Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round Nine

Standings implications: a weird round results-wise since three of the top four teams shared the spoils against minnows. In chronological order, Juventus could not get past Lecce, Inter equalized against Parma and Napoli did not come up with a game-winner versus SPAL. Atalanta were the only ones to capitalize on the other contenders’ misfortune, demolishing Udinese. Lazio outlasted Fiorentina, while Roma took advantage of Milan’s blunders. Cagliari tied with Torino away, while Bologna and Sassuolo returned to winning ways, sinking Sampdoria and Verona respectively. Genoa bounced back in Thiago Motta’s debut by staging a glorious second-half comeback against Brescia.   

Confirmations: Luis Muriel bagged a hat-trick and he is producing at an astonishing rate. Romelu Lukaku notched his sixth of the season against Parma. Among popular fantasy players, Paulo Dybala kept up his good form with a penalty in Lecce, Arkadiusz Milik rifled it home from distance in Ferrara, but Jasmin Kurtic answered, Rodrigo Palacio broke the deadlock against Sampdoria and Stefano Okaka gave Udinese false hopes versus the Goddess. Edin Dzeko bagged a pretty header, while Federico Chiesa hit the net with a snapshot. Filip Djuricic found the target for the second week in a row with a scorcher. Marco Mancosu converted another penalty, bringing his overall seasonal tally to five goals.

Guess who is back: Nicolò Zaniolo finally broke the seal this season. Yann Karamoh punctually punished his former team while seeing meaningful minutes for the first time this season and also Gervinho resurfaced at Parma, as he had been awfully quiet up to this point. Sandro Tonali instead has been excellent so far but had yet to put one on goal: he rectified that with a majestic trajectory against Genoa, although he admitted he wanted to cross. However, the Griffon turned the game around with the subs as Christian Kouame returned to the stat sheet after a four-game absence, while Goran Pandev and Kevin Agudelo netted their first one of the 2019 campaign. Manolo Gabbiadini had not scored since late September. Nahitan Nandez opened his Serie A account with a cross-shot, but Simone Zaza replied with his second goal after last being successful in the opener Josip Ilicic had not knocked one past the goalie since the fourth round and put together a brace while he was at it.

Surprise scorers: Mattia Bani posted his second goal of the season with a header, while Theo Hernandez did it with the help of deflection. Mario Pasalic joined the party with his first one.

Flops of the round: Udinese completely came apart in Bergamo and the early red card to Nicholas Opoku had a big part in that. Juventus could not convert few chances against Lecce, with Federico Bernardeschi missing the juiciest ones. Napoli were pretty wasteful too. Felipe Caicedo missed a penalty.

Clutch goal: Ciro Immobile is the first one to reach the double-digit threshold and his header decided tha game versus Fiorentina late.

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