For Italian soccer fans, the international break was excruciating. The national team had two friendlies (which Arsenal fans would not consider too friendly) and watched to see who else would qualify from Europe. Thankfully, the action from this weekend was exciting enough to make up for the break.
Second Place is a Two Team Race…
AC Milan fired up the offense (while its defense was offensive) in a 4-3 win over Cagliari, but were jumped by Juventus for second in the table with Juventus’ 1-0 win over Udinese. With both clubs playing well, and Sampdoria struggling recently, the race for #2 could be the interesting plot line to watch through the season.
…But Watch Out for Parma
Quietly Parma is fifth in the table, only four points behind Juventus. Its 3-2 dramatic win over Fiorentina, who I had expected to be the dark horse scudetto candidate, moved them ahead of the Viola in the standings. Their next two matches are against Napoli and Genoa, two mid-table clubs that could further cement Parma as a dark horse title contender.
Francesco Totti is AMAZING
Welcome back! After sitting for almost two months with a knee injury, Francesco Totti returned with a bang, scoring a hat trick in the first 30 minutes of Roma’s match with Bari. The fact that he scored so quickly against such a quality defense has to hearten Roma fans, whose club had been sitting perilously close to a bottom 10 finish. Their next match is against relegation candidate Atalanta, followed by a tough stretch of the Roman derby, at Sampdoria, and hosting Parma. But with a healthy Totti, a movement upward is very possible.
Add Two More Managers to the Unemployment Rolls
After their matches this weekend, two clubs in very different positions made managerial changes to try and improve their fortunes. Palermo, who with 17 points in 13 matches could challenge for a European competition, fired Walter Zenga after a draw with woeful Catania and replaced him with ex-Lazio manager Delio Rossi. Rossi steered Lazio to a Coppa Italia victory last year but left due to rumored discontent with ownership. The other change was Siena replacing manager Marco Baroni with Alberto Malesani. He is the club’s third manager, and his goal will be to avoid relegation with the last place club
Robert is a Serie A fan in the United States who is a contributor to this site.