By Brian Homewood
(Reuters) - Talking-points from the Serie A weekend:
ANGRY GATTUSO SENDS PLAYERS TO THE STANDS
Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso, famously combative in his playing days, is not one to tolerate a lack of effort from his players as he again showed on Sunday.
Having slammed his team for their performance in the 2-1 Europa League win at Rijeka on Thursday, Gattuso dropped Mario Rui and Faouzi Ghoulam from Sunday's match at Bologna because he was not pleased with their efforts in training.
"I sent them to the stands because they were strolling around in training," he said after the 1-0 win.
Gattuso still made the pair travel to Bologna with the squad and told them of his decision after they arrived.
"It is too easy to be at home on the couch. I brought them with us because they are part of the squad, but they didn't deserve to play," he said.
"This is a team that needs to be kept on their toes, we still have too many off days."
Napoli are third, three points behind leaders AC Milan, but Gattuso did not want to hear any title talk.
"I don't like this, and suggestions we have to win matches easily," he said. "People need to calm down. We are a strong team but we get into difficulty when we only play well for one half."
BOLOGNA COACH CELEBRATES VAR DECISION
Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic said he still had something to celebrate after the Napoli defeat -- a VAR decision in his team's favour.
Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly thought he had scored a second goal for his side in the 52nd minute but it was ruled out for handball by team mate Victor Osimhen after the referee reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor.
"Finally, a referee who went to look at the monitor to disallow a goal against us....it's been a year and a half since we last had a VAR episode in our favour," Mihajlovic said.
Mihajlovic also said that he himself deserved to be sent off and thanked the fourth official for tolerating his behaviour.
NANDEZ MAKES THE DIFFERENCE FOR CAGLIARI
Uruguayan midfielder Nahitan Nandez was singled out of for praise by Cagliari coach Eusebio Di Francesco following the 2-0 win over Sampdoria.
"The great thing about Nandez is how versatile he is," said Di Francesco.
"He has the ability to adapt to different roles, he'll do a good job wherever you put and he is always ready to stand up and be counted. Probably, his ideal role is in the centre of a 4-3-3 midfield."
The tenacious Nandez, who scored the second goal in Saturday's win, is in his second season at Cagliari after being signed from Argentina's Boca Juniors.
According to Serie A statistics, he has run an average of 11.697 kilometres per match this season, the third highest of any player in the league.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)