Standings implications: Atalanta held on to dear life against Juventus and took home a point that allowed them to pull even with Inter in third position, but they are up head-to-head, as the Nerazzurri fell apart in Naples. Milan stay in the hunt one point behind them after defeating Frosinone, while Roma need a miracle since they bungled the Sassuolo game. Torino fizzled out of the Europa League race since they were topped by Empoli. In the race to avoid relegation, the Tuscan Azzurri leapfrogged Genoa, while Udinese and Parma punched their ticket for next year’s Serie A by topping SPAL and Fiorentina, Cagliari by tying with the Griffon. La Viola is very much in the thick of it since they will square off against Genoa next week, over whom they hold a three-point lead. Empoli will pay Inter a visit. Bologna got the job done with a point on Monday too.
Confirmations: Leonardo Pavoletti in the last month has showed that he is more than just a header specialist and bagged a pretty one versus Genoa. Stefano Okaka made it four goals in the last two matches since he scored a brace against SPAL too. Andrea Petagna notched his 16th of the season with a surprisingly agile solo action, Francesco Caputo did the same in more ordinary fashion. Dries Mertens and Suso once again showed up big time. Udinese’s defender Samir and Empoli’s one Giovanni Di Lorenzo both found the target for the second week in a row. Mattia Destro and especially Riccardo Orsolini are finishing the season strong for Bologna, while Joaquin Correa stayed hot for Lazio.
Guess who is back: Krzysztof Piatek resumed scoring after a 500 plus minute drought, Josip Ilicic after being shut out for six rounds, Piotr Zielinski for seven. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic had not done real damage in Serie A play since the end of March, but he buried a stunning free kick versus Bologna. Mario Mandzukic had yet to pot one in 2019 and he literally did that on Sunday night. Mauro Icardi canned a penalty to return to the scoresheet after being absent for six weeks. Iago Falque had not put his name in the stats sheet since late February, also due to a knee sprain, and returned to prominence with a little curl in Empoli. Mattia Valoti took advantage of a pair of absences to draw the start on Saturday and delivered with a header that re-opened the contest.
Surprise scorers: Fabian Ruiz basically matched his seasonal production with a brace against Inter. two goals by seldomly used midfielders for Empoli, Afriyie Acquah and savvy veteran Matteo Brighi. Lazio’s defender Bastos scored with an incredible curled kick.
Flops of the round: Gerson was saddled with an own goal that put Fiorentina in a very eerie situation. Fabio Quagliarella and the rest of Sampdoria’s attack could not take advantage of the Chievo game to take some bonus points. Roma fired blanks versus Sassuolo.
Clutch goal: after Antonio Sanabria had missed a late penalty against Roma two weeks ago, Domenico Criscito took on the responsibility this time and drilled it, avoiding a result that would have been even more costly for the Rossoblù.
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