With matchday five in the books, we’re beginning to get a clearer picture of who’s a contender and who’s a pretender in Italy.
Let’s start with the bad, for Roma it’s Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bryan Cristante. As Eusebio Di Francesco continues to fail to get a pulse on his team, there’s been no bigger shortcoming than the midfield. There are a lot of similarities between the Roman and Italy national team midfield and overall gameplay. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that the two play for both…
Speaking of the Italian national team, four of the strikers on the roster bagged goals in week five, with Andrea Belotti, Simone Verdi, Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile all finding the back of the net.
Rolando Mandragora and Rodrigo De Paul stood out for Udinese who took all three points on the road against Chievo Verona, who continues to be a full-blown disaster so far this season. Which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given Sergio Pellissier is still playing for the team.
Meanwhile in the capitale, Lazio took flight against Genoa with a 4-1 victory. Krzysztof Piatek was the lone positive standout for the Grifoni as the Pole scored his fifth goal of the campaign. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic had an impressive match, scoring a towering header to give the Laziale their third goal of the afternoon.
At the San Siro, Milan’s defense imploded as they conceded a stoppage time equalizer to gift Atalanta all three points. Gianluigi Donnarumma was in fine form but his men in front of him left a lot to be desired. Davide Calabria was inexplicably subbed off after dominating the right side. Gonzalo Higuain and Suso were unstoppable all match long and really the scoreline should’ve finished much differently.
For Atalanta, Emiliano Rigoni and Alejandro Gomez put in excellent individual performances to give the Dea a point. Bringing on Illicic, Rigoni and Zapata as subs made all the difference.
South of Rome, Juventus took on Frosinone at the Stadio Benito Stirpe and left it let to take all three points. The Bianconeri had a mixed bag of individual performances with players like Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado having an off-night while Federico Bernardeschi injected energy into an otherwise flat side. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the go-ahead goal in the 81st minute to give the Bianconeri the lead.
On Saturday, Inter needed some stoppage time magic to take all three points back to Milano. Marcelo Brozovic scored in the 94th minute to punish Sampdoria in heartbreaking fashion. The Nerazzurri had only put two shots on target all game up until that point.