from Gonzalo Higuan set them on their way, before Jose Callejon put the game beyond Roma’s reach in the 84th minute.

Napoli had the ball in the back of the net in the first minute when Faouzi Ghoulam’s cross was diverted into his own net by Roma goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis but it was correctly ruled out for offside. But just a minute later Gli Azzurri did take the lead when Gonzalo Higuan got on the end of a deflected Lorenzo Insigne shot to score acrobatically. Constant pressing in the final third meant Roma could not settle on the ball and had difficulties to build the play from the back. Lorenzo Insigne was a constant menace upfront and nearly doubled their advantage but his effort went inches wide. Moments later he was denied by a fine save from De Sanctis and not long after, Callejon smashed the upright after a brilliant counterattack. The chances kept on coming but Napoli could not get the second goal. Insigne, Callejon came close once again but it was Marek Hamsik who had the best chance just before the break when Higuan squared the ball to the Slovak who inexplicably rattled the crossbar from just 10 yards out.

Napoli were nearly made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal when Alessandro Florenzi fired wide in front of an open goal. Man of the match Kalidou Koulibaly led a counter from a Roma corner and fed Callejon whose weak effort was cleared off the line by Radja Nainggolan. Rudi Garcia brought on Mattia Destro for the ineffective Francesco Totti but Napoli sealed the win when Callejon finally got his eighth goal of the season. Napoli climbed to fourth spot in the table with this impressive win while Roma sit second after 10 games.

Milan clubs suffer defeats…

Cristian Zapata was at fault for both the goals as AC Milan suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Palermo which ended their six-match unbeaten run. The decision to start with a half-fit defender backfired as Alex was forced to leave the action after just two minutes. The Brazilian was surely carrying a knock but Zapata’s display on the pitch probably justifies Inzaghi’s desperate decision to field an injured Alex. But only Zapata should not be blamed for the defeat.

Skipper for the night Ignazio Abate was constantly caught out of possession and his under-hit square pass nearly resulted in a goal for Palermo. Milan could have been punished further for their sloppy play had Diego Lopez not produced another inspiring display. A seemingly harmless corner from the right was bundled into his own net by the Colombian Zapata. Moments later Palermo sliced open the Milan defence with intricate one touch play but Dybala’s effort was saved brilliantly by Lopez. The Argentine eventually got on the scoresheet as he overpowered Zapata to beat Lopez with a sweet left-footed strike. The introduction of Stephan El Shaarawy added some urgency in the final third but it was just not enough as Palermo earned their first away win since gaining promotion last year.

Paolo De Ceglie’s brace secured a massive win for struggling Parma over Inter Milan. The Juventus loanee’s two goals came at a vital juncture as it arrested Parma’s depressing run of six straight defeats. However, this result only increased the uncertainty surrounding Inter Milan’s head coach Walter Mazzarri. A shambolic performance against rock bottom Parma will only add more pressure on the Inter manager and reports suggest that he could be fired within the next 10 days.

The home side took a shock lead when Andrea Rispoli’s cross was slotted home by an unmarked De Ceglie. Parma would go on to dominate the first half with Antonio Cassano pulling the strings for the Gialloblu. Inter failed to create any clear cut chances in the first half but they improved in the second half. Rodrigo Palacio wasted a golden opportunity as he blasted the ball into row Z after being set up by Mauro Icardi. Matteo Kovacic struck the post with a deflected shot and Hernanes came close from long range but just when it looked like Inter would get the equalizer, Paolo De Ceglie managed to scuff a shot through Handanovic’s legs leaving Mazzarri with plenty to ponder ahead of Inter’s midweek trip to St. Etienne in the Europa League.

While the Genoese clubs continue to fly high

Sampdoria bounced back from their first league defeat of this season by edging out Fiorentina 3-1 in Sunday’s clash at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. An entertaining first half saw three goals and a penalty save from Argentine international Sergio Romero. Angelo Palombo gave the lead to the Blucerchiati with a calmly taken penalty in the 27th minute but he would soon turn villain after clumsily bringing down Khouma Babacar in the box. Gonzalo Rodriguez’s tame effort was saved by his fellow countryman Romero. Luca Rizzo doubled Sampdoria’s lead with a fine jinking run and finish but Mihajlovic would have been disappointed to see his side concede almost immediately after that goal as Stefan Savic rose unmarked to make it 2-1 from a Borja Valero corner. However, Eder sealed Sampdoria’s first win in four league games after capitalizing on a mistake from David Pizarro to dribble past three defenders and slot in an outstanding strike.

Fresh from a memorable win over champions Juventus in midweek, Genoa registered their third straight victory at Udinese to end Andrea Stramaccioni’s unbeaten home run. Both the teams scored twice in the first half with Antonio Di Natale giving the lead to the Bianconeri after only 22 seconds to net his 199th Serie A goal. Genoa restored parity 20 minutes later when Giovanni Marchese smashed a volley from outside the box into the top corner and the Rossoblu took the lead when Iago Falque seized upon some atrocious defending to turn home his first goal for Genoa this season. The scoring was not over yet as Di Natale teed up Silvan Widmer to fire in the equalizer. Genoa regained the lead in the second half when Alessandro Matri scored his fifth away goal in four games and Gian Piero Gasperini’s side secured all the three points when substitute Slovakian international Juraj Kucka drilled a bullet strike from outside the area to beat the excellent Orestis Karnezis in the Udinese goal. Genoa climbed to sixth place in the table just one point behind their local rivals Sampdoria.

Elsewhere in Serie A…

Juventus moved 3 points clear at the top of the table with an unimpressive 2-0 win away at struggling Empoli. Andrea Pirlo scored his first goal of the season with a trademark free-kick in the 62nd minute and young Spanish forward Alvaro Morata made sure of the win with a fine left-footed drive from the edge of the box. Chievo and Sassuolo played out a 0-0 draw which won’t be a useful result for either while Torino and Atalanta also shared the spoils in a drab encounter at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino on Sunday afternoon. Lazio moved up to 3rd place with their 5th consecutive win while big name signing Hugo Almeida was impressive in Cesena’s 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona.

Random Facts

  • Genoa and Sampdoria have collected 37 points so far: an all-time record in Serie A after the first 10 fixtures
  • Stefan Savic scored his third goal in Serie A: all of them have come against Sampdoria
  • Antonio Di Natale took just 22 seconds to find the net against Geona: the fastest goal in the current Serie A season
  • Inter had just 1 shot on target vs Parma – their lowest tally in a Serie A game this campaign
  • Carlos Tévez has been directly involved in 10 goals in this Serie A season (6 scored, 4 assisted), more than any other player
  • Pirlo scored his 26th direct free-kick goal in Serie A. Closing in on Mihajlovic’s record of 28
  • José Callejón is now the top scorer in Serie A with eight goals: three have been assisted by Gonzalo Higuaín

Goal Of The Week

Giovanni Marchese’s stunning volley was reminiscent of Zinedine Zidane’s strike in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen. The 30-year-old lashed a cracking volley from outside the box to score an early contender for goal of the season. This is not the first time that Marchese has produced such a moment of brilliance. Back in 2012, he smashed an incredible volley direct from a Catania corner to register a memorable goal but Sunday’s strike against Udinese will no doubt rank as the best so far in his career.