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Results from round 22:

Serie A table:

Dennis Praet comes back against to haunt Sampdoria

For the third time in the last five games, Sampdoria lose points after moving up the score and come to their third straight defeat. 

The decisive man in Torino v Sampdoria once again is Dennis Praet. The Belgian midfielder, after scoring his only goal for the Granata in the meeting earlier in October, scored his second one yet again against his former club. 

Torino’s run, in what is only their second away win of the season, brings them up in the Europa League fight, whilst Sampdoria need to watch their back. 

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Lazio beat Salernitana in the mark of Ciro Immobile

Salernitana’s first official game with the new club owner is against their former owner: Claudio Lotito of Lazio. After 10 minutes, the game was over, with Ciro Immobile netting twice. 

It was Immobile’s 140th league goal since joining Lazio five and a half seasons ago. Only Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi got more in the meantime. Immobile temporarily moved on top of the goalscorers chart and keeps showing what he is made of. 

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Is Dybala’s gesture a sign he wants to part ways?

La Gazzetta dello Sport called it “A goal without Joy(a)”. Paulo Dybala’s winner against Udinese was followed with a poisoned look towards the stands.

The Argentinian is reportedly frustrated and Dybala’s doubts on his contract renewal, which will end in six months, are currently a big talking point, following Juventus putting forward lower and lower offers as time comes by. 

Dybala is a vital man for this side: with seven goals and three assists, he is the stats leader for Juventus in both of these respects despite missing eight games due to injury. Is his adventure coming to an end or will the two sides find a way back?

Verona’s front three is the most prolific in the Serie A

With Antonin Barak (three) and Gianluca Caprari scoring all four goals in Verona’s game against Sassuolo, the Gialloblu’s front three is now the most prolific in the league. 

Giovanni Simeone, Barak and Caprari all scored at least seven goals, for a total of 27 in the first 22 games. Gianluca Scamacca’s wonder in the game wasn’t enough against Verona’s attacking prowess. 

Luis Nani’s debut gives Venezia a point

Just a few years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine Luis Nani playing for Venezia in Serie A. The Portuguese winger returned in the league four years after playing for Lazio and assisted less than two minutes after coming on. 

This helped Venezia come-back against Empoli, with David Okereke equalising Szymon Zurkowski’s opener. 

Empoli will regret missing multiple chances in the first-half, as the situation in the table isn’t too worrying, despite their run slowing down and failing to win in the last five games (three draws).

Sergio Oliveira the king of Rome for one day…And more

A surprise signing saw Roma bring Sergio Oliveira to the Italian capital in the last week. The Portuguese was publicly praised by Jose Mourinho, who immediately put him in the starting 11. 

He was off to a strong start, winning a penalty and then converting it after half an hour to score the winner in the game against Cagliari. 

He is the first Portuguese to score for the club in Serie A and was praised also after the game, with Mourinho saying: “Roma need 11 Sergio Oliveira”. He was the king of Rome for a night…Hoping to be so for many more. 

Atalanta slow down Inter, as the two goalkeepers shine

For the past two years, Atalanta and Inter were the two most prolific teams in the Italian league, with Atalanta finishing as best for the last three seasons. However, only twice in the last 10 meetings between the side, more than two goals were scored. 

This is a sign that the two teams respect each other, but had it not been for Samir Handanovic and Juan Musso, the game could have seen at least a goal. The two goalkeepers were the protagonist, as Inter’s run of eight consecutive league wins comes to an end. 

It’s the first time in 39 games (they were only four shy of the all-time record) that Inter don’t score in a Serie A game, but Milan’s loss to Spezia means they increased the gap at the top. 

Napoli close in on second place

A brace by Hirving Lozano helps Napoli clear Bologna and move within two points of Milan. After some disappointing months before Christmas, Luciano Spalletti’s side are finding some form and got two wins, plus a draw with Juventus. 

Bologna welcomed Napoli, but were defeated for the fifth time in six games. After looking very sharp and being in the European places for some time, it looks like Sinisa Mihajlovic’s team won’t be challenging until the end. 

Another positive note was Victor Osimhen’s return after two months out. The Nigerian can be a strong asset for the squad and most of Napoli’s hopes will rely on him.

Wasteful Milan will feel robbed

Spezia shock the San Siro, as once again the Ligurian side play a decisive role in Milan’s title race after the upset of last season. 

The result was affected by a crucial episode in stoppage time, in which the referee failed to play the advantage when Junior Messias scored after a foul. The whistle was blown as the Brazilian went to shoot. 

However, Milan will feel they were to be winning by then, missing a penalty and a series of chances before capitalising on a defensive error that gifted Rafael Leao a goal. 

Spezia came into the second-half trying to win and they did so, pulling a goal back with Kevin Agudelo and then stunning everyone at the 96th minute with Emmanuel Gyasi. 

Fiorentina demolish hopeless Genoa

It looks like sacking Andryi Shevchenko didn’t bring the expected benefits for Genoa, who have a history of parting ways. Abdoulay Konko counted for the 23th time a new manager was appointed since 2010. (There were 40 different spells in the 21st century for Genoa). 

Captained by Cristiano Biraghi, who scored two freekicks, la Viola move up to sixth, as Dusan Vlahovic missed his first senior penalty after scoring the previous 12. The Serbian later redeemed himself by scoring the fourth of six goals. 

It was Fiorentina’s largest Serie A win since a 7-1 against Ancona in 1992 and Genoa’s second worst defeat ever. 

For the previous Serie A column click here.

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April 2024