Serie A: Milan in financial trouble? Napoli run rampant, remain top

Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images
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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

[ MORE: Marcelo (not that one) swats ref’s yellow card, gets upgraded to red ]

Napoli 3-0 Cagliari

Only two sides in Europe’s top five leagues remain perfect on the season, not a single point dropped thus far: one of them you might have guessed — Barcelona — but the other you almost certainly wouldn’t have seen coming before the season began. Napoli, courtesy of a routine 3-0 victory over Cagliari, kept pace with their La Liga counterparts (who played in front of an empty Camp Nou) on Sunday.

Marek Hamsik got Maurizio Sarri’s men off to a dream start with a goal after four minutes. Dries Mertens (40th minute) and Kalidou Koulibaly (47th) completed the scoring, pushing Napoli’s goal differential to +20 (25 scored, 5 conceded) after seven games.

Atalanta 2-2 Juventus

Juventus entered the weekend among the unbeaten, but a blown 2-0 lead and Paulo Dybala’s failed attempt from the penalty spot resulted in the five-time defending champions’ first dropped points of the season.

Federico Bernardeschi opened the scoring for Juve after 21 minutes, and Gonzalo Higuain doubled the lead three minutes later to set Massimiliano Allegri’s on the path toward what appeared to be another easy win. Mattia Caldara pulled Atalanta back to 2-1 just after the half-hour mark, and Bryan Cristante completed the comeback in the 67th minute.

AC Milan 0-2 Roma

As if things weren’t already looking dire for Milan following their summer spending spree of $200 million dollars and the ensuing slow start to the Serie A campaign, this week also brought news of problems along the business side of the club. Li Yonghong, who became chairman after leading a takeover from Silvio Berlusconi and Co. back in April, is reportedly seeking additional investors “to share the financial burden” of helping Milan spend their way back into the stratosphere of Europe’s elites. Li is essentially bankrolling the club on his own after previous investors backed out from their commitments.

As for the on-the-field happenings, Sunday didn’t bring any better news for the Rossoneri, as Vincenzo Montella’s side was beaten by Roma, 2-0, and held scoreless for a second straight league game. Edin Dzeko bagged his seventh goal of the season to keep him within touching distance of Golden Boot leader Dybala (10), and extend his streak of games with a goal to five (all competitions). Alessandro Florenzi made it 2-0 in the 77th minute, five minutes after Dzeko’s opener.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Lazio 6-1 Sassuolo
Torino 2-2 Verona
Chievo 1-2 Fiorentina
SPAL 1-1 Crotone