Behind Naples, the dashing undefeated leader of Serie A after fifteen days, the competition is struggling to keep pace, like AC Milan, the dolphin who suffered on Sunday to dominate Fiorentina (2-1) while Juve lost continued its recovery against Lazio (3-0).
In this race behind Napoli, the good operation of the evening goes to Juventus who outclassed Lazio Rome with a brace from Moise Kean (43, 54) and a goal from Arkadiusz Milik (89) in the final shock of the year 2022 in Italy before nearly two months of break due to the World Cup. Second before this day, the club of the capital is now relegated to the foot of the podium.
The Neapolitans will be the team to beat in 2023. But they will be able to continue dreaming, on their comfortable mattress, of a first scudetto since the Maradona era, more than thirty years ago (1987, 1990).
Winners of eighteen of the twenty-one matches played this season (for two draws and one defeat), between the championship and the Champions League, the players from Campania have not experienced any downtime.
Luciano Spalletti, for his second season at the foot of Vesuvius, has put together a playful and compact team, turning the page after the departure of managers Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Kalidou Koulibaly.
Naples relies on its fiery attack (37 league goals), relying on the power Victor Osimhen (top scorer with nine goals) but also the enthusiasm of summer recruits: the Georgian sensation Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (6 goals), already adored by the Diego Maradona stadium, the Italian Giacomo Raspadori and the Spaniard Giovanni Simeone.
– the “best Naples” –
The club’s president, film producer Aurelio De Laurentiis, who bought a bankrupt club vegetating in the lower divisions almost twenty years ago, hailed his “best Napoli” on Saturday after an eleventh consecutive success.
Spalletti must now know how to manage the break with, upon resumption, a shock on January 4 against Inter Milan.
After a checkered start in Serie A, the Nerazzurri are doing better. They regained their footing in the Top 4 on Sunday by winning at Atalanta Bergamo (3-2).
“Naples is strong, it has shown that it is playing very well, not only in the league but also in the Champions League”, underlined on DAZN Edin Dzeko who, in two strokes (36th, 56th), handed over the Interists in the saddle after the opening of the Bergamo score.
“But the championship is still long. We will rest and then we will think of Naples,” he added.
Giving up is not the style of Stefano Pioli’s Milan either: the Rossoneri have as often made the difference with their never-extinguished “grinta” to snatch victory in added time against a good Fiorentina.
– Dybala played again –
Olivier Giroud, passer on the opening of the rapid score of Rafael Leao (2nd), this time did not score. Milan had to rely on the involuntary help of the Viola defense (an own goal from Nikola Milenkovic after an error of judgment by goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano) to win the piece (90 + 2nd).
Atalanta (6th), which had long been the only one to resist Naples by remaining undefeated until the tenth day, marked time with four defeats in the last five matches.
Roma (7th) is no better: it was still hung at home, by Torino (1-1), despite the return of Paulo Dybala. The Argentinian played twenty-five minutes, after more than a month of absence (thigh), before flying to Qatar.
He had the merit of waking up an amorphous and led Roma from the 55th minute. He first obtained a penalty, missed by his teammate Andrea Belotti (90 + 2nd) before bringing the equalizer in extremis thanks to a shot on the bar taken victoriously by Nemanja Matic (90 + 4th).
“We are a limited team. When Paulo does not play, it is very different for us”, observed José Mourinho, excluded at the end of the meeting and who will therefore be suspended when the big battle for the League of Nations resumes in January. champions with six teams united in six points behind the Neapolitan leader.
Italy: behind dashing Naples, struggling AC Milan, Juve shines