Italian football roundup: Parity reigns in Serie A again with no more perfect teams

Here are the highlights from Sunday’s Serie A matches.

Published : Aug 29, 2022 08:38 IST

Fiorentina’s Dodo, top, competes for the ball with Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
Fiorentina’s Dodo, top, competes for the ball with Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. | Photo Credit: Massimo Paolone

Fiorentina’s Dodo, top, competes for the ball with Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. | Photo Credit: Massimo Paolone

Three rounds into Serie A and parity is again the theme of the Italian league.

After last season’s title was decided on the final day, there are already no longer any clubs with perfect records in this campaign.

Napoli, the last squad that had remained perfect, was held to a 0-0 draw at Fiorentina on Sunday.

Napoli still remained atop the standings courtesy of its goal differential, but it is level on seven points with five other clubs: defending champion AC Milan, Lazio, Atalanta, Torino and Roma.

Roma and Inter Milan were the only other clubs to have won their opening two matches but Roma drew 1-1 at Juventus on Saturday and Inter was beaten 3-1 at Lazio on Friday.

After producing five and then four goals in its first two matches — convincing wins over Hellas Verona and Monza, respectively — Napoli was off target against the Viola.

Irving Lozano missed wide on a close-range header to waste Napoli’s best chance early in the second half, while Napoli center forward Victor Osimhen had a goal waved off for offside shortly before the break.

Osimhen has been involved in the speculation over a potential move by Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United to Napoli, with the expectation that the 23-year-old Nigeria international would replace the five-time world player of the year at the English club in an expensive transfer.

“If a club offers you 100 million (euros) for a player, it’s difficult not to take that into consideration,” Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti said.

Fiorentina threatened midway through the second half with a dangerous shot from Antonin Barak that was only slightly wide.

Napoli’s last significant chance was a long effort from new signing Giacomo Raspadori that was palmed wide by Fiorentina goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini.

Ambitious Atalanta

Atalanta extended its unbeaten start with a 1-0 win at regional rival Hellas Verona.

Teun Koopmeiners scored early in the second half with a long-distance, bouncing shot as Atalanta followed up its opening-round win at Sampdoria and its draw with Milan with another solid performance.

“We want to get back into Europe — and preferably into the Champions League,” said Koopmeiners, who has scored three of his five Serie A goals from beyond the area.

Meanwhile, Boulaye Dia scored one goal and assisted on two others in his first start as Salernitana beat up on visiting Sampdoria 4-0. Dia, a Senegal international, joined Salernitana on loan 10 days ago from Villarreal.

Also, Serie B champion Lecce earned its first point by drawing 1-1 with visiting Empoli.

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