Mon. Sep 16th, 2019

ROUND UP – SERIE A (MD2)

Match Day 2 of the 2018/2019 Serie A season kicked off on Friday, August 30th at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara with Bologna hosting SPAL.

Despite dominating the encounter, the hosts were made to wait until the 90th minute as Roberto Soriano headed in Ricardo Orsolini’s exquisite cross to give them all three points.

 

Action continued on Saturday with AC Milan relying on Hakan Calhanoglu’s solitary header in the 12th minute to claim maximum points against new boys Brescia at the San Siro.

 

Later in the day, Scudetto hopefuls, Juventus and Napoli played arguably the most exciting game of the weekend in a 7-goal thriller at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.

 

The reigning champions who handed debuts to Mathijs De Ligt (who replaced injured captain Giogio Chiellini) and Danilo,  drew first blood as the latter, on for De Sciglio a minute earlier, completed a swift counter attacking move with Douglas Costa setting him up for the opener.

 

Former Napoli man Gonzalo Higuain wasted no time to compound the woes of his former employers with a second goal three minutes later, dragging Kalidou Koulibaly inside before riffling a shot into the roof of Alex Meret’s net.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo added a third in the 62nd minute with Douglas Costa once again the creative outlet.

 

But the visitors refused to lie low as Kostas Monolas nodded in Mario Rui’s free kick in the 66th minute, while new signing Hirving Lozano tapped in Piotr Zielinski’s low cross two minutes later and Giovanni Di Lorenzo completed the comback turning in Zielinski’s free kick with his thigh in the 81st minute.

 

Just when the Neapolitans thought they had sealed a deserved point, Senegalese defender Koulibaly’s attempted clearance of a seemingly  harmless free kick deep into stoppage time had the ball in the back of his own net to hand La Vecchia Signora the victory, their second in as many games.

 

The Derby Della Capitale, one of Europe’s most fiercest rivalry opened the curtains for Sunday’s action in the Eternal City of Rome.

 

Both Lazio and Roma hit the frame of the goal post 6 times, 5 in the first half including twice in the opening 5 minutes inside the Stadio Olimpico.

 

However, it was Roma who took a 17th minute lead via a penalty after Sergei Milinkovic-Savic was penalised for handball inside the box. Veteran deadball specialist, Aleksandar Kolarov stepped up to send Lazio’s keeper the wrong way.

 

Lazio forced an equaliser with Ciro Immobile teeing up Luis Alberto in the 59th minute as both sides shared the spoils, despite late chances to win it at either end.

 

The Stadio Tardini in Parma was another venue of great entertainment as Atalanta played host to Torino, with the Gewiss Arena in Bergamo (Atalanta’s home ground) still undergoing construction.

 

It was the visitors who opened scoring in the 24th minute via Kevin Bonifazi’s free header from a Danielle Baselli’s corner.

 

But Gian Piero Gasperini’s men evened things up 14 minutes later with Colombian international Duvan Zapata finishing up a smooth counter attacking move.

 

9 minutes after the restart, Zapata’s solo effort of pace & sheer power allowed him to riffle a shot at the near post of Salvatore Sirigu’s goal to give Atalanta the lead for the first time in the encounter in the 54th minute.

 

But that lead only lasted for 3 minutes as Alex Berenguer exchanged a quick one-two with Meite before slotting home the equaliser.

 

And in the 66th minute, another poor defending from Atalanta allowed Armando Izzo to head in the winner… 2-3 it ended in Torino’s favour.

 

Elsewhere, Stefano Sensi was in inspired form as Inter Milan made it two wins from two with a 2-1 win at the Sardegna Arena against Cagliari.

 

It was Sensi’s delivery that set up Lautaro Martinez’s header in the 27th minute for the opener.

 

However, Nanhitan Nandez dispossed Antonio Candreva and floated a delightful cross down the right flank for Joao Pedro to head in the equaliser.

 

Sensi’s trickery in the box earned the Nerazzurri a penalty, with Fabio Pisacane tripping the Italian. New signing Romelu Lukaku was on hand to dispatch the winning goal, his second in as many games for Inter.

 

The Mapei Stadium also produced a flurry of goals as Sassuolo hammered Sampdoria 4-1, including a hattrick from Domenico Berardi.

 

The Sassuolo captain tapped in the opener in the 29th minute from Ciccio Caputo’s low cross and got his 2nd in the 36th minute, getting on the end of Alfred Duncan’s cross for a fine header.

 

He completed his hattrick in sensational fashion in the 43rd minute, curling a shot from distance after cutting in from the right.

 

Things got worse for the visitors following Ricardo Vieira’s red card for a dangerous tackle on Peluso.

 

Hamed Traore added a fourth 2minutes after the break, springing the offside trap to slot in Muldar’s through ball.

 

Eusebio Di Francesco’s men got themselves a 67th minute consolation through veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella’s penalty after Alfred Duncan was adjudged to have brought down Albin Ekdal.

 

Fiorentina suffered their second loss of the season, losing 2-1 to Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferrari.

 

Cristian Zapata headed Genoa in front  the 11th minute and Christian Kouame doubled their lead in the 65th minute with a low drive from the edge of the box, but Erick Pulgar halved the deficit with a spot kick in the 76th minute.

 

Parma earned their first win of the campaign with a come back 3-1 win against Udinese at the Dacia Arena.

 

Kevin Lasagna put the hosts ahead in the 17th minute, but Gervinho equalised two minutes before the break, latching on to a through pass from Kulusevski to score.

 

Riccardo Gagliolo’s diving header in the 59th minute put Parma in front and Gervinho set up Roberto Inglese in the 75th minute to seal victory.

 

Finally, Matteo Pessina’s 81st minute goal was all Hellas Verona needed to pip Lecce 1-0 at the Stadio Via del Mare.

 

 

 

 

 

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