Serie A

Serie A Top Five, Round Four: Llorente still scoring, Berardi still starring

Lazio also produce an accomplished display to defeat Parma

 
10:52am on Monday 23rd September 2019
By
Paul Macdonald

It's tight at the top in Italy.

Inter maintained their 100% record by defeating city rivals AC Milan in the derby, while Juve ground out a somewhat fortunate 2-1 win at home to Verona. While Fernando Llorente capped a great week by firing Napoli to victory in Lecce.

Lazio produced a superbly dominant display over Parma in Rome, with midfielder Milinkovic-Savic an absolute colossus in the middle of the pitch. Across every defensive metric he was exemplary, winning 4/4 tackles and 3/4 aerial challenges, as well as seven ball recoveries and four clearances. And it was his lofted pass through that allowed Adam Marusic to seal the win. Will those transfer rumours start up all over again?

The big forward remains an underrated commodity, but Llorente can be more than content with his week. After scoring a clinching goal against Liverpool in the Champions League he was in full-on poacher's mode here. Besides converting to simple chances, he also won the penalty that Lorenzo Insigne converted (at the second time of asking). Napoli have options, and that could be crucial for a sustained title bid.

Berardi is in red-hot form at the moment, scoring twice last week at Roma and three against Sampdoria the week before that, and here he proved the perfect foil to the wily Francesco Caputo. His first assist was so clever, neatly chesting into Caputo's path, while his perseverance allowed Duncan to make it 3-0 in the second half. An-all round intelligent attacker and his form makes him a player to watch.

Caputo was excellent against SPAL, always putting himself in the position to score. His first goal, a cultured finish slotted into the far corner, his second, a superb left-footed strike from Berardi's layoff. He was only denied his hat-trick by hitting the post in the second half and SPAL just couldn't live with him and Berardi.

Liverpool never got to see anywhere near the best of Luis Alberto but he has been excellent for Lazio and against Parma he was superb once again. Alberto recorded his third assist of the season, a glorious through ball that was converted brilliantly by Ciro Immobile and his general threat from wide, both in dribbling and crossing, was impossible for Parma to deal with.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Marcelo Brozovic (8.3) was the standout player in the Milan derby, and has been one of Inter's best players this season. Fabian Ruiz (8.1) and Lorenzo Insigne (8.3) were both excellent in the win over Lecce, the former scoring a superb curling shot.

ROUND TO FORGET

Six of Lecce's performers in the thumping from Napoli scored 5.3 or less. Ouch.

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