It was supposed to be the weekend of the Rome derby, a match in which Roma and Lazio had to show something more to improve their standings and relaunch themselves, but it was the weekend of Empoli, which surprisingly beat Napoli, condemning Rudi Garcia the sack. The French coach's experience began under dark omens and things never improved, indeed they became worse. Let's see what happened:
PLAYER OF THE WEEK - ANDREA COLPANI
In Serie A, Andrea Colpani is the man of the moment: in Europe among midfielders only Jude Bellingham has scored more goals than him. Luciano Spalletti also called him up for the national team, a call that perhaps came even slightly late seeing what he's already showed with the Monza jersey.
In the draw against Torino, Colpani scored another goal, proving decisive in the final equaliser: assists, goals, movements without the ball, the Brescian trequartista born in 1999 is always a threat for his opponents. A star is shining under the eyes of every soccer and Serie A fan. The nickname he has earned over the years is "Flaco," a tribute to Javier Pastore, who in his prime was an elegant and good-looking player, other than being an absolute top performer.
This should say a lot about the performance offered by the Monza midfielder, the real star of the team so far. The team coached by Raffaele Palladino is going beyond all expectations and is currently only 4 points behind fourth place: it is a team that plays well and is well organized, but the key man has undoubtedly been Colpani.
Against Torino he scored with coolness and lucidity, taking advantage of a mistake by an opposing defender: he can never be left alone, otherwise there is only one possible outcome: generally the direct consequence is a goal.
INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK - FEDE DIMARCO
Everyone, really everyone, will have seen the goal scored by Federico Dimarco against Frosinone by now. Inter's left back unlocked an extremely complicated game for Simone Inzaghi and his side with a masterpiece that will remain forever and can never be forgotten.
It is unclear whether Dimarco wanted to shoot to score or not, he said he did but he could hardly have done the opposite. With Stefano Turati just outside his goal he kicked in the direction of the Frosinone keeper and the ball ended up in the net. The video went around the world and all the sports accounts on various social networks, but more importantly it was instrumental in directing Inter to the victory that reconfirmed the Nerazzurri in first place in the standings, with Juventus pushing right there behind them.
Dimarco is sometimes criticised for his deficiencies in the defensive phase, surely his weak point, but it is also true that in attack he is so decisive that it is worth risking a little more. Goals, assists, a continuous push as if he were a winger and not a fullback: he is one of Inzaghi's extra weapons.
MATCH OF THE WEEK - LECCE 2-2 AC MILAN
It looked like an easy game for the Rossoneri, especially after the double lead scored by the Olivier Giroud - Tijjani Reijnders pair, with the Dutchman starring in a fine individual play that led to the opener.
Then something in Milan broke down and Lecce first shortened the distance, then equalised and even went close to winning the match! But let's go step by step: Nicola Sansone found the 1-2 goal on the development of a corner kick, as Milan's defence began to creak, which definitely then collapsed after Lameck Banda's goal, with a shot that left no chance for the almost always perfect Mike Maignan.
In the 93rd minute Milan were also left with 10 men, given Giroud's expulsion. A few seconds after that red card, Lecce had found the goal to lead, with some real magic by Roberto Piccoli, a shot from over 35 metres that had completely surprised the French goalkeeper: a huge celebration by Lecce in front of their fans, but the referee annulled the goal with the help of VAR, having seen a "step on foot" by Piccoli on Malick Thiaw. An episode that caused much discussion, but what matters is the result: 2-2 - an unexpected halt for Milan.
SURPRISE OF THE WEEK - NAPOLI 0-1 EMPOLI
Who would have thought it? Surely Rudi Garcia, who lost his job as a result of this match, did not expect it; surely Empoli and its fans hoped for it?
Matteo Politano and his teammates failed to find any way to goal. But Empoli had the merit of resisting and waiting for the right moment to punish the hosts and send the Garcia-coached team into crisis for good.
Seconds before the final whistle Viktor Kovalenko found a shot with a venomous trajectory that was impossible for the Napoli goalkeeper to save. A beautiful goal that added insult to injury, a goal that came at the end of a game played well by Garcia's team, which certainly deserved the three points. As always, football proved its unpredictability, and that it can be a ruthless and cruel sport. This time Rudi had to pay the price.
In any case, kudos must be given to Aurelio Andreazzoli, who has been able to get Empoli back on its feet and give game, organisation, and positive results to a team that was strongly in crisis before his arrival.