Standings implications: Juventus dropped their first game in Genoa, while Napoli tamed Udinese and so the lead yo-yoes back to 15 points. Inter resurrected at the most opportune time and torpedoed Milan in the Derby della Madonnina, reclaiming the third spot. Roma did not take advantage as they had a poor showing in Ferrara. It was a good week for Lazio, as they demolished Parma, while Atalanta got stymied by Chievo and Torino came up empty-handed against Bologna. In the lower districts, mammoth wins for the Felsinei, SPAL and Empoli, who sunk Frosinone in the head-to-head bout. Udinese fell back in the mud, as they are now just two points above the Felsinei. Cagliari kept the opponents at bay with a precious W against Fiorentina.
Confirmations: Fabio Quagliarella kept it going with yet another pretty goal, while Francesco Caputo notched his 13th and Andrea Petagna his 11th from the penalty spot. Lautaro Martinez had his sixth in the same manner. Josip Ilicic, José Callejon and Arkadiusz Milink came through again for Atalanta and Napoli. Diego Perotti is rounding into form and drilled another penalty. Manolo Gabbiadini joined the goal fest in Sassuolo late for his third goal since joining in January. Senad Lulic is starting to become a frequent attendee of the boxscores. Kevin Lasagna burned Napoli too, while Matias Vecino scored another massive goal for Inter. Armando Izzo bagged his third one in the last month, with some help from Lukas Skorupski.
Guess who is back: few meaningful returns to the stats sheet in this round, in particular by Luis Alberto and Dries Mertens, two fantasy stars last season but had fell into almost unthinkable slumps in this one. Federico Chiesa put his name in the stats sheet after six games with a great daisy-cutter in Cagliari. Joao Pedro and Gregoire Defrel both ended three-month slumps in emphatic fashion. Alfred Duncan and Khouma Babacar had not delivered in a while for Sassuolo. Andrea Poli had not knocked one home since mid-December, while Riccardo Orsolini had last done damage in mid-November. Goran Pandev had not potted one since late September, Riccardo Meggiorini since mid-November: both scored very gorgeous goals on Sunday.
Surprise scorers: Jeremie Boga cashed in on his recent good run with his first goal of the season against Sampdoria, while Amin Younes took advantage of few absence and emulated Lorenzo Insigne for his first Serie A goal. Nobody took it away from Luca Ceppitelli this time. Mo Fares netted his second with a superb header against Roma. Karol Linetty and Dennis Praet are usually more substance type of players, but they both scored versus the Neroverdi. Stefan De Vrij buried a great header in the Derby, while Mateo Musacchio bundled it home late there. Tiemoue Bakayoko’s first one in Serie A did not amount to much. Adam Marusic finally managed to blast one home. Stefano Sturaro played for the first time this season and punished his former team. Marko Pajac was a surprise starter and a even bigger surprise scorer for Empoli. Luca Valzania gave Frosinone some lifeline in the key clash with Empoli. Matteo Sprocati capitalized one an howler for Parma’s consolation goal.
Flops of the round: Juventus laid an big egg in Genoa, while Atalanta could not find a way to score a second goal against Chievo. Torino and Sassuolo’s defences fell apart on Saturday. Justin Kluivert, Stephan El Shaarawy and Patrik Schick this time no-showed in Ferrara. Parma had an atrocious showing in Rome.
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