Intriguing start to the Serie A season
Serie A, Italy’s premier football league, has so far thrown up another interesting affair just three games into the season.
Despite being too early to call the main players in the top four race, Juventus, Lazio and Napoli have all thrown their names in the mix as serious Scudetto contenders, all carrying perfect records into week four.
Juventus have continued their Championship winning form with three victories adding to an amazing unbeaten streak, now standing at forty-two.
While their score-lines show three easy wins, the latest victory away to Genoa was anything but, with the home side dominating a large proportion of the match and creating many chances.
However, Juve’s class is illustrated in their ability to finish at the better end of a two goal margin, despite Genoa at times dominating.
After strong seasons culminating in Europa qualification, Lazio and Napoli have been among, if not, the most impressive outfits in Italy.
In the nation’s capital, Lazio has been led up front by the German veteran, Miroslav Klose, who at 34 years of age does not seem to be slowing him just yet.
Klose’s form has no doubt benefited from the Brazilian skills of Hernanes who has continually improved in his midfield position behind the strikers, not only providing for but burying three goals from three games already.
Meanwhile, up north, the Uruguayan might of Edinson Cavani has continued his status as one of the top Serie A strikers, continuing to dominate opposition defences.
The Naples on-field trio of Cavani, Gökhan Inler and the ever-maturing Marek Hamšík have continued their 2011/12 efforts, providing the Naples faithful a great deal of excitement for the season ahead.
No doubt, the season’s early surprise packet is Sampdoria who have returned to the Serie A following their recent sharp fall from grace, dropping from Champions League qualification in 09/10, to relegation in 10/11.
The Genoan outfit became the first sixth place finishing team in the Serie B to win the play-offs and earn promotion. And seemingly that accomplishment has provided for some confidence in the new Serie A season with a perfect record from three matches, kicked off by an impressive win away to AC Milan.
One of the highly improved outfits for the new season is Fiorentina, who has been led by one of the top players of the season so far in the form of Stevan Jovetic. The Montenegrin talisman has been playing some mesmerising football, standing as the current top goal-scorer (on four) in addition to creating many chances with his precision passing.
The revitalised Inter Milan line-up fielded for the new season has provided a breath of fresh air for many Nerazzuri supporters across the globe, led by the youthful figure of Andrea Stramaccioni.
While their two wins have been against the newly promoted Pescara and Torino, there is much to like about the potential for this team to become a Serie A force once again in the coming seasons.
On the other side of Milan, supporters may not be as positive following the significant loss of talent, leaving the Rossoneri with a team that has so far not performed, despite a three-one win over Bologna from a Giampaolo Pazzini hat-trick.
The recent addition of Nigel De Jong may assist in strengthening the lacklustre midfield however it’s hard to know what to expect from AC for the season ahead.
Watching Roma’s round three match against Bologna, it was great to see the enigmatic figure of Francesco Totti setting the field alight with his ageless skills and prowess.
Totti’s shot outside the box rebounded off the post into the path of Alessandro Florenzi for the first goal, before having two goal bound headers cleared off the line through the game.
However, as if to tell the story of Roma’s past few seasons, they fell apart in the last twenty minutes to allow Bologna to sneak an away win in the nation’s capital from two-nil down. Only a couple weeks after a spirited win against Inter Milan, their inconsistencies do not appear to have faded.
Down the other end of the table, last season’s Serie B Champions, Pescara, have struggled to adapt to the new league following three straight losses. Although it’s still early days for the new boys, they will need to find a way to strengthen their defence, having already conceded nine goals from three games.
Only one point ahead of the Pascarese outfit are last season’s third place finishes, Udinese, who have so far been rather disappointing. Having failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages and sitting on one point from three matches, much improvement is needed from the Bianconeri.
The standard of football has been quite impressive early into the new season and we are all no doubt hoping this can continue in a fashion where these skills and the on-field battles once again form the basis of Italian football’s global image.