Serie A Review: Dream debut for Matri as Sarri is frustrated on Empoli return

The 31-year-old scored a brilliant brace on his first competitive appearance for the club, exorcising the ghosts of a 4-0 defeat to Chievo prior to the international break


Alessandro Matri enjoyed a dream debut for Lazio as his double earned Stefano Pioli’s side a deserved victory over Udinese.

In the torrential rain of the capital, Matri led the line in place of the injured Miroslav Klose and the former Milan striker opened his account midway through the second half, rifling into the roof of the net after Felipe Anderson’s cut-back.

And Matri then sealed three points for Lazio as he pounced on Orestis Karnezis’ parry to fire home from close range.

In a day of 2-2 draws, Napoli twice came from behind to force a point away to Empoli, who took the lead after just three minutes thanks to Riccardo Saponara’s composed finish.

Lorenzo Insigne’s stunning curled effort restored parity just four minutes later but Empoli were back in front before the 20-minute mark, Saponara again leaving the Napoli defence flat-footed before squaring for Manuel Pucciarelli to score.

However, Maurizio Sarri was ensured a share of the spoils against his old club as Allan turned home following good work from Marek Hamsik and Manolo Gabbiadini, and only the inside of the post prevented Hamsik from winning the game in the final minute.

Sassuolo’s perfect start to the season was ended by a thrilling draw with Atalanta, meanwhile, with four first-half goals, two red cards and two missed penalties capping a feisty encounter in Reggio Emilia.

Nicola Sansone’s spot-kick was saved before Mauricio Pinilla’s brilliant bicycle kick put Atalanta ahead, and the Chilean restored their lead after Francesco Magnanelli rifled in an equaliser.

But Antonio Floro Flores’ fine strike from distance levelled matters before Pinilla and Sime Vrsaljko were sent off for two yellows in the second half and Maxi Moralez missed a late Atalanta spot kick.

Torino’s trip to Verona and Palermo’s home fixture with Carpi also ended 2-2, Uros Djurdjevic striking two minutes from time to deny Carpi a first Serie A win.

Elsewhere, Sampdoria’s clash with Bologna was postponed until Monday after severe weather warnings.

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