Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round Three

Standings implications: the table is starting to take shape and it has a new leader compared to the past few seasons as, for now, Inter is the only club with nine points after downing Udinese, since Juventus were halted by Fiorentina. Napoli returned to winning ways in convincing fashion against Sampdoria, who instead stay at zero points. Roma allowed Sassuolo to re-open the game but still won by two goals. Lazio dropped an ugly one versus SPAL, but it was not the only surprise win as Lecce shocked Torino on Monday night. It was harder than expected but Milan did best Verona away. Atalanta outlasted Genoa in a thriller, while Bologna mounted a glorious comeback against Brescia. Cagliari surprised Parma on the road. 

Confirmations: Domenico Berardi keeps leading the scorers’ chart thank to a brace, albeit in a losing effort. Dries Mertens and Alfredo Donnarruma did it again and this time bagged a twofer, while Stefano Sensi stayed hot with a lovely ande deciding header. Andrea Belotti and Ciro Immobile converted a penalty but then Andrea Petagna notched his second of the year in lovely, likewise Edin Dzeko in the Sassuolo game. Henrik Mkhtayran debuted at the Olimpico with a bang. Domenico Criscito showed again while he is his team’s penalty taker, while Luis Muriel could solve Atalanta’s well-documented woes there and delivered again off the bench.

Guess who is back: it took a penalty but Krzysztof Piatek broke the spell after much angst about his performances. Bryan Cristante and Justin Kluivert hit the net to aid the Giallorossi. Riccardo Orsolini had not scored in the first two rounds but bagged a vital one against Brescia and Rodrigo Palacio put his name on the scoresheet for the first time this season as well. Giovanni Simeone looked re-energized in his new team and sealed the deal at the Tardini stadium. New club but same vice for Diego Farias, who punished Torino, which also got a goal from Marco Mancosu, who was supremely prolific in Serie B.

Surprise scorers: Luca Ceppitelli netted an improbable brace versus Parma and Antonino Barillà only partially responded to it. Two defenders found the target in Brescia: Andrea Cistana for the home team and Mattia Bani for the guests.

Flops of the round: Lazio frittered the game away after a strong first half in Ferrara, while Juventus had little juice in Florence. Sassuolo no-showed before the break and gave up four goals in 33 minutes. Parma applied some constant pressure but broke through only once against Cagliari. Few avoidable red cards in this round, starting with the silly Rodrigo De Paul one, then the hurtful Daniele Dessena one and finally Mariusz Stepinski in the Sunday night match.

Clutch goal: Duvan Zapata amended a very dubious penalty call for Genoa at the buzzer by rifling it at the top corner from just outside the box, while Jasmin Kurtic stunned Lazio in the stoppage time capping off a great counter.

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