It was another thrilling weekend in Serie A, as Week 3 of the season saw wins for Juventus, Napoli, Inter and Roma with a familiar face stealing the headlines.
Torrential rain followed by a hailstorm threatened to call proceedings in Rome to a premature end on Sunday afternoon, with the players waiting 80 minutes for the game to resume at one stage.
Resume it did though, and with the Giallorossi falling 2-1 behind, the introduction of Francesco Totti and Edin Dzeko turned the tide.
After the Bosnian forward had drawn them level, Milan Skriniar caught him in the box in injury time giving Totti the chance to step up and score from the spot.
The Roma icon turns 40 in a couple of weeks, and despite the wealth of experience and big moments in his career to date, he conceded that he ‘felt nervous for the first time ever’ before taking his penalty.
“It was the first time I’ve been afraid of missing,” Totti told Sky Italia. “But I couldn’t miss in front of the Curva, in front of my people.
“Crowning the match with a goal and an assist was the perfect ending.”
That’s the way it turned out as he buried his penalty before charging at the Curva, as he capped another impressive cameo appearance with talk that perhaps he shouldn’t call it a day at the end of this season given that he’s picked up from where he left off at the end of last year.
Nevertheless, time will eventually catch up with him and it’s worth savouring his brilliance on the pitch while it lasts as Roma will hope to have new heroes emerge in the coming years to step up and try to replace the irreplaceable.
Elsewhere, Gonzalo Higuain bagged a brace in his first start for Juventus in their 3-1 win over Sassuolo, with fellow summer signing Miralem Pjanic also getting on the scoresheet.
For those hoping that the Bianconeri would perhaps make a slow start to the season with their new faces to give their rivals a chance, it looks like those prayers will go unanswered.
However, as well as Roma winning, Napoli picked up all three points with a comprehensive victory and performance at Palermo.
There was a historic moment for the Partenopei, with Marek Hamsik surpassing Diego Maradona to move into second place on the club’s list of all-time leading goalscorers in Serie A as the Slovakian midfielder continues to secure his legacy his Naples.
Things didn’t go to plan for Milan who threw away a point late on at home against Udinese in an uninspiring display from Vincenzo Montella’s men, while in contrast Frank De Boer secured his first win in charge of Inter as a Mauro Icardi double saw them come from behind to see off Pescara.
Meanwhile, all eyes were on Torino’s meeting with Atalanta as a certain Joe Hart made his debut, although based on the official team sheets it was ‘John Hart’ between the posts for Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side.
It was a debut to forget for the England international, as he fumbled a cross to allow Andrea Masiello to score an equaliser, before he failed to keep a penalty out shortly after as Torino slipped to defeat to Bergamo.
From the highs of Totti’s winner to Hart’s miserable introduction to Italian football, it’s another great weekend of Serie A football in the bank.
Follow Sumeet on Twitter @SP_Calcio for all the latest Serie A news.
Serie A results:
Juventus 3-1 Sassuolo
Palermo 0-3 Napoli
Bologna 2-1 Cagliari
Chievo 1-1 Lazio
Atalanta 2-1 Torino
AC Milan 0-1 Udinese
Roma 3-2 Sampdoria
Pescara 1-2 Inter
Empoli-Crotone (Monday night)