Standings implications: Milan quickly returned to winning ways by breezing past Torino despite some absences. The Rossoneri pulled away a little from the chasers as Inter and Roma shared the spoils in an entertaining lunch match, while Juventus bested Sassuolo and are right there in the standings. The teams right behind in the standings were all successful as Atalanta squashed Benevento in the second half, Napoli prevailed at the buzzer against Udinese and Lazio fully exploited Parma’s troubles.
Verona took care of business versus Crotone even though it was a little more difficult than anticipated. Fiorentina grabbed their first home win by adding to Cagliari’s woes. Davide Ballardini keep churning out points as his Genoa downed Bologna too, leaving the last three positions in the standings. Spezia triumphed for the second week in a row by besting Sampdoria for their first home W.
Confirmations: Atalanta’s star trio delivered again as Duvan Zapata, Luis Muriel and Josip Ilicic all found the target, while Marco Sau scored for the second match in a row in that bout. Cristiano Ronaldo came through late and is pulling away in the capocannoniere chart, but M’Bala Nzola is not far off now. Fifth bullseye in the last six rounds for the sizzling Mattia Destro. Rafael Leao and Franck Kessie propelled a depleted Milan versus Torino. Lorenzo Pellegrini, Antonio Candreva and Luis Alberto have it going and notched their third goal in recent rounds, while Achraf Hakimi is the gift that keeps on giving. Second straight goal for Felipe Caicedo and Federico Dimarco. Junior Messias has managed to remain productive even though Crotone are wheezing.
Guess who is back: Nikola Kalinic finally shook off the rust and knocked one past the goalkeeper against Crotone. After a pair of recent assists, Aaron Ramsey managed to put one through for the first time in the season. Miha Zajc is getting more run under the new coach and nudged one home to break the seal in a pretty rough campaign thus far. Kevin Lasagna resurfaced and made the box score after three tilts. Gregoire Defel had not made the stat-sheet since September.
Surprise scorers: Rafael Toloi recorded his second goal of the season. Two defenders made the stat-sheet in the most anticipated match of the round as Milan Skriniar and Gianluca Mancini both buried headers. Juventus’ Danilo rifled an impressive one home from distance. Cladio Terzi had not hit the net since 2013 in Serie A.
Flops of the round: the usually reilable Joao Pedro missed a PK. Amir Rrahmani had a pretty woeful first start with Napoli.
Clutch goal: Tiemoue Bakayaoko sunk Udinese in the final minutes with a pinpoint header.
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