Standings implication: Juventus had an easy time against SPAL and Inter got back on track by spanking Frosinone,so they both gained ground on Napoli, which were astonishingly held to a tie at home against the lowly Chievo. Lazio equalized at the buzzer in the meeting with Milan. Roma against sputtered, this time in Udine. Genoa and Sampdoria shared the spoils in the Derby della Lanterna. Parma got a quality win over Sassuolo. Fiorentina did not found the deciding goal in Bologna and had to settle for a nil-nil draw. Empoli mounted a furious comeback to best Atalanta.
Confirmations: Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic added two more to their already impressive scoring tallies. Rodrigo De Paul downed Roma with his seventh goal of the season. Gervinho did damage again with his speed, turning in his fourth Serie A goal, the second in a row. Fabio Quagliarella again delivered in a big spot.
Surprise scorers: Bruno Alves is a giant, but he is always heavily guarded on set pieces. He managed to beat everybody to the punch on a crazy ricochet versus Sassuolo. Atalanta continue to rely on their defenders and this time it was Hans Hateboer punching it in on a superb counter. Matias Silvestre capped off Empoli’s majestic effort with a pretty thumping header on a corner kick in the final minutes.
Guess who is back: Krysztof Piatek resumed scoring after firing blanks for over 400 minutes and rejected Ronaldo’s assault to the top of the scorers’ chart. Keita Balde was marvelous on Saturday night and bagged his first two goals since coming back to Italy. Lautaro Martinez this time made the most of his start with a stunning header to put the match away. Khouma Babacar converted a penalty, ending a two-month slump. Remo Freuler netted five goals last year, but had yet to score this year. Antonino La Gumina had a rough impact with the top league, but he finally broke the spell against Atalanta.
Flop of the round: Roma was incredibly apathetic on Saturday and Napoli could not come through against Chievo despite the humongous ball possession and few decent scoring opportunities. Andrea Masiello committed a penalty and scored an own-goal to help Empoli’s comeback and Josip Ilicic was sent off there for insulting the referee.
Clutch goal: Joaquin Correa is proving to be a weapon for Lazio and knotted the Milan in the final games with a deft strike from just outside of the box.
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