Serie A talking points: Motta's exciting Bologna, Lukaku and Raspadori heroics


Serie A talking points: Motta's exciting Bologna, Lukaku and Raspadori heroics

Lukaku celebrates his late goal against Udinese
Lukaku celebrates his late goal against UdineseProfimedia
It was another weekend of Serie A upsets and surprises. There were the shock defeats of AC Milan and Lazio against Udinese and Bologna respectively. Jose Mourinho's Roma returned to winning ways, although they did so with a very forgettable performance. And at the top of the table, only Juventus managed to keep up with Inter. Let's see what happened...


Milan's fans were waiting for this match impatiently. Stefano Pioli's boys were expected to give a turn to the current season, a positive sign, both for the performance and the result, in a particularly difficult moment. The exact opposite was seen on the field, and it can't surprise anyone that the Rossoneri fans showed all their disappointment at the end of the match, booing the players off the field, unable to beat Udinese, who had yet to win this season.

Too little on Milan's part. Okay, there were a lot of absentees, there were several injured players, but Pioli deliberately chose to play Luka Jovic and not Noah Okafor, a choice that did not pay off.

Apart from the choices, however, the most shocking thing was Milan's poor performance: the Rossoneri did nothing but give the ball to Rafael Leao hoping for a trick, an assist, a goal. Udinese played better, was more consistent and deserved the penalty kick scored by Roberto Pereyra, evidently empowered by Lele Cioffi, the new coach of the Friulani. A very bad misstep for Milan, which needed certainty and points and not a loss in front of its fans.


Roma-Lecce was not a good match; in fact, just the opposite. Jose Mourinho's team should have won easily against the Apulians, particularly thanks to Paulo Dybala's return from the first minute, although the Argentine was not at his best.

After about a minute and a half, a chance to direct the match came from a penalty kick for Roma, Romelu Lukaku took it, but Wladimiro Falcone saved and thus began what looked like could become a nightmare for the Giallorossi.

Houssem Aouar, Dybala, Stephan El Shaarawy, Lukaku: no one could find the goal. On the contrary Pontus Almqvist, a Lecce talent, found the opening goal in the 72nd minute, after an assist from Lameck Banda, taking advantage of the spaces left in the open field by Roma with a counterattack.

It seemed to be over, but Mourinho then started to send in all the strikers at his disposal and it was one of them, Sardar Azmoun, who found the goal for the momentary equaliser, with a splendid header.

A few minutes later, in the 94th minute (the fourth of six minutes of injury time...) Dybala went for Lukaku, the Belgian, after an uninspired game where everything seemed to go wrong, showed what being a champion means: he let the ball run, defended it from his marker, then produced a perfect shot and goal. The jersey was in the sky, the supporters went crazy, and the whole team ended up under the fans celebrating. A last minute victory, almost lost, thanks to the goal of a champion. The night seemed like a nightmare, but it turned out to be a night of celebration.


Week after week, at the risk of being repetitive, one cannot help but be ecstatic by the work of Thiago Motta. The Bologna coach is the absolute star of this first phase of the season. The level of performance offered by the Rossoblu is - incredibly - higher than the general level of the squad, which although undoubtedly has interesting profiles, one only has to name Joshua Zirkzee, Lewis Ferguson (in goal against Lazio), Michel Aebischer, Stefan Posch, Sam Beukema, in short, the list is long, but few teams play like Bologna.

Always dangerous in attack, patient and solid in defence, 18 points in the standings after 11 games, one point less than Atalanta and one more than Roma, in the middle of the Europa League zone.

Photographing the standings would be enough to give proper credit to the former PSG and Inter midfielder. The season is still long and it will not be easy for Bologna to maintain this level of performance, as usually at some point small-medium teams lack the motivation to go all the way, but the best guarantee is Motta. Last weekend the Rossoblu beat Lazio with a top-notch performance, conceding very little to Maurizio Sarri's boys and deserving the victory. Bravo Thiago!


Victor Osimhen's long absence is not weighing on Napoli as much as fans of the Rudi Garcia-coached team feared. The reason? His name is Giacomo Raspadori. "Jack," as is his nickname, right now is Napoli's cheatcode: goals from the right, left, from a free kick, it doesn't matter how, the important thing is that the ball, when he plays, sooner or later ends up in the net.

The trident with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Matteo Politano is bringing excellent results for Napoli, which at the moment would seem to have overcome the difficult moment, during which Rudi Garcia was one step away from exoneration (perhaps Aurelio De Laurentiis would have gone all the way if Antonio Conte had said yes to his proposal...).

The standings are starting to get interesting, and overtaking AC Milan next weekend is the main goal.


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