Italian Serie A Match Review: Hakan Calhanoglu Helps Inter Overcome Napoli As Dybala Shines For Roma

Written By Onyeka Daniel

This week, the round 14 of the Italian Serie A games kicked off with a Friday night fixture that saw Juventus visit Monza and the Bianconeri were able to secure all three points in the last minute of the game to temporarily climb to the top of the table. They got a penalty in the 11th minute and Serbian striker, Dusan Vlahovic failed to convert.

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But French midfielder, Adrien Rabiot spared his blushes with a goal one minute later to give them the lead into the half time break. Just when it looked like they will be running away with all three points, Inter loaner, Valerin Carboni came up with the equalizer in the 92nd minute, but the drama wasn’t over as Italian defender, Federico Gatti restored Juve’s lead two minutes later and ensured that they leave with the maximum points.

On Saturday, Genoa VS Empoli was the first kickoff and the two teams shared the spoils. The home side took the lead in the 37th minute, thanks to Ruslan Malinovsky but Genoa couldn’t hold the advantage for long as Empoli were back on level terms in the 67th minute with goal from M. Cancellieri. The impressive M. Kovalenko continued with his good form by providing the assist to snatch point for his team.


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In the next game, Lazio needed an early goal and a red card to defeat Cagliari at the Stadio Olimpico. Former Barcelona and Chelsea forward, Pedro got the important goal in the 8th minute while Cagliari player, A. Makoumbou got his marching orders in the 27th minute to complicate matters for the away side. In the last game for Saturday, AC Milan put up an impressive display to defeat Frosinone at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium after their defeat in the UCL to Borussia Dortmund.

With Olivier Giroud suspended and Noah Okafor injured, Stefano Pioli was left with no other option than to start Luka Jovic in attack and former Real Madrid man grabbed the opportunity with both hands by giving his team the lead in the 43rd minute.

French goalkeeper, Mike Maignan made it three straight seasons with an assist when USA forward, Christian Pulisic controlled and converted from his long ball in the 50th minute to double their advantage. The Rossoneri made sure of the result as England defender, Fikayo Tomori also got on the score sheet in the 74th minute before M. Bresciannini got a consolation goal for the away side in the 82nd minute to end the game at 3-1.

In an early kickoff game on Sunday, Lecce played host to Bologna and the two teams shared the points as the match ended 1-1. Bologna took the lead in the 68th minute through C. Lykogiannis before the home side got the equalizer in the last minute of extra time through R. Piccolo who is on loan from Atalanta. In the next game at the Artemis Franchi stadium, Fiorentina made a short work of Salernitana, scoring three goals. They opened the scoring in the 6th minute from the penalty spot through L. Beltran.

They doubled their advantage in the 18th minute through Ricardo Sottil to take a 2 goal advantage into the half time break. Italian midfielder, Giancomo Bonaventura also got on the score sheet in the 56th minute. It was a 6-goal thriller as Udinese played host to Hellas Verona at the Dacia arena as both teams scored 3 goals each to share the spoils. At the Mapei Stadium, Roma had to come from a goal down to defeat Sassuolo. The home side took the lead in the 25th minute via Mathias Henrique.

The Giallorossi staged a comeback in the second half with Argentine forward, Paulo Dybala playing a pivotal role with a goal (penalty in the 76th minute) and an assist (82nd minute), converted by R. Kristensen. In the last game Inter got back to the summit of the table with a 3-0 over Napoli at the Diego Armando Maradona. The Nerazzurri further stamped their status as title challenger with a convincing win away home and return back to the top of the table.

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In the first half, the home side were the better side with Inter left to try and hit them on the break and with some spell of possession too. They deservedly took the lead through Hakan Calhanoglu in the 44th minute. A Federico Dimarco’s was knocked down by Denzel Dumfries to Nicolo Barella whose flick found the Turkish midfielder and he made no mistake with a ferocious shot from outside the box to leave Alex Meret in goal for Napoli with no chance at all of stopping it.

They doubled their advantage in the second half through Nicolo Barella in the 62nd minute, with assist from Lautaro Martinez. French forward, Marcus Thuram added a third in the 5th minute with assist from second half substitute, Juan Cuardrado to cap off a good display. Inter remain on top after 14 games with 35 points, closely followed by Juventus with 33 points. AC Milan (29), Roma and Napoli (24) make up the top 5. Empoli (11), Hellas Verona (10), Cagliari (10) and Salernitana (9) make up the bottom 4. In the last game for this round, Torino will be at home against Atalanta in a Monday night fixture.

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