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Race for the Scudetto: Wijnaldum back for Roma; Motta all class at Bologna; Did Spalletti throw AC Milan defeat?

The biggest surprise of the weekend can only be Napoli's defeat against AC Milan, in a season when it's big news if Luciano Spalletti's team does not win. Also surprising us was Inter's fall at home. Plus we celebrate Bologna and Thiago Motta. Here is what happened in Serie A this past weekend...


The first of three. Napoli and Milan in the coming weeks will face each other twice more, but no longer in the league, but in the Champions League.

According to some nasty accusations, Luciano Spalletti on Sunday night hid the cards to show the true colors of the team during their European commitments, but at what cost? At the cost of losing badly at home, a heavy defeat on a nightmarish night in a season nevertheless headed for eternal glory.

Milan won 0-4, yes, no mistake, dominating the match far and wide, leaving only crumbs to Spalletti's team, without Victor Osimhen, who for the umpteenth time proves to be the team's most important player, as moreover amply evidenced by the number of goals scored so far. The man of the match was Rafael Leao, who returned to scoring in the league and making a difference in a way that has not happened in a long time, but Brahim Diaz's performance was also one that is hard to forget.

Spalletti's Napoli did not really show up, all the spectacle shown until Sunday disappeared into thin air, and the Neapolitan fans are hoping that it was strategy or simply a bad misstep and not a premonitory sign.

If the Scudetto is almost already in the bag, lacking only arithmetical certainty, the real dream after an almost perfect season is called the Champions League. And performances like Sunday's can leave their mark. Milan, however, won a game that was also crucial for their position in the standings, overcoming Simone Inzaghi's Inter. They looked like the team that won the league last year - for the first time this season.


Perhaps the most underrated coach now present in Serie A. Making Bologna play like a top international team is not something that can go unnoticed or under the radar. The play that led to Bologna's third goal against Udinese, in the game won by Musa Barrow and his teammates in a 3-0 victory, was spectacular, beautiful.

Motta's real masterpiece is to have molded a set of talented but inexperienced players, enhancing each and every one on the team. At the end of the season in all likelihood management will be able to sell some of the talent on the roster and finance next season's market.

One of the players who has grown the most with him is certainly Stefan Posch, a player owned by Hoffenheim, but also Nikola Moro, Lewis Ferguson: the list is long and their growth bears the signature of Motta, a coach who if the world of soccer were fair and rewarded meritocracy, would probably be working in a more important team than Bologna, with all due respect.

Young, brave and skillful: the future is on the side of the former Inter and PSG player.


Simone Inzaghi's situation is increasingly at risk. The Nerazzurri team on Saturday lost to Fiorentina, objectively also due to poor performances of some players (Romelu Lukaku above all, who seemed to be more at the centre of the game but missed a very easy, resounding chance), and now the count of defeats suffered in the league has reached the figure of 10. A very high number for a team that aspires to one of the top four places in the standings.

Inzaghi had raised his voice after the Champions League round pass against Porto, saying he would speak at the end of the season, but the team's upcoming commitments and results will speak for him. His position is increasingly at risk and at the end of the season it appears difficult to see him confirmed at the helm of Inter, but his fate is still in his hands, even if the team seems to trust him less and less game after game.

And that is a big problem for a coach. Antonio Conte is not an easy manager to replace, but he can and he must do better than this.


Gini is back. At last, Roma fans say, after waiting such a long time for him after the heavy injury suffered in training at the beginning of the season - and after being the second most acclaimed purchase after Paulo Dybala.

He was the one who opened the score in Roma-Sampdoria - a second goal of the season for the Dutch midfielder, who performed the best number in his repertoire, namely the ability to always be found unmarked in the box. A nice header, still the Sampdoria goalkeeper, also decisive (with Nemanja Matic) in the episode leading to the penalty later scored by Dybala.

He is not yet in top form and it could not be otherwise, given all the time he spent outside the pitch, but Wijnaldum is offering a lot of quality and personality to Roma's midfield and seems to be perfectly at ease with Matic and Lorenzo Pellegrini. Smile Jose Mourinho, smile Roma fans: here is Wijnaldum at last.

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Matteo Vitale
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Matteo Vitale

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