As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Race for the Scudetto: Lautaro a true Inter Milan leader; Juventus fans jeer Di Maria; Colombo stars for Lecce

A thrilling season finale looms for Spezia and Verona, probably the only big topic of interest still left in the Italian league: Empoli's Petar Stojanovic may have played a very nasty trick on Marco Zaffaroni and his men. Here's what happened in Serie A:


In the league he has undoubtedly been the game-changer, the most important man, in a few days he will have another incredible chance to write his own history and that of the team of which he is captain.

Lautaro in Saturday night's match against Atalanta was definitely the extra man, not only for the decisive goal for the three points, but also for his key role in the playing style of Simone Inzaghi's team, with the fantasy of a trequartista and with the concreteness of a great goalscorer when it was necessary to close the game.

At the most delicate moment of the season, the level of his performance has skyrocketed and match after match he's guided the team to the mathematical certainty of a place in the next Champions League.

When Inzaghi's bench was concretely at risk it was he who made the difference, despite Beppe Marotta's reassuring words after the games were over.

A captain stands out from the rest of his teammates when and if in difficult moments he manages to make a difference, raising the level of his own performance: this is what Lautaro has been doing for weeks now, between assists, goals and performances as the top player that he is.


For reasons that don't directly have to do with football, it wasn't really an important match for the standings and for the race for a Champions League spot (not only for the points docked in the standings), but Juventus-Milan is still Juventus-Milan.

For the players on the field, regardless of names, and for the fans in the stands, it remained important. Moreover, it was a match with a thousand meanings, just consider how Sunday could be Angel Di Maria and Adrien Rabiot's last game in Turin, for example, as recounted by a Bianconeri manager before the start and as evidenced by the copious booing that rained down on El Fideo as he left the pitch.

The decisive goal was scored by Olivier Giroud, an incredibly beautiful goal, a pinpoint header. Juventus tried to grab the equalizer and win in front of their fans, but every effort was in vain and Milan left the Allianz Stadium with the three points in their pockets. Another bad night for Juventus fans, not the first this season - but hopefully the last.


Lorenzo Colombo is the man of the moment at Lecce. It was the young forward, only 21 years old, who scored the goal that allows the Apulian team to remain in Serie A.

Monza-Lecce on Sunday afternoon ended 0-1 and the only goal scored bore the signature of the young forward owned by AC Milan, who after a year played with the SPAL jersey led Marco Baroni and his Lecce team to triumph. After his goal the entire fan base exploded with joy and the coach knelt on the ground out of great emotion, dedicating the victory to his father.

It has been a long year, but the seal on staying in Serie A bears the signature of Colombo. And this will always remain in history.


If the fight to win the championship this year has been rather boring and predictable, due to the absolute merits of an extraordinary season by Luciano Spalletti and his boys, the fight not to be relegated has been gripping and will be so until the last game.

Yet another twist occurred during Sunday's lunch match between Verona and Empoli. Marco Zaffaroni's team had been ahead until the 96th minute. The goal that could have meant staying in Serie A (since Spezia had lost 0-4 at home to Torino and will have to go to the Olimpico against Roma on the last match-day) scored by Adolfo Gaich. But in the last second, it was an extraordinary shot by Petar Stojanovic that froze Verona. A real cold shower for the hopes of Zaffaroni and his men, who will now have to play to stay in the championship in the delicate away match at the home of Milan.

A real miracle will be needed at this point to remain in Serie A, or at any rate a series of coincidences that will have to fit together. In any case, what happened at Spezia is worthy of comment and analysis: during the season the management of the Ligurian club decided to change the coach, sacking Luca Gotti, but now at the end of the season it can be said that the change of the manager did not bring the hoped-for effect. Moreover, a disgusting episode occurred during the match against Torino: the game was stopped due to racist chants from some Spezia fans against Ivan Juric, the coach of Torino. Something really embarrassing in 2023, unacceptable.

Video of the day:

Matteo Vitale
About the author

Matteo Vitale

Have your say

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free