Talking Points: Serie A week two
It was an action packed second week in Italy’s top-flight as 36 goals flew into the back of the net across the league. Italian football fans were treated to a rare weekend where there was at least two goals in every game including a thrilling five goal encounter between Catania and Genoa.
But what, if anything, has week two in Serie A taught us?
AC Milan are anything but buried
Many wondered how the Rossoneri would cope this season after losing the backbone of it’s squad this summer, plus a host of stars that included Antonio Cassano, Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
After losing to Sampdoria last week Massimilano Allegri’s side had a number of critics, but all were silenced in a commanding win away at Bologna.
Giampaolo Pazzini’s hat-trick was enough to secure all three points for the giants of Italian football, but a great defensive performance and the midfield play of Kevin Prince Boateng will have Milan fans breathing a little easier.
Juve Unaffected by Conte Ban
Questions surrounded The Old Lady of Serie A after Antonio Conte was slapped with a 10-month touchline ban for his involvement in the latest match-fixing scandal to hit Italian football.
A 2-0 win on the opening day of the season was backed up this week by a 4-0 thumping of a ten-man Udinese have Italy’s clubs shaking in their boots at the though of facing a Conte-less Juventus. Imagine what could happen if he was there.
Zdenek Zeman made the right choice
The Roma boss revealed on Saturday that he almost joined Inter Milan last season as Zemen continued to be one of the most outspoken coaches in Italy – we all remember his “Conte should be banned from training too” comments from a few weeks ago.
Luckily for the elder coach, Zemen was able to show he made the right choice by heading to Italy’s capital as his Roma side swept past Inter 3-1 in the San Siro.
Zemen feels his side is has made the best moves in the transfer window and the three time Scudetto winners looked on fire as Alessandro Florenzi, Pablo Osvaldo and Marquinho all struck the back of the net. The night did end on a sour night after Osvaldo was given his second yellow card on 90 minutes.
Clinical finishing is always important
Napoli were only able to muster five shots against Fiorentina on Sunday night. Two were blocked, two were off target and one was able to beat Emiliano Viviano.
Fiorentina fired 16 efforts towards the home side’s goal, seven of which were blocked, while six flew wide of goal. It was Napoli though that took all three points away from the late encounter thanks to Borja Valero’s own goal and Blerim Dzemaili’s 75th minute effort.
Perhaps it’s useful that Viola brought back Luka Toni to bolster their forward line.
Old Guard can cruel
Nikolas Bendtner has walked into a very tough situation at Juventus. Not only will the former Arsenal striker have to adapt his game to the Italian style of play, he will have to do it without the backing of former greats Alessio Tacchinardi and Gianluca Vialli.
Both have raised questions about the striker's ability with Tacchinardi saying that Bendtner will "not help improve Juventus,” when speaking to Sky Sport Italia.
Good luck Nicky. Try not to let it mess with your focus because you’re going to need it.