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Race for the Scudetto: Kvaratskhelia on way to being Napoli legend; Inzaghi Inter Milan doubts; Sousa Salernitana genius

Many missteps, so many. Lazio, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Roma are now competing 'not' to reach the Champions League, Juventus resumes its path to the top of the standings, while Napoli immediately returns to their perfect streak. Here's what happened in Serie A over the weekend...


Inter lost again, again away from home, throwing away another chance to shorten the gap at the top of the standings. Napoli is now unreachable, however these fluctuating results, one positive, another negative, are making the race for the top four complicated for the Nerazzurri, who are in need of stability and continuity.

Simone Inzaghi's position is becoming more and more complex, because while it is true that the match against Porto sees Lautaro Martinez and his teammates in a good position and with a good advantage ahead of the second leg, failure to qualify for the next Champions League would be a real disaster considering the incredible amount of talent at his disposal. Inter have exhausted every bonus and between now and the end of the season the level of the performances has to go up, because the impression is that the locker room is starting to suffer from these ups and downs.

Milan Skriniar's absence alone cannot be enough to justify this unreliability. Another Inter is needed.


Just at the most delicate and interesting moment, Jose Mourinho's Roma fell at home against Sassuolo. Several starters were missing, captain Lorenzo Pellegrini, heart of the team, plus Bryan Cristante and Gianluca Mancini were absent, Paulo Dybala started from the bench: it can be said that the ingredients for a bad night were all already there, but for the more than 60,000 fans present at the Olimpico it was a terrible night anyway.

After 18 minutes Sassuolo was ahead by two goals, Nicola Zalewski had found the 1-2 goal but before the end of the first half Marash Kumbulla responded to a Domenico Berardi provocation with a small kick: a penalty and red card. A folly that Roma paid dearly for, on the day when with a win they would have gone alone to second place in the standings.

A greater disappointment could not have been, especially at such a favourable moment, before the two decisive games against Real Sociedad and Lazio (next Sunday). The match ended 3-4, Dybala, Andrea Pinamonti and Gini Wijnaldum also scored, in that order, but the chance was blown. And from now until the end of the season, the big chances will be fewer and fewer, and a whole different continuity will be needed to achieve the season's goal, which is the qualification to the next Champions League.


We started the season talking about Kvaradona, that's what he was called back at the beginning of the campaign. And the Napoli fans had seen very far ahead. Seeing him play every weekend they had seen into the future, glimpsing a pure talent, one of those that in time becomes legendary, and the goal scored against Atalanta is the perfect picture of his talent.

Few players are capable of scoring a goal like that, after all that dribbling, the ball always attached to his foot, a clean, strong shot with the opponent's goalkeeper already beaten and helpless. It's not just the Maradona-like goal, it's not even the endless amount of perfect dribbling he does in every match, it's that to all this he combines a great pragmatism that makes him one of the strongest players in the world right now.

And if Victor Osimhen, Kim Min-jae, Stanislav Lobotka and other players of this level also play to their strengths, it can only produce a perfect mix that so far has collected 68 points in twenty-six league games. Kvara's match, however, is one of those that must be shown to young talents to show them what the prototype of the perfect footballer is. Serious, strong, professional, decisive, never out of line. An example.


The draw obtained by Paulo Sousa's team against AC Milan is one of the biggest surprises of the league weekend, although obviously not the most resounding, given the victories of Spezia and Sassuolo against Inter and Roma.

The Portuguese is changing Salernitana and is also getting his first positive results, like this one at San Siro. Antonio Candreva seems reborn, but he is not the only one. A change of coach generally always gives a positive jolt, which allows teams to pull out every last drop of residual energy, but after the win over Monza two rounds ago came a draw that may have considerable specific weight for the fate of the Sousa-coached team.

Anxiety about the risk of relegation to Serie B was kicked away by Boulaye Dia's goal against Milan, but probably when the team's president chose to fire Davide Nicola (somewhat surprisingly) and take Sousa he wanted just that, a reaction, to see a team alive, able to impose all the quality of the squad, above all to fight until the end of the championship without too many slumps. Probably he wanted this and the Portuguese coach is giving it to him: Salernitana is alive and is creating problems for everyone.

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Matteo Vitale
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