Standing’s implications: Atalanta clinched a Champions League berth despite making the Genoa contest a little tougher than it needed to be, while Milan will have to wait another round as they could find a way to perforate Cagliari. Juventus eked out a win over Inter in an improbable manner, but Napoli responded by breezing past Fiorentina Sunday, so the Bianconeri remain outside looking in the top four. Roma finally won a big game as they prevailed in the Derby with Lazio. Sassuolo remain in the hunt for the seventh spot by strolling past Parma. Sampdoria pipped Udinese away.
Benevento frittered away a golden opportunity as Crotone equalized late, and, even though Torino were deep-sixed by Spezia, they might not have away a final shot to avoid relegation next as the Granata will face Lazio midweek in a make-up game. The Aquilotti instead clinched a remarkable Serie A permanence, and so did Cagliari.
Confirmations: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lorenzo Insigne were denied from the penalty spot but pounced on the tap-in. Henrikh Mkhitaryan found paydirt for the third straight bout, Romelu Lukaku for the second. Atalanta studs Ruslan Malinovskyi and Robin Gosens found the target again, and Mario Pasalic did it for the second game in a row. Gianluca Lapadula stayed hot as well, but Simy bagged a costly goal late in the match. Eldor Shomurodov assembled a brace to improve to four goals in the last five rounds, while Goran Pandev had last scored three weeks ago. Fabio Quagliarella punished another of his former teams. Juan Cuadrado had been a fantasy weapon, even if he was still scoreless before this round. Riccardo Saponara recorded his second goal in the last four appearances. Rodrigo Palacio’s late resurgence continues.
Guess who is back: Duvan Zapata solved a little lull by hitting the net in the early going against the Grifone. M’Bala Nzola returned to the stat-sheet after a long slump with a deciding brace. Andrea Belotti put his name on the scoreboard after five rounds with a successful PK. Pedro’s last goal dated back to mid-February. Gregoire Defrel and Jeremie Boga had not found the target since January. Nikola Kalinic finally delivered.
Surprise scorers: Martin Erlic rounded out the score late for Spezia with his third goal of the campaign. Manuel Locatelli nailed a PK for his fourth goal. Bruno Alves bagged his first goal in two years with an acrobatic finish. Two defenders traded blows Monday night as Koray Gunter and Lorenzo De Silvestri struck goal while attacking on set pieces.
Flops of the round: Milan had little juice versus Cagliari. Benevento and Torino had produced underwhelming displays for teams desperately fighting for survival. Francesco Acerbi, Rodrigo Bentancur, Marcelo Brozovic and Vladimir Golemic were sent off.
Clutch goal: Simy did Benevento in and gave a massive advantage to Torino, which will need to gather just one point in their next two fixtures.
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