Results from round 16:
Serie A table:
Milan move back at the top of the table
It was never in doubt for Milan, the moment they stepped onto the pitch against Salernitana.
The newcomers were not enough for the Rossoneri, who had the contest in the bag well within the first-half with Franck Kessie and Alexis Saelemakers.
After living a stupendous 2020/21, the Milan city is back at the top (Inter are second). For Milan it’s another big chance to fight for the league, as Napoli’s defeat means that Stefano Pioli’s side are finally first.
It’s an Inter monologue against Jose Mourinho
It had never happened before this game that a side coached by Jose Mourinho would be 3-0 down at halftime in a home fixture.
It was all too easy for Inter, who made excellent use of Roma’s absences and played 45 minutes at the highest level.
Hakan Calhanoglu scored directly from a corner-kick, whilst the second goal was a combination of 21 passes finished by former player Edin Dzeko.
Inter looked so superior they could rest Lautaro Martinez for the whole game and dominated without Stefan De Vrij and Matteo Darmian. The latter’s substitute Denzel Dumfries scored his first black and blue goal for the 3-0.
Atalanta are there for the title, Napoli’s injuries suggest they may not
In the space of a few hours, Napoli drop from first, to have just a two points cushion on Atalanta, who are fourth. It’s all open at the top.
Atalanta won all the last five games, Napoli scored five points in them, and, with a very decimated side, were overturned by Atalanta. By all means, La Dea make a strong nomination for the league title fight.
Ruslan Malinovskyi scored the first, Piotr Zielinski equalised and the Belgian Dries Mertens made use of a mistake by Mehdi Demiral, who inexplicably tried to play him offside in his own half.
The Turkish player made it up for in an all-defender combination. Rafael Toloi provided the assist, Demiral run beyond the defence and scored, with Remo Freuler later netting a precious winner.
Fiorentina make another step forward
A 3-2 win against unexpected rivals Bologna sees La Viola move up to fifth place and overtake Roma.
Bologna would have had the chance to make that step had they won, but Musa Barrow’s and Aaron Hickey’s efforts weren’t enough to stop Vincenzo Italiano’s side.
Youssef Maleh scored his first Serie A goal, Cristiano Biraghi netted a free-kick and then Dusan Vlahovic converted a penalty, giving Fiorentina their best start in six years.
Verona complete an unbelievable come-back
It’s Serie A’s best come-back in 10 years the one that sees Verona win 4-3 the Veneto derby against Venezia. The first time a side overturned a three goal disadvantage since Milan did so against Lecce in 2011.
The Lagunari were 3-0 up at half-time, as it looked like Igor Tudor’s magic wand for Verona was running out after such a good start.
However, the second-half saw four goals from the Gialloblu. The first was an own-goal by Thomas Henry (who scored the 3-0), the second saw the red card for Paolo Ceccaroni (who scored the 1-0) and the penalty converted by Gianluca Caprari.
The top five leagues’ best goalscorer in the last two months put his name in the match: Giovanni Simeone gifted Verona a shock win.
Spezia lose another chance to clear the danger
Sassuolo are able to snatch a draw against Spezia after being two goals down, as Thiago Motta’s side only got five points in the last eight matches.
Rey Manaj and Emmanuel Gyasi put Spezia in front, but a late come-back was performed by Giacomo Raspadori.
The Sassuolo youngster was subbed on in the second-half and scored both goals, as the Neroverdi are desperately trying to return in the top 10, which is where they would expect to be.
Lazio tie Roma, but both have little to smile about
After a promising start, Lazio’s joint 7th place with city rivals Roma and the 16th best defence means the Biancocelesti are way off where they expected to be.
At least, a 3-1 win against Sampdoria meant they could get three points with a brace from Ciro Immobile and a goal by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
However, Milinkovic-Savic was later sent off for dissent, and Immobile came off with an injury.
Sampdoria tried their best, dominated the second-half and pulled one back with Manolo Gabbiadini, showing Lazio’s problems, but it was too little, too late.
Juventus seem to be entering a better moment
Juan Cuadrado’s “olympic goal” from the corner flag emulated Hakan Calhanoglu’s, who scored it just the day before in Inter v Roma. It’s a weird occurrence considering the last of them was almost four years ago.
Cuadrado put Juventus in front, who had an easy game against Genoa, finishing 27 shots to nil, despite Juventus’s second goal only coming very late on with Paulo Dybala.
Juventus won four of the last five games and hope they can build on that to mount a challenge for the top four.
Genoa, on the other hand, failed to score in the last four games and are winless in almost three months. It’s a dramatic situation ahead of the derby with Sampdoria.
Empoli continue on a high
Aurelio Andreazzoli will certainly be pleased with his squad’s progress after winning the Serie B last season.
Empoli’s come-back to win 3-1 against Udinese puts them very close to the top five, as the Azzurri snatched their third win of the season with goals by Petar Stojanovic, Nedim Bajrami and Andrea Pinamonti.
Luca Gotti’s position as Udinese coach is at risk. The Friulani still hold six points over Cagliari and Genoa in the relegation zone, but their form is all but positive.
Spectacular Joao Pedro effort gives Cagliari a point
Another disappointment comes for Torino who, despite showing good defensive solidity, are still stuck in 13th place.
Cagliari get their fourth consecutive draw, which moves them up to 18th, after progressing from last. It once again came because of Joao Pedro, whose bycicle-kick helped cancel Andrea Carboni’s own-goal.
Both teams feel like they should be doing more and will be hoping to turn fortunes around before the end of the first round of games.
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