In Serie A, two derbies were played over the weekend, the Derby d'Italia and the Derby di Roma. The first was won by Juventus, the second was lost by Roma and won by Lazio, thanks to a goal by Mattia Zaccagni and another big mistake from Roger Ibanez. However, it was not all about the derbies, as Milan also lost against Udinese. Here's what happened over the Serie A weekend:
TEAM PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK - UDINESE
The team coached by Andrea Sottil had not won a home game since September 2022, and the much-desired three points came precisely against one of the strongest teams in the championship, the reigning Italian champions, Stefano Pioli's AC Milan.
The performance of the Bianconeri was superior to that of their opponents in every way, for intensity and expression of play. The Bianconeri team went ahead twice, first with Roberto Pereyra, after which Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who returned to play as a starter, scored a penalty with the second chance from the spot (it was repeated after the first one, saved by Marco Silvestri), and then with Beto.
Then Kingsley Ehizibue's third goal arrived, which closed the match. Pure oxygen for the Friulian team, which has no problems with the standings (obviously, after a brilliant start to the season) but needed to help their fans celebrate at home again. Beating the reigning champions is never a foregone conclusion, especially for a team that has essentially received everything it could ask for from the championship.
If Pereyra is the most important player, the heart and mind of his team, Beto is the flagship. He is slowly recovering his form and is preparing to fly to other shores, to more important teams, in the summer. First, however, they must finish this season in the best possible way. And this is the right path.
INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES OF THE WEEK - OSIMHEN AND GABBIADINI
If the first one now scores in every game, literally a goal per game, and creates news when he does not score and not when he does, the second has returned to shine in his jersey.
Whenever Manolo Gabbiadini shows off his technical and ballistic qualities, one can only think about what his career could have been without all the injuries that have always stopped him at the most beautiful moments.
Sampdoria is playing with their heart in their hands, trying to avoid relegation to Serie B, which now seems certain, and on Sunday, a very delicate victory came against Hellas Verona, thanks precisely to the two goals scored by the former Napoli striker. One of the two goals was truly a gem, a rare beauty that condemned the opposing goalkeeper, leading his team to a victory that at least gives hope of remaining in Serie A, even if it is damn difficult.
Victor Osimhen has now become an unstoppable scorer, the combination with coach Luciano Spalletti and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia could not be going better, and another two goals arrived against Torino. Whoever plays against him now has to pray or hope that it is not a good day for him, but this practically never happens. It could almost be boring to talk about this amazing striker now, who is chasing eternal glory with the dream of the Champions League, but he deserves every single round of applause.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK - KOSTIC'S GOAL AND IT'S CONSEQUENCES
Perhaps the most talked-about goal of the weekend, and it's no coincidence that it was scored during the Derby d'Italia between Inter and Juventus, who are now increasingly close in the standings.
The match had a very high level of tension, especially given the value that this game was taking on hour after hour. Inter continue to lose important points in the league, despite their excellent progress in Europe, or perhaps because of it. And on Sunday, it happened again - and in one of the most important games of the year for the Nerazzurri fans.
Filip Kostic scored the decisive goal with a beautiful diagonal shot that left Andre Onana stunned, but only after a presumed handball by Adrien Rabiot. The referee and VAR did not find any irregularities, so the goal was validated and literally drove Inter crazy.
Simone Inzaghi was the only one to speak about the Nerazzurri after the match (no director spoke to the TV, for some it was a sign) and said, "Serious things have happened."
The coach knows very well that this defeat is bloody for the standings and also for his position, increasingly in jeopardy, which is why the goal scored by the Juventus winger could prove to be a more important moment than initially thought.
TEAM OF THE WEEK - ATALANTA RETURN TO VICTORY
And finally, Atalanta returns to victory. After difficult games and a tough period, they add three points in the standings and the smile returns to coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who can look with more confidence at the race for a place in the Champions League next season.
Of course, positive results with a continuity that Rasmus Hojlund and his teammates have not been able to achieve so far are needed, but the table is short, the teams ahead continue to lose points with disarming ease and at this stage dreaming costs nothing.
It was the goal of the young striker that sealed the comeback against Empoli, who had taken the lead with Tyronne Ebuhei's effort. First the equaliser struck by Marten De Roon, the heart of Atalanta, a player of great experience and intelligence, and then a goal of power and cleverness by Hojlund, which reignites the dreams of glory of an entire city.
The team from Bergamo had lost three times in their last five matches, losing themselves in the process, but these three points could change the cards on the table. A great team performance.