Standings implications: Atalanta defeated Lazio and can the smell Champions League since Roma equalized against Genoa and Torino shared the spoils with Juventus. They are also one point away from Inter, who tied with Udinese. Milan outlasted Bologna and pulled even with the Giallorossi three points awai from the fourth place. The Biancocelesti dropped to minus seven, so barring something crazy they can only aim for Europa League. Napoli clinched the second position with a late comeback. Empoli bested Fiorentina and cut Udinese’s lead to two points and the Griffon’s one to four, thus rekindling their hopes. Frosinone have been mathematically relegated as Sassuolo completed the comeback late, while SPAL are officially safe after pummeling Chievo. Parma and Sampdoria drew in a meaningless but entertaining bout.
Confirmations: Fabio Quagliarella is running away atop of the scorer’s chart as tacked on two more in Parma, while Duvan Zapata and Cristiano Ronaldo were able to answer only partially, but they had a much more competitive match-ups. Stephan El Shaarawy and Dries on rampages, while Leonardo Pavoletti this time found the target with his foot. Sergio Floccari continues to deliver for SPAL, while Jasmin Kurtic became the latest fantasy stud to exploit the date with Chievo. Juraj Kucka drilled a penalty, but he was later sent off. Diego Farias scored a monumental one for Empoli in the Tuscan derby with Fiorentina. Frosinone’s Luca Paganini and Sassuolo’s Jeremie Boga reaffirmed their fairly hot stretches.
Surprise scorers: Sasa Lukic bagged his first goal of the season in a big spot by taking advantage of a blunder by the opponents. Felipe had netted one last week and added two more for good measure versus the Flying Donkeys. It was Timothy Castagne’s turn to produce among the always dangerous Atalanta wing players. Alessandro Bastoni and Marcello Gazzola both scored their first ever Serie A goals, despite the stark age difference. Paolo Sammarco potted one for the Ciociari. Cristian Romero snuck between four towers for his late equalizer against Roma, which could have been even more massive if Antonio Sanabria had not missed a penalty at the buzzer. Suso and Mattia Destro returned to the boxscores after lenghty absences.
Flops of the round: Wallace almost single-handedly torpedoed Lazio with his defensive howlers and Omar Colley had a tough day in Parma too. Inter could not come up with a goal against Udinese, which had been very porous in the last few weeks.
Clutch goal: Lorenzo Insigne buried a penalty seven minutes into the stoppage time, busting out of a two-month slump.
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