Results from round 15:
Serie A table:
Is Mario Pasalic finally establishing himself among the elites?
Mario Pasalic has been a positive note for Atalanta in this start to the season and he continued his top form with a hat-trick against Venezia.
The Croatian midfielder started his campaign with seven goals and five assists in 15 games, also contributing to two goals in the Champions League.
His level has been magnificient for a few seasons now and it should be time that Pasalic starts to be considered as one of Serie A’s top players. His ability at running in the box and scoring is second to few.
Fiorentina and Sampdoria always produce exciting encounters
Last season, it took Fiorentina 23 games to reach 24 points. This season, that is the amount they have after 15 games, as La Viola keep fighting in the high places, now settling in sixth.
They were stunned by Sampdoria, with Manolo Gabbiadini putting the Blucerchiati in front after an assist by nobody less than Antonio Candreva.
After a short period of dominance, however, Fiorentina could get what they deserved, moving up with Jose Callejon, Dusan Vlahovic and Riccardo Sottil.
In the past, these two sides often occupied places in the top 10, despite never quite being a top team. This is why, when they face each other, there is always a lot at stake and excitement is guaranteed.
Boris Radunovic denies Verona
Boris Radunovic is Alessio Cragno’s number two at Cagliari. With the latter sitting out, Radunovic had to step up against one of the most prolific sides of the Serie A: Hellas Verona.
Giovanni Simeone, on loan to the Gialloblu by Cagliari, tried his best to move past the team that actually owns him, but found on his way the Serbian goalkeeper, which denied him multiple times.
Cagliari snatch a point, moving two off 17th-placed Spezia, whilst this means that Verona’s five-games home winning streak comes to an end.
Juventus really need Paulo Dybala
Paulo Dybala was arguably Serie A’s best player before the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, or certainly was the hottest prospect.
However, the Argentinian only scored 20 Serie A goals in the three years he shared with the Portuguese (he scored 22 just the season before). Consequentially, Dybala became a mystery, always seeming to be on the way out and never a regular starter.
Despite having some injuries, Dybala is now making the difference when he can, netting with a great effort against Salernitana, albeit missing a penalty that didn’t affect the score in stoppage time.
With Juventus still sitting seven points behind the top four, and occupying seventh place, it’s fair to say that most of their hopes now rely on La Joya.
Inter gain further ground
Just three games ago, Inter were sitting seven points behind two teams at the top of the table: Milan and Napoli. Now, the Nerazzurri are one point behind their city rivals and two points behind the league leaders.
Their third consecutive win was a total domination against Spezia, whose goalkeeper Ivan Provedel deserves a big mention for keeping the score so low.
Roberto Gagliardini got the first of the season, with a particular statistic that says he scored eight of his 15 Serie A goals against Ligurian sides (Sampdoria, Genoa and Spezia).
Bologna’s surprise moment is too much even for Roma
Six clean sheets and 24 points. Bologna are now just one length behind Roma, in fifth, and are proving to be a good surprise for this early part of the season.
To put it into context, Bologna registered six clean sheets in the previous 74 games before this season and were known to be a sloppy defensive side. Now, with a super Lukasz Skorupski, Bologna will hope this trend can continue for long.
Roma are condemned to another disappointment, as they see the top four fly away six points in the distance, after a 1-0 loss in the name of Mattias Svanberg.
Napoli need to hold on
It’s not an easy moment for Napoli, who come off five points in four games (Verona, Inter, Lazio and Sassuolo) and see the injuries accumulate, with important players missing out such as Victor Osimhen, Fabian Ruiz and Kalidou Koulibaly.
Looking at the positives, Napoli are still first, but their collapse against Sassuolo looks worrying, as the Partenopei were 2-0 up thanks to Fabian and Dries Mertens.
However, in the last 20 minutes, Sassuolo charged back and snatched a point. Gregoire Defrel even scored the winner, but it was disallowed as there was a foul in the build-up to the goal.
Junior Messias gets Milan back up
It’s down to Junior Messias to give Milan their first Serie A win after three disappointing results.
The Brazilian is finally ready to play the role of the protagonist after injuries limited his playing-time in his first months with the Rossoneri shirt.
Messias scored a brace, after Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoresheet with a direct free-kick, that was just another proof of the class he still has past his 40s.
Torino throw themselves away against Empoli
This match saw both sides aspiring for a win, but leaving with their glass half-empty. Torino surely have big regrets, after moving 2-0 up in 15 minutes with Tommaso Pobega and Marko Pjaca.
However, after just 30 minutes of play, Wilfred Singo received a red card and it all opened up for Empoli, who pulled a goal back within minutes.
Empoli looked set to overturn the result, but could only managed one back with Andrea La Mantia’s header. Both teams look quite safe, but will have regrets for failing to win this game.
Lazio 4-4 Udinese: what did we just witness?
The Stadio Olimpico was the scene of those once-in-a-season games which (neutral) fans will tell future generations about if they were lucky enough to be there.
Udinese moved 2-0 up with Beto, who scored two splendid goals to help the Friulani build a good lead after 32 minutes. Lazio did well to keep in the game and made it 2-1 after a few minutes with Ciro Immobile.
However, Udinese’s Nahuel Molina scored a third one just before half-time. Udinese thought they won it, but Lazio were levelled at the 56th minute with Pedro and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
A miracle come-back looked set with all the stadium in their favour, but Patric got sent off for Lazio. Still, everything seemed to move back in their direction, with Molina receiving a red card and Francesco Acerbi scoring the 4-3.
Game over? Not a chance, at the 99th minute, Tolgay Arslan fired in the equaliser, with the match ending in a fight that saw Udinese’s Walace receive the third red card of the match.
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