By Edoardo Stella
Results from round one of the 2021/22 season:
Serie A table:
Inter’s sweet debut
With the departures of Achraf Hakimi, Romelu Lukaku and former coach Antonio Conte marking a difficult summer, the reigning champions were called up to a hard task.
New coach Simone Inzaghi made sure Inter were off in the right way, with new signings Hakan Calhanoglu and Edin Dzeko shining against Genoa.
The Nerazzurri celebrated their first game with fans after clinching the title and ensured they may still be considered as title favourites for the coming season.
Spectacular opener between Sassuolo and Verona
Sassuolo and Verona kickstarted the season with a 3-2 away win for the Neroverdi. Both sides welcomed new managers, in the form of Eusebio di Francesco for Verona and Alessio Dionisi for the away side.
The game changed once Miguel Veloso was sent off for the home side. Filip Djuricic added to Giacomo Raspadori’s opener, as Hamed Junior Traore netted the third goal to seal victory.
Mattia Zaccagni’s brace wasn’t enough for the Gialloblu.
Maurizio Sarri debuts for Lazio against his former side
Empoli scared Lazio with an assertive display, as they got ahead after just four minutes thanks to Filippo Bandinelli.
The Italian midfielder even hit a crossbar, but Empoli eventually were outplayed by Lazio, who won 3-1.
It was a positive debut for Sarri, who coached Empoli in his Serie A debut back in 2014 and is now ready for a new adventure with the team from the capital.
Roberto Piccoli rescues Atalanta at the last moment
Gian Piero Gasperini admitted that his side didn’t deserve to get away with all three points, but that he very much welcomes the victory against Torino.
It came after a difficult performance, in which super sub Andrea Belotti equalised Luis Muriel’s splendid opener. Led by former Hellas Verona coach Ivan Juric, the Granata courageously played against a strong side and managed to create more chances.
However, Piccoli and Mario Pasalic combined for a late and unexpected winner for Atalanta.
Juventus live a tough evening in Udine
Juventus had a lively evening, which begun with the surprise exclusion of Cristiano Ronaldo from the starting 11.
However, the Bianconeri went ahead by two goals after 23 minutes, with Massimiliano Allegri’s favourites Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado netting a goal apiece.
The team looked to be performing better than last season, but two howlers by Wojciech Szczesny gifted Udinese a point. The goalkeeper gave away a penalty and lost the ball for Udinese’s equaliser.
Juventus’ day ended with another regret, as Cristiano Ronaldo’s winner in stoppage time was disallowed for offside.
Spectacular clash between Bologna and Salernitana
The first matchday of the season kept producing excitement, as Bologna defeated newly promoted Salernitana by 3-2. There were three red cards, with Stefan Strandsberg receiving two yellow cards in the space of a minute.
Nevertheless, Salernitana took the lead with a man down, as Roberto Soriano gave away a penalty, whilst also receiving a red. Bologna equalised, but the visitors gave them a hard time, going 2-1 up.
New signing Marko Arnautovic was protagonist, before right-back Lorenzo De Silvestri completed his brace, giving Bologna a crucial win.
Mourinho is off with three points
Jose Mourinho was yet another of the 12 coaches that take on a new side in this Serie A season. His debut with Roma sees the Giallorossi clinch three points with courtesy of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jordan Veretout.
The midfielder punished his former side Fiorentina twice, as new striker Tammy Abraham presented himself with two assists.
Nikola Milenkovic momentarily equalised for la Viola, but Vincenzo Italiano’s team came away with empty hands.
Could this be Insigne’s final game for Napoli?
Doubts rose for Napoli when Lorenzo Insigne rejected his new contract and the possibility of leaving came up. However, Insigne still made his mark, converting the penalty for Napoli’s first goal.
Victor Osimhen’s game lasted for 24 minutes only, as after creating some chances, the Nigerian was sent off.
Piotr Zielinski was also soon off with an injury, but his substitute Eljif Elmas ensured Venezia’s Serie A start is with a defeat.
From Italiano to Thiago Motta, Spezia keep impressing
Spezia welcomed in Thiago Motta as the new coach. The former midfielder came in with the hard task of replacing Italiano, a coach who impressed for his attacking football in Spezia’s first ever Serie A season.
The team went up by two goals against Cagliari, with an excellent build-up display, but were caught by Cagliari’s talisman Joao Pedro.
It’s evident that Spezia still lack something to fight with the top teams, but there were signs that last season could be an important starting point to move up the rankings, even with a new coach.
Milan forget Calhanoglu’s departure
Milan fans may have watched Calhanoglu’s debut for Inter with a bit of regret but once it was the Rossoneri’s turn to play, all these thoughts went away.
Their new No. 10, Brahim Diaz, scored the winner against Sampdoria to move Milan level at the top of the table.
The young Spaniard was already part of the team last year and was loaned out again for the upcoming season. He chose a new number and is as motivated as ever to be a protagonist in 2021/22.
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