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Race for the Scudetto: Napoli trounce Juventus; Roma star Dybala the 'new Totti'; Atalanta fire historic 8 goals

There were few surprises in the last weekend of Serie A: the one relating to the missed win for Stefano Pioli's AC Milan, a team that right now appears in difficulty (after a comeback draw against Roma at home and the elimination in the Coppa Italia against Torino) and the sensational, historic victory of Napoli over Juventus for 5-1.

Let's see what happened and who stood out this past weekend in Serie A:


You rarely see games like this. Gian Piero Gasperini's team literally walked over Davide Nicola's Salernitana. There was never a match, as the final result that condemned the Salernitana coach to being sacked amply demonstrates (there are several names at stake to take his place, from Roberto D'Aversa to Beppe Iachini).

Atalanta's players played one of those matches that goes down in history, in which everything works wonderfully, perfectly, and the result was 5-1 at the end of the first half. No, it's not a mistake, that's how it really happened.

An objectively difficult game to follow, too much difference, the result and the way it arrived was unpleasant, but Atalanta were literally perfect. The players that scored were in order: Jeremie Boga,Ademola Lookman, Giorgio Scalvini,Teun Koopmeiners, Rasmus Hojlund, Lookman again, Ederson and Nadir Zortea. Useless the goals scored by Boulaye Dia (the momentary 1-1) and Hans Nicolussi for Salernitana. Atalanta is right there in the race for the fourth place of the standings: Gasperini can smile again.


Perhaps the only real big surprise of the last weekend of the Italian championship. Not only did Stefano Pioli's Milan fail to win at Lecce, but they even seriously risked losing the match. The Rossoneri found a comeback to draw: Marco Baroni's team took a 2-0 lead first with Theo Hernandez's own goal after three minutes and then with a great header from Federico Baschirotto.

In the second half, Milan's reaction, led by the usual Rafael Leao (who scored the 2-1 goal) and then the equalizer signed by Davide Calabria. A disappointing result for Milan, above all because it arrives after the comeback draw against Roma (the opposite of what happened with Lecce) in the last five minutes of the game and after the elimination from the Italian Cup against Ivan Juric's Torino.

A negative and disappointing period for the Rossoneri, who at this moment need to get together in order to bring back that team capable of always winning, on every occasion and in every way. It's not just a matter of tiredness: in the last few weeks something seems to have gone out in Milan and Pioli will have to be good at changing gears immediately, before the standings get too complicated.


The man of providence. In Roma there hasn't been a player so decisive in the last 30 metres of the field since the days of Francesco Totti. This is obviously not a comparison, because the former Giallorossi captain was a legend and one of the strongest players in the history of football, but Dybala in Rome is really playing at levels rarely seen.

Against Fiorentina he scored two goals (and the match ended 2-0...), thus reaching ten in the season: many goals and above all important, because the team coached by Jose Mourinho up to now has had a great deal of difficulty in scoring. Thirteen goals of the total has come from Lorenzo Pellegrini (5 goals and 8 assists), while 12 came from the Argentine, with 10 goals and 2 assists. This is to give the correct perspective of Joya's weight in the offensive production of Mourinho's Roma: Dybala is in the centre, he is the most decisive player in the opposing penalty area.

Scoring comes all too easy for him and the Special One knows it well, so much so that after the World Cup final he asked him to come back a few days early to be sure he could beat Bologna when the championship resumes. The Argentine even returned two days before the Portuguese coach's request.


There is still the entire second half of the season to go, but honestly it seems difficult to imagine a collapse by Luciano Spalletti's boys (even if 9 points are only three games). This seems to all intents and purposes to be Napoli's year.

Friday evening was the night of a delicate and important match, on the one hand Max Allegri's Juventus (8 consecutive wins, 8 games without conceding a goal), second in the standings, on the other Napoli first in the standings, a steamroller and at times unstoppable team. Everybody thought it would be a tense and complicated match for the two teams, but in reality there was never a contest, from the first to the last minute: Napoli dominated the game and won 5-1.

Five to one, a result of historic dimensions, as evidenced by the Azzurri public, literally crazy for this victory. As always, the pyrotechnic and devastating duo Osimhen-Kvaratskhelia made the difference, an explosive attack that fits perfectly, as if they had always played together. The first half ended 2-1, with Napoli's lead, Angel Di Maria's goal and Juventus narrowly equalised, but in the second half Napoli dominated completely: Amir Rrahmani scored the third goal immediately, then 65' Osimhen's second goal in the 72nd minute Napoli's fifth goal, signed by Elif Elmas. There could have even been more, but the Bianconeri managed to save face, even if the defeat had been dramatic. A historic match, which could have paved the way for the Scudetto for Spalletti's Azzurri.

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Matteo Vitale
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Matteo Vitale

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