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Talking points as Inter, Milan win on Matchday One of Serie A

Napoli wins, Juventus held by Udinese

The Italian Serie A returned for Matchday One of the 2021/22 season with all of its drama on August 21st. During the off-season, there were lots of movements from the clubs, with 6 clubs changing their managers including AS Roma, Lazio, Juventus, Inter Milan and Napoli, among others.

Scudetto winners from 2020/21, Inter Milan started the season with a deserved 4-0 win over Genoa at the San Siro, Sassuolo defeated Verona 3-2, Lazio defeated Empoli 3-1, and Atalanta beat Torino 2-1. On Sunday, Juventus was held to a 2-2 draw by Udinese, Roma defeated Fiorentina 3-1, Napoli beat Venezia 2-0 and Bologna beat Salernitana 3-2. On Monday, AC Milan defeated Sampdoria 1-0, and Cagliari was held to a 2-2 draw by Spezia to round up Matchday One of Serie A 2021/22.

Here is a recap of some of the talking points from Round 1 of the Serie A;
1. Champions lay down marker: Inter Milan delivered a performance of champions as they romped to a 4-0 success over a hapless Genoa side on the return of a packed San Siro, with debutants Edin Dzeko and Hakan Calhanoglu proving to be good fits for the side under new manager Simone Inzaghi. Goals from Milan Skriniar, Calhanoglu, Arturo Vidal and Dzeko sealed the win for the Nerrazurri in spite of their depleted squad after the sales of Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi, and the suspension of Lautaro Martinez.

2. Juventus struggles not over: Last season saw Juventus relinquish their crown in the Serie A after a nine-year stranglehold and even the reappointment of Max Allegri could not inspire them to a win on opening day over a determined Udinese side that came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2. Cristiano Ronaldo thought he had given his side all three points in second half added time after he scored a header, but the goal was chalked off due to an offside call.

3. Mourinho becomes fastest coach ever to reach 50 wins: Jose Mourinho led AS Roma to a convincing 3-1 win over Fiorentina on his first game in charge of the Serie A side, making him the fastest manager to reach 50 wins in the league after his previous spell at Inter Milan ten years ago. It took the Portuguese only 77 matches to reach the landmark. He is also the fastest to reach 50 wins in the English Premier League (63 matches) and Spanish La Liga (62 matches).

4. Red cards galore: There were seven red cards issued to players on the opening weekend of the season. Miguel Veloso got sent off for Verona, Stefan Strandberg was sent off for Salernitana, Roberto Soriano and Jerdy Schouten were sent off for Bologna, Victor Osimhen was sent off for Napoli. Bartlomej Dragowski got sent off for Fiorentina, and Nicolo Zaniolo was sent off for AS Roma.

5. New coaches start with good results: The newly-appointed coached of the Serie A sides got off to good starts with Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio, Mourinho’s AS Roma, Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli, and Inzaghi’s Inter all picking up three points, and Allegri picking up a point on his side’s trip to Udinese.

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