(Reuters) - Talking-points from the Serie A weekend:
NAPOLI IN DEVASTATING FORM BUT GATTUSO NOT HAPPY
Napoli made it two wins from two Serie A games this season with their 6-0 rout of Genoa yet coach Gennaro Gattuso was not entirely satisfied. The famously combative coach is not one to allow his players to get carried away and his verdict was typically pithy.
“The result is deceptive,” he said, remembering that his team were only 1-0 ahead at halftime.
“If we hadn’t scored at the beginning of the second half, I would surely have brought on another midfielder. We suffered a bit in the first half, even though we created chances. We need to improve.”
THE ‘NEXT ATALANTA’ IN IMPRESSIVE FORM
While Atalanta began the new campaign in typically exuberant style with a 4-2 win at Torino, the team seen as most likely to emulate their rise to the top were also in impressive form.
Sassuolo, often branded the “next Atalanta”, thumped promoted Spezia 4-1 away while forward Francesco Caputo also had three goals ruled off for offside following VAR reviews.
Sassuolo finished eighth last season and scored an impressive 69 goals and coach Roberto De Zerbi said he was aiming higher this term.
“This is the philosophy of the club and myself,” he said. “We try to put this into practice, sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don’t.
“Now we have to raise the bar, score more goals and concede fewer. We must aspire to something more without fear, with peace of mind and ambition. We want to be protagonists in this championship”.
However, with bigger clubs eyeing some of their top players such as forward Jeremie Boga and left back Rogerio, their prospects will only be clear once the transfer window ends on Oct. 5.
JUVENTUS EVEN HAPPIER THAN LAST SEASON
One of the recurring themes in interviews with Juventus players is that they are enjoying their football more under new coach Andrea Pirlo than his predecessor Maurizio Sarri.
"The team has improved, I see us happier and we work hard with a smile," said Cristiano Ronaldo after the 2-2 draw at AS Roma, following the same line.
Yet, last season, the players were heaping similar plaudits on Sarri.
“It’s more fun,” said Paulo Dybala at one point. “We have more of the ball and we create more chances. It allows you to take risks and do something different.”
Despite Juve winning a ninth successive title, Sarri was sacked after one season amid complaints that the players did not understand his tactics.
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge
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