Standings implications: the usual trend up top as Juventus and Inter did not look great but still found a way to sink the opponents, despite fiery efforts by Milan and Verona. Another shake-up in the Champions League zone as Roma’s run came to a stop in Parma, while Lazio and Cagliari kept it rolling, creaming Lecce and Fiorentina respectively, and they both surpassed La Lupa and gained some ground on Atalanta, which were held to a tie by Sampdoria. Napoli could not do much better at home against Genoa and thus remain seventh, one point over the Ducali. Torino returned to winning ways with an away drubbing of Brescia, while Sassuolo convincingly defeated Bologna. Udinese-SPAL ended in a nil-nil draw despite the late drama.
Confirmations: Ciro Immobile found the target for the seventh fixture in a row, again with a penalty, while Joaquin Correa had two. Gianluca Lapadula stretched out his hot streak as well. Paulo Dybala tallied his third goal in a big spot. Jeremie Boga stayed on up and up with his third goal in the last five fixtures. Cagliari proved again to be a true “cooperativa del goal” by putting five different scorers on the board, including three that had already produced in previous weeks like Radja Nainggolan, Giovanni Simeone and Joao Pedro.
Guess who is back: Andrea Belotti was held in check for four straight rounds, but he roared back in Brescia thanks to two penalties. Alex Berenguer also contributed to the rout in a major way by netting two pretty goals off the bench. Francesco Caputo instead had been silent for five matches in row and erupted versus Bologna, putting together a superb brace. Andreas Cornelius celebreated his return after an injury with a goal against the Giallorossi. Riccardo Orsolini punched home his second goal of the season, ending an eight-game slump. Matias Vecino finally did some damage in the final third in the domestic league, bagging one of his trademark thumping headers on a perfect trail. Valerio Verre took and converted a penalty stepping in for Miguel Veloso. Even though it amounted to nothing, Dusan Vlahovic put his name in the stat sheet twice against Cagliari, opening his Serie A tally. Same achievement for Lecce’s Simone La Mantia. Marko Rog broke the deadlock in the shellacking of Fiorentina, notching his first goal as a Rossoblù.
Surprise scorers: Fabio Pisacane netted his second career goal in the top league with an easy header. Mattia Sprocati perfectly filled in for Gervinho with a goal on a scuffed shot, his second in Serie A.
Flops of the round: Andrea Petagna missed a penalty at the buzzer that would have given SPAL a seminal win. Napoli did not bounce back after all the controversy that went on in the past few days, as they were rather lackadaisical against Genoa. Fabio Grosso had a horror debut on the Brescia bench. Ruslan Malinovskyi got sent off in a day where he had a chance to start and Atalanta as a whole looked spent.
Clutch goal: Nicolò Barella scored his first Serie A goal with Inter in emphatic fashion, putting a tremendous curled shot right in the top corner to reward Inter’s second-half siege against Verona.
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