SoccerNaples assures, Inter stumbles, AC Milan miraculously
The Neapolitans recorded against Ricardo Rodriguez’s Torino (3-1) their fourth straight victory in Serie A. Nothing is going well for Inter, beaten by Roma (1-2). Its Milanese neighbor obtained an unexpected victory against Empoli (3-1).
Naples consolidated its first place in the Serie A standings by easily disposing of Ricardo Rodriguez’s Torino (3-1), Saturday at home, in the opening match of the 8th day. Luciano Spalletti’s men quickly took the lead on the scoreboard by scoring three goals in the first half, thanks to a brace from Cameroonian international André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (6th, 12th) and a cross shot Georgian Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (37th). Torino, after this upside-down start to the match, reduced the mark just before the break thanks to Antonio Sanabria (44th).
“It’s an important victory, I’m happy for this success and for this double”, commented on the microphone of DAZN Anguissa, 26, author of his first achievements in the Italian Championship – for his second season at the foot of Vesuvius – after scoring his first-ever Neapolitan Champions League goal in September. “If the goals come, I’m happy, for me and for my family, but the most important thing is to do my job for my team,” he added.
Naples, which had lost its first defeat to defending champions AC Milan (2-1) on the previous day, remains one of the last two undefeated teams this season in Italy (six wins, two draws) with Atalanta Bergamo. With 20 points, Napoli are temporarily three points ahead of the “Dea” (2nd), which will receive Fiorentina (10th) on Sunday.
Luciano Spalletti’s players confirm their good start to the season, before heading to Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions League on Tuesday, a competition where they are also launched after their two initial success nets against Liverpool (4-1) and Glasgow Rangers (3-0).
Inter still can’t do it
Roma went on Saturday to conquer a precious success (1-2) at San Siro against Inter Milan still plunged into a negative spiral with a fourth defeat in eight Serie A days. The Nerazzurri (7th), now pushed back to eight points from leader Naples, again let slip a match which they had nevertheless started better by opening the mark thanks to Federico Dimarco (30th).
But as against AC Milan (2-3) or Udinese (1-3), Simone Inzaghi’s team was joined and then overtaken, confirming its defensive feverishness three days before receiving FC Barcelona in the League champions. Paulo Dybala, whom Inter had dreamed of hosting this summer, first put Roma back on track with a nice volley from the left on a cross from Leonardo Spinazzola (39th). Then Chris Smalling gave the advantage in the second half to the Romans with a spiked header, a specialty of the English defender, in the middle of a too passive interist defense (75th).
Not unlucky, with a goal denied to Edin Dzeko for a slight offside (11th) and a free kick from Hakan Calhanoglu on the crossbar (63rd), José Mourinho’s team temporarily moved up to 4th place, four points from Napoli, winner in the afternoon of Torino (3-1). “Mou”, suspended for this match after being sent off the previous day, won his first victory against Inter, his ex-club, since returning to Italy in the summer of 2021. His first three confrontations, the season Last, had resulted in three defeats (two in the league, one in the Italian Cup).
AC Milan is doing well
In the evening, AC Milan – despite cascading injuries – found the resources to score two goals in added time and snatch a victory in extremis that seemed to elude them at Empoli (3-1). Nicolas Haas’ Empoli (replaced in the 83rd) also achieved the feat by equalizing on a free kick from Nedim Bajrami (ex-Grasshopper player and Swiss M21 international), already beyond the 90th minute (90 + 2nd ). But it was without counting on the steel morale of the Italian champions who regained the advantage as soon as the throw-in, after an action concluded by defender Fodé Ballo-Touré, holder in the absence of Théo Hernandez, injured (90 + 3rd). And the inevitable Rafael Leao, passer on the opener of Ante Rebic (79th), punctuated this final bouquet with a clever lob (90 + 7th)!
A crazy final at the end of an exhausting match for the Milanese who, already little spared by injuries before the meeting (Hernandez, Maignan, Origi, Ibrahimovic, Florenzi), still managed the physical glitches: they lost the Belgian winger Alexis Saelemaekers, right-back Davide Calabria and Danish central Simon Kjaer, all out injured on Saturday night. If this avalanche of injuries will complicate the task of Stefano Pioli to build his defense Wednesday on the ground of Chelsea, in the Champions League, it did not cut the legs of the Milanese.
Olivier Giroud, very active, did not spare his efforts and almost scored from a free kick, finding the top of the bar (57th). Even if the match was finally packed when he left in the 73rd minute to make way for the first scorer of the evening, Ante Rebic. Milan can also thank Ciprian Tatarusanu, replacing Mike Maignan in the cage, hit in the calf with the Blues. The Romanian had a bit of success at the start of the match in front of Liam Henderson (16th), but was also decisive by repelling a strike from Bajrami (74th), at 0-0. The Romanian is, like Ballo-Touré, the rather unusual hero of a victory which allows the Rossoneri to return to joint second place, three points behind leader Naples.