Hard fought wins for Juve and Inter keep duo at the top

Ronaldo 700 shirt
Ronaldo scored and received a tribute for achieving his 700 goals mark. Credits: Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images

Serie A got back after the international break and there were no alterations at the top. Juventus and Inter both won their games and keep separated by two points.

In other news, Atalanta wasted a 3-goal lead and Napoli got closer to the 3rd place. Roma and Milan disappointed with unexploited chances and Cagliari keeps their uproaring season start.

Check out this and much more in this week’s Serie A round-up.

Juventus 2 x 1 Bologna

After beating Inter last matchday and stealing the Serie A lead, Juventus keep unbeaten in the league as they hosted Bologna this Saturday. Bologna proved a tough nut to crack, but Juve won based on their individual quality.

Before the game, Cristiano Ronaldo was graced with a special shirt, as a present for the superstar reaching the 700 goal mark. The Portuguese forward answered the gift with a goal early in the match, as his footwork blinded Bologna’s defenders and he put the ball in the narrowest angle possible.

However, just 10 minutes later, Bologna tied back the game with a fine shot from Danilo.

Juve would suffer to get the 3 points as Skorupski made a tremendous save to Ronaldo’s bullet header. The Polish keeper from Bologna would be unable to stop Pjanic’s 3rd goal of the season. The Bosnian midfielder got the ball after a failed attempt by Cristiano and made it 2-1.

Before the final whistle, still, time for Gigi Buffon to show why he is still a class keeper at 41 years old. The Italian iconic stopped made a miraculous save, after a Bologna’s bicycle kick in the last minute, securing all 3 points for Juventus.

The ‘Old Lady’ keeps the lead of Serie A table and tonight they will host Lokomotiv in the Champions League group stages.

Sassuolo 3 x 4 Inter

Sometimes what seems easy, suddenly becomes hard. Inter can well say that, since they went from being 3 goals up, to being almost on the verge of drawing.

The game started pretty well for Inter, as the ‘Nerazzurri’ broke the deadlock after just 2 minutes. Lautaro Martinez with a finesse shot scored his 3rd goal of Serie A season and tipped Sassuolo for a beating.

However, nearly a quarter later, Berardi put it level and gave hope to the home side. This was his 6th goal in 6 games in the league.

A tight finish from Lukaku before half time, though, secured that Inter went to the break with a 1×2 lead.

The Belgian striker signed this Summer from United, would score his second after Lautaro Martinez was tripped in the box. Lukaku did not hesitate from the penalty spot and put the 3rd for Inter.

Sassuolo were clumsy in defense and they committed another penalty later on. Barella was the one who suffered the foul and this time it was Lautaro who stepped to take the kick. A brace for the Argentinian too and Inter was winning 1×4.

Somehow Sassuolo got back on the game with 2 goals in 10 minutes. First by Djuricic and then by Boga, finishing a remarkable solo play.

Bedazzled by Sassuolo’s reaction, Inter were still able to hold on to their lead and get the 3 points. They will hope their defense is sharper this Wednesday though, as they host Dortmund for Champions League.

Napoli 2 x 0 Hellas Verona

With Inter and Juventus flying rampant on top, Napoli seems like the weakest link in the race. They needed to beat Verona in San Paolo to keep the tighter distance possible to the leading duo.

The game could have turned sour early on, but Meret’s triple save kept the sheet clean for the local team.

It was Napoli who took off in front, with Polish striker Milik making it 1×0 in the 37th minute. It was his first goal of the season after a time in the sidelines due to injury.

Milik would be the one scoring the second too, after kicking in an indirect free-kick from Insigne. Napoli could have tripled their lead, but Mertens shot was blocked by the post.

Napoli holds on to the 4th place and gets closer to Atalanta who lost 2 points this weekend.

Lazio 3 x 3 Atalanta

In the reedition of last season’s Coppa Italia final, Lazio and Atalanta faced once again in a match full of great moments. The Romans challenged an Atalanta side who is keen on remaining in the top 3 of Serie A once again.

Without their top scorer Duvan Zapata, it was another Colombian who stepped up for Atalanta. Luis Muriel scored twice in the first half, the second of which was a free-kick that cheekily betrayed Lazio’s keeper.

Atalanta would put the game to bed (or so it seemed) as Papu Gomez netted the third one of the afternoon, even before interval.

Lazio needed a miracle and that was what they got in the second half. Immobile fell easily on the area and the ref pointed at the spot. The Italian made no mistake and scored his 8th goal in 8 games.

The comeback continued, with Correa scoring Lazio’s second: 2×3 with 20 minutes to go. Atalanta could have ended the game with a 4th, but Lazio’s heroic defense ended with Luis Marchi making a clearance on the line.

In the last minute, Immobile once again fell in the area and the referee pointed at the spot again. The Italian cemented is place as Serie A top scorer and settled the game for a 3×3 draw.

Atalanta keeps 3rd place though and they will have a tough test this Tuesday when they play City in Manchester. Lazio plays Celtic on Thursday in Glasgow, for Europa League.

Cagliari 2 x 0 SPAL

Continuing their impressive season start, Cagliari climbed to 5th place after hosting and beating SPAL 2×0.

The team from Sardinia got their first goal on the 9th minute when Radja Nainggolan fired from the midfield a rocket into the top corner. The Belgian, who joined Cagliari this Summer to be closer to his wife’s family, scored his first goal of the season with his trademark shot.

Radja was almost on the verge of scoring a brace, but the ball hit the post. Cagliari would get their second later though when Paolo Farago combined with Simeone to make it 2.

Cagliari has 4 wins and 2 draws in 8 games so far and is in the European places. Meanwhile, SPAL is in the relegation zone.

Sampdoria 0 x 0 Roma

Claudio Ranieri took charge of Sampdoria, who are bottom of the table of Serie A and his first game was against his former club Roma. The experienced manager, who led Leicester to glory, is a hardcore supporter for the ‘Gialorrossi‘.

Roma, on the other hand, with Paulo Fonseca in charge, has shown more security in defense than last season but has failed to deliver in the attack. Fonseca played Kalinic as a starter instead of Dzeko, as the Bosnian was still recovering from an injury.

However, as the ‘Gladiators’ seemed unable to trespass Sampdoria’s walls, Dzeko was called in the second half. The game continued to not have many chances and the highlight was Justin Kluivert getting his second yellow and being sent off.

Against 10 men, Quagliarella was close to open the score but Pau Lopez defended well the Sampdoria’s attacker attempt.

Roma drops to 6th place and Sampdoria continues bottom placed.

Parma 5 x 1 Genoa

Genoa is on the lower part of Serie A table and their situation worsened as they were absolutely thumped by Parma.

Kucka opened the score for Parma in the 37 minutes but it was Andreas Cornelius who stole the headlines. The Danish forward, on loan from Atalanta, came on a substitute for Roberto Inglese and scored 3.

Pinamonti still scored one consolation goal for Genoa, but Kulusevski had no mercy and scored Parma’s fifth. A noteworthy exhibition for the Swedish Parma midfielder too, with 2 assists and 1 goal.

Parma is now 8th in the league, while Genoa is 19th.

AC Milan 2 x 2 Lecce

Stefano Pioli had his first game in charge of AC Milan after he replaced Marco Giampaolo during the international break. The scenario seemed perfect: a San Siro stadium filled with supporters eager for a win and the opponent was the newly-promoted side Lecce.

Things got even better for Pioli and Milan when Calhanoglu scored from a slim angle to make it 1×0 for the home team.

However, in the second half, the ref punished Milan with a penalty. Donnarumma defender, but Babacar was quick to hit the loose ball.

Milan got a second and the 3 points looked safe when substitute Piatek fired his 3rd goal of the season.

Lecce still had one card up their sleeve and a stunning strike from Calderoni, outside the box, split the points. Milan and Lecce are only separated by 3 points, as the ‘Rossoneri’ are 4 points away from the relegation zone.

Udinese 1 x 0 Torino

Udinese’s current league record is interesting. Despite sitting on the bottom half of the table, the team has only conceded 6 goals, the least of all the teams in Serie A. However, they had only scored 3 goals prior to this match against Torino.

In fact, they got only 2 wins, one against Milan in the first matchday and another against Bologna. This time, they did not waste a chance of grabbing 3 more points, in another tight 1×0 win.

Stefano Okaka was the author of the only goal, with a header of close range. The team from Udinese surpasses Torino in the table in 10th, as ‘Il Toro’ drops to 11th.

Brescia 0 x 0 Fiorentina

Fiorentina was hopeful in grabbing another win, one would put them in the top 6 of Serie A table. They were stopped by a stubborn Brescia side, who denied them the 3 points.

Brescia actually scored first, but Florian Aye’s goal was denied by the video referee. A handball of Tonali in the curse of the play made it illegal.

Fiorentina tried a couple of times to break the deadlock, but Finnish stopped Jesse Joronen was in great form and made a couple of matchpoint saves.

The ‘Viola’ lost an opportunity to get leverage over the opponents and is now resting in the 9th. Brescia is 15th.

Here are the current standings of Serie A table. Next week in the Serie A schedule Roma and Milan battle at the Olimpico for a battle of recent underachievers. Stay tuned.

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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