Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 24 – Late Games

CROTONE-CAGLIARI

Crotone: as expected the Juventus clash proved to be too hard for them to overcome, even though Junior Messias got few shots off and Adam Ounas tried to get something going with his mazing runs. The duo will lead the way again here in a much easier fixture. Messias has bagged seven goals thus far, while Ounas scored on his second appearance with the Squali and will be facing his former team, which did not trust him too much. Samuel Di Carmine has quickly unseated Simy but has not really shined thus far. The coach initially tweaked his system in the past game, but the changes were not that profound. Salvatore Molina returned from a lengthy absence and he was dynamic early in the season (one goal, four assists). Milos Vulic has not made the stat-sheet but he has been very busy over the last couple of matches and could be due. Left-back Arkadiusz Reca (one goal, three helpers) has been one of their most consistent players. Continue reading

Lautaro Martinez the hero as Inter beat rivals Milan to go 4 points clear at the top of Serie A

What a moment this is for Inter who were already on top of Serie A before they played their city rivals Milan in the derby. But after a fantastic and dominating 3-0 victory over the Rossonieri they are now 4 points clear at the top and the clear favourites to win their first Scudetto in 11 years.

Lautaro Martinez who has perhaps played second fiddle but also teamed up so well with his strike partner Romelu Lukaku was brilliant. The 23 year old Argentinian rose to the huge occasion in style and scored the opening two goals. Martinez now has 13 goals this season.

Milan’s form has been in trouble for the last few weeks where they haven’t looked as dominant as they were before and the writing looked on the wall at San Siro as Inter took the lead after just 5 minutes. Lukaku lobbed the ball well and his clever pass found the head of Martinez who made no mistakes to put Inter in front.

There were good chances  for both clubs in the first half and apart from the goal one could say that this was an equal half. Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic may not have agreed with that though and the Swede did have a couple of good chances to grab a goal back for the designated home side.

If Milan thought they were in the game because the half time score was only 1-0 then a poor 10 minute spell in the second sealed the clubs fate. It was Martinez again just before the hour mark. He received a ball from Ivan Perisic and Martinez at close range was in the right place at the right time to double Inter’s lead.

At this point Milan were still in shock when Lukaku, Inter’s top goalscorer, made it 3-0 after a mazy run. Lukaku who has called this season his best yet as a footballer was absolutely delighted. If Inter were going to beat Milan and confirm their greatest you get the feeling that Lukaku wanted to score in that game.

Much was said of course about the teams last meeting when Lukaku and Ibrahimovic clashed. Thankfully there would be no repeat of that but Lukaku did his speaking on the pitch and he will be very satisfied with that.

In fairness Milan didn’t play too bad and created many chances in the second half but those two quick goals killed off the game for them. Their title chances aren’t over yet of course and it will only take a slip up from Inter to let them back in. Juventus will also have a chance to win their 10th league title as they watch from the wings. It is sure to be an exciting finish this season, but for now with 15 games left to play Inter has taken control of the league.

Inter coach Antonio Conte was full of praise for his team and very proud after the game. He said: “My players deserve the praise it was a well-prepared game they were the absolute protagonists on the pitch. It was a nice game, it was a derby with a lot of pressure because both teams are up there in the table. I’m happy because we prepared the game well. We were good to make the most of the opportunities against a strong team.”

Inter will play Genoa next and although they will be the favourites to win the game, that is the type of fixture that could be a banana skin. What is sure about this season is that it is looking like it will be one of the best in years with 3 teams able to challenge for the title.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re for it play fantasyseriea.com!

 

 

 

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 23 – Late Games

PARMA-UDINESE

Parma: they did manage to score against Verona, thanks to a successful penalty kick by Juraj Kucka, but they lost again and their offense left a lot to be desired. The midfielder has tallied their last three goals. Yann Karamoh looked decently spry in his return to the XI, while Gervinho and Andreas Cornelius are stuck in an endless slump and the former is in pretty lackluster form. Joshua Zirkzee had a pair of chances after subbing in but did not exploit them. Valentin Mihaila was the liveliest out of their youngsters, but so far the coach has been very conservative in giving minutes to them. Jasmin Kurtic has hit the net a couple of times in the season and he is not shy when it comes to bomb away from distance. If they somehow managed to play more proactively, their fullbacks Andrea Conti and Giuseppe Pezzella would have some interest. Continue reading

Inter storm to the top of Serie A after win over Lazio as Milan collapse against Spezia

Finally it has happened for Inter and Antonio Conte, they are in 1st place in Serie A with 16 games to go as they convincingly beat a strong rival in Lazio 3-1.

Inter had been on the tails of their eternal rivals Milan for the majority of the season and it will be a fantastic feeling to know that they are now kings of the hill so to speak. Milan were outclassed against lowly Spezia losing that game 2-0 in what was seen as a surprise result but Milan were never really in the game.

Inter and Lazio is always a big game and Lazio themselves have had a decent season and even after this defeat are only 2 points from a Champions League place. Inter knew this would be a hard game but Conte’s team dominated play from the first whistle and looked ultra confident throughout their play.

Inter took the lead when Lazio’s Wesley Hoedt committed a foul in the area and the referee pointed to the spot and Hoedt was quickly booked for his actions. Romelu Lukaku stepped up and made no mistakes shooting past Pepe Reina in goal. It was just the right start that the home side needed.

Lukaku made it 2-0 just minutes before half time but not before a VAR review and the goal was in the balance because of Lukaku’s position, the question was did the pass he receive come from his Inter team mate? If so the goal wouldn’t have stood but Lukaku rightly pointed out that the ball had indeed come off of an Lazio defender and the goal stood.

Just after the hour mark Inter were not cruising the game anymore when Lazio struck back after a free kick. The actual free kick was not the problem as the ball was going wide but the ball deflected from Lazio player Gonzalo Escalante and into the net. It was a lucky goal but all of a sudden Inter could feel the pressure at 2-1. It wouldn’t last.

Just three minutes later Inter scored a brilliant goal which would finish the game. Lukaku collected the ball down the right wing and with blistering pace just went past players like they were not there, he squared the ball to an unmarked Lautaro Martinez who scored his 11th goal of the season. The scenes of celebration were wild as the players along with manager Conte embraced.

Even though there was still thirty minutes to play Inter knew they had won this game and indeed it finished 3-1. Inter go top although only by 1 point and there is all to play for. Inter’s next game is against, wait for it…. Milan on Sunday. What a match that will prove to be 1st v 2nd.

Martinez the boy wonder staying with Inter for now

Lautaro Martinez has been brilliant for Inter and has scored 11 goals so far in the league and assisted in another 4 goals. All eyes are on the striker but he is set to stay at Inter, much to the relief of the fans. Martinez is expected to sign a new 3 year contract which would tie him to Inter until June 2024.

Lukaku the 2nd best striker in Europe in the fantasy rankings

The fantasy rankings has Romelu Lukaku as the 2nd best striker in Europe and the Belgian currently has 68 points and has scored 16 goals. He is only 5 points behind the number 1 striker which is currently Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Kane has scored 13 goals so far but has assisted in another 11. Making up the rest of the top 5 are Cristiano Ronaldo, Heung-Min Son and Luis Suarez.

How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play fantasyseriea.com now!

 

 

 

 

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 22 – Top Matches

SPEZIA-MILAN

Spezia: Vincenzo Italiano shook things up against Sassuolo, going with Kevin Agudelo as false-nine over Andrej Galabinov and, while the bouncy attacker did not score, the solution worked out pretty well as he added an element of unpredictability and a ton more pace. It could be the solution here again as it does not look like M’Bala Nzola will be ready to start. Diego Farias is likely to be sidelined, which will allow Daniele Verde to stay in the XI, but so far he has had success mostly in Coppa Italia. Emmanuel Gyasi’s starting job instead has never really been in question and he returned to the stat-sheet after months in the previous match: he is now up to two goals and four assists. Their second leading scorer Tommaso Pobega (three goals) is back from suspension and their midfield does not have the same punch without him, even though Matteo Ricci has been a nice assist-man and Giulio Maggiore is decently involved in their offense, but not as effective as the Milan loanee. Continue reading

Juventus knock Inter out of the Coppa Italia as Conte clashes with Juve president

Inter are out of the Coppa Italia after their 2nd leg semi-final clash ended 0-0 against Juventus. The first leg was won by Juventus 2-1 and so Juventus have made the final.

After the final whistle though it appeared that Inter coach Antonio Conte had raised his middle finger to Juventus officials, some have pointed out that it was directed at the Juventus president. However there have been claims that Andrea Agnelli swore at Conte and tensions boiled over.

The game itself had its moments but as the time ran down and Inter who needed to attack more got few chances the writing looked on the wall that they wouldn’t be able to conjure up a great comeback. The game as a whole felt level and even though Inter had created 18 goal chances only 4 of those were on target.

In the early exchanges as expected Inter attacked and Lautaro Martinez felt he should have had a penalty but it was waved away. Soon after Romelu Lukaku came close with a thundering header which wasn’t too far off of its target. With nine minutes of the game to go Achraf Hakimi who has been very impressive in attack even if he is a defender came close to scoring with a superb shot and had that gone in it would certainly have changed the complexion of the game and we would have been in for quite an exciting last 10 minutes or so.

Inter coach Conte had this to say after the game, “ We paid for the first leg, for some gifts we gave them. We tried to score until the end, because with one goal, they would have had more difficulty. I’m sorry because these are matches that are played in 180 minutes. Today we tried in every way with desire and determination. You make mistakes you have to learn from mistakes and then start over and try again.”

While the disappointment of going out of the cup at the semi-final stage has dampened spirits throughout the Inter squad they will now have to refocus for their next league game at the weekend and it won’t be easy as it is against Lazio.

As for the league the title is still on and Inter are in 2nd place on 47 points and just 2 points behind Milan who keep winning. Last weekend Inter recorded their 14th win of the season from 21 games played as they beat Fiorentina 2-0 away from home.

Nicolo Barella opened the scoring for the visitors after an Alexis Sanchez pass and his curling shot from the edge of the area was a stunner. That was Barella’s third goal of the season.

Early in the second half Ivan Perisic made it 2 after Hakimi broke free down the right wing and squared it to Perisic who was unmarked and it was an easy slot in. Lukaku missed a few good chances but this was a game that was never in doubt and Fiorentina were quite toothless.

Inter’s will play Lazio next on Sunday evening at San Siro while Milan are away to Spezia a day earlier.

How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play fantasyseriea.com now!

Roma score 3 goals in 9 minutes against Verona to keep up title charge

It only took Roma 9 minutes to effectively finish off and win their 12th game of the season against Verona at Stadio Olimpico and the Giallorossi will maintain their hunt for the Scudetto.

The goals started from the 20th minute when Lorenzo Pellegrini’s corner found the head of Gianluigi Mancini. Mancini was 12 yards from goal and his header in fairness was not powerful, though it was directed well and see to evade Verona’s defenders and the keeper and Roma were in the lead.

The Giallorossi then doubled their lead just 120 seconds later with Verona’s defence stretched out after a quick counter attack. Marco Silvestri in goal for the visitors made the mistake to come far too out and Borja Mayoral who has been on good form for Roma almost had a clear chance. Mayoral though was sent wide but spotted Henrikh Mkhitaryan unmarked and in a better position. With Silvestri all over the place and gaps galore Mkhitaryan who had gone off the boil somewhat in the past few weeks slotted in to score his 9th goal of the season.

Roma could not believe their luck when seven minutes later they had made it 3-0. Again from a corner the ball found Pellegrini on the edge of the area who lashed his shot but the ball came off of Silvestri and fell to Mayoral right in front of him who was given a gift and didn’t fail to disappoint.

It was a first half dominated by Roma and it ended 3-0. In the second half Roma had a few chances to get a fourth but Silvestri in goal for Verona who had had a nightmare first 45 minutes showed his qualities and put in a very solid 2nd half performance.

Towards the end Roma who knew they had won this game just tried to dictate the pace and it was clear that the match was petering out. However Verona did get a consolation goal when Roma had appeared to switch off a little, the goal was from a breakaway and headed in by Ebrima Colley.

It was a well deserved victory by Roma and they are 3rd in the league behind Milan and Inter and have 40 points.

Fonseca and Dzeko update

It’s no secret that Roma coach Paulo Fonseca and Edin Dzeko have fallen out. Last week Dzeko was isolated and sent to train on his own. However after a possible move to Inter falling through on deadline day Dzeko will remain with the club. Fonseca and Dzeko have had a meeting since and Dzeko is set to rejoin the rest of the group and could even play this weekend when Roma take part in a huge game against Juventus.

Player focus: Lorenzo Pellegrini

Lorenzo Pellegrini started the season slowly but in the last 2 months has really picked up and become an integral part of this Roma side. He has been involved in 9 goals and scored 4 and assisted in another 5. Pellegrini so far has 33 points in the fantasy rankings and is the 3rd best ranked player for Roma. He is currently the 11th ranked player in the whole of Serie A for his position, and his value is 7m.

Are you a Serie A expert? Can you defeat the top Serie A fantasy managers? If you think so, join today at fantasyseriea.com

 

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 21 – Sunday Matches

BENEVENTO-SAMPDORIA

Benevento: they struggled mightily against Inter and their weapons were hurt by the fact that they could not generate any offense. Two linchpins had broken out in the previous game against Torino, Gianluca Lapadula and Nicolas Viola who had not contributed concretely in a long time, for different reasons. They will welcome back Marco Sau from a two-game suspension and he has been their most prolific striker as of late since Gianluca Caprari has not scored in five matches. Roberto Insigne should be in better shape as well, but he too has struck out in few tilts in a row. Their attack sputtering partly explains their poor results in January. Newcomer Adolfo Gaich will likely need some time to be integrated and was not very effective in Russia. The possible return of Pasquale Schiattarella (one goal, one assist) to the XI could move Viola to a role where he has more freedom and he has a ton of upside thanks to his shooting prowess.

Recommended picks: Lapadula, Sau, Viola.

Sampdoria: they too had troubles creating chances against a top team, Juventus in their case, and they were held scoreless for the first time in four matches. Keita is always at risk of running into some duds, but he has been their most consistent forward in the past month, as Fabio Quagliarella has yet to produce in 2021. Antonio Candreva (three goals, four assists) is a close second, while Jakub Jankto is weirdly losing playing time, but that has not directly benefitted Mikkel Damsgaard since Claudio Ranieri is tinkering with the formation to adapt it to the opponents. Gaston Ramirez has recently reappeared with a sweet assist and Ernesto Torregrossa, who delivered on his debut, is likely going to see his playing time gradually increase.

Recommended picks: Keita, Candreva, Quagliarella.

 

MILAN-CROTONE

Milan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed another PK against Bologna, which is pretty much the only thing holding him back in the fantasy realm, but Ante Rebic cleaned up the rebound, bagging his first goal since late December, as he was forced to miss time, and Frank Kessie made no mistake in the second half, registering his seventh goal. Rebic has proven to be extremely streaky in the past. Hakan Calhanoglu has shaken off the virus, but it remains to be seen whether he will start right away: he is a massive hub for their offense and has notched six assists already. They have had trouble replacing him, especially with Brahim Diaz missing. Rafael Leao (five goals, four helpers) is one of the ultimate feast-or-famine players in the League and he is coming off two quiet outings. Theo Hernandez has not done a ton of damage lately either but he benefits from the robustness of the whole back-line.

Recommended picks: Ibrahimovic, Rebic, Kessie.

Crotone: the Squali will not have their top guy Junior Messias in this one and that is major blow, even though they added two more offensive pieces late in Samuel Di Carmine and Adam Ounas, who however was not healthy in his final days in Cagliari. Di Carmine, who had not scored in his few appearances with Verona, started immediately and that should continue to be the case. Simy (seven goals) has found the target in two of the last three contests, while their other cornerstone Ahmad Benali is looking increasingly spry after a long time on the shelf. Without Messias, they will have to lean more on their creative midfielders, Benali and Milos Vulic. Arkadiusz Reca has been their top assist-man thus far (5).

Recommended picks: Simy, Di Carmine, Benali.

 

UDINESE-VERONA

Udinese: they eked it out in veteran fashion against Spezia, with Rodrigo De Paul nailing a PK, however the Argentinian maestro is suspended for this one and they do not really have an alternative to him in the roster. The solution could be similar to last week, with Walace and Tolgay Arslan featuring together in the midfield and either Fernando Llorente or Ilija Nestorovski starting up front, next to Gerard Deulofeu that played as false nine. Neither of the two strikers has done, or played, much thus far, but the former figures to be a better option than the latter. Deulofeu is instead turning the corner now that he has his legs fully underneath him. They will inevitably rely more on Roberto Pereyra (two goals, four assists), while Arslan has more fantasy potential in the duo of gritty midfielders as he is an okay shooter.

Recommended picks: Pereyra, Deulofeu, Llorente/Nestorovski.

Verona: They surprisingly crumbled against Roma, where an ugly start did them in, leaving them little room to react. The only positive news was Ebrima Colley scoring his first career goal in Serie A and he has been constantly pretty good when his number was called, but he has not been elevated from his bench role. Daniel Bessa has sneaky potential too but is in a similar spot. It looks like they are going to alternate Nikola Kalinic and Kevin Lasagna for the time being, and neither has been particularly good in recent games. Mattia Zaccagni (six goals, five assists) and Antonin Barak (four goals) have instead been much more solid. Their wing-backs Federico Dimarco, Darko Lazovic and Marco Davide Faraoni are always threats to pick up points in multiple ways.

Recommended picks: Zaccagni, Barak, Kalinic/Lasagna.

 

PARMA-BOLOGNA

Parma: no end product again for the Ducali offense, who will be hoping newcomers Graziano Pellè, Joshua Zirkzee and Dennis Man will be able to provide an immediate turnaround despite the fact that they will inevitably need some time to adjust to the new surroundings. Juraj Kucka remains their lone scorer in the past two months, while Andreas Cornelius and Gervinho, who have been constantly leaned upon as Roberto Inglese has missed time and Yann Karamoh has been hurt, have continued to fire blanks. Jasmin Kurtic ended up staying and he is their busiest midfielder in the final third after Kucka, especially because Hernani, who had some success under the previous regime, is being used as deep-lying playmaker now. Alberto Grassi, Andrea Conti and Giuseppe Pezzella could have some minor appeal if the team collectively manages to snap out of their funk.

Recommended picks: Kucka, Kurtic, Gervinho.

Bologna: they produced a pretty convincing late push versus Milan, although they did not manage to equalize. The goal came from two players that generally are not regulars, Andreas Skov Olsen and Andrea Poli, we will see whether it will help their stocks. Sinisa Mihajlovic played some misdirection in the presser and kept Musa Barrow as center-forward, however the experiment is not paying off and he had a terrible game, so there might be a change there that would go in Rodrigo Palacio’s favor. Nicola Sansone has seen some decent minutes after an injury and he has been pretty lively, however it came at the expense of Emmanuel Vignato, who has a higher ceiling. Riccardo Orsolini (three goals, three assists) has been the most convincing out of their linchpins in recent games, however he is fatigued, while Roberto Soriano and Barrow have been pretty quiet in few matches in a row. Takehiro Tomiyasu will likely head back to the middle of the defense in this one, which hurts his value.

Recommended picks: Barrow, Sansone/Orsolini, Soriano. 

 

LAZIO-CAGLIARI

Lazio: another strong performance for the Biancocelesti, who are taking advantage of all the weapons at their disposal as Joaquin Correa is finally finding some continuity and Adam Marusic netted his first goal of the season, while had set up three teammates before. Ciro Immobile was limited to an assist versus Atalanta: he has not hauled in points just once in the last nine matches, scoring in the large majority of the them. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic did not make the stat-sheet but he had a huge performance: he has posted four goals and five assists in the campaign. Luis Alberto looked pretty good for somebody who recently underwent surgery for appendicitis and he should soon recapture his form, as he had been going like gangbusters prior to the hiccup. Manuel Lazzari (one goal, four assists) is always pretty decent.

Recommended picks: Immobile, Correa, Alberto.

Cagliari: Joao Pedro unsurprisingly did it again versus Sassuolo, registering his 11th goal, however he is getting very little help from his teammates and they were pipped at the post. Radja Nainggolan has been a little underwhelming since returning as he is still rounding up into shape, while Giovanni Simone is stuck in a slump and the limited playing time is doing Leonardo Pavoletti no favor. Therefore, their second best guy as of late has been Razvan Marin, who is coming off an assist and has had more chances than usual. They will welcome back the energetic Nahitan Nandez, whose appeal depends on the role as he is very versatile, but they might be without Alfred Duncan and Alessandro Deiola due to injuries, which could give the Gaston Pereiro or Riccardo Sottil an opportunity to win back the trust of the coach.

Recommended picks: Pedro, Marin, Nandez.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re for it play fantasyseriea.com!

Milan return to winning ways ahead of crucial stretch

Milan entered its game against Bologna off the back of two consecutive defeats, most recently losing to fierce rivals Inter in the Coppa Italia. With the Nerazzurri breathing down their necks, Stefano Pioli’s men needed a result on Saturday – and did just that. The Italian giants emerged comfortable 2-1 winners over Bologna, maintaining their narrow lead atop the table for another weekend.

The win could not have come at a better time for the Rossoneri ahead of a crucial stretch in the season. With morale low after a humbling defeat against Atalanta, as well as a disappointing exit in the Coppa Italia, Milan was in dire need of a result this weekend. Stefano Pioli’s side has a favourable run of games coming up before their schedule gets difficult.

Up next for Milan are two relegation candidates in Spezia and Crotone. Much like it was the case in the first half of the season, the Rossoneri cannot afford anything less than six points from these two games – especially as Inter and Juventus have difficult schedules of their own coming up. Inter takes on Fiorentina and Lazio over the next two matchdays, while Juventus locks horns with Roma and Napoli. In many ways, the upcoming weeks can help Milan extend their lead at the top before the next instalment of the Derby della Madonnina set for February 21.

As of right now, Milan holds a two-point lead over Inter with 18 games to go. With yet another derby on the cards, the Rossoneri will be hoping to cut Inter’s momentum short with a crucial three points. Milan’s games against Spezia and Crotone are good opportunities to blend in the side’s new signings, as well as build up their own confidence.

Milan is also in action in the Europa League Round of 32 against Red Star Belgrade later this month, taking on the Serbian outfit on February 18.  Factor in the Rossoneri’s winnable league affairs, as well as this two-legged tie with Red Star, and they can enter the derby extremely high on confidence.

Fikayo Tomori has looked good in his first two appearances in black-and-red and will have ample opportunity to stake his claim for more regular minutes. The Englishman offers some much-needed depth at the back and could use the next run of games to adapt to Serie A. Fellow January arrival – Mario Mandzukic - has featured sparingly since making the move, but as an intriguing second half of the season approaches, expect the Croatian hitman to play a more significant role. Manduzkic has regularly proven to be up to the challenge in big games and makes for an interesting partner to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

They may have been reluctant to say it in the early goings of the season, but one thing has been made clear since the turn of the new year: Milan is a legit title contender. The Rossoneri have largely downplayed this type of talk in an effort to take the pressure off themselves but can simply no longer avoid the contender tag.

Inter and Juventus are in it with a shot themselves but have been nowhere near as consistent as Milan this season. Barring their defeats to Juventus and Atalanta, Milan has impressed and taken care of business against the league’s mid-table sides. Stefano Pioli’s men will need much of the same heading into February – which is undoubtedly the side’s most important run of games.

Milan’s clash with Inter can potentially define the title race and could just swing the momentum in their favour. Talk about winning a Scudetto has largely been silenced in Casa Milan, but with only 18 games remaining – Milan is in the driver’s seat heading into a crucial month.

Are you a Serie A expert? Can you defeat the top Serie A fantasy managers? If you think so, join today at fantasyseriea.com!

Roma share 13 goals with Spezia in two unique games and stay in hunt for Serie A title

Roma and Spezia played each other two times in the space of four days and shared one win apiece. But that was only the small detail as they also shared a staggering 13 goals between them.

Quite incredibly Spezia beat Roma 4-2 in the Coppa Italia to knock Roma out of the competition and then pile on the pressure for coach Paulo Fonseca. But at the weekend Roma avenged that defeat as they beat Spezia in another thrilling game which had 7 goals in it as the Giallorossi won 4-3.

The action flew off from the 17th minute as Roma took the lead through Borja Mayoral who has been in very good form lately. He was assisted by Lorenzo Pellegrini and gave the keeper no chance to put the home team 1-0 up. However soon after it was 1-1 when Roberto Piccoli equalised for the visitors. He was never going to miss from just a few yards out as an initial shot from the club rebounded like a present for him and he made no mistakes.

At this point Roma would have been forgiven for thinking not again just as Spezia had showed so much courage in the cup game. Though there would be 7 goals the first half ended 1-1 and it was clear whilst Spezia were a threat in numbers Roma had been the better team.

However within seven minutes of the restart Roma had taken the lead with another superb shot from Mayoral and then just three minutes later Rick Kardsdrop made it 3-1 to the home side and the tie looked dead on its feet. The joy from the players was infectious by this point and there looked like no coming back from Spezia this time.

But the story wasn’t done yet and in a 2nd half which saw 3 goals in the opening 14 minutes Spezia pulled one back to make it 3-2. Then came the excitement and what a finish to the game it would be.

In the 90th minute against all the odds Spezia equalised to make it 3-3, having at one point trailed the game 3-1. Daniele Verde was the hero and he looked to have earned a point for the visitors and Spezia were officially going to be named as a thorn in the side of the Giallorossi. But this game wasn’t over even if there were only seconds left on the clock.

In the 92nd minute Lorenzo Pellegrini who had been all over the pitch and been the provider for quite a game scored a terrific shot that flew in the net for a last minute winner. The scenes on the pitch even sadly without the fans still generated quite a fantastic atmosphere.

It was great news for Roma too because Milan in 1st place lost against Atlanta and Inter could only draw away to Udinese so Roma caught both of them up and the Giallorossi are now only six points behind league leaders Milan. This title hunt is not over.

Dzeko set to leave but Alexis could come in

Edin Dzeko has had words with coach Paulo Fonseca to the point that both men have fallen out with one another and it has been reported that Dzeko has now been training on his own. But it doesn’t end there.

Official meetings have been held between Roma and Inter about a loan swap deal which would see Dzeko go to Inter probably as a back up squad player and Alexis Sanchez come to Roma.

With Inter in with a good shout of the Serie A title Sanchez may not want to leave but Dzeko will want as faraway as the capital as he can get. A deal if one happens could be concluded this week.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re for it play fantasyseriea.com