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Serie A Weekly: Inter humiliate Milan, Juventus ease past Lazio, Roma put seven past Empoli

An exciting Serie A weekend is behind us, with the mouth-watering Derby della Madonnina showdown running the show.

Here’s a look at all the events from Gameweek 4.

Inter wipe the floor with Milan

Inter Milan and AC Milan headed into the first Derby della Madonnina instalment of the 2023/24 Serie A season as the joint-pacesetters after winning all three opening league games. 

After an enthralling 90 minutes of football at the San Siro, Simone Inzaghi’s side remained the only side in Italy’s top flight with a 100% record after four matches. 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s double, combined with goals from Marcus Thuram, Hakan Calhanoglu and Davide Frattesi, fired the Nerazzurri to an overwhelming 5-1 victory on Saturday evening. 

Milan’s agony began in the fifth minute when Mkhitaryan turned home Federico Dimarco’s low cross. Thuram gave Inter a two-goal cushion at half-time with a sublime finish. 

Stefano Pioli’s side pulled one back through Rafael Leao. But Mkhitaryan cut short his rivals’ celebrations soon after with his second of the day, only for Calhanoglu to make it 4-1 from the spot against his former club.

Frattesi put the icing on the cake with a routine stoppage-time finish, sealing the highest-goal-margin win in this fixture since August 2009.

Juventus put Lazio to the sword 

High-flying Juventus maintained their dream Serie A start with a morale-boosting 3-1 home triumph over fierce rivals Lazio

Massimiliano Allegri’s side went into the international break with seven points from the opening three games. Yet a 1-1 home draw against Bologna left a bitter taste in the Italian manager’s mouth.

Free-scoring striker Dusan Vlahovic returned to the scoresheet after wasting a penalty in a 2-0 win at Empoli before the break, opening the scoring with a poacher’s finish ten minutes into the game.

Vlahovic’s attacking partner, Federico Chiesa, doubled the hosts’ lead midway through the first half, taking his tally to three goals in just four matches. 

Lazio briefly thought they could make a comeback at the Allianz Stadium when Luis Alberto put the ball past Wojciech Szczesny just after the hour mark. 

However, Vlahovic scored again to restore Juve’s two-goal lead and put the game to bed in the 67th minute.

Champions in deep waters

After slumping to a 2-1 defeat to Lazio on the eve of September’s international break, Napoli took a trip to newly-promoted Genoa confident about getting back on track. 

The reigning Serie A champions had won back-to-back league games against the Griffins before Saturday’s visit to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, but they were lucky to get away with a point this weekend.

Mattia Bani headed home on the stroke of half-time to put Alberto Gilardino’s lads in front before marquee summer arrival Mateo Retegui made it 2-0 minutes into the second half.

Napoli boss Rudi Garcia had to turn to the bench to find salvation.

Second-half substitutes Giacomo Raspadori and Matteo Politano came to the Partenopei’s rescue in the final 15 minutes of a dramatic encounter in Liguria. 

Raspadori unleashed a thunderbolt from an acute angle to bring Napoli back into the game before Politano volleyed home Piotr Zielinski’s lofted pass to salvage a draw for the out-of-form champions.

Roma end winless start in style

The international break couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment for Roma, handing the troubled giants a fortnight to regroup after losing twice in their opening three league outings (D1). 

Empoli’s visit to the Stadio Olimpico seemed like a presentable opportunity for Jose Mourinho’s men to get back on the rails, and they seized it with open arms.

Inspired by Paulo Dybala’s match-winning performance and Romelu Lukaku’s first goal for the club, the Giallorossi packed a punch against rock-bottom Empoli en route to claiming an incredible 7-0 win.

Roma fans had to wait until matchday four to see their side get into the win column, but Mourinho’s lads made their patience worthwhile, throwing a spectacle in the capital.

Dybala got them off the mark from the spot only two minutes in before summer signing Renato Sanches added to the tally in the eighth minute.

Empoli’s night was over when Alberto Grassi scored an unfortunate own goal to give Roma a massive 3-0 lead at half-time, but it wasn’t the end of the Azzurri’s misery. 

Unstoppable Dybala made the visitors’ defence look silly with a simple dribble before finishing with aplomb to put a fourth on the board.

Bryan Cristante hit a banger in the 80th minute, with Lukaku and Gianluca Mancini sealing Empoli’s fate late in the match.

Around the grounds

The most unpopular result in football saw Hellas Verona and Bologna share the spoils in a tepid 0-0 draw at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi on Monday.

Cagliari and Udinese did the same a day earlier, with both sides extending their dismal winless starts in one of the most uneventful contests this weekend.

In stark contrast to those disappointing events, Fiorentina came from behind to beat Atalanta 3-2 in Tuscany and recover from an underwhelming 4-0 loss at Inter last time out.

Speaking of comebacks, newcomers Frosinone fought back from an early 2-0 deficit to thrash Sassuolo 4-2 on home turf and post their second win this season.

Nemanja Radonjic put on a show in Salerno to catapult Torino to a thumping 3-0 victory over Salernitana, netting a brace to make it three goals in two appearances following a late winner against Genoa in the previous round.

Elsewhere, Lecce continued their outstanding Serie A start with a 1-1 draw at Monza, as Nikola Krstovic found the net in his third consecutive league outing. 

Player of the week

Frosinone captain Luca Mazzitelli was the main reason Eusebio Di Francesco toppled his former employers. 

The 27-year-old midfielder scored a stunning volley from outside the box to cancel out Sassuolo’s lead in the 70th minute. 

Six minutes later, he decided to take on the visiting backline by himself, and although he was lucky to latch onto the rebound, he deserved his second goal. 

Looking Ahead

Serie A pacesetters Inter will meet the only pointless and scoreless side in the division, Empoli, at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.

Milan will seek redemption at home against Verona, while Juventus’ superb start faces a potentially awkward challenge at the Mapei Stadium against Sassuolo. 

Napoli will hope to end a two-game winless run against Bologna on the road.

After running riot against Empoli, Roma must prove it wasn’t a one-off as they head to Turin to square off against resurgent Torino.

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