The storylines in Serie A were all over the place this weekend, but one obviously outshone the rest. The game of the weekend; Brescia vs Bologna, reminded everyone of the beautiful chaos of football.
Brescia 3-4 Bologna
When the weekend began, not a soul would tell anyone that Brescia vs Bologna is the game to watch. These are two sides who aspire to reach the all-important 40 points mark. Brescia is back in Serie A for the first time in nine years and is looking to stick around this time. Bologna survived thanks to the timely appointment of Sinisa Mihajlovic.
Now Bologna is returning Mihajlovic’s favour. The Serbian coach is undergoing treatment for acute Leukemia that was discovered during a pre-season physical. Mihajlovic has been able to coach some games but did not travel with the team to Brescia. He could not have been happy when his team went down 2-0 in the first twenty minutes after two really good goals from Alfredo Donnarumma.
But just like Mihajlovic, there was no quit in this Bologna side. Even as they went into the half down 3-1 it was hard to say the game was over. And as is the case with most massive comebacks they got a gift along the way.
The gift came just after halftime when Daniele Dessan picked up a yellow card for diving. The problem was that he had already picked up a yellow in the first half. He was off with over forty minutes left in the game and Brescia holding onto a 3-1 lead.
From there it was all Bologna; they had a man advantage and could smell blood in the water. Within fifteen minutes of the sending off, they had already tied the game through two solid goals. Leaving plenty of time for them to chase the winner, which Riccardo Orlosini volleyed in with ten minutes to go.
Bologna was obviously very pleased with their result. But nothing drives that home like the report that they stopped outside the hospital to sing to Mihajlovic while he was in his hospital bed. Seeing the silhouette of him waving back probably felt better than the three points.
Inter Milan 1-0 Udinese
By far the most impressive start to this Serie A season has come from Inter Milan. We all knew that under new coach Antonio Conte Inter were going to make a serious title push. They have had no problems integrating new player or adjusting to Conte’s back three, assimilation that will be crucial to any title push.
It’s not just about getting players like Romelu Lukaku or Diego Godin ready to play. They are going to play a lot, so it’s easier to get them ready in-game. But so far it has been Stefano Sensi that has starred for the Nerazzurri. He scored the only goal on a header from a great cross from Diego Godin, but that is not the reason for his praise.
Inter has for some time now needed a midfielder who could link the defence and attack. Someone who could break the opponent’s lines and play the attackers into space. The early returns are that Stefano Sensi is exactly that player. The ex-Sassuolo midfielder has walked right into an irreplaceable role in Conte’s midfield.
But Inter’s solid defence is what Conte will be most proud of. They haven’t had a real test yet, that will come this weekend. But against Lecce, Cagliari and Udinese they have only allowed one goal and taken all nine points. They couldn’t be in better form headed into the Derby Della Madonnina next weekend.
AC Milan Serie A Struggles Continue
Speaking of Madonnina, things have not been going as smooth on the other side of the rivalry. AC Milan has had a struggling start to their season, losing the opening game against Udinese, and only eeking out 1-0 wins against newly-promoted sides Brescia and Hellas Verona. The Verona game had more racist chanting against Franck Kessie than scoring opportunities.
Calling the Milan attack abysmal would be an insult to abysmal. It seems like many of the problems that plagued Gennaro Gattuso have lingered into Marco Giampaolo’s reign. They have continued to struggle to move the ball through midfield and creating the type of chances goal-scorers need to find the back of the net.
It’s no wonder that someone like Kryzystof Piatek had more goals at Genoa than he has in more time at Milan. The creativity has been virtually non-existent, especially when players like Suso or Hakan Chalanoglu are in the lineup.
Against Verona, Milan only created four shots on target, including the game-winning penalty, after Verona striker Mariusz Stepinski was sent off in the 24th minute. Milan had 70 minutes against a newly promoted, ten men Verona and only registered two shots on target from open play. Good luck against Inter next week in Serie A…