Get ready for over two months of pre-bath football in Serie A
With Napoli on the run and the fight for salvation compromised by at least two thirds, it will be the task of individual matches to keep interest high, such as the Lazio-Roma derby next time, or the race to qualify for the next Champions League. At most curiosity for the launch and possible explosion of some hidden future talent
The results of the 26th day of Serie A
Milan-Salernitana 1-1 45′ +1 Giroud, 61′ Dia (L)
Spezia-Inter 2-1 55′ Maldini, 83′ pen. Lukaku (I), 87′ pen. Nzola
Empoli-Udinese 0-1 54' Rodrigo Becao
Napoli-Atalanta 2-0 60' Kvaratskhelia, 77' Rrahmani
Lecce-Turin 0-2 20′ Single, 23′ Sanabria
Cremonese-Fiorentina 0-2 27′ Mandragora, 50′ Cabral
Verona-Monza 1-1 51′ Verdi, 55′ Sensi (M)
Roma-Sassuolo 3-4 13', 18' Laurienté (S), 26' Zalewski, 45' +4 pens. D. Berardi (S), 50′ Dybala, 75′ Pinamonti (S), 94′ Wijnaldum
Juventus-Sampdoria 4-2 11′ Bremer, 26′, 64′ Rabiot, 31′ Augello (L), 32′ Djuričić (S), 94′ Soulé
The Serie A standings after 26 days
Naples 68; Inter 50; Lazio 49; Milan 48; Rome 47; Atalanta 42; Juventus 38 (-15); Turin 37; Bologna 36; Udinese 35; Fiorentina 34; Monza and Sassuolo 33; Empoli 28; Lecce 27; Salerno 26; Spice 24; Verona 19; Cremonese 12; Sampdoria 12
Because Juve won't get the 15 points back despite the hype from the virtual rankings
After the very elusive specter of Napoli which could lose the Scudetto (spoiler: no), the halo of the "new" Serie A standings was staged during the week, as it would be reformulated if Juventus regained their 15 points from the penalty. It goes without saying that the bianconeri would find themselves from the Conference League to the almost certain qualification in the Champions League, and on to scale down the teams that currently precede it. Given that managers and fans would do better to focus on Dušan Vlahović's difficulties and the next away match against Inter, it must however be said that great calmrehabilitation will not happen: the bodies of sports justice already have the additional papers in hand to instruct new trials, so it seems completely illusory to suggest that the discovery of a document - perhaps the only one to favor the Turin club - can erase the seriousness of the crime (other than Calciopoli) and its disciplinary consequences. A note, however: wouldn't it have been better to apply the sanction at the end of the season, letting the eleven run towards the goals that can be reached on the pitch, without altering the championship in the running?
Because Rinus Michels would have liked Theo Hernández, and Guardiola will like him
From Theão of the Scudetto to the all-rounder Theo Hernández. The metamorphosis of the strong AC Milan winger, vice-champion of the starting world, is finding its fulfillment with the three-defensive formation chosen by Stefano Pioli after the first Rossoneri crisis of the season: by identifying two suppliers behind the centre-forward, the French full-back is getting to know new spaces action and could even be thought of as a winger in Ferragni's terms, with the movement of ex-twin Rafael Leão to the right, and Brahim Díaz covering his raids. If this was able to occur in flashes in the London match against Tottenham, the picture took on a more plastic figure during the internal match with Salernitana, when Theo varied along the entire offensive front, gaining twenty meters with each tear and placing himself in the conditions to receive the ball from center forward. How much Dutch total football would have liked someone like this, perhaps the only one to be able to enter the rotations of the stellar Milan at the end of the eighties: other than the messianic shots of Zlatan Ibrahimović as he warms up at forty-one years old to enter the field in 2023. The problem, great calmis that a Theo like this also appears perfect for Pep Guardiola's schemes: one whose desire becomes order, for the huge shopping bag of the Emirates.
Because between now and June 4th the interesting matches will be counted in two hands, and how to get out of them
With the twenty-team tournament, never like this year - in which most of the verdicts have been unveiling for some time - there is the risk of attending more than two months of pre-bathing football. Nor is it prodromal to an exciting European, world or Olympic season, since it is an odd year (fortunately not an emergency). Temperatures will increase, solar time will lengthen the days, prices will decrease friendly they will take viewers away from the experience live: keeping interest high will be the task of individual spots, such as the Lazio-Roma derby until next time, or the shelling of the tussle to enter the next Champions League, the handful of direct clashes for salvation, the curiosity for the launch and the possible explosion of some hidden future talent. And in the drought of the blue tips we find ourselves talking about the uzzolo of coach Roberto Mancini for the Andrea Compagno and Mateo Retegui, economic migrants and great-grandchildren of expats of the past: the proverbial Martian would immediately find the distances unbridgeable with the show and the news from other countries. The objection already hovers: playoffs! Well no, great calm: it would mean stretching the stock even further, postponing the agony of tactical zeros in order not to get hurt for the purposes of the regular classification, concentrating on the form of May or June - with matches every three days, in addition to the European finals - the randomness of a Scudetto. No thanks, they would be a worse patch, without the deforestation of the 16-team Serie A first.
Because there are companies that would like to but can't, or that could but don't want to
If the stasis of the top flight is such that the elevator is blocked, there is also some responsibility for those companies which, despite having a historical, economic, moral and environmental heritage, seem to be content with what they have - saving themselves every year, without particular worries - instead of attempting once the assault on the sky, be it minor Europe or the crossroads of the Italian Cup. If for some worthy realities (Empoli, Lecce, Sassuolo, Spezia) it is already a lot to give continuity to one's presence among the big ones, an index of receipts when they host them, the situation is different for those who have the air of football that counts breathed in other eras. Urbano Cairo's Turin, Joey Saputo's Bologna, Giampaolo Pozzo's Udinese have, or would have, the trappings to try to be the new Atalanta, or if anything an updated version of their past glories: instead - while playing well and churning out champions - they are satisfied with the distant flashes of a cohabitation Conference League. Abroad, just to repeat, it happens every year that a team of that lineage touches or reaches the Champions League area, wins the second national trophy, somehow enters the imagination of the formidable. But also in Italy, great calm, if you want a concrete example: Fiorentina led by Vincenzo Italiano excels only in useless statistics, yes, but is capable of reaching the Capitoline final of the Coccarda and still making its way in the third Europe. Even if never like this year, with the failure of Juventus and the lack of continuity of the others, could it have been possible to be more daring in the championship.
Because talking about the market now is like shooting sad comparisons at the Red Cross
It is inevitable that, in the tired stages of a championship like this, we are already thinking about the next transfer market. Except that everything you read is centrifugal: Denzel Dumfries towards Manchester United, auction between Real Madrid and Paris St.Germain for Erling Haaland - who would have no reason to move, is already at the top and Julián Álvarez is not a threat - and also for Jude Bellingham, Rafael Leão who feels the spring to up the ante, Newcastle who feel for Dušan Vlahović, Mohammed Kudus is hot but certainly not for Serie A, Lautaro Martínez is interested in all of Europe, Bayern Munich is about to put hands over Marcus Thuram, in Naples they are afraid of losing Victor Osimhen before playing for the Champions League with the scudetto sewn… Yes, Italy is cut off from intercontinental trade. And it wasn't even obvious when - just a few years ago - Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku arrived. As if the football of these parts had only the task of first skimming, sifting and degreasing: however great calm, do you want to put how much satisfaction it gives to discover the next Dybala in Serie B? Maybe a Caso (fortissimo), a Moro, a Gelli, so typically Italian.
The matches of the next day of Serie A, the 27th
Sassuolo-Spezia Friday 17 March at 18.30
Atalanta-Empoli Friday 17 March at 20.45
Monza-Cremonese Saturday 18 March at 3pm
Salernitana-Bologna Saturday 18 March at 18
Udinese-Milan Saturday 18 March at 20.45
Sampdoria-Verona Sunday 19 March at 12.30
Fiorentina-Lecce Sunday 19 March at 3pm
Turin-Naples Sunday 19 March at 3pm
Lazio-Rome Sunday 19 March at 6pm
Inter-Juventus Sunday 19 March at 8.45pm