10 THINGS WE LEARNED in Serie A: Martinez has become a goal machine

Lautaro Martinez has become a goal machine for Inter Milan, Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia continue to impress… and do Bologna have Pep Guardiola’s successor? TEN THINGS WE LEARNED in Serie A this weekend

  • Inter Milan maintained their Serie A title charge with a win on Sunday night
  • Here, Mail Sport provides the latest updates from Italy in gameweek 16 
  • Roy Keane is right! Virgil van Dijk is disrespectful. We all thought Man United would get pasted so Erik ten Hag was RIGHT to set up like that – It’s All Kicking Off 

This week, Inter Milan maintained their Serie A title push after securing a crucial 2-0 win over Lazio. 

Sunday’s result saw Simone Inzaghi’s side extend their lead at the top of the Serie A table to four points, as second-placed Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw with Genoa. 

Elsewhere, Thiago Motta’s Bologna continued to impress as they beat Jose Mourinho’s Roma 2-0, while Napoli also found victory against Cagliari. 

At the other end of the table, strugglers Hellas Verona and Empoli both fell to defeat in yet another intriguing gameweek of Italian football.

Here, Mail Sport’s Alvise Cognazzo takes a look at ten things we learned from the Serie A football this weekend. 

Inter Milan maintained their Serie A title push after securing a crucial 2-0 win over Lazio

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Federico Chiesa is Juventus’ brightest star and his goal against Genoa confirms his place as the best player in Massimiliano Allegri’s attack. 

He is the strongest man on the team and seems to almost perfectly recall the movements and physical strength of his father Enrico in terms of aggression, running and shooting. 

Just like his father, a star of Italian football between the 1990s and 2000s, Federico is going through a period of tactical and technical transformation, becoming a second striker free to act on the entire attacking front. 

He earned and scored a penalty that his friend, Dusan Vlahovic, let him take after his last two errors from the penalty spot. 

After a long patient wait, Chiesa has finally returned to being a point of reference, a player experiencing great technical and psychological growth. 

He probably suffers from the overly defeatist attitude of the defending team, who gave up playing after the goal. 

Five goals in 15 games is a decent but improvable haul and when Juventus start crossing towards the centre of the penalty area, his number of goals will probably increase. 

Federico Chiesa continued to impress as Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw with Genoa


Twenty-nine goals in 2023. Lautaro Martinez has become an exceptional centre forward who is leading Inter to win the Scudetto with great charisma. 

His seventeenth goal of the season, number 15 in this Serie A, projects the attacker onto the same statistical data as a great striker like Giuseppe Meazza in 1933, becoming, arguably, the best attacker in the history of Inter in the post-Ronaldo era.

His statistical numbers are extraordinary and it is expected that he can even reach and surpass the statistical record of 36 league goals set by Gonzalo Higuain in his time at Napoli. 

Lazio went haywire when the Argentine striker attacked the open spaces, taking advantage of the sensational errors of the Lazio defender Mario Gila. 

He is likely the player that Simone Inzaghi focuses on the most on the pitch, as he acts as almost a second coach who knows how to manage the various moments of the match. 

He is a technical and charismatic leader of Inter post-Antonio Conte, who is deadly in the open field and knows how to link-up with Inter’s midfielders.

Lazio’s defence were in constant tension when Martinez ran vertically, pressing everyone throughout the match. 

Lautaro Martinez has continued to prove he is one of the best forwards in the world 

The 26-year-old has 15 goals in 16 Serie A matches for Inter Milan during the campaign


Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia are the only players who can drastically change the fate of Napoli’s season. 

If the ‘goal twins’ score, Napoli claim three points, such as they did against Cagliari. 

Osimhen confirmed himself as a stratospheric player with an exceptional assist after a dribble between four Cagliari defenders. He is a top player who can score and provides assists but is destined to leave Napoli to play for a top international club.

According to Opta, Kvaratskhelia has contributed in 30 goals – 17 goals, 13 assists – in 49 Serie A matches with Napoli. 

Since 2004-2005, only Domenico Berardi – 31 out of 42 matches – and Alexandre Pato – 30 out of 45 matches – have been involved in more than 30 goals in their first 50 matches in Italy’s top-flight. 

The Italian champions regained victory at home and, after 3 consecutive defeats between Serie A and the Champions League, they regain enthusiasm and points to reach fourth place. 

Napoli have 27 points, with 28 goals scored and 19 conceded, and are fighting to conquer Europe but still have to continue to improve their structure on the pitch. 

The team concedes too many goals, the defence seems fragile centrally with only the recovery of Mario Rui allowing Napoli to manage the stressful moments of their matches.

Victor Osimhen got an assist and a goal as Napoli continued to push for a top four place

Osimhen set up Khvicha Kvaratskhelia for his goal as Napoli secured a big win against Cagliari


Jan-Carlo Simic is the young AC Milan defender who made his debut and scored against Monza, demonstrating the great quality of young Rossoneri players. 

Simic made his debut in Serie A in place of midfielder Tommaso Pobega, scoring immediately and giving Stefano Pioli’s team an unexpected new addition in defence.

The physical problems of Simon Kjaer, Malick Thiaw and Pierre Kalulu are no longer a concern because of the 18-year-old defender. 

Simic was part of the AC Milan Primavera last season, earning Pioli’s call for the USA pre-season tour and, as the weeks went by, he remained on the list of players joining the first team. 

The young defender did well to immediately acclimatise to the atmosphere of the big match against Monza, confirming his strength of character and his predisposition to play decisive matches. 

Among all the players thrown into the first team in Serie A, Simic seems to have the best characteristics to immediately be considered a starting player for this team. 

In 2023-2024 the defender made 14 appearances in the championship and Youth League, also scoring a goal and in recent weeks he trained with the first team until his debut with a goal against Monza. 

A golden moment that could change the course of his career forever.


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Speaking on DAZN, Jose Mourinho wanted to apologise to Renato Sanches who, in the match against Bologna, came onto the pitch at half-time and was then replaced due to a technical choice after just 18 minutes.

‘I want to publicly apologise to Renato Sanches because I I did what I felt I had to do as Roma’s coach, I know that for a boy it is very hard but perhaps for a coach it is even more difficult. 

‘I will have done it three or four times in my career of over 20 years and I know that it is always difficult, so I want to apologise to him.’ 

Sanches seems to have fallen into the shadows once again and his few minutes on the pitch were disastrous, being massacred by the strength and athletic intensity of Remo Freuler and Lewis Ferguson. 

The Portuguese player further lowered the quality of the team and made the substitution decided by Mourinho useless. 

His purchase at the end of the season has become a disaster because both the player and Roma are not happy with the choice made in the summer. 

Sanches is a former top player who struggles to be at 100 per cent physically and, if not even a coach like Mourinho has understood how to revitalize his talent, it is very likely to imagine a future far from Europe for the former Bayern Munich and PSG star.

Renato Sanches was left bemused after getting substituted 18 minutes after his introduction


Albert Gudmundsson could potentially become Genoa’s player with the highest profit margin in the next summer transfer window. 

The Genoa player aims to become the greatest Icelander in the history of the Italian championship – and it’s clear to see why. 

He started as an offensive winger and transformed into a second striker who was very skilled at playing with technique and speed in tight spaces. 

He didn’t have one of his best evenings against Juventus but he complicated their defensive tactical strategies by scoring a very difficult goal in terms of timing and courage. 

He has become the talisman of coach Alberto Gilardino, the true technical star of this Genoa, who are very fast in managing the ball.

The small Icelandic striker is a magnet who attracted Juventus defenders and who Genoa rely on when they want to try to create something. 

Now, Gudmundsson has scored six goals in 14 games, double those scored by centre forward Mario Retegui, a great result considering his debut in Serie A at 26 years old. 

He will never score 20 goals a year but with his physical condition and stubbornness he will certainly be able to contribute to Genoa’s salvation by scoring at least 10 goals in this Serie A, with or without Retegui at his side. 

Today, anyone who wants to decide to buy him will have to submit an offer of between €30-40million (£26-£35m), which isn’t even that much for a player who runs for 90 minutes without ever stopping.


It’s safe to say that Thiago Motta is the most surprising coach of this first part of the season. 

His Bologna side continue to win, as they destroyed and humiliated Jose Mourinho’s Roma with a 2-0 victory, which saw them rise up to fourth place.

The big match against the Giallorossi was a technical and tactical triumph, as confirmed by the statistical data collected by DAZN. 

The team coached by Motta had 56% possession, grinding out 124 more passes than Roma in midfield – an eloquent figure that testifies to an overwhelming technical superiority. 

If Serie A ended today, Bologna would have sensationally qualified for the Champions League and the main credit would go to their coach.

Motta has exceptional charisma, similar to that of an early Pep Guardiola, when he had the chance to coach Barcelona while still very young. 

He had the great merit of having improved the performance of Dan Ndoye and Remo Freuler, launching Lewis Ferguson and Joshua Zirkzee into the firmament of Serie A. 

Against Roma, Motta’s Bologna sent Mourinho’s team into a tailspin, managing to combine technique and intensity. 

Thiago Motta (R) and Jose Mourinho (L) were all smiles before the former claimed victory


Atalanta, Frosinone and Empoli. 0 goals conceded and many important saves to consolidate the role of a starting goalkeeper whose place in the squad was once at risk. 

Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, brother of the highly rated Sergej, has returned to playing at exceptional levels, bringing Torino back into European contention. 

Against Empoli he saved the result several times, helping Ivan Juric’s team to obtain an important victory.

In the second half he made a save with excellent timing on Matteo Cancellieri, who tried to pass him but failed. 

He is not the heir of Gianluigi Buffon and perhaps not even of Nelson Dida but he is certainly a goalkeeper of great quality and great physical strength. 

Milinkovic-Savic could become an excellent market solution for many Premier League clubs and his predisposition to play with his feet is very useful and sought after on the international market. 

In June 2024 it is very likely that Torino will decide to sell him and if he does not choose to follow his brother Sergej to Saudi Arabia, the Premier League becomes the ideal stage for his definitive leap in quality.

Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, brother of the highly rated Sergej, has been outstanding in goal 


Where would Duvan Zapata be today without his injuries in the last 2 years? 

The tactical and technical Colombian giant would probably be the ideal centre forward for a team playing in the Champions League with his great experience.

With over 230 games in Serie A, he knows the movements of the centre forward in the penalty area by heart and has great confidence in front of goal. 

Continued physical problems convinced Atalanta to sell him last summer, looking for new solutions in attack. Coach Giampiero Gasperini preferred to focus on Gianluca Scamacca and Zapata accepted the transfer to Turin, hoping to experience the last part of an extraordinary career before saying goodbye to European football. 

At 32, Zapata has limited stamina but without injuries he is one of the best five central attackers in Serie A and is a luxury for a mid-range club like Torino. 

The goal against Empoli was a masterpiece of physical power, acrobatics and sense of goal. A perfect snapshot of all the qualities that could take Torino to the Europa League next year.

Duvan Zapata (pictured) got on the scoresheet for Torino in their win against Empoli


Kaio Jorge’s first goal in Serie A came from a penalty and erased the injury that kept him away from football for over 11 months due to a ruptured patella tendon. 

The former Santos star had a sporadic spell at Juventus before suffering a serious injury and now has a second great chance at Frosinone to return to being a protagonist in international football. 

Having arrived at Juventus in 2021, Jorge made his debut in the derby against Torino the same year but then found no place in the first team with the Bianconeri. 

He scored his first goal in Serie A, over 800 days after his debut on 2 October 2021. 

Kaio Jorge has the typical movements of a classic Brazilian striker. He is an elegant striker, sophisticated and has an excellent technique that allows him to play both as a first and second striker, imitating the former Liverpool centre forward Roberto Firmino. 

His target this season must be to score more goals, strengthening his physique and preserving his seriously injured knee. 

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