Standings implications: Inter and Juventus prevailed in their matches against the Genoa-based teams and so continue to go hand-in-hand, while Lazio will have to wait till February to know the results of the Verona game. Roma handled Fiorentina, while Cagliari suffered the second loss in a row at the hands of Udinese and were leapfrogged by Atalanta, which dismantled Lecce. Torino found a way to lose at home against SPAL. Bologna are surging with their third W in the past four rounds, this time over Lecce, while Parma and Brescia shared the spoils. Napoli finally returned to winning ways with a little luck against Sassuolo, as the final goal at the buzzer was probably an own goal.
Confirmations: it seems like ages ago, but Cristiano Ronaldo found the target again by floating in the air, and Joao Pedro bagged another one even in a losing effort for the Sardinians. Andrea Petagna came up big in crunch time for the Estensi. Atalanta’s offense feasted over Milan with all their top dogs hitting the net: Alejandro Gomez, Josip Ilicic (twice), Mario Pasalic and Luis Muriel. Some bad luck had kept Mario Balotelli from scoring recently but he broke through against Parma. Hamed Traore hit bullseye for the second fixture in a row, although Wednesday’s one did not count in the fantasy game.
Guess who is back: Romelu Lukaku roared back with a brace after three scoreless rounds, same achievement Edin Dzeko versus Fiorentina and Paulo Dybala, with a gem, against Sampdoria. But in the stunner department he was outdone by Rodrigo De Paul, who bagged a marvellous cross-shot against Cagliari, resurfacing in a big way after five matches. Nicolò Zaniolo had not hit the net in a month and Lorenzo Pellegrini, after notching few assists, finally slotted one home. Aleksandar Kolarov buried a stellar free-kick, ending a six-game drought that would be totally normal for any defender but for him.
Gianluca Caprari gave a little headache to Juventus with his second goal of the season. Seko Fofana confirmed his recent form by putting his up team back on top right away with a thunderous tap-in. Riccardo Orsolini might have finally found his footing and notched a brace, while Roberto Soriano delivered right away upon returning from an injury and Lecce’s furious comeback, fuelled by Diego Farias and Khouma Babacar, fell short.
Surprise scorers: Milan Badelj, Tomas Rincon and Allan rarely venture in the opposing boxes, but make the most of such opportunities in this matchday. Gabriel Strefezza found his first ever Serie A goal.
Flops of the round: the wheels came off for Milan in Bergamo despite the recent okay stretch. Torino continue to underestimate opponents and thus throwing away points and Bremer’s red card played a part in that. Genoa and Fiorentina were in a rough spot but again looked utterly hapless.
Clutch goals: Alberto Grassi pipped Brescia at the post with a header for his first goal in forever.
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