Race for the Scudetto: Inzaghi feels Inter Mllan heat; Juventus surge with derby win; focused AC Milan fight-back

Two big surprises, with the defeats of Roma and Inter by Cremonese and Bologna, the confirmation of a rediscovered AC Milan in spirit and identity, the usual victory of Napoli, and a very entertaining Turin derby. Here’s the latest from Serie A…


Inter has fallen once again. If Napoli is now unreachable in the standings (and it has long been clear to everyone), Simone Inzaghi and his boys are seriously risking complicating their lives as far as the race for the Champions League is concerned.

Last year they fought until the end to win the championship, which then ended up in the hands of Stefano Pioli and AC Milan. This year from the Nerazzurri something more was expected, or at least another close fight for the first place in the league, but things are not going in this direction. On the contrary. Inter currently has 47 points in the standings, 18 points less than Napoli, but above all it is in the midst of a tussle to finish among the top four places.

Too little for Inter, for a team of this level, with an attack so rich in quality and talent. Okay, winning the Scudetto would have been impossible this year, but all these missteps, all these league defeats are too disappointing a haul for Inzaghi. The fans are beginning to be tired, frustrated and disappointed, but above all it was Lautaro Martinez, one of the leaders of the team as well as among the strongest players in the league, who made heavy statements at the end of the game, saying “we all have to do better than this, this way we are not going anywhere”.

He criticised everyone, from teammates to the coach, who fails to get more out of his players. The feeling is that in these last months of the season Inzaghi will have to earn his confirmation on the Nerazzurri bench.

The other big surprise of the (very long) Serie A weekend was Roma’s defeat on the field of Cremonese. The Giallorossi lost 2-1: leading Davide Ballardini’s team was Frank Tsadjout’s goal, Leonardo Spinazzola had momentarily found the equaliser but Daniel Ciofani scored the penalty that condemned Jose Mourinho and his team to defeat. It was a very bad misstep for the Giallorossi, tired and dull throughout the match, during which they shot on goal only once.

Too little for a team with that much talent. It is a heavy setback, because with the three points they would have jumped to second place in the standings and to have lost this match is unacceptable. The next game will be against Juventus and it will be an even tougher test.


Stefano Pioli’s AC Milan are back, albeit with a different system (the switch to a three-man defensive line now seems definitive). It is a different version, less offensive and less courageous, but now the Rossoneri no longer fall away during games, they always stay focused for ninety minutes and eat up every last bit.

Against Atalanta it was a really tough test, keeping two players like Rasmus Hojlund and Ademola Lookman out of the game is not easy for anyone, but Pioli not only found the right way to make the Bergamo team’s attack harmless, but also actually dominated the match from the first minute to the last.

The solidity shown by the Rossoneri amazed everyone, by now the series of matches with positive results is starting to extend and in the league the recovery of points on the top four places has been substantial. The only discordant note is the performance of Rafael Leao, who has not scored in several matches and seems almost with his head away from Milan, but the new version of this team, more organized and less creative, at the moment seems to be able to win even without his goals.

Of course, in the long run Pioli and his boys will need the real Leao, regardless of what happens in the summer during the transfer market. The real surprise in the Rossoneri’s house is undoubtedly Malick Thiaw, the real revelation of the last weeks: a wall. Another big hit from the club’s scouts.


Lazio-Sampdoria on paper was a match with a foregone conclusion, but for eighty minutes the result was in balance and it took real magic on the part of the “Magician” Luis Alberto, with a great goal from outside the box, impossible to save for Emil Audero, who up to that point had always been alert and ready to block Lazio’s attempts.

It was a tough night for Ciro Immobile, who failed two big and easy chances practically in front of goal, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was not playing his best game and the Spaniard, often discussed for his inconsistency of performance, took things personally and solved every problem.

With Monday night’s three points, thanks to a rabbit pulled out of the hat by Luis Alberto, in the standings Maurizio Sarri and his team moved within two points of second place. Not bad, right?


The most spectacular match, with six goals scored, the comeback victory of Juventus that had started by going down by one goal after a few seconds of the match, Paul Pogba’s return, Nemanja Radonjic’s 14′ on the pitch: the Derby della Mole was an explosive match, full of goals, action, and drama.

Neutral fans loved this entertaining derby, certainly a little less so Torino fans, who had twice been under the illusion that they could finally return to winning ways against Juventus, but Max Allegri managed for the umpteenth time to find the right way to the three points.

The Bianconeri are making an incredible comeback in the standings, they are now only six points behind Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta and without the 15 points less in the standings they would be second behind Napoli.

For the match: Yann Karamoh, Juan Cuadrado, Antonio Sanabria, Danilo, Gleison Bremer and finally Adrien Rabiot scored in that order. Ivan Juric tried to get a hand on the team with hasty substitutions (Radonjic entered in the 60th and left in the 74th), but there was nothing to be done. Juventus won with their trademark coolness: 5 shots on target, 4 goals. Allegri knows how to win.

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