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Results from round 19:

Serie A table:

Goalless Genoa hold Atalanta to another stop

Atalanta’s 38 points is their highest tally ever after 19 games, but for Gian piero Gasperini’s men there is more bitter news, given they were held to a draw by one of the teams in poorest form: Genoa. 

They concluded the first round of games with just 11 points. It’s their worst-ever start and the fifth of seven in which they failed to score. It is a good note to stop Atalanta, but not so much to end the game with just a single shot registered. 

La Dea will look to bounce back soon if they want to keep their hopes up. 

Positive end to 2021 for Juventus

Fourth win in five matches for the Bianconeri, who close the gap to the top four to just four points now. 

Relegation-threatened Cagliari are defeated with the help of Moise Kean and Federico Bernardeschi, with his first goal in 18 months. 

Juventus are on good form now and their upcoming match against Napoli is another occasion to make a statement and fully dedicate to the high places in 2022. 

Bologna dominate the Emilian derby

Perhaps against the odds, due to their form, Bologna conquer Emilia-Romagna with a win over rivals Sassuolo, that pushes them back in the top 10. 

There are plenty of good news for the Felsinei, with Riccardo Orsolini scoring back-to-back goals for the first time in almost two years and Federico Santander’s first goal in 784 days. 

Aaron Hickey’s fourth goal of the season from the back is also another reason to smile about, with Sassuolo still ending the year with their record of points in a single year: 60. 

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Lazio smile and end the year on a good note

Maurizio Sarri’s team get back-to-back league wins for the first time since August, in which they won the opening two rounds. The Biancocelesti chase a pack led by Juventus, who sit fifth with 34 points, three lengths away.

Pedro added another goal to his tally, before Venezia equalised thanks to Francesco Forte’s first Serie A goal. 

It was down to the goalscoring defender Francesco Acerbi and to Luis Alberto to give Lazio a reason to smile about and to look ahead to a more prosperous 2022. 

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Castrovilli helps Fiorentina rescue a point at Verona

Kevin Lasagna’s opener isn’t enough for Verona to get all three points, with Igor Tudor’s team snatching a point against Vincenzo Italiano’s Fiorentina. 

The home side prove they struggle at keeping the lead, now having dropped as much as 18 points after moving up on the score. 

Fiorentina, on the other hand, move up to 32 points, 11 more than at this stage last year, but still drop to seventh place, behind Juventus and Roma. 

Italiano has the potential to carry this team to Europe, but let’s not forget Fiorentina were involved in a relegation scrap for the last three years. 

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Fortunes changed quickly for Roberto D’Aversa

The Sampdoria coach was on the verge of being replaced, before the club’s owner was arrested and, thus, all plans changed and he got to stay in charge. 

Sampdoria are now unbeaten since, with two wins and two draws, which show a serious turnaround in their performances, now moving nine points clear of city rivals Genoa, who occupy 18th place. 

Roma were denied by the Blucerchiati, with Manolo Gabbiadini’s fifth consecutive goal preventing the Giallorossi from tying up with Juventus at fifth place and reduce the gap to the top four. 

Torino finally offered Inter a challenge

Torino are one of the toughest teams to break apart, as, even though they only scored a point against the “seven sisters”, they always lost by just a goal. They are the fifth best defence and it showed against the league leaders, who still managed to overcome the challenge. 

After coming from six straight wins with the overall score of 16-0, Inter finally had a worthy opponent, to whom they were only able to score once, thanks to Denzel Dumfries. 

The Dutch winger is finally creating more opportunities for the team and made use of Matteo Darmian’s injury to have more playing time. 

It was Inter’s 32nd win of 2021, only Juventus ever got more in the history of the Italian division: 33 in 2016. 

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Milan pick themselves up to go second

Stefano Pioli’s team’s form wasn’t exactly ideal to provide a title challenge, with the Rossoneri only scoring eight points in the previous seven games. 

After their heavy defeat, in terms of importance, to Napoli, Milan win against Empoli, with a great game that saw the score of 4-2 at the Stadio Castellani. Napoli and Atalanta can’t do the same and Milan now are Inter’s first chasers. 

Franck Kessie was the protagonist in a good team performance, with Alessandro Florenzi scoring a free-kick (Milan’s fourth this season) and Theo Hernandez also scoring on his return.  

Andrea Pinamonti gave Empoli some hope with a late penalty, adding to Nedim Bajrami’s first goal. The Albanian midfielder guilty of missing a golden chance that could have put Empoli level in the second-half. 

Spezia win at Napoli without shooting on target

Napoli can’t add to their win against milan and drop seven points behind Inter. It’s incredible considering the advantage they had a month ago. 

Injuries have severely hampered the squad’s progress in the league and they couldn’t make it past Spezia, who won thanks to an own-goal by Juan Jesus without shooting on target. 

The Partenopei get their third straight home defeat and can be desperate for hitting the woodwork for the 14th time this season. In truth, Napoli still struggled and it would be harsh on Spezia to say they didn’t deserve to win. 

It’s a crucial win for Thiago Motta, who moves five points in front of Genoa. 

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For the previous Serie A column click here.

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December 2023