Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round Eight

Standings implications: the top two teams prevailed as Juventus defeated Bologna, while Inter survived Sassuolo’s late rally. Napoli got closer to the third spot after besting Verona since Atalanta three away a three-nothing lead against Lazio. Roma stumbled away against Sampdoria. Cagliari remain in the high-end district thanks to an easy win over SPAL and they have now put together the best start in their history. Milan got halted at the one-yard line by Lecce despite a decent debut for Stefano Pioli. Fiorentina’s winning streak was stopped by Brescia. Parma humilated Genoa, while Udinese grabbed another home win.

Confirmations: Ciro Immobile can not be denied and scored twice from the penalty spot and he is starting to pull away in the capocannoniere race. Lautaro Martinez extended his hot streak with a brace, while Cristiano Ronaldo notched yet another home goal, bringing his seasonal tally to four. Luis Muriel made his best Duvan Zapata impression and found the back of the net twice, while Alejandro Gomez put his name in the scoresheet for the third round in a row. Stefano Okaka atoned for an early miss with his second three-point goal of the year. Andrea Cornelius bagged a superb hat-trick against Genoa, where also Dejan Kulusevksi punched one home. 

Guess who is back: two welcomed return to prominence over the weekend as Arkadiusz Milik finally showed up and his brace lifted Napoli past the gritty Verona, while Radja Nainggolan netted an absolute stunner. Juraj Kucka also had a slow start of the season but finally broke the seal versus the spiralling Genoa. Romelu Lukaku bounced back by scoring twice, one in typical fashion and the other on the penalty spot. Krzystof Piatek started off on the bench but did clocked in and Domenico Berardi also resurfaced after a three-game mini drought. Joaquin Correa, Hakan Calhanoglu and Andrea Pinamonti had not knocked one home since the opener. Two first-time scorers for the Neroverdi, as Jeremie Boga and Filip Djuricic, despite being offensive players, had not done much so far. Paolo Faragò celebrated the return after hip surgery on the pitch with a sweet goal.

Surprise scorers: Bologna’s Danilo hit the net with an improbable volley against Juventus, which was his 11th goal in near 300 Serie A appearances.

Flops of the round: it was again too easy to perforate Sassuolo’s back-line. Roma could not take advantage of Sampdoria pre-coaching change woes, but they are also very short-handed. Genoa fell apart again and the writing is on the wall for Aurelio Andreazzoli.

Clutch goal: Marco Calderoni equalized the Milan clash with a stunning lefty piledriver.

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