Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)
days
:
hours
:
minutes
:
seconds

Football | Italy

Gonzalo Higuain © Gallo Images

Five things we learned from Serie A



Higuain is back in the hunt, Milan's new Chinese owners can afford to get shirty, and Pescara are "better than Barcelona".

As well as another landmark for Francesco Totti, here are five things we learned from Serie A:

Higuain back in top scorer's race

Gonzalo Higuain's move to Juventus months after hitting a new Serie A record of 36 goals for Napoli meant the Argentina striker was expected to knuckle down and adhere to Massimiliano Allegri's strict team strategy.

Although that meant a comparative lack of goals this season as Juventus chase titles on three fronts, a solid run of form has seen 'Pipita' back in the running for the league's coveted 'Capocannoniere' award.

A brace in a 2-0 win over Chievo last week closed the gap on leaders Edin Dzeko (Roma) and Andrea Belotti (Torino) to three goals. After his second successive double strike in a 2-0 win at Pescara on Saturday, Higuain is now just two behind Dzeko and Belotti, who struck one apiece in respective draws against Atalanta and Crotone.

Chinese take away Zapata shirt

AC Milan's new owners would probably have preferred a victory on their first game at the helm of the Serie A giants, but after a thrilling comeback secured a share of the points in a 2-2 derby draw with Inter, club president Li Yonghong is instead set to return to Hong Kong on Sunday with the coveted shirt of Colombian goalscorer Cristian Zapata.

Zapata hit Milan's second, equalising goal in the seventh minute of added-on time to secure a share of the spoils for the seven-time European champions in a match that saw bitter rivals Inter seconds away from victory in the first 'Chinese-owned' Milan derby.

Milan were purchased by Rossoneri Sport Investement Lux in a multi-million pound deal in midweek and Inter have been owned by the Chinese Suning group since June 2016.

Zeman's Pescara 'better than Barca'

As coach of struggling Pescara, Zdenek Zeman has the unenviable task of saving the Adriatic Coast side from relegation. Although it wasn't helped by a 2-0 defeat to leader Juventus on Saturday, the wily Czech veteran was quick to suggest his side had fared better against the record 32-time champions than five-time European champions Barcelona.

"We were up against a side that has won a lot, not just in Italy but in Europe as well," said Zeman. "So I'm happy. In terms of results, we did better than Barcelona."

Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal last week and face the Spanish league giants in the second leg on Wednesday.

Time for Totti to pull level with Zanetti

It was a three-minute cameo that didn't achieve its objective, but Roma talisman Francesco Totti came off the bench to reach another landmark in his storied career -- pulling level with Inter Milan great Javier Zanetti on 615 Serie A appearances as Roma dropped two points in a 1-1 draw with Atalanta on Saturday.

In what is his 25th and final season with Roma, one-club man Totti had hoped to close in on Silvio Piola's 274-goal record for the most goals scored in Italy's top flight. But under coach Luciano Spalletti these past two seasons, appearances, and goals, have been rare.

Totti, who won his only scudetto with Roma in 2001, is stuck on 250 goals. He is also still 32 games behind Serie A's all-time appearances leader Paolo Maldini (647), as Roma head for their ninth runner-up place since 2001. 

Osvaldo sparked up with Buffon, Prandelli

A former striker with Roma, Inter Milan and Southampton -- and briefly with Italy -- Argentine-born player Dani Pablo Osvaldo's reputation as one of football's bad boys was enhanced when he let slip on his dressing room habits at the weekend.

Except he didn't just incriminate himself. "When I was in the national team we used to smoke in the dressing room with (goalkeeper) Gianluigi Buffon and the coach," Osvaldo told Fox Sport Radio in Argentina. Italy's coach at the time was Cesare Prandelli, who failed to steer the four-time World Cup champions past the first round at Brazil 2014.

Osvaldo, now retired, is notorious. At Southampton, he was fined £40,000 and banned for three matches for his role in a touch-line fracas in a match against Newcastle, and was then suspended by the English club for fighting with teammate Jose Fonte.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
Why foreign referees?
I recently watched the Asia Trophy competition on television. The tournament consisted of four...

Abiye Opuamah
As Lukaku signs for the Red Devils!
Romelu Lukaku finally put pen to paper in a 75-million-pound deal that took him from Everton to...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Wayne Rooney - A Man United great
It was the summer of 2003 and a few weeks after the 2002-03 premier league season ended with...

Segun Odegbami
Why Cameroon must fall
These are not the best of times for Nigerian football and for those in the business in Nigeria.