Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round 22


Standings implications: Napoli were finally able to cut into Juventus’ lead atop of the standings, since they bludgeoned Sampdoria at home, while the Bianconeri squandered a two-goal lead versus Parma at the Stadium. Roma and Milan tied in a key match-up for the Champions League race and they both got closer to Inter, which dropped the ball at home versus Bologna. However, Atalanta and Lazio both closed the gap with their narrow wins on Monday. SPAL and Torino shared the spoils in what was fittingly the games with most fouls this season, while Empoli and Chievo did the same early on Saturday on a result that does not really help anybody. Ties galore on Sunday, as Genoa-Sassuolo and Udinese-Fiorentina both finished 1-1, slowing down the road teams in their quest for a Europa League berth.

Confirmations: Cristiano Ronaldo Francesco Caputo both bagged a brace, while Arkadiusz Milik continues to be en fuego. Antonio Sanabria is doing his best to fill in for Krzysztof Piatek at Genoa and the original one is not doing too bad at Milan either, despite limited fees. Nicolò Zaniolo keeps shining for Roma. Mariusz Stepinski found the target for the second fixture in a row, while Emanuele Giaccherini had his second goal in the last three games. Federico Santander is picking up some steam after a period scarce in goals.

Guess who is back: Lorenzo Insigne snapped out of his three-month slump versus Sampdoria, while Simone Verdi had not hit the next since late September, also due to injury and lack of playing time. Filip Djuricic is always in the thick of it when he is out there for the Neroverdi, but he had somehow potted just one prior to this weekend. Felipe Caicedo put it past the goalie in a rare opportunity to start.

Surprise scorers: Daniele Rugani had a successful header for the second home game in a row. Antonino Barillà rarely attacks, but he found his second goal of the season in Turin. Jens Stryger Larsen capped off a masterful fast-break by Udinese, while later in the same game Edimilson Fernandes blasted home one of the best long-range missiles of the season. Hans Hateboer decided the clash with Cagliari.

Flops of the round: Inter had some juicy chances in the shocking loss to Bologna, but Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinez frittered them away. Juventus conceded three goals for the first time in Serie A this season, which obviously weighs on their defenders. Torino’s Nicolas N’Koulou picked up an avoidable red card. Sampdoria did not show up in Naples, which unfortunately cost Fabio Quagliarella the opportunity to break the all-time record for consecutive games with a goal.

Clutch goal: Gervinho has often been ridiculed during his time in Rome because of his lack of cold blood, but he was extremely clinical in his only two scoring opportunities against Juventus, equalizing the game in the stoppage time.

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