After dismal performances at the weekend, both Lazio and Juventus put together a quick turnaround on Tuesday as they both won their first match in the Champions League group stages.
The Bianconeri looked like their old, disciplined selves with a 2-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev under novice boss Andrea Pirlo, while Simone Inzaghi stunned even the most diehard of Lazio fans when he masterminded a totally unexpected 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund following their 3-0 hammering at the hands of Sampdoria.
“We looked each other in the eyes and could not repeat such a hideous performance as against Sampdoria,” Biancocelesti defender Francesco Acerbi admitted to Sky Italia after the European win. “We were perfect this evening in every way, but that doesn’t mean we can now rest on our laurels, we’ve got to keep swimming, because otherwise we’ll sink quickly again.
Serie A Match of the Round: AC Milan vs AS Roma
Both of these sides were in Europa League action on Thursday, leaving this, the juiciest looking fixture of the round to be contested on Monday.
The Rossoneri are the form team in Serie A, having won all four of their opening matches including a Milan Derby victory versus rivals Inter last weekend, while Roma look to be hitting form after a 5-2 win over Benevento last weekend.
Giallorossi boss Paulo Fonseca has once again tweaked his side’s formation, moving from a back three to more of a 4-3-3 framework, and may also be boosted by the return of Chris Smalling to the side should he recover from a slight knock in time.
Best of the rest
Inter travel to Bologna knowing that nothing less than a win will do, as they hope to mount a credible title challenge this season but have only taken seven points from their first four games this season.
Look out for on-fire Napoli, who look set to score plenty versus lowly local rivals Benevento, after Pippo Inzaghi’s men conceded five at the hands of Roma while the Partenopei pasted Atalanta in a 4-1 thrashing. Gennaro Gattuso’s side have scored 12 times in just three games played, their attacking framework working a treat so far this term.
After their success in Europe this week, Juventus host Hellas Verona, a side that should provide a stubborn test for the reigning champions.
Serie A Player to Watch: Hirving Lozano – Napoli – £1.61
Following a tough first season in Naples in which he made only 10 starts and scored just four times, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano has finally settled in the side and has equalled last season’s total tally in just three matches this season. Gattuso has had cause for disappointment with the Mexican in the past, having removed him from his training session in June last year for lacking the adequate focus, but that tough love is undoubtedly beginning to pay off.
“Hirving Lozano is training well now and I am giving him a chance in return,” the Coach revealed just a month after having to apply sanctions to the player. “He has this incredible pace, we should put him in a position to give his best.”
After shaking off rumours that he could make a move away from the club in the summer transfer window, it appears that Lozano is certainly giving his best for Napoli now and the results tell the story of just how good that is.
*To read more of Chloe’s work about Serie A, you can subscribe to her newsletter ‘Curva e Calcio’ to keep up to date with all things football in Serie A: http://curvaecalcio.substack.com/