Results from round 18:
Serie A table:
Pedro and his good form with Sarri
Lazio get a comfortable home win against struggling Genoa and get back running, for the moment. It came without Ciro Immobile and that can be quite significant given the Biancocelesti typically struggle without their captain.
Pedro scored the first goal, his sixth so far this season. Only once in the last eight years had he scored so much in the first round of games: the 2018/19 season with Maurizio Sarri coaching Chelsea.
The Spaniard already surpassed his tally from last season at Roma and is one of few positive notes for Lazio, who won also thanks to goals by Francesco Acerbi and Mattia Zaccagni.
Inter fly high with their goal record
Sixth consecutive win for Inter, the fifth one without conceding. It was a goal feast at the Stadio Arechi of Salernitana, who proved they weren’t a match for the Italian Champions.
Inter must bag in as many points as possible ahead of a January and February which will see them face Lazio, Juventus, Atalanta, Venezia, Milan, Napoli, Liverpool and Sassuolo.
Inter scored 103 goals in 2021, surpassing their own previous record (99) and registering Serie A’s biggest tally since 1950 in which Milan scored 120 in what currently is the absolute record.
Roma are reborn to stop Atalanta’s run
Jose Mourinho’s side redeem a period in which everything seemed to be going wrong and return to winning against a team sitting in the top three after more than a year.
Tammy Abraham was the hero, scoring the first and last goals of the game, which ended with the surprise score of 4-1. It’s surprising considering Roma recently lost to Inter 3-0 and now scored four against Inter’s presumably biggest threat.
Nicolo Zaniolo also was reborn, finally scoring a goal after 514 days, most of which spent on the side-lines for injuries. Luis Muriel tried to get his side back into the game, with a shot that was going miles off, but was deflected by Bryan Cristante.
It looked like Atalanta could get lucky, but it wasn’t to be, as another Englishman, Chris Smalling, scored in successive games to deny La Dea.
Juventus help rediscover Morata’s form
Alvaro Morata was deeply criticised for a quiet first part of the season, but is now quickly scoring vital goals. He scored in all the last three away games against Salernitana, Venezia and Bologna.
The Spaniard put Juventus in front after a great initiative by Federico Bernardeschi, but it was only in the final third of the game that the Bianconeri could relax, with Juan Cuadrado making it 2-0.
Juventus are still in seventh and will need more results like this if they are to challenge for higher positions.
Udinese thrash inexplicable Cagliari
Gabriele Cioffi is still unbeaten since he took over at Udinese, with his side winning 4-0 against Cagliari that ever more look like a side that sometimes is hopeless on the pitch.
The Sardinians went down straight away, with Diego Godin giving the ball away and favouring Jean-Victor Makengo, before they were punished by Gerard Deulofeu’s free-kick.
Nahuel Molina scored another stunner, before Deulofeu made it four in a shocking result that gives Udinese 10 points over the relegation zone.
Goals and fun at the Stadio Franchi
The occasion in which Dusan Vlahovic equalled Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 33 goals in a single Serie A year saw the meeting between Fiorentina and Sassuolo.
The visitors capitalised on the home side’s poor finishing to be 2-0 up at half-time with Gianluca Scamacca and Davide Frattesi both scoring great goals.
But with Fiorentina having so many chances to pull one back, it had to happen at some point and Vlahovic, plus Lucas Torreira put an ending to this game between two very offensive sides.
Fiorentina remain in fifth, but are now tied by Roma and Juvenus after their first draw of the season. Sassuolo, instead, close the gap to the top 10 to one point.
Two own-goals decided the match between Empoli and Spezia.
Spezia were once again denied a win, but at least gain one point on the sides sitting below them, who once again all lost.
Thiago Motta’s side went up early in the second-half thanks to an own-goal by Riccardo Marchizza, who joined Empoli this summer after playing for Spezia last year.
The irony was that they were denied by Dimitris Nikolau, who also scored into his own net to give Empoli the equaliser. The Greek defender’s past experience up until the last summer? Spezia…
Gabbiadini’s great moment isn’t enough for Sampdoria
For the first time in his career, Manolo Gabbiadini scored for four games in a row with the same team, finding the back of the net after a single minute at the end of a combination with Francesco Caputo.
Sampdoria were hoping to make another big step towards the top 10, but Paolo Zanetti’s Venezia are proving like a decent side that is in Serie A on merit and they got one back very late with Thomas Henry.
All in all, it’s a good point for both teams, who now have 19 and 17 points respectively. It’s a safe score, for the time being, given that the relegation zone currently is led by Genoa and Cagliari at 10.
Ivan Juric beats his former side
Torino get yet another home win, now being the side that has the most points at home in the whole of the Serie A. Coach Ivan Juric got all three points against Verona, his former side.
The visitors were deeply penalised by Gian Giacomo Magnani’s error. It led to a clear goalscoring opportunity that was denied by the defender, who was sent off for fouling Antonio Sanabria.
Torino scored from a tap-in after the deriving free-kick and had to control the lead. They couldn’t find a second, but they didn’t have to, even if Verona valiantly fought until the end.
Elmas denies a disappointing and disappointed Milan
Milan get a brutal stop that sends Inter four points away, as Napoli’s win at the San Siro means the chasing duo now contains Luciano Spalletti’s side.
Milan were very disappointing for large parts of the game, with Napoli limiting to controlling the lead after Eljif Elmas’ very early goal. As stated, Milan weren’t impressive, but scored at the 90th minute and the referee’s decision was very controversial.
Olivier Giroud was seen to be offside and judged as actively participating by VAR to Franck Kessie’s goal. It was a tremendous blow for Milan, who were looking to get an unexpected point after a difficult match, but instead were left wondering to what could have been.
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