Standings implications: Napoli bested Lazio on Sunday night, as the Biancocelesti keep struggling against elite competition. However, Juventus answered versus Chievo, so the situation stays the same atop of the standings. Inter were unable to get the best of Sassuolo, actually the guests had more chances in that game. Roma allowed Torino to erase a 2-0 lead, but still came up victorious with another surge. Atalanta bodybagged Frosinone, while Fiorentina tied late versus Sampdoria. Milan overcame some absences to upend Genoa. Parma continue to pick up road wins and Udinese were their latest victim. SPAL and Bologna shared the spoils in the Emilian Derby, while Cagliari and SPAL did the same in two clashes relevant for the relegation race.
Confirmations: Duvan Zapata laid waste to Frosinone, bagging four goals, some of them way too easily. Fabio Quagliarella extended his streak and he is breathing rarified air. Two majestic lefty free kicks were ended up in the top right corner, one by Arkadiusz Milik, the other by Gaston Ramirez. Ciro Immobile slotted one home in Naples. Leonardo Pavoletti continues to be a beast in the air. Nicolò Zaniolo bundled it home with great technique versus Torino, while Aleksandar Kolarov drilled a penalty. Parma’s dynamic duo, Roberto Inglese and Gervinho, sunk Udinese and the Ivorian striker scored at the end of an incredible run. Gianluca Mancini has been the best scoring defender and added one more on Sunday. Jasmin Kurtic delivered again for the Estensi.
Guess who is back: Stephan El Shaarawy returned after a month and half on the mend due to a thigh injury and immediately resumed doing damage. José Callejon has never been too prolific, but being still scoreless this late was unusual, but he came through versus Lazio. Stefano Okaka hit the net in his first game back in Serie A, but in that category, Luis Muriel outdid him with a brace, looking great in his Fiorentina debut. Rodrigo Palacio had not scored in ten rounds, but blasted one home on Sunday. Miha Zajc has faded since the arrival of Giuseppe Iachini, but perhaps the coach should find a way to re-integrate him because he is pure class. Two heavyweights had not found the target in a while, Suso and Douglas Costa, but they made an appearances on the scoresheets on Monday.
Surprise scorers: Torino got two goals from distance from Tomas Rincon and Cristian Ansaldi, their second personal in the year. Giovanni Di Lorenzo netted his first ever in Serie A, like Emre Can on Monday night. Fabio Borini played mostly as fullback this time, but he cashed in once he returned to his usual role with a typical goal. Daniele Rugani headed one home.
Flops of the round: Inter were unable to take advantage of a back-line that was very combustible lately. Frosinone looked truly hapless against Atalanta.
Clutch goal: German Pezzella spared La Viola’s blushes at home with a late tap-in, Diego Farias did exactly the same later in the day, capitalizing on a blunder by a defender and finishing with aplomb in a one-on-one.
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