Results from round 25 of the 2020/21 season:
Serie A table:
Pirlo’s substitutions help Juventus forward
It’s difficult to comment on Juventus this season, because their lack of continuity makes it hard to judge their form. Spezia played an open game, even dominating large chunks of the first half, but Juventus’s superiority emerged at distance, with Spezia pushed back in their half.
Soon after coming on, Federico Bernardeschi served Alvaro Morata, for Juve’s opening goal, as Chiesa sealed the 2-0 short after. Cristiano Ronaldo got his reward for being the only dangerous player for large portions of the game by scoring with a few minutes to the end.
A disappointing outcome for Vincenzo Italiano, whose style of play with Spezia is making many recognise his great work.
Thrilling draw between Sassuolo and Napoli
It was almost inevitable to not keep clean sheets in such a game, as both teams can only blame themselves for not snatching a win in this 3-3.
Lorenzo Insigne’s beautiful opener was disallowed for offside, with Nikola Maksimovic’s own goal giving Sassuolo the lead. Piotr Zielinski and Domenico Berardi, from a penalty, scored, going 2-1 to half-time.
Then, Sassuolo hit the woodwork twice, before in-form man Giovanni Di Lorenzo redeemed his disappointing season, scoring a goal and winning a penalty.
When Insigne converted the spot-kick in stoppage time it finally seemed over, but substitute Kostas Manolas gave away another penalty, which Francesco Caputo scored to end the show.
Atalanta’s top men hit again
Atalanta show up in maximum form ahead of the game with league leaders Inter. Should they snatch a win, who knows, can they be able to make a late charge?
Robin Gosens, Luis Muriel and Josip Ilicic all scored, as Crotone’s resistance only lasted for one half. Gosens had put the hosts up, but an error let Simy go through and equalise.
There was no contest in the second half, as Serse Cosmi’s adventure as new Crotone coach doesn’t start in the best way. Atalanta are really looking dangerous and Inter are warned.
Two out of two for Semplici
Eight points in the last four games and then a loss against relegation-placed Cagliari. This sums up Bologna’s season, who although they are looking set for survival, aren’t respecting their ambitions.
Cagliari claim their second successive victory after their long drought, with new coach Leonardo Semplici starting in the best way. Can he emulate his colleague Davide Ballardini and change Cagliari’s face?
It was a goal by former Juventus player Daniele Rugani to help Cagliari out of the relegation zone, even if Covid-19-hit Torino have two games in hand.Embed from Getty Images
Balance in the Derby della Lanterna
Genoa and Sampdoria get their second derby draw of the season, with two defenders being protagonist. Davide Zappacosta produced a formidable opener with a run forward, before Lorenzo Tonelli equalised for Sampdoria with a header.
Genoa had control for most of the game, with Sampdoria struggling to support strikers Keita Balde and Fabio Quagliarella.
It had to come down to a corner-kick, as balance held. This reflects the season’s ongoing, as the Genoan teams are separated by only four points in the league.
Benevento’s struggles continue
Verona are experiencing a pendulum effect with seventh place, as a game they appear they could still challenge for Europe, while another it appears that the race is over.
Most likely, it will be impossible given the inexperience and the technical difference with the big seven, but Ivan Juric’s convincing win over Benevento lifted Verona above Sassuolo in eighth to 38 points.
Meanwhile, Benevento lose another chance to win a game and are currently in their worst moment of the season. With Cagliari and Torino slowly recovering their form, Benevento are dangerously losing the safety margin over relegation.
It’s true they were exceeding expectations at the start, and Filippo Inzaghi claimed that most of his team’s inexperience is a cause for their poor form.Embed from Getty Images
Is Milan’s magic over?
Milan’s form since December the 13th says eight wins, five draws and five losses in all competitions. The Rossoneri are slowly losing form and their struggles are understandable with key men Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Hakan Calhanoglu again out for injury.
It came down to the very last kick of the game, with Franck Kessie’s penalty getting an equaliser against Udinese.
Fifth place is only six points back and it looks like all the confidence that was built in the first round of games, where Milan remained top all throughout, is going missing.
Amadou Diawara becomes Roma’s unexpected hero
Roma are up and running again after the defeat with Milan. A game that, given the six points difference there is now has had a major impact on the standings.
Against Fiorentina, once again disappointing despite a decent performance, Amadou Diawara proved to be the late hero, for what is just his third Serie A goal, but it’s a heavy one. Roma couldn’t afford to lose any more points and do well to remain in sight of the top four.
It was an unusual night for Leonardo Spinazzola, who scored Roma’s opener in what was also his third Serie A goal, before firing a cross into his own net. Thankfully for him, Diawara came to the rescue.
Sanchez gives Inter points and hope
Parma’s performance against Inter reflects that their league situation is harsh and that their team is capable of being higher up. Inter, instead, prove that the mountain to climb is still high and next week’s game with Atalanta will be a massive test.
It didn’t appear like a game between first and 19th, as Parma courageously played and neutralised Inter for large parts of the match. It seemed like it was a typical performance of the first year and a half for Antonio Conte’s men, given the lack of organisation and the huge number of big chances missed.
Alexis Sanchez’s two goals, however, gave Inter three precious points, despite suffering until the end given that Hernani also netted for Parma.
Winning such games is what makes the difference between a winning side and a good side, as Conte’s “first” Inter would probably have not won such a tight and difficult game.
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