The schedule was missing three games because of postponements and that was a factor, but overall the quality and the intensity of the play was down compared to what happened in the restart as several teams looked sluggish after the break and in general the defences had their ways over the attacks.
Results: among the supposed title contenders, Napoli and Juventus got off to a good start as the Partenopei pulled away late in Parma, while the Bianconeri manhandled Sampdoria. Milan breezed past Bologna on Monday night. Fiorentina eked out one at home versus Torino. Roma shared the spoils with Verona in a snooze-fest, while Sassuolo-Cagliari had the same result, but more action. Genoa looked good while humbling Crotone.
Confirmations: Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the only one to score multiple goals. It took him few attempts, but Cristiano Ronaldo did pick up where he left off as slotted one home. Dejan Kulusevski opened the scoring in the Sunday night tilt with a velvety finish. Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne opened their seasonal tally right away. Giovanni Simeone nailed a pretty diving header against the run of play of that match. Gaetano Castrovilli vowed to score more this year and he delivered right away with a game-winning tap-in. Goran Pandev remains one of Genoa’s driving forces, while Emmanuel Riviere’s goal was not enough to keep Crotone in the game in the Marassi rout.
Guess who is back: Mattia Destro had not hit the net in almost 500 days in Serie A, but it took him just five six minutes in the opener. Marko Pjaca had bagged one in Belgium last season, while his last one in the Peninsula dates back September 2019.
Surprise scorers: Davide Zappacosta put one in the bottom corner after slaloming through defenders down the left flank, putting behind him for good a very unlucky campaign at Roma in his Genoa debut. Leonardo Bonucci notched three in the past campaign and he is already up to one in 2020/21.
Flops of the round: Torino mustered very little offense and Simone Zaza botched an easy pass that could have led to a chippie. Roma were pretty toothless, but that was partly the product of untimely transfer market maneuvering. Sassuolo was a little too complacent and wasteful. Sampdoria did not really show up in Turin.
Clutch goal: Mehdi Bourabia buried majestic free kick to salvage a tie for the Neroverdi in a game they could, and perhaps should have, won handedly.
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