Results from round 13 of the 2020/21 season:
Serie A table:
Prandelli still winless
This wasn’t what Cesare Prandelli was expecting after joining Fiorentina, as La Viola’s last win to date is still the one against Udinese two months ago.
In his six games in charge, Fiorentina only got three points, including the one on Saturday against Hellas Verona.
Two dubious penalties within the first 20 minutes were the match deciders, with Miguel Veloso and Dusan Vlahovic netting for their respective teams.Embed from Getty Images
Fabio Quagliarella enters the becomes 15th top scorer in Serie A
After three wins in a row in October, Sampdoria had been winless for seven games in all competitions. Quagliarella’s strike four minutes after coming on against Crotone helped to seal a 3-1 win.
The 37-year-old scored his 170th goal in the competition, becoming the 15th most prolific striker in the history of the Serie A.
The Blucerchiati move in the top half of the table, in what is a very close contest for 10th place, as eight teams are within six points.
Buffon’s eternal youth
Finally, Juventus showed capable of dominating a game and appearing convincing, as they won 4-0 away at Parma.
Gianluigi Buffon played in goal, in what was his fifth appearance this season, producing two spectacular saves, one of which crucial. The goalkeeper blocked Juraj Kucka’s attempt after 14 minutes, with Dejan Kulusevski and Cristiano Ronaldo setting the score to 2-0 with two quick goals a few moments later.
Considering he will be 43 in a month, the longevity Buffon is producing to play at the top level deserves enormous recognition.
Da Costa’s nightmare helps Torino
With starting goalkeeper Lukas Skorupski out, substitute Angelo Da Costa proved the villain for Bologna, who partially recovered from their keeper’s howler to draw 1-1 with Torino.
With the Granata still losing points from a winning position, it was the two former players Simone Verdi and Roberto Soriano to score. Verdi’s free-kick was clumsily kicked in his own net by Da Costa, while Soriano’s 10th goal contribution of the season set the final score.
Lykogiannis nets a free-kick as Cagliari draw again
The Sardinian team draw their fourth match out of the last five, with Greek defender Charalampos Lykogiannis scoring his second direct free-kick of the season.
This does no harm to Cagliari and Udinese, who get the goal back with Kevin Lasagna in the second half.
Lykogiannis becomes the first Cagliari player to score two free-kicks since Marco Borriello in 2016/17.Embed from Getty Images
Rafael Leao scores the fastest goal in Serie A history
Milan were off to a scintillating start against Sassuolo, with Leao scoring an incredible 6.76 seconds after kick-off.
Hakan Calhanoglu carried the ball forward and played a forward pass to the Portuguese, who surprised the defence and went on to score.
Milan were in control all throughout and proved too much for Sassuolo, who now drop to sixth after some great first games.
Davide Ballardini set to return to Genoa
Rolando Maran is finally sacked from managing Genoa, as the team lost again at Benevento, with their last win being that on matchday one against Crotone.
Genoa have recalled Davide Ballardini, who will return to coaching the Grifoni for the fourth time in his career. He managed to avoid relegation every single time, with a top 10 finish in 2010/11.
How will things go this time? Genoa are in serious trouble and desperately need to move forward.
Inter struggle but keep in Milan’s tail
Inter beat Spezia 2-1 to keep within one point of Milan, but the Nerazzurri had to work very hard to win, as the visitors still proved to be a tough nut to crack.
The visitors played a tactical masterclass, enjoying 59% ball percentage and keeping Inter at bay for the first half.
Only a break finished by Achraf Hakimi and a penalty scored by Romelu Lukaku allowed the hosts to leave with all three points and get to their sixth league win in a row.Embed from Getty Images
Josip Ilicic back to shine
The Slovenian hadn’t scored since lockdown started and had been out with physical and mental issues.
Finally, yesterday he stood up, carrying the team to a 4-1 win against Roma, all made in the second-half, as Ilicic came on. He offered two assists and scored a magnificent solo goal.
With Papu Gomez not even being called up, Atalanta’s fans may feel more relieved, should Ilicic find his form back. When the Slovenian is on form, he really is a joy to watch.
Should Napoli recall Milik?
The two late defeats with Inter and Lazio have hampered the progress of Napoli, who are eight points adrift of first place.
The situation is made worse as Victor Osimhen, Dries Mertens, Fernando Llorente and Hirving Lozano are out injured. Surely, they would have desperately needed Arkadiusz Milik, but the Polish is out of the team after refusing to leave in the Summer.
It’s very unlikely he will be readmitted just because of the emergency, but never say never in football.Embed from Getty Images
You can also view last week’s talking column by clicking here