secondAck came Serie A, and The goals came back: eight of Them casual just at The start of lunchtime. Inter were already The most prolific team in The highest scoring of The top five leagues in Europe this season, but if anyone had forgotten what They football looks like during a 10-day winter break, Then They win over Crotone offered an excellent refresher. .
Against The opponents sitting at The end of The table, The Nerazzurri conceded a cheap starter, struggled to get back in The lead, and Then allowed a pointless penalty, all in The 36th minute. After doing such a hard job of The first half, he bagged four unanswered goals in The second, winning 6- 2 and creating a perfect metaphor for a season in which They seemed determined to made life difficult, but have now won seven games. Law.
This was a day when many of The Serie A favorite would follow They lead with free goals. Napoli and Juventus each scored four goals in victories over Cagliari and Udinese, while Atalanta put up five over Sassuolo. Even at The o Ther end of The table, Torino came into action with a 3-0 win over Parma.
However, The goal of The round, and possibly of The season thus far, came in a very different match between Spezia and Verona. Throughout 74 minutes, The game was held in a grim stalemate, with each goalkeeper being called only once to made a save. And Then Mattia Mascagni arrived.
Maybe it’s wrong to give him all The credit. Preparation for The Verona goal was also superb, Marco Marconi released Ebrima Colley down The right before continuing his own run forward. Colley passed inside Adrien Tame, who kept The ball moving towards Miguel Veloso. With one touch, The Portuguese midfielder splintered The defense. Marconi found his pass with a volley cross for The first time.
However, it would all have been in vain without The magic that Mascagni applied below. Despite a defender lunging in front of him, The Verona midfielder perfectly read The flight of The cross, stepping back and controlling his chest as he pivoted to face away from goal. When The ball came down again, he jumped to receive it with a bicycle kick to The lower left corner of The net.
By Monday morning, The newspapers were already referring to him as “Wea Ther in Zaccagnata“- a” Mascagni-ism “- his own characteristic movement. This is The language of star players and household names, not 25-year-olds playing for one side of The center table.
It was ano Ther small sign of how fast Mascagni’s star is rising. Voted by his teammates as The Serie A player of The month in November, he has been linked for The last fortnight with a transfer to almost every club in The first half of Serie A. He also obtained his first call to The Italian team in November, only to injure himself before he had a chance to debut.
Ironically, it was precisely his lack of noteworthy moves that could have prevented him from winning that opportunity earlier. Mascagni is a player whose contributions aren’t always reflected in those more measurable goal and assist stats.
The players he names as his soccer role models, Luka Madrid and Miracle Panic, are first and foremost facilitators, players whose more subtle contributions allow o Thers around Them to shine. That mentality is reflected in The words of his coach, Ivan Uric, who has described Mascagni as “one of The smartest footballers I have coached, because he mades his teammates play well.”
It is Uric who pushes him to contribute more towards The goal. Mascagni had primarily played as an area-to-area midfielder before The Croatian took over in Verona in The summer of 2019. He now lines up as one of The two. Offensive midfielders, between midfield and attack on The left side of a 3-4-2-1. In June, Uric prophesied that Mascagni could win a call-up from Italy: “If only he learns how to be more decisive in The last 20-25 meters.”
There were signs that it would arrive even before this weekend. Mascagni has four goals and two assists in 15 games this season, enough to made him The top scorer for a team whose safety-first approach runs counter to recent Serie A trend. Verona, with The third lowest wage bill of Serie A, it is a team that mades The most of modest resources.
Evidence of Mascagni’s quality can be found in The numbers, if you know where to look. Only one o Ther Serie A player, Torino’s Andrea Belotti, has been fouled more this season. In both cases, this can be read as a solid clue as to which player The opponents fear The most.
Better yet, however, is to simply apply The vision test. Mascagni is not flamboyant, however his combination of close control, acceleration and an eye for The opening made him a threat in possession.
Just take a look at The opening moments of Verona’s draw with Milan, when he pushed his way through an imperceptible gap between two defenders to prepare Nikola Clinic, or The disappearing act he did with The ball against Sassuolo in December, driving a defender crazy before winning. The next with a roulette in The style of Zidane, to recognize that he is a player of superior means.
The inevitable question looming over Verona is how long They can keep it around. Mascagni’s contract expires in 2022, and he has shown no inclination to extend it. The expectation is that your club looks for a sale this January that allows it to stay on loan until The end of The season. It remains to be seen whe Ther her suitors will agree to such terms.
Uric, for his part, is philosophical. “I don’t sell to anyone and I don’t buy from anyone,” he said when The question was posed Sunday, highlighting his role as a coach. “If a player comes to a great club I am very happy for him, as happened with [Matteo] Passing [who played on loan at Verona last season before returning to Atalanta, where he has been starting regularly this season]. I listen to my former players, and it is a great pleasure when They take steps forward in They careers.
Sunday felt like ano Ther important moment in Mascagni’s. He may never score ano Ther goal like The one he did on Sunday, but The opportunity attracts big stages in which to show us how true. ”Zaccagnata ‘ It seems.
• Nicky will post his talking points in The comment section below.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism