Serie A Weekend: Roma and Inter Play Out Thrilling Draw
The glory of Serie A is built on the big matches. The rivalry, the passion and the atmospheres of Serie A’s top matches are second to none. So it was no surprise that when Inter Milan travelled to the Stadio Olimpico to take on Roma, we got a high-intensity cracker. Tempers flaring, players hounding and fans gestating meant another Serie A thriller.
Roma v Inter Milan
Roma came into this game really needing a result. They have won only one of their last five Serie A matches and Eusebio Di Francesco is under heavy pressure. He said after their loss at Udinese last week his players needed to show more determination; well on Sunday night, he got what he wished for.
It took a while for the game to get going; it was one of those big games with a long feeling-out process. However, by the half-time whistle, Inter had taken a deserved lead through Keita Balde. The ex-Lazio man arrived in the middle of the box to finish home a lovely cross from Danilo D’Ambrosio for Inter Milan’s lead.
However, as the second half got underway, it was clear Roma were not going down without a fight. They attacked Inter straight away and got their reward for it when Cengiz Under unleashed an unstoppable effort. The Turkish international cut inside on his left foot and smashed the ball into Inter’s net from 25 yards out to make it 1-1.
Inter, though, punched back when 15 minutes later. Davide Santon of Roma was dispossessed trying to get around three players. That attack resulted in a corner which was curled into, who else, but Mauro Icardi, whose lovely header found the back of the net.
Inter Milan thought they could see the game out from there but, when a ball into the box was headed on by Milan Skriniar onto the arm of Marcelo Brozovic, those thoughts disappeared. It took VAR getting involved and Aleksandar Kolarov’s famous left foot, but eventually Inter equalized from the spot.
The game ended 2-2, though the goal wasn’t the last action. A borderline foul called against Matias Vecino on Steven N’Zonzi sent the Inter team into delirium. No one more than Luciano Spalletti, who was sent to the stands for his reaction. It’s that passion that makes Serie A so great.
Juventus v Fiorentina
On Saturday, Juventus took on Fiorentina looking to continue to assert their dominance over Serie A this season. Coming off of five straight wins in Serie A, nobody expected them to do anything but win. After a strong outing against Valencia mid-week, the Old Lady came to La Viola with all their might and hammered them 3-0.
It started with a lovely finish by Rodrigo Bentancur for the first goal. Bentancur has been outstanding these last few weeks for Juventus. He has been stepping into the midfield in place of Sami Khedira but this week was in place of Miralem Pjanic. He doesn’t have the passing of Pjanic, but his positional sense is outstanding.
His goal was helped out by second-half goals from Giorgio Chiellini and Cristiano Ronaldo that saw Juve dispatch Fiorentina with ease. Max Allegri’s men will be pleased with a strong, injury-free performance. With Friday night’s massive game against Inter to come, that was ever so crucial.
AC Milan v Parma
The early game on Sunday saw and battered and bruised Milan side take on Parma in a fifth v sixth matchup. Gennaro Gattuso’s side are having a real crisis at the back, with centre-backs Mattia Caldara, Alessio Romagnoli and Matteo Musacchio out. On top of midfield injuries to Giacomo Bonaventura and Lucas Biglia and the suspension of Gonzalo Higuain, it meant all kinds of chaos in Milan’s starting eleven.
The biggest decision was to put Ignazio Abate at right-back, next to their only healthy centre-back Cristian Zapata. Other than one Roberto Inglese goal, they did a very good job marshalling Italy’s best promoted side. Milan’s two goals, courtesy of Franck Kessie and Patrick Cutrone, push them into fourth place. After a slow start, Gattuso’s men have fought their way through adversity to a Champions League position.