Serie A Review: Week 11

Serie A

A roundup of all the action from Italy including a storming away performance from Lazio and more misery for Montella’s Milan.

Saturday 28th October

AC Milan 0-2 Juventus

Unusually, the action kicked off with perhaps the biggest game of the weekend, as struggling AC Milan hosted a Juventus side looking to build momentum and claim the top spot. Despite Milan having more possession (54%) and creating slightly more chances, Juventus were far more clinical. Gonzalo Higuain scored a brace, the first the result of some intricate build-up play ending in a powerful finish into the bottom corner. Meanwhile, Milan drop to eighth and have failed to come from behind and win yet this season.

Roma 1-0 Bologna

Speaking of Milan, it was a former rossonero who gave Roma the edge over Bologna in Saturday’s only other fixture. Stephan El Shaaraway’s sublime left-footed volley from a corner means that Roma have now scored in 27 consecutive Serie A games against Bologna. Roma move up to fifth as Mattia Destro failed to inspire against his former side.

Sunday 29th October 

Benevento 1-5 Lazio

Perhaps stat of the week came from this game as the only previous meeting between the two sides (Coppa Italia 2008/09) also finished 5-1 to Lazio. This time it came courtesy of five different scorers for Lazio as Bastos, Adam Marusic, Marco Parolo, Nani and in-form Ciro Immobile wrapped up the points. Achraf Lazaar grabbed a consolation for Benevento who remain stone-dead last with zero points. High-flying Lazio are now in fourth, moving on from a week where again their ultras made the headlines for controversial reasons.

Crotone 2-1 Fiorentina

From stat of the week to surprise of the week as Crotone beat Fiorentina courtesy of two goals in two minutes. Crotone boosted their survival campaign and move up to 15th, with Ante Budimir and Marcello Trotta grabbing the vital goals. Fiorentina had 16 shots including one off the bar, as well as 64% possession proving the age-old cliché, it’s not about how much possession you have, but what you do with it.

Napoli 3-1 Sassuolo

After this game, Sassuolo have still not scored more than a single goal in a game this season. In complete contrast, Napoli took their tally to 32 goals for the season with familiar names Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon on the scoresheet, with Callejon scoring directly from a corner. A comfortable victory in the end for Napoli keeps them two points clear of Inter in first, and three clear of current champions Juventus.

SPAL 1-0 Genoa

Mirco Antenucci was the hero for newly-promoted SPAL as they leapfrogged Genoa, who drop to the relegation zone in 18th. Antenucci secured the points with a neat strike from outside the box following a knockdown from a goal-kick. It was a game of few clear chances, with SPAL taking the spoils in the first meeting between the two sides since 1964.

Sampdoria 4-1 Chievo

Sampdoria continued their good form, with a convincing victory against Chievo moving them four points clear of Fiorentina in sixth, with a game in hand. Chievo started well, creating a few chances and equalising after Karol Linetty opened the scoring for Sampdoria. However, Lucas Toerreira’s stunning 35-yard free-kick knocked any wind out of Chievo’s sails as they conceded again just before half-time. The result leaves them still comfortably mid-table, in 11th.

Udinese 2-1 Atalanta

Atalanta are struggling to replicate last season’s form after losing some key players, and slumped again to a defeat away to Udinese. They initially went ahead through Jasmin Kurtic before Rodrigo de Paul and Antonin Barak turned the game around in a match where Atalanta really should have won. Udinese meanwhile, are now unbeaten in eight games against Atalanta and move up to 13th.

Torino 2-1 Cagliari

Torino also came from behind to salvage a win against Calgiari, who hover just three points above the relegation zone. Nicola Barella scored after a quick counter attack for Calgliari, before Iago Falque and Joel Obi’s four-yard tap in completed the turnaround. Manager Sinisa Mihajlovic will be hoping this is a change in fortune for Torino, after a dismal run of form of only two draws and three losses in the last five games.

Monday 30th October 

Verona 1-2 Inter

The league action finished with yet another 2-1 result, this time a vital three points for Inter as they try and keep up with the title race. Borja Valero opened the scoring before Giampaolo Pazzini’s penalty for Verona, with Ivan Perisic’s fierce volley bringing the points back to Milan. Inter remain with Napoli as the only unbeaten sides in Serie A after 11 games.

Highlight of the week

One of the smallest players in the league, Lorenzo Insigne (5ft 4), playing a major role in Jose Callejon scoring from a corner, despite being marked by two defenders and a goalkeeper.