Standings implications: Juventus and Inter shared the spoils in the Derby d’Italia, with the Nerazzurri now four points clear of the nearest team, while Napoli most likely put the final nail in Frosinone’s coffin. Torino bested Milan in the most meaningful match-up of the week and pulled even in the standings, while Roma dismantled Cagliari. It took them a while, but Atalanta lift the lid late against Udinese and thus seized sole control of the fourth place. Lazio sunk Sampdoria, which kissed the final European hopes goodbye, and are three points away from the crosstown rivals. The races to play continentally next season stay a big mess. Bologna delivered a big blow to Empoli with a three-one win on Saturday and also Parma, Genoa and SPAL were able to gain a little more separation from the Azzurri. Sassuolo topped Fiorentina.
Confirmations: Dries Mertens can not stop scoring and drilled a tremendous free kick. Felipe Caicedo laid some serious hurt to Sampdoria with a brace and Fabio Quagliarella’s opportunistic goal was not enough to respond properly. Radja Nainggolan buried a terrific volley against Juventus. Roma continue to rely on their defenders on the other end: Federico Fazio and Aleksandar Kolarov found the target this week. Riccardo Orsolini stayed hot with a scorcher against Empoli, Andrea Belotti with a penalty to break the deadlock against Milan.
Guess who is back: Cristiano Ronaldo resumed scoring in Serie A after a month and a half spent resting and nursing an injury. Nicola Sansone and Roberto Soriano both notched their second goal since moving to Bologna in January. Juraj Kucka had not hit the net in six rounds, but Riccardo Meggiorini answered with his first goal in over a month. Gianluca Lapadula shook off the rust after an injury-riddled year. Domenico Berardi rung the bell again.
Surprise scorers: Amin Younes made the most of a rare start with a great showing and a pretty goal. Felipe was the latest beneficiary of SPAL’s prowess on free kicks. Alex Berenguer has been playing very well lately and coronated his run with a vicious shot. Marko Pajac returned from an injury with a peculiar goal.
Flop of the round: Milan had another letdown versus Torino and their attack is in a funk. Cagliari no-showed the trip to Rome and relaxed too much after reaching the virtual salvation last week. Parma was the latest team to drop points to Chievo. Gregoire Defrel had a huge miss against Lazio. Another lifeless performance for Fiorentina.
Clutch goal: Marten De Roon coolly canned his first penalty of the season and Mario Pasalic made it double four minutes later to gift Atalanta with three massive points.
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