Standings implications: Juventus took care of business against Lecce, but Lazio came back late against Fiorentina, so the gap between the title contenders stays at four points. Inter came back to life late and rallied against Parma, so the top four teams were all successful. Atalanta needed an extra effort to down Udinese but kept cruising, enlarging the cushion over Roma, which were defeated by Roma, and staving off Napoli’s push. The Partenopei breezed past SPAL. A quality W for Milan, which built a little lead over Verona in Europa League race, as the Scaligeri were pipped at the post by Sassuolo. Two consecutive wins for Cagliari, which toppled Torino and are looking to re-join the rest of the bunch fighting for a continental berth. Bologna returned to winning ways by outlasting Sampdoria. Down low, Genoa could not fully expolit a favorable round and gained just a bit of separation over Lecce by tying with Brescia, but they are now on a par with Sampdoria, which lost again.
Confirmations: Luis Muriel, Kevin Lasagna and Jeremie Boga put together spectacular braces, even though the results for their respective teams were mixed. Giovanni Simeone is amazingly the hottest striker in Serie A with three straight goals, two in a row instead for the usual suspects Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Ante Rebic, Andrea Belotti and also Alfredo Donnarumma and Iago Falque, who are two of the new protagonists after the lockdown. Two bullseyes in the last three fixtures for Duvan Zapata.
The other fantasy studs hitting the net the weekend were Ciro Immobile, Joao Pedro, Hakan Calhanoglu and Musa Barrow, who drilled penalties, Radja Nainggolan and Luis Alberto that bagged laser daisy-cutters from outside the box, Riccardo Orsolini, Gervinho, Andrea Petagna and Darko Lazovic. Two thirds of Napoli’s trident, Dries Mertens and José Callejon, did damage in this round.
Guess who is back: Franck Ribery returned to the stat-sheet in style, dancing through defenders before wrong-footing the goalie. Gonzalo Higuain scored his first goal since January upong returning from injury, Andrea Pinamonti took advantage of a penalty to snap out of a seven-month drought. Matteo Pessina resurfaced after seven tilts. Amin Younes sealed the SPAL match two minutes after subbing in and he had yet to knock one on goal in the current campaign. Federico Bonazzoli gave a lifeline late to Sampdoria, but they did not manage to claw back.
Surprise scorers: among defenders, Matthijs De Ligt notched his third goal of the season, Torino’s Bremer his second, Brescia’s youngster Alessandro Semprini instead his first ever. Stefan De Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni tag-teamed to lif Inter past Parma in the final ten minutes.
Flops of the round: Roma created just a pair of chances against Milan and squandered them. Dusan Vlahovic got sent off for a silly elbow, Juraj Kucka for protesting. Lecce’s back-line faltered in the second half again, while the Granata’s one could not contain Cagliari, falling back into its old ways after two encouraging displays.
Clutch goal: Rogerio made in three-all seven minutes into the stoppage time with an out-of-character righty strike that kissed both posts before going in, securing a deserved tie for Sassuolo.
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