Just two shutout wins in this game, by Empoli and SPAL, but the Azzurri did not exactly dominate versus Fiorentina, while the Estensi did it against Chievo, which is easy pickings at this point. Therefore, the nod goes to the team that had the most impressive win, Atalanta, which ransacked Olimpico and pretty much eliminated Lazio from Champions League contention.
The most significant game this week was the bout between Atalanta and Milan with the fourth spot on the line. The Goddess came into the fixture having won four of five, while the Rossoneri were coming off their most convincing win of the season, against Cagliari, and riding a six-match undefeated streak, where they had tied three times.
Both coaches confirmed the XIs they have been using consistently for few weeks: the only tweak by Gian Piero Gasperini was picking Berat Djimsiti to anchor the back-line and moving José-Luis Palomino to left centre-back, over Gianluca Mancini, while Gennaro Gattuso marshaled his usual 4-3-3. Continue reading →
Standings implications: Juventus were pretty lucky to grab a tie against Atalanta, however Napoli got beat by Inter and therefore the Bianconeri’s lead widened, while the Nerrazzuri and the Partenopei are now separated by five points. Both Roman teams looked pretty good in the midweek round as Lazio’s win in Bologna was never in doubt and the Giallorossi routed Sassuolo. Milan were held to a tie in Frosinone, so Sampdoria, which were the first to defeat Domenico Di Carlo’s Chievo, now lead the Europa League race. Torino remain in the mix after they handed a drubbing to Empoli, while Fiorentina laid an egg against Parma. SPAL and Udinese did not hurt each other, while Cagliari returned to winning ways against Genoa.
Juventus: Joao Cancelo has a torn meniscus and will return after the break. Juan Cuadrado hyperextended his knee against Young Boys and he will not play in the weekend, while Medhi Benatia (knee soreness) has recovered. Rodrigo Bentancur is suspended, Sami Khedira will not come back from his ankle injury. Andrea Barzagli is out with a quad strain.
Napoli: Mario Rui subbed off against Liverpool due to a muscular injury that has yet to be evaluated, while Simone Verdi should make the squad list after being on the mend for a good chunk due to a pair of injury, the latest being an ankle sprain. Continue reading →
There were a pair of dominant displays in the weekend, in particular by Roma and Atalanta, but since the score was the same, the Goddess gets the shout-out as they did it against a way more competitive team. They always seem to put up a good fight when facing Inter, but their performance on Sunday went beyond the rosiest expectation.
There were certainly some surprising results in the last round before another international break.
Standings implications: Juventus bested Milan in the last Sunday game, while Napoli prevailed in the soggy battle in Genoa and have re-assumed sole control of the second place since Inter came crashing down hard in Bergamo. Roma finally put together a brilliant performance against the wheezing Sampdoria. Atalanta leapfrogged few teams in the Europa League race since Fiorentina conceded late and was held to yet another 1-1 tie in Frosinone and Parma snatched a quality road win versus Torino. Continue reading →
In a round where the top clubs mostly had troubles toppling their respective opponents, the most impressive team was surely Atalanta, which manhandled Frosinone on Monday night. The Orobici and Empoli were the only two sides to score multiple goals while keeping a clean sheet.
Gian Piero Gasperini will not have Josip Ilicic for a while, so he opted for the lineup he has been fielding in Europa League with limited rotation. Berat Djimsiti played over both Gianluca Mancini and José-Luis Palomino in the defence and Musa Barrow won the duel with Duvan Zapata up front, with Mario Pasalic in the hole. Continue reading →
The last round was a little lacking in terms of scoring: here is who made it to the team of the week.
Alessio Cragno: six teams kept a clean sheet in the last round, but there were not any superhuman performance by a goalie, so Cragno gets the spot because he did it against the toughest opponent. He racked up seven points as usual.
Raul Albiol: he was the top earner this week with nine points, thanks to the potent header that sealed the deal against Sampdoria and the clean sheet. Continue reading →
In a Serie Around that included some anticipated match-ups such as the Derby della Mole between Torino and Juventus, the bout for the sixth place between Sampdoria and Milan and an intriguing tilt between Atalanta and Fiorentina, the most hard-fought and high scoring game ended up being the battle for survival featuring Benevento and Crotone.
The Sanniti had won two games at home before running into Napoli, while Crotone were coming off four positive results: the commanding win against Verona and the three straight draws with Cagliari, Inter and Atalanta. Continue reading →