There is a stereotypical image of Italian football matches being tactical, tight, and turgid affairs – Catenaccio. For the less acquainted, Italian football has moved on from that to a more progressive, positive, and open style of play in the last five years.
Last weekend was a good advertisement for the new image of Italian football. It started with a dramatic match between Inter and Atalanta at San Siro. The game ended 2-2 – a couple of great goals, ebb and flow between both teams, open spaces for both sides to attack, a missed penalty for Inter, and a late disallowed goal for Atalanta.
AC Milan had momentarily moved to the top of Serie A, but the headline was taken by the opening goal scored by Daniel Maldini, who emulated his grandfather, Cesare and father, Paolo, to score for Milan.
Juventus beat Sampdoria 3-2 at the Allianz Stadium – not convincing, but effective, by the Bianconeri. Napoli made it six wins in a row, less dramatically, beating Cagliari 2-0.
The big match of the week lived up to its mark. Lazio threw the form book out of the window to beat Roma 3-2. Pedro became only the third man to score for both Roma and Lazio when he scored Lazio’s second goal.
The match ended with Roma manager, Jose Mourinho, gathering his players for a pep talk in the middle of the pitch while his opposite number, Maurizio Sarri, ran towards the Curva Sud to salute the Lazio fans with the club’s mascot eagle, Olympia, in his hand.
The drama didn’t end there as Mourinho stormed out of the post-match press conference after an argument with journalists.
This weekend will see the season’s first Derby Della Mole, Turin derby. Torino is on a decent run of form under Ivan Juric and would be fully rested ahead of the derby at home.
Juventus have made it two wins in a row in Serie A but hardly convincing. They have a tough Champions League match to navigate against Chelsea, midweek, with Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata, missing through injury.
Inter will travel to Sassuolo, Bologna will host Lazio, Napoli face a tricky trip to Florence to play against a resurgent Fiorentina, and Roma will host Empoli.
The biggest game this week would be between Atalanta and AC Milan (Monday, 2.45am Malaysian time) at the Gewiss Stadium. After a stuttering start to the season, Atalanta produced their best football of the season against Inter.
Milan would be confident with five wins and a draw so far, despite an injury crisis in recent weeks. Both teams would look to take the game to the other; we could be in for another entertaining and open match between Atalanta and Milan.
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.