AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Serie A

Serie A Review: Inter Continue To Win While Juve Struggle

mancini8A rare slate of midweek games in Italy saw Inter Milan stretch their lead at the top of Serie as champions Juventus were held by Frosinone and Roma lose to Sampdoria. Inter’s blistering start to the season has left many believing that Roberto Mancini’s side have already stolen a march on four-time consecutive champions Juventus in the fight for this season’s scudetto as the gap between the two rivals is now 10 points.

Inter have managed to open up a three point gap at the top of Serie A despite only scoring six goals in their first five matches. One again the Nerazzurri needed just one goal, from summer signing Felipe Melo, to give Mancini’s side all three points. This is the first time that Inter have started the season with five consecutive wins since 1966.

Roberto Mancini’s men sit top with a three-point lead on Fiorentina, who saw Jakub Blaszczykowski and Nikola Kalinic score one apiece in 11, late second-half minutes to secure a 2-0 home win over outclassed Bologna. Sassuolo are only a point further adrift in third, thanks to the Tuscans’ shock 1-0 win at Palermo, courtesy of Sergio Floccari’s stunning first-half effort for the visitors.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri rested a number of regulars, including goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for the visit of bottom of the table Frosinone. But the Italian’s tactics ultimately backfired after Leonardo Blanchard headed home from a corner in injury time to level Simone Zaza’s strike minutes after the restart.

Scudetto rivals Roma are faring slightly better, but coach Rudi Garcia was left ruing a massive defensive blunder as the Giallorossi looked to be heading for a well-deserved point at the Luigi Ferraris stadium. Roma bossed the opening half and Sampdoria broke the deadlock against the run of play four minutes after the restart when Eder stepped up to fire a free kick just inside Morgan De Sanctis’s near post.

Roma pulled level halfway through the second period when Mohamed Salah, unmarked inside the area, fired Miralem Pjanic’s slide-rule pass into the roof of the net. Five minutes from time Kosta Manolas’s attempt to clear Eder’s drive across goal was comical, the ball splicing into the net.

Roma’s first defeat of the campaign left them in ninth place, seven points behind Inter and one behind AC Milan, who edged Udinese 3-2 on Tuesday.