Serie A

Five features of Serie A: Week 3

Following the international break, Serie A returned with a brutal reality check for AC Milan who were grounded by the Ciro Immobile-led Lazio.

Juventus, Napoli and Inter continued their 100 per cent records for the new season by moving to 9 points, while Fiorentina notched their first victory of the season in impressive fashion.

Here are five features from this week’s Serie A action.

Milan’s slap in the face

Their summer spending spree has been well documented however the Rossoneri’s 4-1 defeat to Lazio proved that money alone is not going to return them to greatness.

Despite being led by, arguably, one of the world’s best centre-backs in Leonardo Bonucci, their defence looked at odds and disorganised against the rampant Roman attack. While there’s no need to man the panic stations, the Italian defender himself conceded to Mediaset Premium post-match that the loss was a “healthy slap in the face for everyone”.

The real work for Vincenzo Montella has only just begun with the task of now making this squad work together as one outfit.

Dynamic Dybala

Even in a cameo appearance, Paulo Dybala’s impact on a match can still dominate the next morning’s newspaper headlines.

Despite starting from the bench in Juventus’ victory over Chievo Verona, the Argentinian needed only 36 minutes to show his class. His sheer presence alone created the space for Gonzalo Higuain’s goal, just minutes after coming onto the field, before creating a handful of chances for himself. He would eventually find the net after beating three defenders and wrong-footing the goalkeeper in the final minutes to secure the 3-0 score line.

Shining brighter than the €90 million Higuain and still just 23 years of age, it’s astonishing to think just how good this dazzling dynamo could become.

Irresistible Immobile

While the likes of Paulo Dybala, Andrea Belotti and Mauro Icardi are the darlings of Serie A strikers, Ciro Immobile continues to prove his doubters wrong by matching it with the league’s best.

Following on from a strong 2016/17 season, scoring 23 league goals, the Italian international announced his arrival in the newest edition of Serie A with a hat-trick and an assist in Lazio’s demolition of AC Milan.

Still only 27-years-old, his goals came as a combination of composure, control and quick feet, showing his credentials to remain considered amongst the leagues top strikers and continue as Italy’s preferred number 9.

Goals galore for Fiorentina faithful

It would be an understatement to say that Fiorentina fans have endured a tough off-season with the uncertainty around their club’s future and the departures of some of their biggest stars.

After losing their first two matches of the new Serie A season, the Viola have finally delivered some positive news by netting five times away to the newly-promoted Hellas Verona. In fact four of the five goals scored were by new arrivals at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, with Marco Benassi, another recent convert, involved in the setup of multiple goals.

The new-look attack has produced an abundance of chances in the final third to start the season, and while the weekend’s result should not be taken as a sign of things to come, it will certainly provide some much needed confidence to Stefano Pioli’s squad.

Spalletti’s Slovakian wall

When the Nerazzurri outlaid €20 million for Sampdoria’s 22-year-old centre-back Milan Skriniar, many questioned whether the investment would pay dividends.

With no further central defensive recruits arriving after him, Luciano Spalletti placed his trust in the Slovakian to partner Miranda and, if Inter’s 2-0 win over SPAL was anything to go by, he is certainly repaying the faith.

Skriniar has provided a solid wall in front of the opposition attack, with quick reactions, a good read of the game and a strong aerial ability. With the bonus of a surprising right-foot, having hit the crossbar from a long-range effort, Inter’s new number 37 is starting to show why the likes of Antonio Cassano have labelled him a ‘phenomenon’.

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