Standings implications: Juventus sank Inter in the most anticipated game of the round, while Napoli wiped out Frosinone, maintaining the distance from the top spot and gaining ground on the Nerazzurri. Both Roman teams were incredibly pipped at the post against Cagliari and Sampdoria and Fiorentina tied the game late versus Sassuolo. Milan and Torino shared the spoils, so the only team prospering in the Europa League zone was Atalanta, which upended Udinese on the road. Among the relegation strugglers, Empoli keep soaring with the third win in the last month, this time over Bologna. Genoa showed grit in the one-one tie with SPAL in Cesare Prandelli’s debut.
Confirmations: Fabio Quagliarella scored for the fifth time in a row and Ciro Immobile is now quietly on a par with Cristiano Ronaldo for goals in Serie A in the season, but Krszysztof Piatek re-claimed the solitary lead of the scorers’ chart with a penalty. Duvan Zapata is en fuego: he completed a hat-trick against his former team and he has now hit net five times in the last four games. Mario Mandzukic continues to carry the water for the Old Lady, especially against the fiercer competitors. Arkadiusz Milik has tied his more utilized teammates for seasonal production with his latest surge. Francesco Caputo stayed hot by punishing Bologna, tallying his fifth goal in the last six appearances, his teammate Antonino La Gumina is heating up too. Andrea Petagna netted one more. Aleksandar Kolarov is already at four goals, which is impressive for a defender. Artur Ionita had his second in the last month. Khouma Babacar this time took advantage of Kevin-Prince Boateng’s absence, while Marco Benassi continues to deliver. Two goals in a row for Andrea Poli.
Guess who is back: Piotr Zielinski had not bagged one since late August, Bryan Cristante since mid-September. They both snapped out of their slumps during the weekend, while Giovanni Simeone ended a ten game drought with an easy tap-in. Alfred Duncan and Stefano Sensi both have the potential to be prolific midfielder, but they had not found the target yet in 2018/2019. Kevin Lasagna had yet to score at home. Mariusz Stepinski had not scored in a month and was beginning to lose his grip on the starting job, but he atoned in Parma.
Surprise scorers: Francesco Acerbi is no stranger to doing damage on set pieces and netted his second goal in the year. Bruno Alves buried a majestic free kick.
Flops of the round: Inter players, Roberto Gagliardini in particular, could not punch it in despite few chances and Mauro Icardi this time did not live up to his Juventus killer reputation. Lazio and Roma gave up indefensible goals late. Patrick Cutrone unusually missed a bunny late against Torino.
Clutch goals: late equalizers were all the rage in the weekend. In chronological order, Marco Sau was clinical on the one-on-one versus La Lupa, Riccardo Saponara scored with a magnificent flying flick against the Eagles, while Kevin Mirallas knotted the Sassuolo match with a precise cross-shot in the stoppage time. It was the first goal of the season for Cagliari’s Pattolino and for La Viola’s winger.
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