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SERIE A ROUNDUP: Winning return for Jose Mourinho, Juventus struggle
The 21/22 season of the Italian Serie A kickstarted with straightforward wins for the big teams: Inter Milan, Atalanta, Lazio, AS Roma, and Napoli. However Turin giants Juventus could only come out with a 2-2 draw against Juventus.
Sassuolo won the opening game of the Serie A winning 3-2 at Hellas Verona. This was followed by routine wins for Inter Milan, Atalanta, and Lazio. Defending champions Inter Milan thrashed Genoa 4-0 with debutants Edin Dzeko and Hakan Calhanoglu both among the goals. Meanwhile, Atalanta needed an injury-time winner from Roberto Piccoli to win 2-1 away to Torino.
Lazio came back from conceding an early goal to dispatch Hellas Verona 3-1 as goals from Ciro Immobile, Sergej Milinkovic Savic and Manuel Lazzari secured the Roman club a comfortable win.
UDINESE HOLD JUVENTUS
Udinese came back from 2 goals to earn a well-deserved point in their 2-2 draw against Juventus. Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny, formerly of Arsenal, was the main culprit as his two mistakes directly resulted in both the Udinese goals.
Paolo Dybala gave Juventus the lead after good work from Rodrigo Bentancur and Juan Cuadrado. Juan Cuadrado skipped past a couple of defenders to double Juventus’ lead as Paolo Dybala turned provider for the second time.
But Udinese pulled two goals back via Roberto Pereyra and Stefano Okaka. Wojciech Szczesny fouled Torgay Arslan in the box which resulted in a penalty, duly converted by Roberto Pereyra. Later, he failed to deal with a simple back pass from Leonardo Bonucci resulting in Deulofeu setting Okaka for an easy goal.
In the buildup to the game, Cristiano Ronaldo asked to be played as a sub and claimed he wanted clarity over his future. He came on as a substitute in the second half and even managed to score in the injury time but his goal was ruled out because of VAR. To add to his woes, he was shown the yellow card as he had removed his shirt while celebrating his goal.
WINNING RETURN FOR JOSE MOURINHO
Jose Mourinho marked his return to Serie A as Roma won 3-1 against Fiorentina. Tammy Abraham also had a dream debut for the club notching two assists in the game. Jordan Veretout scored twice and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored once in a game where both clubs played a considerable portion with 10 men after Nicolo Zaniolo and Bartlomiej Dragowski.
This game marks Mourinho’s return to Italian football after 11 years. Mourinho led Inter Milan to a historic treble in the 2009/10 season and departed for Real Madrid immediately. Now after 11 years, 4 sackings, and 8 trophies he finds himself back in the country where he found his most memorable success.
Meanwhile, Luciano Spalletti began his Napoli spell with a comfortable 2-0 win over Venezia despite playing with 10 men for the majority of the game. Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen was sent off in the 23rd minute after punching Daan Heymans. But goals from Lorenzo Insigne and Eljif Elmas in the second half secured the three points for Napoli.
Bologna defeated newly promoted Salernitana 3-2 in a match that saw 3 red cards.
In tonight’s remaining Serie A games, Cagliari face Spezia at home while AC Milan face Sampdoria away from home.