Serie A’s resumption continued on Wednesday night as six sides – all with differing aspirations – took to the field once more.
Antonio Conte’s Inter were looking to continue their positive start to Serie A’s resumption against a leaky Sassiolo defence, eyeing a potential thumping at San Siro. Atalanta and Lazio’s clash, meanwhile, was being billed as the game of the season so far – with both sides well known for employing an electrifying, free-flowing, all-out attack brand of football.
Indeed, the two teams had netted 134 goals between them before kick off. Sampdoria manager – and former Premier League winner – Claudio Ranieri was also in action as he faced up against former club Roma, who harbour Champions League qualification aspirations off their own.
Here’s how I Blucerchiati got on in their bid to escape relegation trouble, and all the other action…
Roberto De Zerbi’s fury at Sassuolo’s 4-1 loss to Atalanta on Sunday was evident as he changed his entire backline ahead of their clash with Inter.
Surprisingly, it was De Zerbi’s side who took a surprising lead after just four minutes, with Francesco Caputo unmarked as he scored his 14th goal of the season. I Neroverdi would retain that lead for much of the first-half until Romelu Lukaku – who has scored from the spot on five occasions this season – calmly dispatched a penalty conceded by former Chelsea winger Jeremie Boga.
Cristiano Biraghi scored Inter’s second just before half-time, before Roberto Gagliardini unbelievably hit the post from point blank range. Sassuolo levelled ten minutes from time after Ashley Young conceded a penalty of his own, before a dramatic final five minutes saw I Nerazzurri throw away a third lead – as Borja Valero’s effort was cancelled out by Giangiacomo Magnani’s last gasp tap-in.
Surprise title challengers Lazio got off to a fantastic start at high-flying Atalanta, as Marten de Roon’s own goal and Sergej-Milinkovic Savic’s stunning effort handed I Biancolcelesti a two-goal lead after ten minutes.
But, if Lazio thought they were going to enjoy a waltz in the park en route to going 22 games unbeaten, they were sorely mistaken against this season’s surprise Champions League quarter finalists.
First, Robin Gosens hauled the hosts back into the game with a bullet header, before Ruslan Malinovsky scored a fabulous goal of his own – drawing the sides level with 25 minutes to go. With the game stretched, Atalanta then completed their scintillating comeback – as Jose Luis Palomino’s header ten minutes from time handed Juventus a four-point cushion in the race for Serie A.
Roma may have some behind-the-scenes issues affecting their preparation, but I Giallorossi overcame any concerns they may have to down Sampdoria 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.
The hosts started brightly and would have taken an early lead through former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko were it not for the brilliance of Emil Audero in Sampdoria’s goal.
It was Claudio Ranieri’s side who took the lead, however, as former Southampton strker Manolo Gabbiadini punished an error by Roma’s Amadou Diawara. After VAR had chalked off a Jordan Veretout effort, the hosts did level through Dzeko – the Bosnian converting from Lorenzo Pellegrini’s pass.
Dzeko secured his brace – and Roma’s victory – five minutes from time, keeping the capital club’s
Champions League dream alive.