Results from round 15 of the 2020/21 Serie A season:
Serie A table:
Arturo Vidal fails to impress
Inter thrashed Crotone to win 6-2 with a dominating second-half performance, in which they scored four goals. The main man was Lautaro Martinez, who scored a hat-trick, but there was still a negative side for Inter: Arturo Vidal.
The Chilean came as an important asset last summer, but his performances haven’t been quite on the expected level. Vidal gave away a penalty with a very poor and unnecessary challenge, which had allowed Crotone to level the score at 2-2, and was subbed off after 45 minutes.
He has often been Inter’s villain, particularly in the Champions League and it’s something Antonio Conte will have to work on to preserve his winning streak.
Is Atalanta’s form back?
Atalanta tore Sassuolo apart, scoring a whopping five goals in a performance that recalled last season’s heroics. Duvan Zapata, Matteo Pessina and Robin Gosens were on the scoresheet, as La Dea dominated.
It hasn’t been a season up to the expectations, but with this win against Sassuolo and a 4-1 victory with Roma, they have appeared more convincing.
Usually, it’s always taken some time for Gian Piero Gasperini to fully kick-start their season, so can we finally get to see Atalanta at full form?Embed from Getty Images
Torino start 2021 on a high
Finally, there is happy news for Torino, who leave last place on the table behind to move out of the relegation zone for the first time, thanks to a win against Parma.
It was a strong display for Torino, who scored three goals that helped convert a positive performance, something that has failed to happen in the past few months. For the first time in over a year, Torino remain unbeaten for three consecutive games, as they look to cancel their awful 2020.
In fact, in the last calendar year, they were the team that scored the least amount of points in Serie A.
Roma firmly in third
Roma have won every game played against teams in the bottom half of the table, continuing to do so with a win against Sampdoria.
However, their poor results with the big teams are preventing them from fully be in the title run, as Milan are seven points away. Edin Dzeko scored the winner, which still put the Giallorossi up to third.
How much of a threat can they be? They aren’t really considered among the favourites, but if they keep on track, they could offer some interesting surprises.
Hellas Verona keep flying high
Mattia Zaccagni scored a spectacular bicycle-kick goal that allowed Verona to narrowly edge Spezia.
The visitors dominated most of the game, but Spezia defended well, until a late goal from the attacking midfielder, which really candidates for the goal of the season.
After a promising start to the campaign, Spezia have only scored one point in the last six games and really need to watch their back now, as they are in the relegation zone, albeit tied with Torino.
Lazio’s Champions League hunt suffers another stop
Lazio don’t seem to be on the same level of 2019/20, with another draw that compromises their run to finish in the European places. They are now stuck in ninth, six points adrift of fourth place, but also three off seventh.
Lazio started strong, scoring soon with a penalty converted by Ciro Immobile, but slowed down at distance, allowing Genoa to come back.
Their up and down form is costing multiple points, which is contributing to a disappointing start of the season.Embed from Getty Images
Napoli resurge in Sardinia
With Cagliari failing to win for the eighth consecutive game, Napoli come back to winning ways. The Azzurri had only scored a point in the final three games of 2020, but start 2021 on a high.
Captain Lorenzo Insigne moves alongside Careca to become the eighth-most prolific player with the Napoli shirt, scoring his 96th goal thanks to a penalty.
Napoli continue having an unorthodox goalscoring form, scoring at least four goals for the fifth time, but they have only scored more than one on just three further occasions.
Locked game in Florence
0-0 between Fiorentina and Bologna, who despite not conquering three points, can still make good use of this draw to move their league situation.
The hosts failed to have a single shot on goal, but hit the post with Dusan Vlahovic.
Bologna kept compact to record their fourth consecutive draw and finally have an away clean sheet after 466 days.Embed from Getty Images
Benevento: a big or a small team?
Milan won 2-0 to keep on top of the Serie A, but Benevento arguably played better, albeit being a man up for an hour. The hosts had 25 shots but failed to score, even missing a penalty with Gianluca Caprari.
This was a scenario witnessed already against Sassuolo, with an 11 vs 10 situation in which they failed to capitalise. Arguably, Benevento are among the best teams considering chances created and offensive threat, but they lack a serious finisher.
No player has scored more than four goals and this is seriously penalising La Strega, who seem to have potential to do even more in the Serie A than just fighting for survival.
Juventus arrive to the title clash on a high
On the day of the Epiphany, league leaders Milan will host Juventus, for what could be a decisive game on both team’s charges.
Juventus did well to beat Udinese 4-1 and arrive to this game on a high note, as they had finished 2020 in the worst way possible. Cristiano Ronaldo is once again the leader, scoring a brace for the sixth time in the 2020/21 Serie A.
The Portuguese is leading the goalscorers race by two goals on Romelu Lukaku and his contribution will be crucial on Wednesday to beat Milan, whose last league defeat was back in March.
You can also view last week’s talking column by clicking here