Results from round 35:
Serie A table:
Verona keep momentum going, Cagliari keep suffering
With their key players, Antonin Barak and Gianluca Caprari, Hellas Verona won at Cagliari 2-1 (Joao Pedro for the Sardinians) and consolidated their ninth place.
Walter Mazzarri’s team is still involved in the relegation fight and next week’s clash against Salernitana will be of immense importance. It can be a do or die match for the future of these two sides.
Despite hitting the post twice in the first-half, Cagliari struggled after pulling a goal back, showing signs that might leave the fans with little hope of getting something out of the coming games.
Napoli respond to the critics, but it’s too late
After dropping out of the title race with a point in three matches, Napoli responded by going 4-0 up inside 21 minutes to win 6-1 over Sassuolo.
It was a tremendous performance. Napoli’s target at the beginning of the season was probably not to win the league, but the ongoing led many believing a title was possible.
Performances like these hinted that, had Napoli had more consistency, the quality was there. For the time-being, the Partenopei will enjoy a return to Champions League football after missing out for two years.
Sampdoria rejoice, as derby ends in desperation for Genoa
Sampdoria bounced back, after four winless games, to get a crucial win over rivals Genoa in the fight for Serie A permanence. Abdelhamid Samiri scored the winner inside the first-half to help his team make a serious step forward.
Genoa had the chance to get a vital point, but Emil Audero broke the hearts of the Genoan fans by saving a penalty at the 96th minute. Captain Domenico Criscito was denied after stepping up.
Upcoming games against Juventus and Napoli are almost impossible for Genoa to get a win in, as the threat of relegation is as concrete as ever.
Happier days come for Acerbi in last-gasp victory
Francesco Acerbi was in the eye of the storm the previous week. After a slight drop in form and an image showing him laughing (hysterically) and argue with teammate Adam Marusic after conceding last minute to Milan, he redeemed himself.
Acerbi scored the winner in an emotional 4-3 win at Spezia, which further highlighted Lazio’s defensive woes (now they are on 53 goals conceded), but which consolidated their challenge for the top seven.
Spezia went up three times, in a game characterised by defensive mistakes, in which Ciro Immobile increased his tally to 27 goals this season.
Bonucci gives Juventus Champions League football on his birthday
Leonardo Bonucci’s brace was enough for Juventus to beat Venezia and get access to next year’s Champions League, with the complicity of Roma dropping points. The defender was on the end of two plays from corner-kicks to make it five this season.
It was a painful defeat for Venezia, who equalised just minutes before the second goal. The Lagunari, who sacked Paolo Zanetti during the week, remain in last place, six points away from 17th place, with four games to go (for them).
Climbing as up as the top four, with the Coppa Italia final yet to play, can be considered as a positive turnaround for Massimiliano Allegri’s side, considering how it all started.Embed from Getty Images
Unstoppable Belotti takes Torino to the top 10
After scoring three goals in the final 10 minutes of their previous game, Empoli were on the wrong end, this time. Andrea Belotti scored a hat-trick in the last 15 minutes to deny Aurelio Andreazzoli’s side.
Empoli were deservedly in front, but Belotti was unleashed in the final 20 minutes, coming on after a red card for Valerio Verre. Empoli finished the game with nine men, conceding two penalties.
This added some late joy for the Gallo, who might end the season on single digits for goals scored for the first time since joining Torino in 2015.Embed from Getty Images
Leao’s massive goal takes Milan closer to the title
After Inter’s shocking midweek defeat, Milan had everything in their hands. Rafael Leao’s late goal saw San Siro erupt in joy as the Portuguese benefitted from a howler by Pietro Terracciano.
It was a goal of immense importance, as a draw started to look inevitable. Milan are now seven points away from their first title in 11 years, with their young star now reaching double digits of goals.
Whilst, on one side, the goalkeeper was decisive for the goal, on the other one, Mike Maignan was vital in saving the day. The French player kept showing more and more that he is a real asset in a league decided by goalkeepers.
Inter keep up the pace after shocking defeat
A loss in the rescheduled Matchday 20 game against Bologna was shocking and put the fate of the league in Milan’s hands. Inter have to hope Milan drop at least three points, and kept the pressure on their rivals with a win over Udinese.
The 2-1 came with goals from in-form players Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez, before Ignacio Pussetto gave the Nerazzurri a tense ending, scoring late on for Udinese.
Inter respond to their loss and, for at least another two weeks, the league is still to play for.Embed from Getty Images
Bologna get another big result
After holding to draws both Milan and Juventus, and defeating Inter, Bologna also managed to get a draw against Roma. This extended their unbeaten streak to six games.
Roma played deep turnover in order to rest players ahead of the Conference League semi-final and were less sharp than usual, being held to no goals scored only for the first time since February, 5.Embed from Getty Images
Salernitana’s hopes keep increasing
Mounting on Atalanta’s recurring troubles, with la Dea only securing three wins in the last 16 league games, Salernitana got their 10th point in four games to believe in Serie A permanence.
Ederson’s goal was cancelled out late by Mario Pasalic, but for Davide Nicola’s team, who still have a game in hand against bottom of the league Venezia, survival is still possible, being two points away of Cagliari.
The two sides will face each other on the next matchday, in what will turn out to be a match for the ages, especially for Salernitana, who sill haven’t managed to feature in back to back Serie A seasons throughout their history.
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