Here’s the quick recap of what went down in most of the Serie A opening round.
Standings implications: obviously these will not be relevant for a while, anyway Juventus, Napoli and Roma got off to a good start despite some labour, while Lazio and Inter stumbled. Empoli and SPAL grabbed three important points, Parma and Udinese shared the spoils in a sneakily entertaining game.
Confirmations: Ciro Immobile and Arek Milik showed once again to be sensational goal poachers, the Pole has just been held back by injuries. Lorenzo Insigne hit the net as well. Emanuele Giaccherini stung Juventus twice, delivering an assist and converting the penalty he won, Roberto Inglese and his Chievo heir Mariusz Stepinski are still hot from last season, the new Parma’s striker in particular buried a lovely one. Sami Khedira appears to be strolling around for most of the time, but he is often in the right place at the right time. Empoli kept playing at the same level even after against better competition and two of their leaders, Rade Krunic and Francesco Caputo, finished with aplomb on great assists. Rodrigo De Paul was again perfect from the penalty spot.
Guess who is back: Federico Bernardeschi had not scored in Serie A since February, Domenico Berardi performed very well, but he had bagged a couple down then stretch last year.
Flops of the round: Inter were expected to have a much butter showing, but they were caught by surprise by Sassuolo’s verve and Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinez, in particular, failed to connect. Ivan Perisic provided a sparkle off the bench, but it faded quickly. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was invisible. Cagliari and Bologna did not do a lot offensively. Few popular players underperformed even though their clubs prevailed, such as Juventus’ Paulo Dybala and Roma’s Javier Pastore.
Surprise scorers: Antonino Barillà got the start thanks to his experience in the system and pounced on a ball that Simone Scuffet should have cradled. However, in Serie B he proved to have some nose for the goal. Two other midfielders put their names in the scoresheets: Jasmin Kurtic with a gem and Seko Fofana, but they are no stranger to scoring either.
Clutch goal of the day: Edin Dzeko not only solved the game late, but did it in jaw-dropping fashion, with a Van Basten-esque lefty volley.
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