Match day 9 was a somewhat difficult weekend for the league’s top dogs as the top two failed to record a victory to boost their Scudetto hopes.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence was keenly felt at the Stadio Via del Mare as Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw by Lecce, who was without their manager Fabio Liverani due to a touchline ban, with assistant manager Manuel Coppola leading the Giallorossi instead.
Paulo Dybala converted a 50th minute penalty to give the reigning champions the lead, but Marco Mancosu slotted his own spot kick 6 minutes later to draw the hosts level as they held on for a point, their first on home soil.
At the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Inter Milan failed to capitalize on Juventus’ slip up earlier in the day after been held to an entertaining 2-2 draw by Parma.
Antonio Candreva’s deflected shot from the edge of the box gave Inter the lead after 23 minutes, but within seven minutes, Parma turned the game on its head. Ex Inter man, Yann Karamoah intercepted Marcelo Brozovic’s poor pass before striking from distance to draw Parma level on 26 minutes and three minutes later, the Ivorian born Frenchman set up Gervinho to finish from 10-yards out, leaving the Nerazzurri to chase the game from then on.
10 minutes after the restart, Romelu Lukaku equalised for Inter from a Candreva assist, but La Beneamata failed to find the much needed 3rd goal as they settled for a draw.
Later on Saturday night, Thiago Motta made a record-setting winning debut as Genoa coach as they came from behind to beat Brescia 3-1 at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris with all three goals coming from the Rossoblu bench.
Brazilian-born Thiago Motta on Tuesday took over the managerial reigns from Aurelio Andreazzoli whose team had picked up only a point from their previous 6 Serie matches. And it looked like their poor form would continue when Sandro Tonali’s fantastic strike gave Brescia the lead in the 34th minute.
In the second half, Andrea Pinamonti set up substitute Kevin Agudelo to draw the home side level on 66 minutes, while another substitute Christian Kouame volleyed in Ghiglione’s cross on 75 minutes to put The Grifone ahead. Four minutes later, yet another substitute and ex Inter team mate of Motta, veteran forward Goran Pandev curled in a beautiful goal from inside the box to hand Genoa their second win of the season.
It’s also the first time ever in Italian topflight football a coach would see all his three substitues on the scoresheet.
On Sunday, Claudio Ranieri picked up his first defeat as Sampdoria manager, losing 2-1 to Bologna at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.
Rodrigo Palacio put Bologna ahead 3 minutes after the restart, but Manolo Gabbiadini came back to haunt his old side, pulling Sampdoria level on 64 minutes with a left-footed curler from about 25 metres out.
The Rossoblu however claimed all three points 12 minutes from time through Mattia Bani from a corner, ending a run of 3 defeats and 2 draws.
Elsewhere, Napoli’s 11-match winning streak against Spal was snapped at the Stadio Paolo Mazza with both sides sharing the spoils 1-1.
Arkadiusz Milik’s 9th minute opener was canceled out by Jasmin Kurtic’s equaliser 7 minutes later.
There was also another stalemate at the Stadio Grande Torino as Torino were held at home by Cagliari 1-1.
Nahitan Nandez finished off a nice team move 5 minutes before the break, but Simeone Zaza came off the bench to rescue a point for Toro in the 69th minute after good work from Andrea Belotti.
The most entertaining game of match day 9 was at the Gewiss Stadium where Atalanta whallopped 10-man Udinese 7-1.
Stefano Okaka capitalized on a defensive error from Simon Kjaer to beat Pierluigi Gollini one-on-one for the opening goal after just 11 minutes, but Josip Ilicic pulled the hosts level 10 minutes later.
Nicholas Opoku earned a second yellow card for fouling Ilicic in the box and Luis Muriel converted the resulting penalty kick.
From then on, it was a one way traffic for the Nerazzurri, with further strikes from Josip Ilicic, Luis Muriel (2x), Mario Pasalic and Amad Traore as they romper to a 7-1 win, equalling their biggest league victory in 67 years (7-1 v Triestina), while their 28 goals after 9 games made them the most prolific side since AC Milan scored 29 in the 1992-93 season.
Later on Sunday night, AS Roma inflicted a first defeat on Stefano Pioli as AC Milan manager, a 2-1 victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
Mancini flicked on Jordan Veretout’s corner for Edin Dzeko to head Roma into the lead on 38 minutes, but the Rossoneri leveled up 10 minutes after the restart through Theo Hernandez finishing from 12 yards out from a Davide Calabria’s cross.
However, Milan’s joy only lasted for four minutes as Dzeko disposed Calabria to feed Nicolo Zaniolo who finished from the edge of the box to hand Paulo Fonseca’s maximum points and put an end to a run of four consecutive draws in all competitions for the Rome outfit.
Sunday’s last game was at the Stadio Artemio Franchi and it was Lazio who came away with a 2-1 win against Fiorentina.
Joaquin Correa ran onto a Ciro Immobile through ball to round up Fiorentina’s goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski and slot into an open net after just 23 minutes.
Five minutes later, the hosts evened up the scores. Franck Ribery fed Federico Chiesa whose first time shot beat Lazio’s Thomas Strakosha for the equaliser.
But the visitors regained their lead one minute from time when Jordan Lukaku whipped in a cross onto the head of top scorer Ciro Immobile to head home his 10th goal of the current campaign and his 77th overall for the Biancocelesti, making him the club’s 4th highest goal scorer alongside Giorgio Chinaglia.
There was more drama deep into stoppages though as Luca Ranieri received his marching orders for a handball in the box, but Dragowski saved the ensuing penalty from Felipe Caicedo as the Rome club held on for their first victory on the road in four games.
* BOTTOM 3
TOP SCORERS CHART
- Ciro Immobile (Lazio) – 10 goals
- Luis Muriel – (Atalanta) – 8
- Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo) – 6
- Romelu Lukaku (Inter) – 6
- Duván Zapata (Atalanta) – 6
- Andrea Belotti (Torino) – 5
- Edin Džeko (AS Roma) – 5
- Marco Mancosu (Lecce) – 5
- Andreas Cornelius (Parma) – 4
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – 4