TEN THINGS WE LEARNED from latest round of Serie A action

Lautaro Martinez deserves a lifetime contract at Inter Milan, West Ham made a huge MISTAKE in letting Gianluca Scamacca go and Luka Jovic would struggle in Serie B… TEN THINGS WE LEARNED from Serie A

  • Inter and Juventus continued their excellent recent form with victories 
  • AC Milan suffered defeat to Udinese – who picked up their first win this season 
  • Chris Sutton: ‘How my son nearly died’ – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off podcast

Another dramatic weekend of Serie A action has thrown up yet more talking points.

Inter Milan continue to lead the pack, as last season’s Champions League finalists picked up a massive 2-1 victory away at Atalanta.

A resurgent Juventus are keeping them in their sights and have now won five out of their last six outings.

However, there was disappointment for AC Milan who suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Udinese – who picked up their first win of the season at the 11th time of trying.

Mail Sport’s Alvise Cagnazzo talks us through ten things we learned from the latest round of fixtures.  

Inter Milan maintained a two point lead at the top of the table with a 2-1 win away at Atalanta


Across the first 11 games of the season, Lautaro Martinez has 12 goals and one assist to his name.

He is an unstoppable goal machine, who always manages to score and positively resolve the outcome of the game. 

His contribution against Atalanta was fundamental and despite Inter playing one of their least beautiful games of the season, he managed to score an extraordinary goal –  a shot that only Alessandro Del Piero could do.

He grew in the second-half when Inter began to suffer from tiredness. He fought like a lion, a true captain who chases and shouts at his opponents until the referee blows the whistle to end the match – guaranteeing Inter another week at the top of the table.    

With Martinez still scoring, Inter achieved their fifth straight away win and once again raised the question of a contract extension. 

The Argentine striker deserves a lifetime deal with Inter and CEO Beppe Marotta, despite the usual cautious phrases, would do well to have the Serie A top scorer sign the new contract immediately. 

He works with great discipline for around 60 minutes running in attack, making movements and plays without ever managing to make himself dangerous but at the right time, like a cobra, he bites his opponents and secures the three vital points for Inter. 

Lautaro Martinez has scored 12 goals in Inter Milan’s opening 11 Serie A games this season 


Juventus had just 31 per cent possession, 150 passes fewer than the opposition, only two shots on target, but three golden points against Fiorentina.

The spoils achieved by Juventus in the last month are astonishing and the credit goes to their silent heroes Fabio Miretti and Daniele Rugani. 

During the summer transfer window they were both close to leaving Juventus but today they are courageous protagonists in the team that is recording their best start in Serie A in the last three years.   

Miretti scored his first goal in Serie A after 57 games during the 1-0 victory against Fiorentina – the same opponent Claudio Marchisio scored for the first time – an encouraging statistic that raises the young midfielder’s valuation. 

Fabio Miretti (left) celebrates with Moise Kean after netting his first goal for Juventus

Miretti seems to have a magnet inside his shoes and plays with superior technique compared to Adrien Rabiot and Manuel Locatelli. Rugani, on the other hand, continues his rise in the heart of the defence and also due to Danilo’s injury, he is proving to deserve a contract extension until June 2027. 

Massimiliano Allegri is a big Rugani fan and now a sensational change in defensive hierarchies cannot be ruled out even after Alex Sandro and Danilo return. 

Juventus’ sixth clean sheet demonstrates how Allegri managed to transform the defence into an insurmountable fortress, lowering the line of midfielders and establishing a five-man defence in moments of difficulty. 

Rugani’s match was perfect and allowed the whole team to play with greater serenity, dealing with 100 per cent of the crosses from Fiorentina players.

Miretti and Daniele Rugani (right) are Juventus’ silent heroes in an impressive start this season


Giacomo Raspadori is probably the least appreciated player in Napoli’s attack but so far he has certainly been the most important.

He is the player who fights and runs, scoring beautiful and technical goals. He has scored three goals in 11 games, as well as making three assists.

This has allowed Aurelio De Laurentiis’ club to overcome yet another difficult moment of the season by winning the derby against Salernitana. 

Without Victor Osimhen – still in Nigeria recovering from injury – Rudi Garcia never had any doubts in preferring the former Sassuolo star to Giovanni Simeone. A wise choice that underlines how the French coach prefers to have a fast and dynamic attack.

Without Guillermo Ochoa’s presence, Raspadori probably would have scored two goals but a great performance from the Mexican goalkeeper meant the 23-year-old  only had one goal to his name.

A Napoli striker, for the first time since May 2019 in the Serie A, has scored three consecutive times and confirms himself as a security for the team which has found a great balance in attack despite Osimhen’s absence. 

In the future, given the tactical tweaks Garcia is working on, Raspadori could find more and more space. In the 4-2-3-1 there would be space to insert him behind Osimhen, significantly increasing the danger Napoli’s attack possesses. 

Giacomo Raspadori (left)  has been Napoli’s most important attacker so far this season 


Gianluca Scamacca has become a central pivot at Atalanta, and already looks far better than he ever did at West Ham. 

Thanks to the excellent performance of Inter’s defence he received very few balls but on the first shot inside the penalty area he scored past Yann Sommer and rekindled Atalanta’s hopes. 

It was not his best game in Serie A but it certainly shows that he can be a better player than Duvan Zapata for Gian Piero Gasperini’s team. 

West Ham may have many regrets for letting him go because Scamacca will become one of the three best Italian strikers in the space of a few months and will probably soon be a protagonist with the Italian national team. 

When he holds the ball up he resembles David Trezeguet, but unlike the former French centre forward, he still doesn’t have a great feeling with the goal despite his statistical numbers clearly improving.

He only received one playable ball in the whole match and managed to turn it into a goal, his fifth of the season. The return to Italy allowed him to recover enthusiasm and self-esteem – the Gasperini treatment has definitely improved him. 

With coach Alessio Dionisi of Sassuolo he had the opportunity to show off and enjoy his brief experience in the Premier League while with Gasperini, who strongly wanted him at Atalanta, he finally has matured tactically and psychologically.

His failure at West Ham is now just a distant memory and Scamacca can finally work to become the best Italian number nine in Serie A.

Gianluca Scamacca is maturing tactically and psychologically under Gian Piero Gasperini 


Goals from Sardar Azmoun and Romelu Lukaku saved Roma a few seconds before the final whistle and finally made Jose Mourinho smile. 

Until the 90th minute the Giallorossi team was one goal down against Lecce but the great quality of their attack managed to overturn the final result of a difficult match in 120 seconds. 

For the Iranian, it was his first goal in Serie A after a long phase of adaptation to Italian football, with many small injuries which delayed his inclusion in Mourinho’s tactical plans. 

He entered the game and scored with a header, in an exceptional acrobatic action, which extinguished Lecce’s enthusiasm and ignited the Stadio Olimpico’s passion. 

The decisive goal was scored by Lukaku who, after missing the penalty kick in the first half, managed to fire past goalkeeper Vladimiro Falcone a few seconds from the end of the most difficult match of the season for Giallorossi. 

Lukaku now has six goals in the Serie A, and nine overall, which is a very interesting haul that demonstrates his complete physical and psychological recovery after the troubled season he spent at Inter. 

The Roma trident formed by Paulo Dybala, Azmoun and Lukaku could provide a lot of satisfaction in the future and Mourinho could decide to field all three of his jewels together. Now the Portuguese coach’s goal is to relaunch the ambitions of a team that has only collected 17 points to date.

Roma scored two goals in stoppage time to come from behind to beat Lecce (Romelu Lukaku pictured celebrating with his shirt off after scoring the 94th minute winner)


Hakan Calhanoglu reached the record for goals scored in Serie A by a Turkish player with his penalty against Atalanta. 

The Turkish star, as the Serie A statistics remind us, has reached the historic milestone of Sukru Gulesin, who between 1950 and 1953 scored 36 goals in the Italian championship playing for Lazio and Palermo. 

Calhanoglu’s match against Atalanta was perfect, so much so that he completely overshadowed his opposite number Teun Koopmeiners. 

He is the team’s true playmaker and his excellent performances have already made the fans forget Marcelo Brozovic, who made the switch to Saudi Arabia. 

Atalanta would have liked to cage him but Calhanoglu, like an expert locksmith, prised open their defence time and again.

Since the 2017-18 season, Calhanoglu has scored 10 out of 10 penalties in Serie A, confirming himself as the man for the job from the spot.

Hakan Calhanoglu (left) has now scored the most goals for a Turkish player in Serie A history 


Udinese’s historic victory against Milan at the San Siro was in big part thanks to Marco Silvestri. The goalkeeper was miraculous in at least three interventions, giving Udinese an exceptional result. 

Among all the goalkeepers of the smaller Italian teams, Silvestri undoubtedly represents a luxury because he deserves to be able to play in a top club.

At 32 years old, after achieving great spells with Leeds and Verona, Silvestri became Udinese’s number one because he preferred to continue being a starting goalkeeper and not a second choice in a top Italian club. 

He continues to show incredible reactions, which consistently save his team.

After 11 games, Udinese finally achieved their first victory in the Italian championship, demonstrating that they deserve to stay in Serie A. 

Without Silvestri, the team would most likely not have been able to obtain this historic result which relaunches the team’s ambitions after the shock start to the season. 

Perhaps he has exhausted all the possibilities to make the big leap as a starter in a big team but his excellent performances in Serie A can offer him unexpected possibilities, even abroad.

Udinese’s first win of the season was in big part thanks to keeper Marco Silvestri’s heroics


At 22 Luka Jovic should have dominated the world. Real Madrid decided to buy him from Eintracht Frankfurt, a club where he had scored 25 goals in 54 games, with the hope of being the heir to Karim Benzema. 

After four years Luka Jovic – now 25 – is performing like a mediocre player who continues to play in a top club without knowing the reasons. 

His match against Udinese, a team that had not won a game in the Serie A this season, was disconcerting. Jovic did everything wrong, he was never dangerous in the penalty area and forced AC Milan to change their tactical formation, switching to a 4-4-2 formation in order to have more space. 

Jovic was only there in heart, without bothering to do anything or help anyone. He was slow and predictable and was managed with great skill by the Udinese defence.   

Jovic appears to be in physical difficulty and it’s as if he has forgotten how to play football. At this moment Jovic would struggle to play in Serie B clubs, he has many physical and character problems and seems to have lost confidence in himself. 

His future is already sealed and perhaps already in January 2024 Milan could decide to let him leave and replace him with a new striker.

AC Milan could decide to let struggling Luka Jovic (left) leave the club in January 


Throughout the match Chukwubuikem Ikwuemesi is seen very little, he plays hide and seek and it is not known why coach Filippo Inzaghi prefers to deploy the Nigerian in the heart of the attack, in front of Boulaye Dia.  

Against Napoli, Inzaghi took him out of the field through desperation during the second-half – with no shot or any noteworthy action to his name.

With the number 22 on the pitch, Salernitana plays with 10 men. Signed from Cejie in Slovenia, Ikwuemesi was never a great centre-forward, scoring 10 goals in 32 appearances for his last club. 

His physique is explosive but his technique and tactical intelligence are mediocre for the Serie A stage. 

In his debut season in Italy he has so far played seven games without scoring any goals or making any assists. He is often the eleventh player on the pitch but no one, from his team-mates to the fans, seems to notice. 

Erik Botheim is clearly superior to the Nigerian, both tactically and technically, but his physical problems have limited his rise. 

Inzaghi’s choices at the moment seem to be oriented towards offering trust to Ikwuemesi but the forward is wasting his opportunities. 

Chukwubuikem Ikwuemesi was taken off at the weekend with no shot or noteworthy action to his name


Pontus Almqvist is the latest pleasant discovery by Pantaleo Corvino. The Lecce sporting director managed to acquire one of the best wingers of this first part of the season in Serie A on loan with the right to buy.   

Until 2022, Almqvist was an underrated player for Utrecht, a Dutch team that 12 months ago decided to let the Swede join Polish side Pogon Szczecin on loan – confirming the Dutch club’s mistrust in him.   

Today, Almqvist has instead become an irreplaceable player in coach Roberto D’Aversa’s tactical scheme, demonstrating how Italian football is still capable of finding and discovering excellent players without spending a lot of money. 

His dribbles kept the entire Roma defence in apprehension and he bagged a goal during their late 2-1 defeat. 

Almqvist proves to be a perfect player for a team playing on the counter-attack which is why he has started so well at Lecce.

Pontus Almqvist (pictured celebrating) is the latest pleasant discovery by Pantaleo Corvino

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