The champion is back: Juve defeats Inter and leads Serie A

Higuain scored the winner in the Inter x Juve classic
Juventus' Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. Credits: Associated Press

On the first weekend of October, Serie A got a new leader. Not really a new one, as they are the dominant champions from the last 8 seasons. For a while, though, there was a short glimpse that Inter could surprise this season.

We are not saying that the league is done since it’s merely the beginning. Still, it was a harsh result the defeat against Juventus in the Giuseppe Meazza.

Inter had been defeated midweek against Barcelona in Camp Nou and now they suffered a consecutive one. Conte’s Inter is an improved version of the ‘Nerazzurri’, but still not enough to compete against the big boys?

In other news, Milan got back to victories in a dramatic fashion. Roma and Napoli got further from the top. Atalanta cemented their position as the third leading force. All this and much more in this weekend’s Serie A round-up.

Inter 1 x 2 Juventus

It was the match that closed the weekend of Serie A schedule and was definitely the most eagerly awaited one. Inter hosted Juventus in the Giuseppe Meazza for a match between the top 2 of Serie A.

The ‘Nerazzurri’ led the league with 6 wins in 6 matches, while Juventus was just 2 points below.

Safe to say that Inter got into the game with the wrong foot. 3 minutes in and they were already trailing. Inter players somehow stopped after a foul on Cristiano Ronaldo.

The referee decided to give the advantage rule and let Juventus play on. Dybala went through Inter’s defense and stunned Handanovic with a clinical finish.

Inter was still recovering from the first blow and had almost a second one going in. Cristiano Ronaldo hit the crossbar and the ‘Interistas’ certainly sighed in relief.

Nonetheless, things got unexpectedly better after De Ligt clumsily touched the ball with his hand in the box. The ref pointed to the spot and Lautaro Martinez equalized. 1-1.

The Argentinian forward could have netted a brace and put Inter in the front, but his effort was denied by Szczesny.

Before the second half, Ronaldo put the ‘Bianconeri’ ahead. However, the VAR would rule it illegal, due to Dybala assisting in an offside position.

Juventus would have to wait until the 80 minutes to get themselves the winning goal. Higuain jumped from the bench and, assisted by Bentancur, scored the second.

2-1, final score in Giuseppe Meazza and Inter, after the loss midweek to Barcelona, has to pick up the pieces. Is Conte going to operate some changes or will Inter succumb to Juve’s usual dominance?

Atalanta 3 x 1 Lecce

Enjoying Inter’s stumble, Atalanta got themselves closer to the top 2, with a win at home over Lecce. This is their 3rd consecutive win in the league and, besides struggling in their Champions League campaign, Atalanta’s Serie A start has been rampant.

Duvan Zapata opened the scoresheet with his 6th goal in 7 league games. He finished from a tight angle, after a pass from Gosens.

The Colombian striker would assist Papu Gomez 5 minutes later for the second goal of the home side.

The last one would come from Robin Gosens, who started the play and finished it, in a combination with Ilicic.

Fabio Lucioni got a consolation goal for Lecce in the last minutes of the match. Yet, the score kept favorable to Atalanta. 3-1 and they are 2 points away from Inter and 3 from Juve.

Torino 0 x 0 Napoli

A disappointing result for Napoli in Torino, made Ancelotti men lose the opportunity to get closer to the top. It was the second consecutive 0x0 draw, after the midweek match against Genk in Champions League group stages.

Sirigu denied Fabian Ruiz the opening goal, with a fine save. Mertens would then have a great opportunity, with a lobbed ball that gave the illusion to go in.

Meanwhile, Belotti was close to scoring another bicycle kick, after the one against AC Milan. The effort was just across the post.

Napoli keeps in top 4, holding to the 4th position, despite the result. Meanwhile, Torino is in the 9th place.

Roma 1 x 1 Cagliari

In the Olimpico, Roma also had a chance to make a statement and get some leverage. However, their mission was to stop Cagliari, who have already defeated Napoli and are having a fairly good season start.

In the first minutes, they saw their former goalkeeper Robin Olsen deny Zaniolo his first goal of the Serie A season. Cagliari will then steal the lead, with a penalty kick converted by Joao Pedro.

Roma got back on level terms, just 5 minutes later, with Ceppitelli scoring an equalizer. The Cagliari’s defender was trying to avoid that Dzeko reached the ball and put it into his own net.

The result would suffer no more alterations, with Zaniolo having another chance stopped by Olsen. The goalkeeper had his revenge, after being mistreated by Roman fans last season.

In the dieing minutes, Kalinic actually scored for Roma. VAR would disallow the goal, for an alleged foul from the Croatian attacker on the defender who was shielding him.

1-1 and Paulo Fonseca got two other bad news from this game. Amadou Diawara suffered an injury in his knee and Edin Dzeko fractured his facial bone.

Fiorentina 1 x 0 Udinese

After a shaky start of the season, Vincenzo Montella’s Fiorentina has now 3 consecutive wins and they are a joy to watch. They hosted Udinese this weekend and a single goal was enough to give them 3 points.

Grasping at straws, Fiorentina got their awaited goal just in the 72 minutes of the game. Milenkovic with a header, following a corner kick from Pulgar.

The ‘Viola’ seem renovated, with Ribery, Chiesa and Pulgar leading the attack. They look like they will battle for European places this season.

Genoa 1 – 2 AC Milan

AC Milan came to Genoa in three back to back defeats, with 4 in total this season already. It does not look good for the ‘rossoneri’, who were 15th before this game. But, they were still able to get the 3 points in this weekend’s match, although it was a tight affair.

The main protagonist of this game was AC Milan’s goalkeeper, Pepe Reina, who was on focus for good and bad reasons. First, an astounding blunder allowed Lasse Schone to put the hosts in front.

Schone stroke an apparently harmless free-kick, who Reina would fail to catch and deflect into the net. 1-0 for Genoa and things were looking even worse for Milan.

Theo Hernandez gave a sight of hope to the visitors, running through the left-wing and finishing by himself. The goal by the fullback seems to have woken Milan, who were able to turn it into their favor.

Biraschi later touched the ball in the area and the deliberate action of the Genoa defender was punished with a red card. Kessie did not hesitate from the penalty spot: 1-2.

But, the drama wasn’t over. Milan would also get reduced to 10 men after Calabria got the second yellow card.

And in the dying minutes, when the ‘Milanese’ supporters were already celebrating the 3 points, Kouame fell in the box. The ref pointed to the penalty spot, claiming Pepe Reina had tripped the forward.

Nevertheless, the Spanish keeper went from ‘zero’ to ‘hero’ by saving the penalty and securing a much-needed win for Milan.

Bologna 2 x 2 Lazio

An emotional return, saw Sinisa Mihajlović back in the sidelines for Bologna, after being hospitalized for some time. The Serbian coach, who is battling against cancer, was received with a round of applause by both Bologna and Lazio fans.

Back to the match, Bologna and Lazio got to this game separated by just 2 points. Krejci broke the deadlock for Bologna in the 21 minutes, after a cross by Orsolini.

Lazio equalized immediately, with Immobile receiving a ball from Lulic and scoring his 6th goal of the season.

They would trail again soon, with Palacio enjoying a loose ball to put Bologna through. Yet, as a ‘Deja Vu’, Immobile drew the game instants later, after a one-two with Luis Alberto.

7 goals in 7 games. Immobile is the top scorer of Serie A and also scored in Europa League to give his team the win on Thursday, against Rennes.

There were no more changes to the result, but both teams ended with 10 men. Lucas Leiva got a double yellow and was sent off and Gary Medel would receive a straight red in the 70 minutes.

Lazio keeps 6th place in Serie A. Bologna is 11th.

SPAL 1 – 0 Parma

After 2 consecutive wins, Parma visited SPAL in hope of getting a third. Since the hosts were at the bottom of the table, it seemed possible to achieve it.

Andrea Petagna put SPAL in front when the clock marked half an hour. After 3 matches without a goal, SPAL’s forward was back on the scoresheet.

Parma was unable to come back from the early goal, despite playing with one more man for 20 minutes. Strefezza got a second yellow card for a dive and got sent off, but SPAL was able to hold on.

A victory that takes SPAL out of the relegation places, while Parma drops to 12th.

Verona 2 x 0 Sampdoria

Sampdoria has a single win in 7 matches and is rock bottom of the Serie A table. This weekend they got another disappointing result, as they visited Verona and lost against the local side.

Kumbulla put the hosts ahead in the first 10 minutes, after a corner kick by Miguel Veloso. A first goal for Hellas from the 19-year-old Albanian defender.

Last season’s Serie A top scorer, Quagliarella, has a single goal so far. He was unable to put his name on his scoresheet again.

The only Sampdoria man to score a goal in this match was Murru. The Italian center back deflected a Miguel Veloso attempt into his own net.

2-0 and things aren’t looking good for Sampdoria. Meanwhile, Verona confirms their positive season starts and they are now 10th.

The match between Brescia and Sassuolo, scheduled for this matchday, was postponed following the death of Sassuolo’s president.

Serie A is back only on the 19th of October, after the international break.

About Jorge Costa 132 Articles
Jorge Costa is a freelance journalist, with a Masters Degree in Journalism and Communication, through the University of Coimbra, Portugal. He specializes in sports and soccer in particular.

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