There were no massive clashes in Serie A in the weekend, but it still ended up being a significant round as Napoli got closer to Juventus, Inter re-claimed one of the top four spots and Spal abandoned the relegation zone. The best game of the week was Milan-Chievo, which was surprisingly high scoring and intense up until the final whistle.
The Devil approached the bout riding a nine-game undefeated streak in Serie A and looking to move past the elimination in Europa League by the hands of Arsenal. On the other hand, Chievo had lost in six of their last seven matches and was dragged into the mud fight to avoid the drop.
Gennaro Gattuso was down two starting defenders, Alessio Romagnoli and Davide Calabria, and picked Cristian Zapata and Fabio Borini to replace them. Rolando Maran shook things up compared to his usual XI by fielding Fabio Depaoli in the midfield, Emanuele Giaccherini as no.10 and Mariusz Stepinski upfront.
The Rossoneri took control of the operations early on and quickly found the opening goal, after just ten minutes, with Hakan Calhanoglu easily finishing off in the box a great combination on the right between Suso and Frank Kessie.
However, the Flying Donkeys showed great fighting spirit this time and answered with two gut-punches that stunned the opponents slightly after 30 minutes, with both strikers founding the bottom of the net. First Stepinski with a clinical finish, then Roberto Inglese with a booming strike that was simply unstoppable.
Milan managed to equalize seven minutes into the second half, with Patrick Cutrone once again showing off his nose for the ball by beating the offside trap and burying one from in close. After that, the coach redesigned the formation with an offensive all-in by putting in André Silva for Borini, who was playing as right back.
The Gialloblù resisted valiantly for a good chunk of the second half, but eventually caved at the 84th minute, when the Portuguese centre-forward took advantage of a ricochet off a corner kick and smashed it home from the six-feet box, scoring his second game-winning game in as many games. Milan got a penalty in the final minutes due to a handball by Nenad Tomovic, but Stefano Sorrentino denied Frank Kessie.
As a result, Milan’s streak extended to ten games: they have built a comfortable lead over the reeling Sampdoria and are four points behind Lazio, with one less played game, the Derby della Madonnina. Chievo are in 16th position, just one point over Crotone, which would be relegated if the season ended today.
From the fantasy standpoint, the top earner was Stepinski because he also assisted Inglese. The latter, Cutrone, André Silva and Calhanoglu obviously all gathered points for their scores, while the back-lines and the goalkeepers lost points because they allowed multiple goals.
Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re up for it play www.seriea-fantasy.com now!