Serie A talking points: Benevento snatch wild first point and Inter charge to the top | Paolo Bandini | Football

With Napoli internet hosting Juventus on Friday evening, we cut up the common Serie A weblog in two this week. The predominant piece, masking that recreation, is right here. But the remainder of the weekend turned out to be reasonably vigorous as nicely …

Talking factors

Unless you’ve been underneath a rock, you’ve most likely heard by now about Benevento’s draw with Milan, and extra particularly about the method wherein the recreation ended. After dropping the opening 14 video games of their first-ever top-flight marketing campaign, the Witches snatched a attract the 95th minute with a header from their keeper, Alberto Brignoli.

There are so many sub-plots with this one, however it’s only proper to begin with the goalscorer himself. Brignoli is a person who professes to be a little bit of a wimp about heading the ball usually, but when Benevento gained a free-kick simply exterior the space with time ticking down, he charged forwards regardless of being commanded by his supervisor, Roberto De Zerbi, not to.

“The boss didn’t want me to go up,” acknowledged Brignoli afterwards. “He may be cussed however I’m much more so. I stated: ‘I’m going. I’m going, and that’s that.’ I leapt like a goalkeeper, not an attacker. They inform me that I appeared like Aldo in the scene from [the movie] ‘Tre uomini e una gamba’ (Three males and one leg), and they’re proper. I used to be a bit crooked. I closed my eyes.”

Brignoli is just the fifth keeper to rating in Serie A – becoming a member of Michelangelo Rampulla, Antonio Rigamonti, Lucidio Sentimenti and, most just lately, Massimo Taibi. He wasn’t even Benevento’s beginning keeper at the starting of this season, taking on from Vid Belec in October. It was laborious not to heat to him, although, as he paused throughout post-game interviews to categorical solidarity with the keeper he scored towards: Gianluigi Donnarumma.

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Sensational drama at Benevento 👏 pic.twitter.com/3q7qVYbvYU


December Three, 2017

A point may need been the least Benevento deserved for a recreation wherein they’d extra pictures than Milan and held the ball, on common, a lot increased up the pitch. As determined as their league standing is, performances had been enhancing even earlier than this.

Four of their earlier 5 video games had been misplaced by a single aim – together with the one away to Juventus – and there have been some particularly merciless twists alongside the manner. At Cagliari they grabbed a 93rd-minute equaliser solely to concede once more in the 94th. Benevento thought they’d earned a draw with Sassuolo as Domenico Berardi’s penalty hit the bar in injury-time. Instead, Federico Peluso headed house a winner for the Neroverdi moments later.

So maybe we should always have seen this end result coming. It was naive to think about that there can be some speedy transformation for Milan underneath Rino Gattuso. The new supervisor has a modest teaching CV, and it’ll take greater than his aggressive fury to repair a group boasting loads of expertise however no clear tactical imaginative and prescient. As Gattuso himself noticed afterwards: “It won’t help, right now, for me to raise my voice and smash my fists on the table.”

This end result, although, will go away a mark. “It would have been better to be stabbed than concede this goal,” added Gattuso. “The lads in the changing room were desperate.”

As Milan licked their wounds, the neighbours went top of the desk. Juve’s win at Napoli had created a chance for Inter, who seized it eagerly with a 5-Zero demolition of Chievo. Their 39 factors from 15 matches equals a membership report set underneath Roberto Mancini again in 2006-07, once they cruised to the Scudetto. Back then, although, the discipline had been decimated by Calciopoli.

It is difficult to overstate what a implausible job Luciano Spalletti is doing as supervisor, in a much more aggressive discipline. And if anybody participant finest represents the transformation of this group, it could be Ivan Perisic – who grabbed a hat-trick on Sunday. Next up comes the small matter of a visit to Turin to tackle Juventus. The final time they met, again in February, Perisic was despatched off in a 1-Zero defeat.

Ivan Perisic with the match ball.



Ivan Perisic with the match ball. Photograph: Claudio Villa/Inter through Getty Images

Roma rolled over Spal on Saturday, however Lazio stored maintain of their coattails in the race for Champions League locations, with a come-from-behind win away to Sampdoria. Not for the first time this season, it was Sergej Milinkovic-Savic who made the distinction, scoring his group’s 80th-minute equaliser earlier than establishing Felipe Caicedo’s winner with a intelligent reverse move into the field (even when it did take a little bit of a scramble from there earlier than the Ecuadorian might bundle it house).

Not a cheerful return to Serie A for Beppe Iachini, whose first league recreation since changing Cristian Bucchi as supervisor of Sassuolo led to a Three-Zero defeat at Fiorentina. But extra encouraging indicators for this younger Viola group, for whom Giovanni Simeone (22 years outdated), Jordan Veretout (24) and Federico Chiesa (20) grabbed the targets.

Results: Roma Three-1 Spal, Napoli Zero-1 Juventus, Torino 1-1 Atalanta, Benevento 2-2 Milan, Bologna 1-1 Cagliari, Fiorentina Three-Zero Sassuolo, Inter 5-Zero Chievo, Sampdoria 1-2 Lazio. Monday: Crotone v Udinese, Verona v Genoa.

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