Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round 26

Standings implications: sadly, a late decision by the League to postpone few matches that were scheduled to be played behind closed doors took the legs from underneath the second round in a row and now the table is poised to be full of asterisks for a while.

In the limited ones that were indeed played, Lazio took full advantage of Juventus-Inter not happening, got the job done versus Bologna and jumped on top of the standings. Atalanta dismantled Lecce, thus fending off Roma in the Champions League race, which survived Cagliari’s late rally.Napoli pushed their winning streak to four three matches with a fairly commanding display against Torino, despite giving up one goal late. The Granata instead keep reeling as they have been defeated for six matches in a row.

Confirmations: Duvan Zapata detonated in the Lecce game, snatching his first hat-trick on the season and fellow teammate Josip Ilicic padded his numbers as well. Despite the back-up roles, Luis Muriel and Ruslan Malinovskyi did damage for the second time in the past month. Joao Pedro continues to produce despite his team’s struggles, but he also missed a penalty, while Aleksandar Kolarov posted his seventh goal of campaign. Gaston Pereiro, who was prolific in Eredivisie, opened his Italian tally on his third appearance.

Guess who is back: even though his performances had remained at a high level, Luis Alberto had not scored nor provided an assist in eight rounds. He remedied with one each versus Bologna and was joined in the stat-sheet by Joaquin Correa, who instead had not found the target since early November. Riccardo Saponara had not hit the net in over 400 days: he finally broke through in splendid manner to temporarily re-open the Atalanta tilt. Nikola Kalinic busted out of a similar drought with a brace in a spot start on Sunday, while Justin Kluivert had last scored in Serie A play back on December 1st.

Surprise scorers: two defenders powered Napoli past Torino, Kostas Manolas, who tallied his third goal of the season, and Giovanni Di Lorenzo, who instead bagged his second. Giulio Donati bagged an own goal, but he atoned on the other end, slotting home a surgical daisy cutter for the first goal in his career.

Flops of the round: even if they were facing a high-wattage offense, Lecce’s back-line completely fell apart in the second half. Cagliari’s one way too permissive as well and Luca Pellegrini gifted the first goal Kalinic.

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