Serie A highlights are coming aplenty right now in what is promising to be another compelling domestic campaign.
Look at the SBOTOP Serie A betting odds and you will see joint title favourites and both of them (Inter Milan and Napoli) certainly showed their qualities in differing ways over the weekend.
The Milan derby between AC and Inter provided a meeting of the early top two and the only sides with 100 per cent records so something had to give in what was also a repeat of one of last season’s Champions League semi-finals.
Yet in the end it was barely a contest as Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s double led an Internazionale rout as they moved two points clear at the top of the table on 12 points from four games.
Mkhitaryan, Marcus Thuram, Hakan Calhanoglu and Davide Frattesi were all on target, securing their fifth consecutive win in the Milan derby across all competitions for the first time in history – all in the calendar year of 2023 too.
Mkhitaryan struck from close range to put Inter in front in the fifth minute and new signing Thuram doubled the advantage before the break with a fine shot into the top corner for his first Serie A goal.
Milan pulled one back just before the hour mark through Rafael Leão, who latched on to a pass and shot past Yann Sommer as a sudden downpour of rain struck San Siro.
Inter allowed Stefano Pioli’s side control of possession but were far more ruthless and Mkhitaryan made it 3-1 in the 69th minute before midfielder Calhanoglu added the fourth from the penalty spot.
Substitute Frattesi then completed the rout in stoppage time after being fed by Mkhitaryan.
Inter have now beaten Milan a record 69 times in Serie A and scored a record 256 goals against their city rivals in the competition.
They are two points above second-placed Juventus, who defeated Lazio 3-1.
Dusan Vlahovic seems to have a point to prove this term, especially now he and Federico Chiesa have shaken off injury problems, and the Serbian bagged a brace at the Allianz Stadium, with Chiesa getting the other.
Luis Alberto got one back for Lazio.
It was welcome news for Juve in the week they were rocked by another scandal as midfielder Paul Pogba failed a doping test and faces a two-year ban.
After their first defeat of the season, a key question was could champions Napoli bounce back at Genoa?
Well, they certainly displayed the hallmark of champions as they came from 2-0 down to pick up a point against Genoa who had led through Mattia Bani and Mateo Retegui goals.
Napoli got back into it when Giacomo Raspadori hit a thunderbolt with his left foot before drawing level in style as Piotr Zielinski floated a ball over the top and substitute Politano watched it come down and smashed a spectacular left-foot volley into the top corner.
Lecce are ending the weekend still in fourth place and still unbeaten after continuing their fine start.
They took an early lead at Monza, through an early Nikola Krstovic penalty, but were pegged back midway through the second half via Andrea Colpani.
When Federico Baschirotto was, somewhat unfortunately, dismissed 10 minutes after the restart, the smart money was on the home side, but Lecce held out and it finished 10 against 10 after Dany Mota Caldirola was sent off with five minutes remaining.
Monza finished in 11th place on 52 points last term, the second best tally for a side in their debut Serie A season. If Lecce, who were promoted with them 16 months ago, could do similar they would surely be delighted.
Roma finally have a victory to talk about after hammering rock bottom Empoli for seven.
Manager Jose Mourinho was hoping to see a strong response from the core of his squad after the international break and he got his wish in the capital.
The weekend’s programme concluded on Monday night as Torino became one of half a dozen clubs on seven points with a 3-0 victory at lowly Salernitana.
Torino started the match at the Stadio Arechi on the front foot and quickly found a 1-0 lead through Alessandro Buongiorno, who took advantage of a scramble in the box to poke the ball past a diving Guillermo Ochoa.
Salernitana, managed by Paulo Sousa, started to grow into the game but were scuppered four minutes before the break when Nemanja Radonjic pounced onto a loose ball outside the penalty area to double the visitors’ lead.
Torino maintained this hunger in the early stages of the second half and soon found their third, again thanks to Radonjic, who cleverly latched onto a low cross.
This weekend was a case in point.
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