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Serie A Weekly: Derby d’Italia fails to live up the billing, Milan & Roma return to winning ways

Experience the thrilling action that unfolded during Serie A Matchday 13 – a display of football spectacle filled with incredible individual moments and dramatic fightbacks.

We walk you through the happenings of the Serie A Gameweek 13.

Salernitana in the win column for the first time in 2023/24

It took Salernitana 13 rounds into the new campaign to get their first Serie A win, but they made their fans’ patience worth a while, performing a stunning second-half comeback to beat Lazio 2-1.

When Ciro Immobile put away a penalty late in the first half to put Biancocelesti in front at half-time, Filippo Inzaghi’s side seemed destined for another disappointing weekend. 

However, the Granata turned things around in a ten-minute blitz. 

Grigoris Kastanos latched onto the rebound inside Lazio’s six-yard box to level the score ten minutes after the break before ex-Lazio star Antonio Candreva returned to haunt his former club again. 

Following last season’s stunning brace at the Stadio Olimpico, the veteran forward slotted home a long-range thunderbolt to turn the game on its head on the stroke of the hour mark.

Another disappointing domestic result left under-pressure Lazio manager Maurizio Sarri fuming as he offered his resignation immediately after the game.

Theo to the rescue

Plagued by a severe injury crisis, AC Milan headed into November’s international break in distress, having gone four consecutive Serie A matches without winning (D2, L2).

Stefano Pioli was under heavy scrutiny ahead of Fiorentina’s visit to the San Siro on Saturday, with the Rossoneri already eight points off the Scudetto pace. 

Without Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao in the frontline, the 19-time Italian champions needed a new hero to inspire a troubled side back to winning ways, and Theo Hernandez answered the call.

In a manner of a classic ‘No 9,’ the highly-rated left-back surged forward after receiving an inviting through ball from Luka Jovic. Fabiano Parisi brought him down inside the box before he had a chance to pull the trigger.

Hernandez took it upon himself to take the spot-kick. He sent Pietro Terracciano the wrong way to put Milan in front in the dying moments of the first half.

Despite being under siege for most of the second half, Pioli’s team weathered the storm to seal a crucial victory and consolidate their place in the Serie A top four.

Mazzarri off to a winning start

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis couldn’t resist the temptation of sacking underperforming boss Rudi Garcia during the international break following the club’s abysmal start to their title defence. 

Walter Mazzarri has returned to the helm of the Partenopei after more than a decade to provide salvation, and he couldn’t have hoped for a better start.

The reigning champions netted either side of half-time to overcome Atalanta 2-1 at the Gewiss Stadium on the experienced manager’s second touchline debut.

Resurgent forward Khvicha Kvaratskhelia fired Napoli in front seconds away from the first-half whistle, only for Ademola Lookman to restore parity eight minutes after the interval.

Although the visitors spent most of the second half on the back foot, substitutes Victor Osimhen and Elif Elmas combined well in the 79th minute to topple Atalanta.

La Dea goalkeeper Marco Carnesecchi made a sloppy pass from the back, allowing Osimhen to set Elmas on a plate, with the North Macedonian tapping home to win it for Napoli.

Nothing to separate the sides in Derby d’Italia

Allianz Stadium hosted the mouth-watering Derby d’Italia night as Juventus and Inter Milan shared the spoils in a dramatic 1-1 draw. 

Sunday’s top-table six-pointer commenced in the best possible way for the record-time Serie A champions as Dusan Vlahovic scored his first goal since September to break the deadlock in the 27th minute.

But Juventus’ celebrations were short-lived. Inter replied within six minutes through their talismanic captain, Lautaro Martinez, who turned home a delightful through ball from Marcus Thuram.

With the division’s best defensive teams colliding in a high-stakes encounter, it wasn’t surprising that clear-cut chances were at a premium.

How the second half played out was unworthy of a derby. While Inter had one shot after the break, Juventus failed to register a single attempt towards Yann Sommer’s door. 

Simone Inzaghi can be more pleased than Massimiliano Allegri as his side halted a two-game losing league run against the Bianconeri and preserved a two-point lead at the table’s summit. 

Dybala – new prince of Rome

Back-to-back scoring blanks before the international break renewed doubts over Jose Mourinho’s future at Roma, adding an extra layer of pressure ahead of Udinese’s visit to the capital. 

Six consecutive home triumphs in the build-up to this encounter gave the Giallorossi supporters plenty to look forward to.

Gianluca Mancini headed home Paulo Dybala’s inch-perfect set-piece delivery midway through the first half to lay the foundation for another home success.

But when Florian Thauvin beat Rui Patricio at the far post early in the second half, panic crept in as Roma struggled to create opportunities against Gabriele Cioffi’s well-organised backline.

The game was heading towards a nail-biting finale when Dybala decided to take matters into his own hands.

Played into space by Romelu Lukaku’s cheeky backheel flick, the Argentine broke one-on-one against Marco Silvestri in the 81st minute, giving the Udinese stopper no chance to restore the home team’s lead.

Second-half substitute Stephan El Shaarawy put the icing on the cake in stoppages with a delightful curling effort from inside the box, cementing a vital three points for Roma. 

Around the grounds

In one of the most thrilling games of the weekend, Sassuolo squeezed past fellow bottom-half rivals Empoli 4-3, courtesy of Domenico Berardi’s injury-time half-volley.

Promoted Cagliari drew 1-1 against Monza on home turf, while Frosinone squeaked past Genoa 2-1 in an intense clash between the top-flight newcomers. 

Unfazed by a 2-1 loss at Fiorentina before the international break, Bologna returned to winning ways with a 2-0 home win over Torino on Monday.

On the same day, Hellas Verona and Lecce produced an enthralling contest at Marc’Antonio Bentegodi, sharing the spoils in a 2-2 stalemate.

Player of the Week

Dybala’s match-winning performance helped Roma navigate a challenging clash against Udinese.

His assist to Mancini was state-of-art while he showed composure and class to tilt the scales in the Giallorossi’s favour when it looked like the Friulians could register a ninth league draw this term.

Looking ahead

All eyes will be at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Sunday when defending champions Napoli take on pacesetters Inter. 

Milan should finally string together back-to-back league wins against Frosinone at home, while Juventus face a potentially tricky away assignment against Monza. 

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