The 2015-16 Serie A season makes no sense, but it sure is fun to watch Juventus struggle.
After a narrow, lucky win over Genoa, Juventus needed to unleash fury on lowly Frosinone, the Serie B runner-up last season. Massimiliano Allegri's men looked to be heading toward three points, albeit in unconvincing fashion, before Frosinone scored in the 92nd minute to earn its first point in Serie A. Juventus now has five points in five matches, a less-than-ideal start to the Old Lady's bid for a fifth successive title in the league.
Milan, on the other hand, is progressing well after a rough start to the season. The Rossoneri have won two straight matches, holding on to defeat Udinese in the fifth round despite a scary second half that saw the hosts nearly complete an Istanbul-style comeback.
Player of the Round: Leonardo Blanchard, Frosinone.
Blanchard was solid defensively, winning two-thirds of his aerial duels, intercepting two passes, blocking four shots and clearing the ball five times. But what is making Blanchard the toast of Serie A right now is his equalizing goal in the 92nd minute against Juventus to earn Frosinone its first point in Serie A. Blanchard climbed high and buried a header off a corner kick to shock the champions.
Serie A Power Rankings, Round 5
Round 4 Ranking: 1st; Round 5: Defeated Verona 1-0
Round 6: vs. Fiorentina, Sunday, Sept. 27
Felipe Melo's goal in the 56th minute was all Inter needed against Verona Wednesday at the San Siro. Inter only got the one goal and four shots on goal, but Roberto Mancini's men still dominated, taking 17 total shots and holding on to 62 percent of the possession. Inter is perfect through five games, but Sunday will provide its toughest test yet, a visit from Fiorentina, the only other side to win at least four matches.
Round 4 Ranking: 2nd; Round 5: Defeated Bologna 2-0
Round 6: at Inter, Sunday, Sept. 27
In his second game with Fiorentina, Jakub Blaszcykowski got on the score sheet. The former Borussia Dortmund man fired home in the 71st minute to open his Serie A scoring account. Nikola Kalinic followed suit 11 minutes later with his first of the season as the Viola pulled away late against Bologna. The match against Inter is going to be the tie of the sixth round. Paulo Sousa's side will have to be at its absolute best if it intends to end Inter's perfect start.
Round 4 Ranking: 6th; Round 5: Defeated Roma 2-1
Round 6: at Atalanta, Monday, Sept. 28
Five matches in, Walter Zenga may be the frontrunner for Serie A Manager of the Year. Sinisa Mihajlovic's Sampdoria side was on 11 points through five matches en route to seventh place last year, but Zenga's side has had a tougher schedule to deal with. Wins over Carpi and Bologna are expected of most Serie A clubs. A draw with Napoli is OK. Beating Roma, however, is a statement from Sampdoria, even if Roma had 64 percent of the possession, 24 total shots—eight on goal—and conceded an own goal. Citadin Eder is in the lead for the Capocannoniere and does not look to be slowing down. Sampdoria could not have asked for a better start to the season.
Round 4 Ranking: 5th; Round 5: Defeated Udinese 3-2
Round 6: at Genoa, Sunday, Sept. 27
Milan is getting there. Injuries led to some difficult tactical choices for Mihajlovic Tuesday, but the Rossoneri's first-half performance against Udinese is reason for optimism. Mario Balotelli, Giacomo Bonaventura and Cristian Zapata all hit the back of the net to put Milan up 3-0 at halftime. Milan let its foot off the pedal after the half, especially when Alex replaced Davide Calabria in the 49th minute. Calabria, Milan's 18-year-old right back, has been stellar in his two appearances. When he came out, it moved Cristian Zapata to right back, and Milan's defense got out of sorts.
Round 4 Ranking: 7th; Round 5: Defeated Palermo 1-0
Round 6: vs. Chievo, Sunday, Sept. 27
When was the last time anyone heard from Sergio Floccari? Well, he grabbed the winning goal for Sassuolo Wednesday, and the lads in black and green continued their strong start to the season. As has been said in the round-by-round review several times, Sassuolo is an interesting team in Serie A this season. If it keeps up like this, even with unconvincing wins, it will put up a fight for a trip to the Europa League next season.
Round 4 Ranking: 3rd; Round 5: Lost to Sampdoria 2-1
Round 6: vs. Carpi, Saturday, Sept. 26
Poor Kostas Manolas. The young, talented center back steered the ball into the wrong net Wednesday, propelling Sampdoria to victory over Roma. This is a match Roma could have, and really should have, won. Instead of third place, which now belongs to Sassuolo, Roma sits down in ninth five matches in. Saturday gives Roma a great chance to release some anger on Carpi.
Round 4 Ranking: 10th; Round 5: Defeated Chievo 1-0
Round 6: at Sassuolo, Sunday, Sept. 27
Chievo has the highest goal difference (six) in Serie A through five matches, having only allowed three goals. Wednesday's match was an intriguing test for both Chievo and Torino, two teams off to fantastic starts in the league this season. Chievo had the better of the chances, and Lucas Castro finally struck 15 minutes from full-time to earn three points for the Flying Donkeys.
Round 4 Ranking: 4th; Round 5: Lost to Chievo 1-0
Round 6: vs. Palermo, Sunday, Sept. 27
Despite controlling the ball for longer stretches of the match than Chievo, Torino only produced one shot on target, an effort from defender Kamil Glik. Torino was one of the first sides to 10 points this season, but it will need to produce some better chances against the league's powers. Palermo, of course, is not a power in Serie A, so Torino should be expected to take the three points Sunday.
Round 4 Ranking: 11th; Round 5: Defeated Genoa 2-0
Round 6: at Verona, Sunday, Sept. 27
Lazio needed a pick-me-up after its embarrassing destruction at the hands of Napoli last weekend, and Genoa provided the perfect opportunity. The capital side scored once in each half to secure a 2-0 win to get back into the top half of the table. Filip Djordevic scored his first goal of the season in his second appearance. After he scored eight goals in 25 matches last season, Lazio will need Djordevic to keep putting the ball in the net after getting his first.
Round 4 Ranking: 8th; Round 5: Drew 0-0 at Carpi
Round 6: at Roma, Saturday, Sept. 26
It makes complete sense a team would go from beating Lazio 5-0 to playing a scoreless draw with Carpi days later. Making matters more upsetting for Napoli, Maurizio Sarri's men had 72 percent of the possession and shot 22 times, putting only four on target. How, with all those opportunities, does Napoli not get at least one against Carpi?
Round 4 Ranking: 13th; Round 5: Defeated Empoli 1-0
Round 6: vs. Sampdoria, Monday, Sept. 28
An even battle between Empoli and Atalanta came down to a solid defensive performance from the victors. Atalanta made 31 tackles to Empoli's 13 in a match with possession split up 50-50. Rafael Toloi scored off a corner kick in the first half to propel Atalanta to the win and extend its unbeaten streak to four matches. It might be a big ask to make it five against Sampdoria.
Round 4 Ranking: 9th; Round 5: Drew 1-1 vs. Frosinone
Round 6: at Napoli, Saturday, Sept. 26
Juventus gave up an equalizer in the 92nd minute against Frosinone at Juventus Stadium. For as bad as Juventus has been to start the season, such an act is inexcusable from the four-time reigning champions. It should be considered three points for Frosinone and maybe even negative points for Juventus.
Round 4 Ranking: 13th; Round 5: Lost to Atalanta 1-0
Round 6: at Frosinone, Monday, Sept. 28
Empoli was held scoreless, which means Riccardo Saponara did not have a goal or an assist, which means the world was denied a chance to see the real magic of Saponara. He did manage to put a shot on goal and receive a yellow card, so he was not quiet.
Round 4 Ranking: 14th; Round 5: Lost to Inter 1-0
Round 6: vs. Lazio, Sunday, Sept. 27
Well, when a team is winless and has to go to the San Siro to play Inter, it is probably going to lose.
Round 4 Ranking: 15th; Round 5: Lost to Sassuolo 1-0
Round 6: at Torino, Sunday, Sept. 27
Don't feel bad, Palermo. Sassuolo is awesome. Do feel concern at dropping two matches in a row after grabbing seven points from the first three matches.
Round 4 Ranking: 20th; Round 5: Drew 1-1 at Juventus
Round 6: vs. Empoli, Monday, Sept. 28
Frosinone picked up its first ever Serie A point with a 92nd-minute goal at the Juventus Stadium. How amazing is that? For as rough as Frosinone's first season has been, the Canaries get a bonus boost in the rankings for giving the rest of Serie A a chance for some schadenfreude at Juventus' expense.
Round 4 Ranking: 16th; Round 5: Lost to Fiorentina 2-0
Round 6: vs. Udinese, Sunday, Sept. 27
The smell of potential relegation is in the air. The two worst-performing Serie A mainstays go at it Sunday. One of them is probably going to be playing in Serie B next season.
Round 4 Ranking: 19th; Round 5: Drew 0-0 vs. Napoli
Round 6: at Roma, Saturday, Sept. 26
This was an awesome result for Carpi, which now has two points this season. And don't tell Juventus, but Carpi has five goals in five matches, the same output as Juventus.
Round 4 Ranking: 18th; Round 5: Lost to Milan 3-2
Round 6: at Bologna, Sunday, Sept. 27
Well, it almost got scary for Milan Tuesday. Udinese scored twice quickly after halftime, but seemed to run out of gas after that. Milan had its way in the first half, and that was enough against a side that has looked miserable since defeating Juventus. Udinese has now lost four straight matches.
Round 4 Ranking: 17th; Round 5: Lost to Lazio 2-0
Round 6: vs. Milan, Sunday, Sept. 27
It was tough putting Genoa at the bottom this round, but the results for Carpi and Frosinone necessitated it. Sorry, Genoa. The Griffins are in the group of five, maybe six, sides that should be dreading the word "relegation."