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Home   /   Serie A Review: Inter’s domination and how the teams performed

It was an eventful Serie A season, the first in ten years where the winner wasn’t Juventus. 

AC Milan started the year in great shape, staying on top for 21 games, until Inter took the lead and increased their gap to win by 12 points. Milan, Atalanta and Juventus got Champions League football by finishing in the top four, with some intense final games. 

Napoli and Lazio had to settle for Europa League qualification, while Roma snatched a place in the new Conference League to the expenses of Sassuolo. 

Crotone, Parma and Benevento left the Serie A, as for the fifth time in six seasons, two newly-promoted sides were relegated. 

Looking back on the premises made in the preview, which you can find here, the teams’ performances will be analysed.

https://twitter.com/SerieA_EN/status/1396588249540354049

Inter – “They must give a shot to the title” 

They did, and how they did it. Inter actually endured a slow start, they only won three of their first seven games. However, Antonio Conte’s team found great solidity to finish with the best defence after a beginning with great defensive woes. 

Between Matchday eight and 36, they won 24 games, drew four and lost one. They gained 76 points, to Atalanta’s 62 and Juventus’s 59. Greatness came thanks to everyone. Antonio Conte created a group in which everyone was important and substitutes proved decisive.

The partnership between Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku worked marvellously. Lukaku was the player with most goal contributions in the Serie A and ended up registering the record of assists for an Inter player in a single season (11).

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ResultWWDLWDDWWWWWWWWLDWDWWWWWWWWWWWDDWWWWLW
Position113464675222222222222211111111111111111
Score367710111215182124273033363637404144475053565962656871747576798285888891

Goalscorers: Lukaku (24), Martinez (17), Hakimi (7), Sanchez (7)

Assisters: Lukaku (11), Hakimi (8), Barella (7), Brozovic (6), Martinez (6)

Milan – “Do not rule them out”

Unsurprisingly to some, shockingly to many, Milan were leaders all the way until February. They continued their fabulous run from the end of the previous season to appear like a very unite team.

Even though they had to cope with many injuries, they kept their lead, in a long fight against Inter. However, Inter went on to score 50 points in the second round of games and Milan were left behind. 

Big away wins at Juventus and Atalanta in May ensured Milan could get back to listen to Champions League tunes and even finish in second place. Their away performance was incredible, with 16 wins and 49 points. However, there were only 30 points gained within the walls of the San Siro. 

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ResultWWWWDWDWWWDDWWWLWWLWWLLWDWLWDWWLLWWWDW
Position45211111111111111111122222222222543332
Score3691213161720232627283134373740434346494949525356565959626565656871747578

Goalscorers: Ibrahimovic (15), Kessie (13), Rebic (11), Hernandez (7)

Assisters: Calhanoglu (9), Leao (6), Hernandez (5), Kessie (4), Rebic (4), Saelemaekers (4)

Atalanta – “They seem even stronger coming into 2021”

They once again came short of second place on the final game, but Atalanta looked ever more as a superpower. They lost too many points at the start, when they struggled in the games played after the Champions League efforts. 

However, once form started to kick in, they were almost unstoppable. Luis Muriel was the real star, netting a goal every 65 minutes.

Even if they lost captain Alejandro Gomez, who was believed to be carrying the team, they found no issue with that. Ruslan Malinovskyi excellently took his place, as Robin Gosens’s contribution on the left was also immense. 

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ResultWWWLLWDDLDWDWDWWWDWLDWWWWLWWWWWDWDWWWL
Position92136467898877775657765445443433222223
Score36999121314141518192223262932333636374043464949525558616465686972757878

Goalscorers: Muriel (22), Zapata (15), Gosens (11), Malinovskyi (8)

Assisters: Malinovskyi (12), Ilicic (9), Muriel (9), Zapata (9)

Juventus – “Their crown seems in danger. Will their hunger remain intact?”

There were many hints that this could be Juventus’s farewell season to the long Scudetto streak. Andrea Pirlo’s first season was troublesome, suffering huge disappointments and the scare of not even making the top four. 

Juventus appeared to struggle to find goals without Cristiano Ronaldo’s contribution and at times appeared demotivated. There were many issues, with only two points claimed in four games against Benevento and Fiorentina and other disappointing results.

With 90 minutes to go, they were out of the top four and, although they won the Coppa Italia, there is little to be happy about. 

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Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
ResultWDWDDWDWDWWDWLWWWLWWWLWDWWWLDWLWDWLWWW
Position36455354444346544544343333334344435554
Score34789121316172023242727303336363942454548495255585859626265666969727578

Goalscorers: Ronaldo (29), Morata (11), Chiesa (9), McKennie (5)

Assisters: Cuadrado (10), Chiesa (9), Morata (9), Danilo (4), Bentancur (4), Ramsey (4)

Napoli – “The team suffered multiple troubles”

Napoli were yet to find stability within the team and polemics broke out yet again. Gennaro Gattuso was given the chance to stay, but knew by December that his time was running out.

They refused to release any comments to the press for multiple months, up until the end, where their run for the top four came short on the final day. Long-term injuries to most of their strikers had a big impact, but with a second-half run, they appeared to make a great come-back.

Only Inter scored more points than them since Matchday 20, but a draw against Verona on the last game of the season allowed Juventus to pass by. 

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ResultWWLWWLWLWWWLLDWLWWLWLWLWDWWWWWDWWDWWWD
Position51842536533535466365657666555555354445
Score366912121515182124242425282831343437374040434447505356596063666770737677

Goalscorers: Insigne (19), Lozano (11), Osimhen (10), Mertens (9), Politano (9)

Assisters: Zielinski (10), Mertens (8), Insigne (7), Di Lorenzo (6)

Lazio – “Can they have the strength to go again?”

Not quite. Lazio were in contention for the top four until very late in the season, but never appeared like they could pull it off.

Ciro Immobile scored more than 20 goals and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic proved everyone that he is one of the most precious talents this league can enjoy.

However, when the rivals are very strong, there can be no slips, and Lazio had many. It was still a positive seasons on many notes, but finishing sixth wasn’t what they hoped for.

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ResultLWDLWWDWLWLDWLDWWWWWWLWLDLWWWWWLWWLWLL
Position1210915121098979988988776576777776666666666
Score03447101114141717182121222528313437404043434444475053565959626565686868

Goalscorers: Immobile (20), Luis Alberto (9), Milinkovic-Savic (8), Correa (8), Caicedo (8)

Assisters: Milinkovic-Savic (9), Immobile (6), Lazzari (5), Correa (3), Radu (3), Marusic (3)

Roma – “Odds go against the team from the capital” 

It was the third consecutive season out of the top four. Roma failed to impress, only winning a game against a side in the top eight as late as the Matchday 37 derby.

Their full score against smaller sides kept them in the top four for the first-half of the season, but they massively dropped at distance. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the top player, but then got injured between March and April, as Roma completed an awful ending. They only snatched 25 points in the second-half. 

They just didn’t appear to have enough quality to compete at the top and suffered the double commitment of playing in the Europa League. 58 goals conceded was an enormous figure, only securing a place in the top seven on the final day. 

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ResultLDWWDWWWLDWWLWWWDLWWLWDLWWLLDWLDLLWLWD
Position19151089843666453333433434554667777777777
Score01478111417171821242427303334343740404344444750505051545455555558586162

Goalscorers: Mkhitaryan (13), Veretout (10), Borja Mayoral (10), Pellegrini (7), Dzeko (7)

Assisters: Mkhitaryan (10), Pellegrini (6), Karsdorp (6), Spinazzola (4)

Sassuolo – “63 goals conceded are something the team need to fix”

Sassuolo proved that in 2019/20 they built the basis to have a solid team that could once again challenge for the top 10. In truth, they were much better than the rest of the sides below them and comfortably finished eighth, behind Roma on goal difference.

They conceded seven less goals than the previous season, keeping a +8 goal difference and made sure that their philosophy of attacking football was efficient. Sassuolo were spectacular and real fan favourites.

They helped consolidate the talent of Domenico Berardi and Manuel Locatelli, with the rising star of Giacomo Raspadori beginning to shine in place of injured-troubled striker Francesco Caputo. 

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ResultDWWWDWDWLDWDLWLWLDLDLWDLDLWLDWWWWDWLWW
Position87523222355664657898888999889888888888
Score1471011141518181922232326262929303031313435353636393940434649525356565962

Goalscorers: Berardi (17), Caputo (11), Raspadori (6), Traore (5), Djuricic (5)

Assisters: Berardi (7), Caputo (5), Ferrari (4), Djuricic (4)

Sampdoria – “Small improvements have come” 

In reality, Sampdoria were the most improved Serie A team. They finished in the top 10 quite comfortably with a very consistent season, never suffering major form drops.

Claudio Ranieri was excellent in rotating his forwards and ensured he got the maximum out of Keita Balde, Fabio Quagliarella and the returning Manolo Gabbiadini.

There were concerns over the investments made solely in the attacking areas, but the team found great solidity at the back. It was difficult to predict they would finish so high up after great struggles the previous year.

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ResultLLWWWDLLDLLWWLLWLWWLDWLLDDLWDLWWLWLDWW
Position201814979101011121311101111111110101010101010101011101010109999999
Score00369101010111111141717172020232626273030303132323536363942424545464952

Goalscorers: Quagliarella (13), Keita (7), Jankto (6), Candreva (5)

Assisters: Candreva (8), Ramirez (4), Damsgaard (4), Verre (3), Augello (3), Jankto (3)

Hellas Verona – “After selling their protagonists, can they even survive?” 

Ivan Juric performed another miracle after doing wonders in the previous season. It was actually quite disappointing to see Verona only in 10th after an amazing start, being five points shy of seventh place in March. Verona only scored 15 points in the second-half, however, winning just a game in the last 13.

They were challenging for Europe, but possibly relaxed too much after securing a safe survival. They proved themselves to have a very strong defence, finishing the year as sixth best.

The drop in form of Mattia Zaccagni and the lack of goals from Nikola Kalinic and Kevin Lasagna was one of the reasons why they couldn’t finish any higher. They had the 15th attack, but still finished with a -2 goal difference. 

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ResultWWLDDWDLWDWLDLWDWLWLLWDDWLLLWLLLLDDLDD
Position258787897877998999899998889989910101010101010
Score36678111212151619192020232427273030303334353838383841414141414243434445

Goalscorers: Barak (7), Zaccagni (5), Dimarco (5), Lasagna (4)

Assisters: Faraoni (7), Lazovic (6), Zaccagni (5), Dimarco (3), Barak (3)

Genoa – “They will likely struggle again” 

Genoa had only got seven points in the first 13 games and it looked like their lack of investments was reflecting with poor performances.

However, then came along Davide Ballardini, leading the team to a surprise 11th place and a safe permanence in the Serie A with 42 points.

In the time with Ballardini as a coach, they had the sixth best defence and scored the ninth most amount of points. Overall, considering the lack of investments, Genoa did a superb job to finish so high up. 

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Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
ResultWLLDLDLLLDLDLWDLWDWWWDDLDLDWDLLDWLLWLW
Position113151116161819191919181918191917161614121111131313141313131314131314141411
Score333445555667710111114151821242526262727283132323233363636393942

Goalscorers: Destro (11), Scamacca (8), Shomurodov (8), Pandev (7)

Assisters: Badelj (4), Strootman (4), Ghiglione (4), Pandev (3), Zajc (3)

Bologna – “Bologna could yet challenge for the top 10”

Sinisa Mihajlovic’s team was one of those who appeared to easily survive from the getaway, but that struggled to challenge the opponents in front of them.

Performances were too inconsistent and they limited to a modest 12th place. 

Mihajlovic was critical of the management, for not investing in the right areas and lacking a real striker. Rodrigo Palacio’s experience was useful, but the Argentinian and Musa Barrow couldn’t score enough. 

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ResultLWLLLWLWWLLDDDDDLWLLWDDWLLWWLLWDLDDLDL
Position168121617131412101012131413121213121315131212111212121111111111121212111112
Score03333669121212131415161717202020232425282828313434343738383940404142

Goalscorers: Soriano (9), Barrow (8), Orsolini (7), Palacio (5), Svanberg (5)

Assisters: Barrow (8), Soriano (6), Palacio (5), Vignato (4)

Fiorentina – “They might return in the top eight”

Fiorentina, instead, had another disappointing season. Although they achieved survival with a couple of games left, this wasn’t clearly what president Rocco Commisso had hoped for.

They played some spectacular games, with a remarkable 3-0 win on Juventus, and striker Dusan Vlahovic surprised with his prolific form. However, they deeply appeared like a one-man team and disappointed a lot, winning just 9 matches.

The fact this was Fiorentina’s worst-ever points tally in a 38 games season suggests they are actually a lot further from challenging for Europe, which is where they competed regularly, than it was expected. 

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ResultWLLDWLDLLDLDDWDLWLWDLLWLLDWLDLLWDDWDLD
Position69131210111215171717171614141412141211151614151414131414151613141413131313
Score33347788899101114151518182122222225252526292930303033343538393940

Goalscorers: Vlahovic (21), Castrovilli (5), Milenkovic (3), Bonaventura (3)

Assisters: Ribery (6), Biraghi (5), Vlahovic (3), Pulgar (3), Castrovilli (3)

Udinese – “Captain Rodrigo de Paul is ready to avoid relegation” 

Udinese were perhaps a lot more comfortable than expected. They are a team that is never considered much and, although the gap behind is minimal, they were never in danger.

De Paul was phenomenal, arguably being the top performer of the league, delivering excellent performances week in and week out. 

Then, coach Luca Gotti and the rest of the team were looking like tough to break apart and could even have achieved more if it wasn’t for certain negative periods. Udinese’s lack of competitiveness when attacking was a reason why they couldn’t finish higher up. 

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Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
ResultLLLWLLDWWDWDDLLDLLDWWLDWDWDLLLWLWLDLLL
Position1417201718181916131410101112131315151413111413121111101212121212111111121214
Score00033347101114151616161717171821242425282932333333333636393940404040

Goalscorers: De Paul (9), Pereyra (5), Okaka (4), Arslan (3), Pussetto (3)

Assisters: De Paul (9), Pereyra (7), Molina (5), Ouwejan (2)

Spezia – “The lack of big names may condemn them to a written fate”

Spezia made the opposite reasoning. They realised that focusing on defending had little chance of allowing them to stay up.

Coach Vincenzo Italiano became hugely respected, with Spezia being one of the most spectacular teams, aiming to keep the ball and implement their own philosophy of play.

Most people wrote them off immediately, but  they had none of it and completed an excellent season. It’s an example that with hard work and exuberance, even a side on its first Serie A appearance can stay up. 

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Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
ResultWLLDDLWDDLLDLLLWWDLLWWLDLDLWLWLDLDLDWD
Position1311151414171313141516161717181614131516161316141515151516141415151617171515
Score33345589101010111111111417181818212424252526262929323233333434353839

Goalscorers: Nzola (11), Pobega (6), Verde (5), Piccoli (5)

Assisters: Gyasi (6), Bastoni (6), Estevez (3), Nzola (3)

Cagliari – “They hope for a top 10 finish”

Cagliari were another team that suffered a huge crisis and occupied the relegation places for large parts of the season.

When Leonardo Semplici took over, Cagliari were five points off 17th place, but the coach managed to set up a spark and they scored 21 points in 14 games.

It was evident Cagliari were out of place and the come-back proves it. With players like Diego Godin, Radja Nainggolan and Alessio Cragno, they had to stay up. 

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Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
ResultDLLWWLWLDDLDDLLLLLLDLLLWWDLLLLWWWDWDDL
Position714171311121111121111121315151516171818181818181717171818181818171716151616
Score1114771010111212131414141414141415151515182122222222222528313235363737

Goalscorers: Joao Pedro (16), Simeone (6), Lykogiannis (4), Pavoletti (4)

Assisters: Marin (6), Zappa (4), Joao Pedro (3), Pavoletti (3) 

Torino – “The team has not strengthened much”

It was difficult to predict that Torino would do worse than the previous year and rescue a place in next year’s Serie A only with a game left.

The Granata struggled from the getaway, with an unsatisfying attitude and many lows. They were penultimate after as much as 18 games, with just 13 points.

The change from coach Marco Giampaolo to Davide Nicola did bring some more results, but for a team of Torino’s calibre it’s a hugely disappointing season. 

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Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
ResultLLWLDLDLDLLLDDWDLDDDDDWWDLLLDWWDLWDLLD
Position1516202019181718181818191820171718181717171717171818171717171516161515161717
Score00334455666678111212131415161720232424242425283132323536363637

Goalscorers: Belotti (13), Zaza (6), Sanabria (5), Bremer (5),

Assisters: Belotti (6), Ansaldi (6), Verdi (4), Bonazzoli (3)

Benevento – “Benevento came with the intention to remain”

For one point, they were one of the most surprising teams.

They were in the top 10 coming into the new year, but then came a period in which they scored 11 points in 21 games, only winning one. It is a remarkable win, that came against Juventus, but Benevento’s second-half has been incredibly disappointing.

It’s very hard to say what went wrong with Benevento. The injury of right-back Gaetano Letizia and the lack of winter-signings could be a cause, plus the lack of sustaining the 90 minutes across the games.

At the start of the season there was enthusiasm, but then the side appeared to have no reaction once things didn’t kick in. 

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Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
ResultLWWLLLLWDDLDWWLWLLDLDDDLLDLWDLLDLLLLDD
Position141271013141614151315151210101010111112141515161616161615161717181818181818
Score03666669101111121518182121212222232425252526262930303031313131313233

Goalscorers: Lapadula (8), Viola (5), Caprari (5), Sau (4)

Assisters: Caprari (6), Insigne (4), Viola (3)

Crotone – “They will face serious struggles” 

The Pitagorics appeared condemned straight away. They occupied the bottom two places for the complete duration of the season and even set the negative record for goals conceded in a single Italian top flight season, with 92. 

The positive responses came from unexpected players, with Simy setting many records for an African player, scoring a whopping 20 goals. Winter-signing Adam Ounas and Junior Messias were among the best performers, but they carried the team on their own, with Simy finalising the play.

Not even the change on the bench from Giovanni Stroppa to Serse Cosmi gave Crotone the consistency they needed. 

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Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
ResultLLLDLLDLLLWDLWLLLWLLLLLLLWLLLLLLWLLWDD
Position1819202020202020202020202019202020202020202020202020202020202020202020191919
Score00011122225669999121212121212121215151515151515181818212223

Goalscorers: Simy (20), Messias (9), Ounas (4), Golemic (2), Reca (2)

Assisters: Messias (4), Molina (4), Pereira (4), Ounas (3), Reca (3)

Parma – “Parma’s journey seems a little more complicated”

Parma were definitely not amongst the candidates for relegation, let alone to finish dead last. It was true that Dejan Kulusevski’s and coach Roberto D’Aversa’s departure appeared to penalise the team, but Parma were coming off a season in which they really threatened Milan and Napoli for the top seven. 

They completely changed the way they played, that being counter-attacks. It’s not guaranteed to be that, but Gervinho and Andreas Cornelius were virtually non-existent, after an awesome showing in 2019/20. They featured 42 different players across the year and although D’Aversa returned, they entered the relegation zone not to leave it anymore. 

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 Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
ResultLLWLDDDLWDDDLLLLLDLLLLDDLDWLDLLLLLLLLL
Position1720151815151517161614141516161819191919191919191919191919191919191919202020
Score0033456691011121212121212131313131314151516191920202020202020202020

Goalscorers: Kucka (7), Hernani (7), Gervinho (5), Kurtic (4)

Assisters: Cornelius (4), Pezzella (4), Hernani (3)

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