Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round 21

Standings implications: in a pretty surprising round, Napoli upset Juventus, Cagliari held Inter to a tie, while Roma and Lazio equalized. The Nerazzurri are now three points behind first place, the Biancocelesti potentially two. Atalanta return within one point from the Champions League zone after the complete annihilation of Torino. Cagliari surely got a positive result but they were caught in the standings by Milan, which nipped Brescia, and Parma, which instead outplayed Udinese and so there is now a three-way tie in sixth position. Verona are not far behind after torpedoing Lecce, Bologna instead prevailed in the Derby with SPAL. Sampdoria and Sassuolo shared the spoils in a snooze-fest and thus maintain a little cushion over the last three positions. Genoa were the only team to get a point in the relegation zone as they survived the meeting with Fiorentina.

Confirmations: Josip Ilicic dominated the Torino bout with a scintillating hat-trick, joined  in the box score by another red-hot player, Robin Gosens, and Luis Muriel, who bagged two goals in eight minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo still found a way to extend his scoring streak. Lautaro Martinez drilled a pretty header but he lost it in the final moments of the game, earning a red card. Edin Dzeko came through this week as well. Ante Rebic decided the second game in a row coming off the bench. Andrea Petagna found the target again but it was not enough to help SPAL. Giampaolo Pazzini found from the penalty spot the third goal in the last fixtures.

Guess who is back: Duvan Zapata made his return to the stat-sheets after the tough injury with the help of a penalty. Lorenzo Insigne finally resurfaced after months with a massive goal and Piotr Zielinski delivered after five matches. Radja Nainggolan snapped out of a six-round drought in a big spot, burning his former team, while Dejan Kulusevski interrupted a five-game one with some help from the opposing goalie. Musa Barrow opened his seasonal tally in his second game in his new club, finding the target immediately after subbing in. Matteo Pessina has become a moderate offensive weapon this year and tallied his third goal against Lecce.

Surprise scorers: Andrea Poli iced the game in Ferrara with his second goal of the season, same amount for defenders Francesco Acerbi and Riccardo Gagliolo, while Pawel Dawidowicz notched his first.

Flops of the round: Torino completely fell apart versus Atalanta and two players, Armando Izzo and Sasa Lukic were sent off. Francesco Vicari allowed Bologna to equalize right away with an unfortunate own goal. Fiorentina could not take advantage of Genoa’s suspect defence, while Domenico Criscito missed the first penalty of his career. Sampdoria could not exploit the fact that Sassuolo played in ten men for the better part of the game. The usually reliable goalkeepers Juan Musso, Thomas Strakosha and Pau Lopez gave up goals on inexplicable howlers.

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