Serie A | Napoli 4-0 Lazio: Mertens magic on Maradona’s night

Dries Mertens scored two magnificent goals on the day Napoli remembered Diego Armando Maradona and tore Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio apart to go clear at the top of the table.

It was a very special night at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, as a year on from his death, a life-size statue of the iconic player was unveiled in this arena. Maurizio Sarri also returned for the first time since it was renamed, his Lazio missing Adam Marusic. Victor Osimhen was ruled out for three months by multiple facial fractures, with Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa and Adam Ounas injured, plus Matteo Politano with COVID.

It was the perfect start for the hosts, as Danilo Cataldi failed to clear a Hirving Lozano pass, so Piotr Zielinski absolutely smashed home the rebound with ferocity.

Liveblog: Serie A Wk14 Super Sunday

Moments later it was 2-0 with a goal created in the kind of style that typified Sarri’s Napoli. Fabian Ruiz floated a ball over the top, Insigne laid it off for Mertens, who with a dummy sent his defender to ground and curled into the far top corner from 12 yards.

Ciro Immobile tested David Ospina at the near post with an angled drive, while Pepe Reina was ready for Lozano at the back post on a trademark Insigne pass.

Ospina flew for a sensational one-handed save to deny Luis Alberto a stunning volley from the edge of the box. On the resulting corner, Francesco Acerbi’s free header bounced off the crossbar.

Instead, Napoli made it 3-0 as Lozano laid it off to the edge of the area, where Mertens swung the right boot first time to loop it over Reina into the far top corner. It was simply unstoppable.

Elseid Hysaj charged down a Lozano volley on Mertens assist, while Reina flew to palm away the Mario Rui curler, but Napoli had done everything they needed to and largely just controlled the second half.

There was another twist to come, as Fabian Ruiz unleashed a ferocious left-foot strike from outside the area that bent into the far bottom corner past Reina’s fingertips.

Napoli 4-0 Lazio

Zielinski 7 (N), Mertens 10, 29 (N), Fabian Ruiz 85 (N)

Serie A | Milan 1-3 Sassuolo: Scamacca stuns Rossoneri

Milan fell to their second consecutive Serie A defeat, as Alessio Romagnoli scored and was sent off, as Gianluca Scamacca gave Sassuolo a shock victory at San Siro.

The Rossoneri had a mixed week, suffering their first Serie A defeat of the season, yet winning away to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. Olivier Giroud joined Fikayo Tomori, Davide Calabria, Samu Castillejo and Ante Rebic on the treatment table, but Mike Maignan made his comeback in goal way ahead of schedule, having originally been ruled out for three months after wrist surgery on October 12.

Sassuolo had Davide Frattesi available after winning an appeal against his ban, though Jeremie Boga and Filip Djuricic were injured.

Liveblog: Serie A Wk14 Super Sunday

Milan took the lead when a short corner was taken for Theo Hernandez, finding the smart Alessio Romagnoli header at the near post to surprise Andrea Consigli.

It lasted just three minutes before Gianluca Scamacca surged forward and unleashed a screamer from distance that flew into the far top corner, giving the returning Maignan no chance.

Sassuolo penalty appeals were rejected for Brahim Diaz handball, as his arm was flush to the torso.

The visitors turned the game around completely from another corner, as it was only cleared as far as Scamacca, whose shot was parried by Maignan’s leg, but only to ricochet off Simon Kjaer and back into the net from a couple of yards.

They almost capitulated completely, Maignan getting to a Giacomo Raspadori angled drive and Scamacca nodding wide.

Milan’s midfield was providing no protection, so Franck Kessie and Junior Messias were introduced at half-time.

Rafael Leao, Alexis Saelemaekers and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had hopeful efforts off target, but they were rarely threatening.

Instead, Sassuolo extended their lead when Kessie and Sandro Tonali failed to clear, Berardi sent Romagnoli to ground with a dummy and nutmegged Maignan from a tight angle.

Kjaer’s header skimmed the far post and Theo Hernandez was fortunate to avoid a second yellow card for a row with Frattesi.

Junior Messias saw his angled drive beaten away at the near post for a corner, but it went from bad to worse with Romagnoli shown a straight red card for his rugby tackle on Gregoire Defrel on the edge of the box, after being skinned for pace.

Maignan parried a Berardi free kick to keep the scoreline down.

Milan 1-3 Sassuolo

Romagnoli 21 (M), Scamacca 24 (S), Kjaer og 33 (S), Berardi 66 (S)

Sent off: Romagnoli 76 (M)

Seven most-wanted Serie A items in Sunday’s Fanatics sale

Fanatics have up to 65% off on Serie A shirts and merchandise on Sunday November 28 with code WHEEL – here Football Italia picks out seven of the items we think football fans might want the most.

Code WHEEL can be applied at checkout to receive discount and only applies on Sunday November 28. Some exceptions may occur.

There’s distinct Netherlands vibes from this Roma training top but that’s a point in its favour – the bright orange colour is complimented by black detailing that makes the top stand out more, not less.

Training can be a bit of a chore as the winter nights draw in and the temperature plummets so any chance to brighten things up is worth taking – and your teammates will definitely spot you for a pass in this top.

Inter tend to play it straight with their home and away shirts – home is variations of black and blue stripes, away tends to be white with touches of blue and black. This season’s home and away shirts at least include the biscione – the snake associated with the city of Milan – but that’s a rare flourish.

So it’s the third shirt where Inter’s colours come to life, and that’s particularly the case in 2021-22. A dark shirt with bright colours across the mid-riff and a badge that’s almost fluorescent, there’s a real vibrancy to the Inter third shirt this season.

Use code WHEEL at checkout for a discount – only on Sunday November 28

Following a football team across Europe can be a thankless task. It’s expensive, the kick-off times are inconvenient and good results are far from a guarantee. The least a fan can ask is that they are protected from the elements.

This Juventus training jacket fulfils that brief and looks sharp in doing so. It’s water-repellent so any passing showers will be fought off like Giorgio Chiellini stopping an opposition counter-attack, and is light enough to be worn for training sessions that get caught in a downpour.

Serie A is home to some iconic shirts but perhaps none more iconic than the purple of Fiorentina. For a generation of fans of Italian football, the Viola is practically the definition of Serie A, when it was worn by Gabriel Batistuta, Manuel Rui Costa and Angelo Di Livio.

Some of the current crop of Fiorentina players are doing their best to live up to the greats that came before them – Dusan Vlahovic, take a bow – but whoever wears the colours of the Florence club, the colours themselves are part of the appeal of Serie A.

Use code WHEEL at checkout for a discount – only on Sunday November 28

Zlatan Ibrahimovic needs no introduction. A multi-time Scudetto winner, one of the greatest goalscorers in Serie A’s last 20 years and still leading the Milan line at 40, Ibra is an icon.

He knows it as well – but unlike some stars, Ibrahimovic wears his reputation well. He plays into the Zlatan brand with a forthright confidence and, occasionally, a knowing wink at how ridiculous it all is. Most importantly, he delivers on the pitch. Milan’s No 11 is one of the Rossoneri’s all-time greats.

How to make sure your children support the same team you do is a conundrum faced by every football-loving parents – and it’s even worse when your team is just one of two or more in a city. The answer? Win their loyalty as early as possible.

With that in mind, this Roma home infant kit is more of a long-term investment for Giallorossi fans. The same logic applies to fans of any team that have to share their city with their rivals – get them on board as quickly as you can with a replica kit.

There’s a time and a place to wear a football shirt – and that is mostly during a match, on the pitch, in the stadium or watching on television. Football shirts are generally not acceptable everyday attire – but supporting a team is about more than the 90 minutes from first whistle to last.

So club-branded attire that isn’t a football shirt is the way to go, such as this Inter hoodie. It’s in classic Nerazzurri colours – black and blue, with a hint of gold – and will be warm and comfortable all year round, and an ideal way to support your team without committing a fashion faux pas.

Use code WHEEL at checkout for a discount – only on Sunday November 28

This article contains affiliate links from which Football Italia may earn a commission.

Big discounts on Juventus, Milan, Roma and Inter items in the Fanatics sale

Fanatics have up to 65% off only on Sunday November 28 and there are big discounts to be had on Serie A shirts and merchandise, including from Juventus, Milan and Inter, with code WHEEL.

Juventus’ official anthem jacket can be had for £50, down from the regular price of £74.95, by using code WHEEL at checkout, while a Roma Elite home shirt from the 2021-22 season falls to £63.65 by using the same code. Items from Fiorentina are also part of the sale with code WHEEL.

Training gear and apparel from Juve, Milan, Inter, Roma and Fiorentina can all be had with a significant discount too. Some exclusions may apply.

Code WHEEL can’t be used in conjunction with any other offers but there are great bargains to be had across the site, including a Juventus 2021-22 home shirt – ordinarily priced at £69.95 – dropping to a little over £40.

Time is of the essence to grab a Serie A bargain from Fanatics as code WHEEL only applies on Sunday November 28.

This article contains affiliate links from which Football Italia may receive a commission.

Report: Thieves broke into Vidal’s home and stole €400,000 Mercedes

Inter midfielder Arturo Vidal’s home was reportedly broken into during the Milan derby and his Mercedes worth €400,000 was stolen.

La Provincia di Como reports thieves broke into the Chilean’s villa on the night of the Milan derby on November 7.

The Nerazzurri midfielder lives in Villaggio del Sole on the residential hill of San Fermo, in the Como area.

The newspaper reports the burglars stole gold and jewels and left in a Mercedes worth €400,000.

epa09299844 Chile's Arturo Vidal warms up prior to the Copa America soccer match between Chile and Paraguay at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, 24 June 2021. EPA-EFE/Fernando Bizerra Jr

Report: Brozovic set to sign a four-year extension with Inter

Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic is reportedly on the verge of extending his contract and commit to the Nerazzurri for another four years.

The Croatian has been linked with a move away from the club in recent months, with reports of interest from the English Premier League.

But Tuttosport claims the 29-year-old, who arrived at the club in January 2015, is close to penning a new deal at San Siro.

The newspaper reports the club is optimistic about the negotiations with the defensive midfielder and expects to sign a four-year extension with the player.

Brozovic will be given a salary worth between €5.5m to €6m plus bonuses, according to Tuttosport.

In the coming days, the two parties are expected to complete the operation and announce their future together at the Pinetina.

Brozovic, who arrived from Dinamo Zagreb, has played 260 competitive games with Inter and is capped 70 times by the Croatian national team.

Nicolo Barella and Marcelo Brozovic

Serie A Highlights: Venezia 0-2 Inter

Watch as Inter pick up all three points in Venezia thanks to Hakan Calhanoglu and a harsh Lautaro Martinez penalty, but Samir Handanovic needed a great save too.

Calhanoglu unleashed a powerful effort from outside the box that bounced right in front of Sergio Romero to put the goalkeeper off.

Serie A | Venezia 0-2 Inter: Nerazzurri sail on

Mattia Aramu almost surprised Handanovic from distance, forcing a fingertip save, while Ridgeciano Haps performed a goal-line clearance on Milan Skriniar’s header.

Deep into stoppages, Haps was harshly penalised for handball.

Lautaro Martinez: ‘I hope to be Inter symbol in future’

Lautaro Martinez celebrates his return to converting a penalty in the 2-0 win away to Venezia. ‘I hope to be the symbol of Inter in the future.’

The Argentina international sealed the scoreline in stoppages at the Stadio Penzo after a Hakan Calhanoglu strike from the edge of the box.

“We have positive sensations, this was a tough game, it was raining and my first time in this stadium,” Lautaro Martinez told Sky Sport Italia.

Serie A | Venezia 0-2 Inter: Nerazzurri sail on

“We’re pleased to get the three points and it is very important that we keep pushing our way up the table, finding consistency in our results.”

It has been a remarkable week for Inter, who beat Serie A leaders Napoli, secured their spot in the Champions League Round of 16 after a decade away and then got this win in Venezia.

“We’ve got to continue like this. We have to take it one step at a time, because after many years we’re progressing in the Champions League despite a rough start. Now we’re finding the maturity and patience in every game.”

This was his return to converting a penalty after seeing it saved in the Milan Derby and he sent Sergio Romero the wrong way.

“It’s normal, when you make a mistake, it hurts, but these things happen. You only miss penalties if you are prepared to take them.”

Lautaro Martinez recently signed a new contract with Inter and was asked if he wants to be the club symbol going forward.

“I hope to be the symbol of Inter in future. I arrived here in 2018, I give everything for this jersey, we have the Scudetto symbol on the chest now and must continue to defend it.”

Inzaghi: ‘People thought it was a transitional Inter season’

Simone Inzaghi acknowledges Inter are ‘in a good period of form’ after beating Venezia and shrugs off those who thought this would be ‘a transitional season’ just trying to stay afloat.

The Nerazzurri were remarkably solid, taking the lead after long periods of possession with a Hakan Calhanoglu strike from outside the box.

They held out under pressure after the break, eventually doubling their lead with a Lautaro Martinez penalty in stoppages.

Serie A | Venezia 0-2 Inter: Nerazzurri sail on

“It’s a good period of form, it was our third game in six days, but we showed great character and played good football,” Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia.

“The only negative is that we should’ve scored the second goal earlier, because Venezia are one of the surprises of the season and it’s not good to leave it open.

“We are Inter, we should’ve killed the game earlier, but in the circumstances we’re happy.”

After Antonio Conte, Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi left, many expected Inter to struggle this term, but Inzaghi has already done better than his predecessor, at least in Europe.

“I consider it a compliment. Inter are the champions of Italy, some said this was meant to be a transitional year, one focused on just saving the club, but I came here to find a club that supports me in everything and a squad of extraordinary lads.

“We brought in players suited to the project. We reached the Champions League Round of 16, which was the first objective, and will go to Real Madrid aiming to take first place in the group.”

Inzaghi was asked if he had told the players in pre-season that they had to prove they could win even without Lukaku and Hakimi?

“There was no need for that. I train some great players who are above all some great guys. Eriksen is another who was fantastic in the second half of last season and we are without.

“It’s a growth process, we brought in players who are functional to our idea of football and we keep going.

“Hopefully, Matteo Darmian doesn’t have anything serious, we are a little worried because he felt a pull and asked to come off.”