By Edoardo Stella
Results from round 30 of the 2020/21 season:
Serie A table:
Erlic gives Spezia a large chunk of survival
Crotone are once again left stunned despite a good performance which saw them lose 3-2 to Spezia. They are now distant 12 points from 17th place and their time in the Serie A seems over.
Despite having the 13th best attack in the league, they have conceded 18 goals more than any other side and their defensive weaknesses were evident on Saturday, as they were 2-1 up with a minute to go.
Martin Erlic was the unusual protagonist, providing an assist and getting the winner, being the first Spezia player to do so in a Serie A game.
Ibrahimovic’s red card doesn’t stop Milan
AC Milan continued their superb away form in round 30 with a dominant first-half against Parma, who are also very close to being relegated out of the Serie A.
Ante Rebic scored the first goal, while midfielder Franck Kessie got his 10th of the campaign. It all appeared very easy for the Rossoneri, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off for dissent, leaving his team with 10 men for more than half an hour.
Parma did get one back, but they never looked too dangerous and Milan sealed the game in extra-time with Rafael Leao getting on the scoresheet.
Andrea Belotti returns to scoring with a crucial penalty
Torino secured three extremely important points last weekend against Udinese, winning 1-0 with their only shot on target being the all-important goal.
Considering the defeats of Crotone and Parma, it’s a crucial win for the Granata. Belotti headed into the game without a goal in six games but ended that draught from the penalty spot.
Udinese once again dominated the game, creating many chances but failing to convert any of them.Embed from Getty Images
Wing-back to wing-back, as Inter move on
In the latest games, Inter have changed their style of play, often limiting their time spent with the ball to ensure that maximum attention is given to bringing the result home.
Whilst it is not the most stylistic way to play, it appears to pay off, as Inter claimed their 11th win in a row, once again without conceding a goal.
It was Matteo Darmian who brought joy to the Nerazzurri, making use of an assist from Achraf Hakimi and causing Antonio Conte to burst onto the pitch in joy.
Attacking prowess, but leaky defence: Juventus’s latest form
Juventus secured back-to-back victories with a 3-1 triumph over Genoa, despite an early second-half scare. Dejan Kulusevski and Alvaro Morata scored, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Juan Cuadrado and Federico Chiesa all key in the build-up.
However, Juventus conceded a goal for the sixth game running, with Gianluca Scamacca giving some hope to his team from a corner.
The big chance fell to the feet of former man Marko Pjaca, who wasted a chance that was arguably easier to score than to miss. Super-sub Weston McKennie sealed the game to avoid another disappointment.
Victor Osimhen and Fabian Ruiz win it for Napoli
A mid-week loss to Juventus pushed Napoli out of the Champions League places, so it was important for the Partenopei to get back on track with three points in round 30.
Sampdoria produced an excellent display, playing courageously, like they always do, and both goalkeepers made important saves. Fabian Ruiz gave Napoli the lead, but it was disallowed due to a body check from Keita Balde on the goalkeeper.
Osimhen’s late goal gave Napoli three points ahead of the game against Inter. Can they be the first team to stop the Nerazzurri in the second round of games?Embed from Getty Images
Milinkovic-Savic keeps Lazio within sight of Champions League
With a game against 17th-placed Torino still to play, Lazio are just six points away from fourth place and can still secure top four if they continue their great form having won their last four games.
It took until stoppage time to overcome a tough side like Hellas Verona, with Serbian Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scoring the all-important goal.
Despite Ciro Immobile once again failing to score, Lazio don’t appear to struggle to find a goalscorer and can still move forwards with hope. They are still yet to play Milan and Napoli above them.Embed from Getty Images
Roma turning their focus to the Europa League
A result that doesn’t hamper their league progress, Roma won 1-0 against Bologna. However, the performance did indicate that Roma’s focus is now on the Europa League.
They are seven points shy of Atalanta and occupy 7th place, making it extremely difficult for them to finish in the top four. Given the win in the first leg against Ajax, it’s justified that Roma don’t put all their efforts into the league.
Borja Mayoral gave Roma three points after going more than two months without scoring.
Thrilling game as Duvan Zapata and Dusan Vlahovic shine
It was an awesome Sunday night clash between Fiorentina and Atalanta, with the visitors going two goals up before being caught, but still managing to win thanks to a penalty from former player Josip Ilicic.
Atalanta dominated the first-half, once again proving their class in the Italian league and Duvan Zapata was the absolute protagonist, scoring a brace. However, Atalanta’s weaknesses showed up in the second-half, as it’s not the first time they are caught after leading by more than one goal.
Vlahovic netted a brace to reach 15 goals this season, scoring 40% of all his team’s goals. La Viola deeply rely on their 20 years-old striker, who most of the time can’t do enough.
Another own-goal affects Benevento
The fourth own-goal of Benevento’s season caused them to lose against Sassuolo, who won thanks to great performances from goalkeeper Andrea Consigli and Jeremie Boga, who assisted Federico Barba’s own goal.
Sassuolo looked to have the game in their hands, but the hosts gave their all to try to win, but, similarly to the first game of the season against Sassuolo, couldn’t convert their chances.
Sassuolo regained their eighth-placed spot at the expense of Verona, while Benevento have won just one game in their last 14 games and conserve eight points over 18th place.Embed from Getty Images
For Edoardo’s previous Serie A column click here.
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