Serie A Match of the Week – Round 20


There were some intense and high scoring matches in Serie A last week, the nod goes to the one that had the most goals: Spal-Lazio, which, despite the lopsided result, was hard-fought, especially in the first half, and, more importantly, extremely entertaining.

Lazio approached the game hoping to cash in on yet another stumble by Inter, while Spal need to get every points they can in this relegation race that promises to be cut-throat between them, Crotone, Hellas Verona and the surging Benevento. Filippo Inzaghi had to deal with the absences of Adam Marusic and Senad Lulic, at least from the start, while Leonardo Semplici had some problems in the back.

The fixture started right away at great pace and with a breath-taking technical feat as Luis Alberto shook off two defenders with an insane hesitation to get open and then lobbied it past Alfred Gomis after just five minutes. Two minutes later, Dusan Basta impeded Alberto Paloschi on a volley attempt and the referee deemed the contact worthy of a penalty, which Mirco Antenucci coolly converted.

Afterwards, the Ciro Immobile show started: first Luis Alberto and then Sergej Milinkovic-Savic set him up all alone in front of the goal with delicious through balls and he found the back of the net in both circumstances with precise finishes, one with the left and one with the right foot, beating the goalkeeper that was coming out.

Despite the eruption of the Biancocelesti, the Estensi kept fighting and found the 3-2 again with Mirco Antenucci, who found himself wide open after Wallace badly rejected a cross by Manuel Lazzari towards the center of the box. They could have even tied the game, but Alberto Paloschi’s attempt from in close was denied by Stefan De Vrij. Lazio pulled away again as Immobile completed what was then a perfect hat-trick by heading in a Dusan Basta cross before the first half and then finished the poker by scoring after a carom after a corner kick at the 50th minute.

The home team created a couple of good chances: Federico Viviani hit the post on a free kick, then on the subsequent action Sergio Floccari’s try was brilliantly blocked by Tomas Strakosha on the goal line. Marco Parolo almost scored in the remaining minutes, but Gomis and a defender stopped him.

From the fantasy standpoint, it was an incredible haul for Ciro Immobile, who collected 18 points and might have already locked up the player of the month award for January. Luis Alberto garnered six points thanks to the fantastic goal and the assist and also Dusan Basta and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic chipped with their dishes Mirko Antenucci was the lone Spal players to earn any points, 8, thanks to the brace.

Lazio moved past Roma in the standings and they are now just three points behind Inter and they have one less game, which they will play on January 24. On the other hand, Spal remain tied with Crotone in the 17th position.

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