Standings implications: Milan came out on top again thanks to a late push versus Udinese, retaining the top spot. Juventus managed to pull away from Spezia with a superb second half and moved to third place as Napoli got upended at home by Sassuolo, who come in second. After two losses, Atalanta put one on the win column by handling Crotone rather easily, even though the score was closer than what transpired in the game. Verona returned to winning ways against Benevento and resumed flying high.
Inter could not build up on last week’s win as they were held to a tie at home by Parma and actually were very close to losing. Roma extended their positive streak by breezing past Fiorentina. Lazio topped Torino at the buzzer in a nail-bater. Sampdoria and Genoa shared the spoils in a pretty entertaining edition of the Derby della Lanterna. Bologna got off their schneid with a quality and hard-fought victory against Crotone.
Confirmations: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the gift that keeps on giving and he pounced on a defensive blunder, somewhat nailing an acrobatic finish for his seventh goal of the season. Andrea Belotti is right behind him in the scorers’ chart as he was perfect from the spot and the battle of Italian strikers ended in a draw as Ciro Immobile scored late in the same fashion. Cristiano Ronaldo returned with a cool-blooded finish and successful PK, while Alvaro Morata kept it rolling with another goal. Luis Muriel has been money whenever fielded: it took him just a half to net a brace in Crotone.
Cagliari stars Giovanni Simeone and Joao Pedro did their thing once again in Bologna as they continue to deliver in tandem, but Roberto Soriano keeps exceeding expectations and he is already up to four goals. Simy and Pedro netted the third goal of their campaigns. Second goal of the year on an amazing trail for Frank Kessie and Gianluca Lapadula on an sly finish. Two goals in a row for Sasa Lukic, who is interpreting a very offensively role very brilliantly, and Sampdoria’s Jakub Jankto, who smashed it through. Manuel Locatelli stepped up to the plate and nailed a penalty kick.
Guess who is back: two strikers that were surprisingly still scoreless put together good-looking braces in this round, Parma’s Gervinho and Bologna’s Musa Barrow. Marcelo Brozovic made it to stat-sheet for the first time in 2020/21 as well. Ivan Perisic spared Inter’s some blushes with a late equalizer against Parma with a clutch header, while Rodrigo De Paul converted a PK for his first paydirt. Andreas Pereira exploited the uptick in touches and, like Gianluca Scamacca and Maxime Lopez, knocked home his first Serie A goal. Leonardo Spinazzola is clearly in a groove and hit the net. Two key and awaited Verona players that had been quiet so far delivere big time together, Antonin Barak and Darko Lazovic.
Surprise scorers: two midfielders that are not necessarily very prone to scoring did it in Spezia-Juventus, as Tommaso Pobega and Adrien Rabiot both found the target, while centre-back Bremer buried a header against Lazio.
Flops of the round: Napoli could not take advantage of Sassuolo’s several big chances and got stunned at home. Inter had some excuses but was overall paltry against Parma. Torino had another shocking meltdown in zona Cesarini. Lucas Martinez Quarta and Gianluca Caprari picked up a silly red card. Mikkel Damsgaard and Simone Verdi had incredible misses, while Patric and Wesley Hoedt combined for a horror show on the second Torino goal, but they were bailed out.
Clutch goal: Felipe Caicedo was again the cardiac kid for Lazio, making Torino another victim of his late-game heroics.
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