Race for the Scudetto: Mancini inspires Roma in derby as Cagliari stun Atalanta


Race for the Scudetto: Mancini inspires Roma in derby as Cagliari stun Atalanta

Gianluca Mancini scored the only goal in the Rome derby
Gianluca Mancini scored the only goal in the Rome derbyAFP
Roma won the derby and that was inevitably the game of the weekend. Inter won again and moved 14 points ahead of second-placed Milan, although the Rossoneri also won their match. Juventus beat Fiorentina while Bologna and Atalanta recorded missteps. Let's see what else happened in Serie A over the weekend!

Player of the week: Gianluca Mancini

The new derby hero, the man who decided the game on Saturday afternoon and secured the three points won by Roma in the match against bitter rivals Lazio. Gianluca Mancini was the man of the match in the derby not only for the goal he scored with his header but also for his performance in general and for his unforgettable celebration at the end of the game, a gesture that angered many Lazio fans.

The central defender at the end of the match took a white and blue flag with a mouse in place of an eagle and waved it in front of the Curva Sud - pure mockery, a classic part of Italian derbies.

Mancini celebrates with the Roma fans after their derby win
Mancini celebrates with the Roma fans after their derby winAFP

Roma wanted the victory much more than Lazio. Igor Tudor's team never troubled keeper Mile Svilar and never even managed a shot on target, unlike the Giallorossi who came close to scoring several times. In any case, the man of the weekend was also the man of the match and it could not have been otherwise. With his goal, Mancini wrote a page in the history of the club and for that, Roma fans will never forget his performance.

It almost seems like a sign of destiny that he scored. He is one of those defenders you love if he plays for your team and hate if he plays for your rivals because he is strong and tough, difficult for anyone to deal with like the defenders of old. As for Roma more generally, their weekend was made better by Atalanta's defeat and Bologna's draw.

Team of the week: Napoli

Napoli needed three incredible goals to beat Monza. Raffaele Palladino's boys had taken the lead in the first half, a great goal by Milan Duric, with a header that was impossible to save but, in the second half, Francesco Calzona was able to show in his own way, perhaps for the first time this season, what it means to coach the Italian champions.

First Victor Osimhen's great goal, then Matteo Politano's moment of magic - a goal you will see again and again - then Piotr Zielinski's as well. In short, it was one goal more beautiful than the next and then came the fourth - a proper number nine's goal scored by Giacomo Raspadori. The goals highlighted the quality of a side that this year has struggled and is struggling much more than expected after dominating the league last season.

Three coaches in one season means gaining a place in next season's Champions League is virtually impossible, but Calzona will try until the end to make the season as respectable as he can. The reaction shown during the match against Monza, however, was worthy of the reigning Italian champions.

Surprise of the week: Cagliari stun Atalanta

This was without any doubt the surprise of the weekend. Atalanta seemed to be on their way towards fifth place (at least) in the standings with the excellent results achieved in recent weeks thanks to the magic of their best players. But in their most brilliant form came an unexpected fall from grace - a defeat to Claudio Ranieri's Cagliari, a team fighting to survive in the league.

Surprising indeed, but in reality, the Sardinians stole nothing on the day. On the contrary, Atalanta never managed to play their game and always seemed to be out of the contest. The hosts had many chances to score and Ademola Lookman and his teammates always seemed off the pace and in trouble.

Gian Piero Gasperini perhaps underestimated the difficulty of the match and Cagliari took advantage of the situation. The decisive goal came in the final minutes, as has often happened this year with Ranieri's boys, who clearly have no intention of going down to Serie B. Against them, matches never end, they can score and tie or win until the very last second of a match.

What was key was the offensive contributions provided by Eldor Shomurodov and Zito Luvumbo, two players who could give Ranieri and Cagliari a big hand in the final stages of the season.

Full league standings
Full league standingsFlashscore

See all the results from Serie A here.


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