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Results from round 13:

Serie A table:

Pasalic and Zapata are walking through the league

Atalanta are unbeaten in six league games and all of them saw the direct contribution of Mario Pasalic or Duvan Zapata, either with a goal or with an assist. 

The duo are in the form of their life and Atalanta moved past Spezia with five goals to keep three points on fifth-placed Roma. 

This is usually the part of the season in which Atalanta start entering top form and M’bala Nzola’s return to goal, with a brace, proved not enough to defeat La Dea. 

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Bonucci’s two goals help Juve clear Sarri’s Lazio

Maurizio Sarri’s first game against his former team ends in disappointment and the Italian coach expressed all his opposition to the penalty that broke the deadlock. 

Leonardo Bonucci stepped up twice from the spot, with Juventus now picking up some form and returning in the mix for the top seven places. The Bianconeri had their favourite situation: defending a one goal lead for most of the game. 

It’s Bonucci’s second and third time from the penalty spot this season and all of Italy may wonder what would have happened had he taken penalties against Switzerland. 

The National team was surrounded by controversy, with Jorginho missing two in two games against Italy’s rivals, that forced them to yet another play-off round to enter the world cup. 

Horrors and errors: Milan are served their first Serie A defeat

Dusan Vlahovic’s 3-0 goal at the 60th minute appeared to put in the bag a match which Fiorentina ruled with spectacular goals and Milan’s defensive howlers. 

However, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was there when needed, as usual. The Swede scored two goals and seven minutes later, the contest was well open, with the first one seeing former Milan player Giacomo Bonaventura responsible. 

Milan increased the pressure and a miracle come-back looked very likely until Theo Hernandez lost possession and gave Vlahovic another goal at the 85th minute. 

Including stoppage time, there were 12 further minutes and Milan found the net again with Ibrahimovic’s contribution. His header came off the bar and hit Lorenzo Venuti for an own goal that proved too little, too late. 

Emotions resulted in a spectacular draw between Sassuolo and Cagliari

Despite putting in some spectacular attacking performances, Sassuolo aren’t picking up as many points as they should. They are stopped, this time by Cagliari, who yet again see Joao Pedro scoring a goal. 

Gianluca Scamacca’s first was a short joy, with Cagliari inventing a beautiful goal out of nowhere. Nahitan Nandez chipped his defendant and went on to cross a high ball, hard to direct on goal for anyone but Keita Balde, who struck it in with a bicycle-kick. 

Davide Frattesi gained a penalty, and Domenico Berardi put Sassuolo back in front. However, after just five minutes, Cagliari levelled again, with Frattesi giving away a penalty. 

Joao Pedro’s eighth goal (of Cagliari’s 15) proves that maybe, the Brazilian with the Italian passport, can be a solution for Italy’s attacking problems. 

Sampdoria out of danger with Candreva

The Blucerchiati inflict Salernitana their 10th defeat in 13 games, moving in front of Genoa and Spezia, now sitting in 16th.

Antonio Candreva’s cross was deflected in by Francesco Di Tacchio, creating a positive, though imprecise reaction from Salernitana. 

The home side threw themselves forward, but Di Tacchio and Franck Ribery tripped over each other in an attacking situation, leading a four v one counterattack conducted by Fabio Quagliarella. 

The striker served Candreva, who netted his fifth of the season for a much-needed win. 

Venezia gain momentum against Bologna

With seven points in the last three games, few would have predicted Venezia to have 15 points in 13 games. 

The Lagunari move six points in front of the relegation zone, with David Okereke capitalising on a rebound and giving his side three points. 

It’s a wasted opportunity for Bologna, who could have climbed up to joint-sixth had they cleared the newly-promoted side.

Despite 17 corners to Venezia’s none and 22 shots, Sergio Romero wasn’t called upon too much. The Argentinian goalkeeper got his third clean sheet in six games for his side. 

Inter return great and take their chance against Napoli

After a streak of disappointing results despite good performances against strong sides, Inter finally snatch a win against league leaders Napoli and close to within four points of the leading duo. 

The match saw the return on the scoresheet for Lautaro Martinez, who scored the 3-1 after Hakan Calhanoglu’s penalty and Ivan Perisic’s header just before half-time. 

The Croatian is a strong asset of Inter’s in recent months and Martinez’s goal looked likely to close the contest, giving an important lead with 30 minutes left. 

However, like it often happens, Inter’s substitutions lowered the intensity and the Nerazzurri were under immense pressure in the final minutes. Dries Mertens’s stunner spiced up the finale and only the crossbar after Mario Rui’s effort and the Belgian’s abysmal miss in stoppage time gave Inter all three points. 

Roma discover a new talent named Felix Afena-Gyan 

Andriy Shevchenko’s first at Genoa coach is spoiled by the 2003 born Felix Afena-Gyan, who was substituted on in the final 15 minutes and decided the game with a brace. 

The Ghanaian got his first goal after an initiative from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who finally returned to form, and became the first player born in his birthyear to score in Serie A. 

Afena-Gyan’s winner wasn’t all of it, however, as seconds before the referee was to blow his whistle, the 18 year-old invented a stupendous goal from long range to put the cherry on the cake. 

Tameze strikes late as Verona chase glory

A last-minute goal gives Verona a 2-1 win over Empoli, as they only lost one of 10 games with Igor Tudor in charge. 

After being pointless in the first three games, Verona are now two points off the group of teams occupying sixth-placed and look on the run. 

It’s their fifth consecutive home win, as Empoli are denied, losing their three-game unbeaten run and dropping back to the bottom half of the table. 

Torino’s hopes rely on home form

With 13 points (now) won at home and just four away, Torino fans will have been happy to host Udinese on the Monday night match. 

Ivan Juric’s team are proving to be quite inconsistent, but won thanks to Josip Brekalo’s precise long-effort and the goalscoring defender Bremer’s contribution.

Fernando Forestieri’s direct free-kick, Udinese’s first goal scored this way since February 2016, isn’t enough for Udinese. After a scintillating start, the Friulani are now struggling. 

For the previous Serie A column click here.

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May 2024