Goal runs down the very best in Italy in the first midweek round of matches of the season – with a number of unfamiliar faces
Serie A’s fifth matchday of 2013-14 had plenty of drama, including AC Milan’s last-ditch draw with Bologna and Roma breaking away from Napoli as outright leaders in Italy.
Inter’s impressive early-season form has surprised many and they continued their unbeaten streak with a win over fifth-placed Fiorentina on Thursday. Samir Handanovic’s role in keeping the Viola at bay in the 2-1 triumph sees him earn a spot in goal.
In defence, Roma – the only team left with a 100 per cent record in the league – are represented by Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia. Beside him, Fiorentina centre-back Gonzalo Rodriguez makes an appearance despite his side’s defeat while Sassuolo defender Francesco Acerbi earns his position for helping keep Napoli to just the one goal on Wednesday.
Diego Laxalt’s double for Bologna against Milan looked set to have given them a win before Ignazio Abate’s stoppage-time equaliser, while Marco Parolo’s two goals were crucial in seeing Atalanta off 4-3 in midweek. Lazio duo Ederson and Senad Lulic ensured that the side bounced back from their Rome derby defeat with a 3-1 triumph over Catania to sit sixth with five games gone. Esteban Cambiasso completes the five-man midfield for a vintage performance with an excellent goal in Inter’s victory on Thursday.
Up front are two uncommon faces: Sassuolo forward Simone Zaza, for scoring his second goal of the season to secure a draw with Rafa Benitez’s men, and Alessio Cerci, who continued to win the hearts of Torino fans with a double.