Serie A – No goal for Ronaldo. Excellent start for Napoli and Roma

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The Italian Serie A starts with a renewed interest around the world after Ronaldo’s transfer to Juventus. Many of those new followers will certainly be surprised on how good is the Italian league, as the highly defensive league is long gone.

In one of the most interesting games of the weekend, Edin Dzeko scored a late goal to give the 3 points to AS Roma in Torino. Kluivert also had a good start, getting an assist. The first half was a bit crazy, with Aleksandar Kolarov and Dzeko both hitting the post for Roma and Torino midfielder Tomas Rincon doing the same for the home side. Iago Falque had a goal disallowed for offside following a VAR review three minutes after the break.

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All eyes were on the Portuguese forward but it was need a team effort from the defending champions to secure three points against Chievo. Ronaldo still had a good game even without scoring but without knowing very well how, Juve found themselves behind 2-1 in the second half. Juventus eventually equalised with 15 minutes left when a corner from Bernardeschi was deflected into his own net by Chievo defender Bani. Mario Mandzukic thought he had won it with a late header, given by goal line technology, only for the effort to be ruled out following a referral by the Video Assistant Referee. But almost in the end of the game Bernardeschi scored the winning goal and the Champions start with 3 points.

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In the top match of this first round, Napoli got an excellent away win against Lazio. The game actually started well for the home side, as on the 24th minute Francesco Acerbi sent a through ball to Ciro Immobile and the Italian striker beat three defenders with a single back heel chop and then placed the ball past Karnezis with ease. Napoli reacted quickly and got a few chances to score and 2 minutes before the halftime Milik found the back of the net. In the second half Napoli looked really strong and on the 58th minute Insigne scored the winning goal.

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Who didn’t start well the season was Inter Milan, as they lost (again) to Sassuolo. Domenico Berardi was the hero for the home side as he scored a 27th minute from the penalty spot. This is a sort of early reality check for their supporters after an exciting transfer window (that is not closed). Inter still is behind of Juventus, Napoli and Roma in terms of quality of play and Spalletti will be now under pressure to take the most of his players.

 

Referee’s flipping a credit card – are we going a bit too far?

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Pre-Season in Asia, USA or Middle East. Italian Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. Referee’s flipping a credit card instead of a coin. I totally understand the need of making money and satisfy the sponsors, but aren’t we going a bit too far?

Can a coach be happy spending a pre-season travelling all the time, sometimes to places without proper conditions for training and with the players having to be ready all the time for the sponsors show-off?   Wasn’t the pre-season supposed to be one of the most important periods of a team, where the players get fit, the new players are included in the team and when all the tactical work is done?

How can a team as Arsenal, in the middle of such deep change, get properly ready if theygo to play to Singapore, then 3 days after in Dublin and now having another friendly in Stockholm?

How can the supporters of Juventus and AC Milan, the ones who truly follow the team for all the season, be happy with the decision of playing the Italian Super Cup in Saudi Arabia?

Again, I understand that the clubs need to give something in exchange for the big money they get from the sponsors and personally I thought it was original the Credit Card thing. But they also need to set limits when that can affect big time their performance during the season. And most of all they need to respect more their local supporters. Is it fair that the Saudi Arabians will be the first to see Cristiano Ronaldo playing an official match with a Juve jersey? Is it fair that they will also be the first to see Higuain playing an official match with a Milan jersey? I don’t think so.