Napoli slip up as Roma maintain 100% start to the season
A scintillating weekend of Serie A action saw tears at the Rome derby and tears for Milito but do not fear as there was still much to smile about. Goals galore for Inter, Roma avenged the Coppa Final and Napoli won in Milan without a Maradona in sight. There was hardly time to breath before it was all happening again as Serie A showcased some more exciting action.
It kicked off in Udine on Tuesday as the Zebrette welcomed Genoa at the Stadio Friuli. Antonio Di Natale once again dragged Udinese to their only their second of the season. The home side dominated possession but failed to put their chances away. It was Di Natale’s free kick that was, unfortunately for Emanuele Calaiò, turned into his own net. Udinese’s season seems back on track whilst for Genoa the derby win seems a long time ago.
Napoli have had a perfect start to the season and were coming off the back of beating Milan whilst visiting Sassuolo had just been thumped 0-7 by Inter at home. The San Paolo smelt blood and when Blerim Dzemaili scored early on it only looked like getting worse. When Simone Zaza equalised almost straight away it seemed like it was just a blip. The game then slowed done and Napoli looked tired, the game ended 1-1 much to the dismay of the Neapolitans.
Roma were another team with a 100% start and this continued on Wednesday after Medhi Benatia and Gervinho netted to dispatch a beleaguered Sampdoria. The Roman side are looking an attractive proposition under Rudi Garcia whilst Sampdoria look lost already. The other team from the capital thanked Ederson, Senad Lulic and Hernanes as Lazio pushed aside Catania 3-1, a goal from Pablo Barrientos was merely a consolation.
A close eye should be kept on Livorno as they continue to look like outside contenders to stay in the division. A 1-1 draw with Cagliari saw Andrea Luci give the home side the lead before Victor Ibarbo equalised for the Sardinians. The draw did neither any harm as Livorno move up to seventh whilst Cagliari are eleventh. Another draw between two teams who are arguably overachieving saw four goals shared. Hellas Verona had to reply to Torino twice in an extremely entertaining game that saw Alessio Cerci claim man of the match by scoring twice. Hellas now sit in 10th whilst Toro move to eighth.
The shock of the season was on the cards as Milan trailed Bologna 3-1 in the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara with very little time on the clock. Robinho then scored to give the Rossoneri hope before Ignazio Abate netted to break Bolognas hearts. Milans poor week continues but it could have been much, much worse.
Juventus won in controversial circumstances as an own-goal from Alessandro Bernardini saw the away side beat Chievo 2-1 at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi. The offside decision in this match is certainly the new hot topic of debate.
Game of the day was played out in the Stadio Ennio Tardini where Parma hosted Atalanta. Seven goals and a red card saw the home side edge out the side from Bergamo despite going down to ten men. The game unbelievably stood at 4-2 at half time and when Amauri was sent off Atalanta saw their opportunity; however, despite pulling one back the end of the game saw Parma finish the stronger nearly netted the third.
Inter and Fiorentina played last night in a game that Inter came from behind to win 2-1. Inter leap-frogged Napoli into second (albeit on goal difference) after their impressive away victory.
Article by Richard Hall, Follow me on Twitter at @Gentleman_Ultra
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Diego Fuser was the complete winger in the early 1990’s. These were the glory years for Serie A and the flanks were dominated by Fuser whether playing for Torino, Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, Parma or Roma.
It is testament to his abilities that he managed to play for such a distinguished list of clubs in a career that spreads from 1986 at Torino to the unbelievably the present day where he still plys his trade for Colline Alfieri Don Bosco (an amateur side in Piedmont.)
Strong, athletic, quick and incredibly skillfull Fuser shone as one of the most dangerous wingers in the divison. Most noted for his time at Lazio where he played from 1992-1998 featuring 188 times and scoring 35 goals.
When Calcio ruled the world, Fuser was just getting started!
Cagliari came to Rome as an unpredictable force who could offer much but just as easily offer very little. In a superb game they swept aside a Roma team who have been equally unpredictable under their madcap tactician Zeman.
It all proved too much for the Giallorossi who ultimately, not only lost the game but they also lost their coach. For Cagliari, surely, the only way up?
The end result was 4-2, with goals from Radja Nainggolan, Marco Sau and Francesco Pisano sealing the points, although the highlight (or moment to forget for the Romans) was an own goal from Mauro Goicoechea in which the beleaguered goalkeeper almost slapped the ball into his own net from the cross.
The victory was down to much more than just a poor error form the keeper because, Cagliari’s counter attacking was sublime.
The Sardinians defended deep with seven men at least behind the ball at all times, leaving a trident on Sau, Thiago Ribeiro and Segundo Ibarbo ready to break at a moment’s notice to expose Roma’s dangerously high line.
Truth be told, had Ribeiro’s first touch been better and the result could have been far worse.
The Sardinian camp was ecstatic with the result, “We were careful with their high defensive line,” Sau told Sky Sport Italia. “And then we tried to beat them on the counter-attack. We played a great game against a very strong team here tonight.”
Meanwhile cssistant coach Diego Lopez stated that “We put our heart into this match. We played a very smart game. We were brilliant on the counter and certainly deserved the three points.”
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"This could only happen in Italy" moaned Roma Coach Zdenek Zeman. Talking to Sky Sport Italia the wily old fox of Italian football spoke of his disgust that his teams game against Cagliari was called off
Roma had travelled to Sardinia only to find out that the game that had been scheduled to be played at the Is Arena had been called off. The venue had failed security checks earlier in the day and the FIGC had recommended that it should be played behind closed doors.
In a bizarre twist Cagliari President Massimo Cellino advised season ticket holders to still go to the game and it was this move that led Police to call off the match. This is the latest disaster for the Sardinians who played the end of last season at the Stadio Rocco in Trieste. This year they tried to move to the Is Arenas in the Quartu Sant’Elena area of the city but have had problems with security and also the fact that they have disturbed local wildlife.
This problematic situation could see Roma being handed a 3-0 win in light of the clubs ‘irresponsible behaviour’
The Zeman interview
The Roma Coach took time out from his Austrian training camp to speak to La Gazzetta dello Sport about various issues.
POSITIONS: "At the moment I consider Romagnoli, who’s a very talented player, as our third centre-back, but if we come across a defender who can be the first rather than the third, then clearly that’s better for us. Did I find De Rossi convincing playing inside midfield? He plays in that position for Italy both on the left and on the right: he can do it, all right. But my decision will always depend on who we are playing against." Then he moved on to the attack, with Lamela and Nico Lopez contending a place. "Currently I should have two players who can cover each position. It depends who’s fit and who can contribute more to the team: they both have the same chance of making the first eleven. Is Nico Lopez sturdy enough? You don’t have to be particularly strong to play, look at Giovinco. That isn’t a problem. He’s in my squad and I hope I’ll be able to make use of him and give him a chance to play."
TOTTI, PJANIC AND DESTRO — Still on the issue of the strikers he talked about Pjanic position on the pitch. “If he’s playing alongside Totti he’ll have to play further infield, because Totti plays from further back than Destro. Pjanic can also play on the right, he’s a clever lad. He can do the business well on that side. The change from Borini to Destro? Destro is more technically-minded than Borini.”
THE SQUAD — Roma have quite a big squad, while the coach prefers smaller squads. "In Pescara there were 24 players in the group, including two young lads of 18 and 19 years of age. I prefer to work with smaller squads. They are easier to manage and you know everyone’s doing what they should be doing. If you keep shuffling the players around and fielding a different eleven, you’re never going to get anywhere. Apart from that we aren’t involved in Europe and don’t have so many matches to worry about. I think the squad is fine just as it is. Tallo? We’ll see, because I have six strikers and I’ll be using three. One will have to be sacrificed. He wasn’t well when he arrived, so we didn’t bring him to the first training camp and he’ll have to make that up." Then Bradley and Dodò. "I think Bradley is already fit and he’ll start on the 16th, whereas Dodò still has a lot to do."
EVENTFUL ITALIAN SUPER CUP AND THE SCANDAL — The football season has just begun and already there’s an air of venom and controversy in the wake of the Italian Super Cup tie between Napoli and Juventus: "I didn’t see the match so I can’t really comment. This was nasty, let’s hope it serves as a lesson for the future. We are just at the beginning of the season; it’s clear we have to change attitude." He also mentioned the match-fixing sentences: “I don’t know, and up to now, I don’t understand it. I haven’t read the evidence and I’m not qualified to comment on what is being said. If we want to stamp these things out we have to show more determination.” Then, referring to Conte’s 10-month suspension, although he didn’t mention any names: "A player who is suspended can continue training, but if the suspension is long-term, I don’t think it’s right."
TACTICS — The coach went on to talk tactics and the full backs moving forward: “It will always depend on the situation. At Pescara we scored a few goals with the right back crossing for the left back to score: if someone starts off and takes part in an attacking move, it’s logical for him to continue rather than stopping, but it’s important to maintain the balance of the team.”
PREPARATION — According to the coach there’s no danger if Roma don’t start the season without many ‘real’ matches under their belt. "I have always worked like this: during the pre-season I need opposition who allow us to try out what we are building: if I have to play against a team that doesn’t allow us to do that, it makes it a pointless exercise."