For those who spent Saturday and Sunday away from the television and internet, or were too busy watching the Manchester Derby, here are some lessons we have learned (or in some cases relearned) from this past weekend’s Serie A action:
Gianluigi Buffon is the key for a Juve scudetto: Although he has some mileage between his numerous Serie A and international matches, and the Juventus attack is quite good, the 2-0 Juventus win over Livorno shows that Buffon still dominates matches for his team. Nice goals by Iaquinta and Marchisio were overshadowed by some great saves by Buffon, stoning Lucarelli and Tavano on his way to 8 saves and a clean sheet. No one ever doubts his ability, and no one should doubt that Buffon can singlehandedly carry his team atop the standings if plays like he did against Livorno.
Roma will be near the top of the standings in the near future: I thought Fioretina was a possible dark horse contender for the scudetto, and they still are, but I was impressed by a reinvigorated Roma side in this match. I knew a team with Totti and de Rossi were not in danger of relegation, but their early results were less than…. inspiring. With their next three matches against Palermo, Catania, and Napoli, Roma could be looking to pass Milan when they face each other 18 October.
Bari will be a factor in the race for the scudetto: Honestly, Atalanta has a very good chance of being relegated, and a 4-1 win by Bari should not be too surprising. But the Gilletti began the season with a draw at Inter, have six points on the season, and currently sit in 8th in the standings. It is crazy to expect recently promoted Bari to compete for a title, but acquisitions such as Donati (among others), new ownership and a good keeper in Gillet will allow Bari to pick up three points against a top flight contender at least once at some point this season.
Sampdoria can still beat teams it should: Listen Sampdoria fans – this win over Sienna does not prove that you are a top-flight club. Your next three matches (at Fiorentina, v. Inter and v. Parma) will do that. But it is the sign of a quality club that you can beat teams you should beat, and Sampdoria has done just that.
Francesco Guidolin had the best weekend of any manager: Guidolin’s current side (Parma) handed his former side (Palermo) a 1-0 defeat on Sunday in a closely fought contest. Guidolin was previously the manager of Palermo three times, including during the infamous Sicilian derby riot of February 2007.
Diego is good, Cagliari is not: