AC Milan 1-1 Udinese: Frustrating night for Rossoneri as Kessie rescues point in stoppage time

Milan were high on confidence heading into tonight’s clash against Udinese, having beaten Roma at the weekend. In other words, they were in a good position to build on the positive moment but fell short at San Siro, failing to break down the away side enough to claim all three points. 

From the start, the face of the game was very clear as Milan dominated possession for the entire first-half, with Udinese sitting back and defending with all of their men. And without the likes of Hakan Calhanoglu and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Rossoneri really struggled to find space and create chances.  Continue reading

Inter go 7 points clear of champions Juventus with 17th win of the season

Inter look on course to win their first league title in 11 years as they beat Genoa 3-0 at the weekend. Romelu Lukaku yet again was on hand to open up the scoring in a pretty much one sided game that they didn’t look like losing.

Inter got off to the best possible start as they were in front against Genoa within 60 seconds. Lautaro Martinez set up Lukaku who still had plenty of work to do but he lashed his shot into the net, and it was a superb goal to get the game going.

Matteo Darmian and Nicolo Barella had chances to double the lead in the first half and Barella’s chance came off the cross bar. But the first half would end 1-0 to the home side. Inter had dominated the first half and had 7 shots on target to Genoa’s two and they look hungry for more goals too.

Goals did follow in the 2nd half and this time Darmian made no mistakes as he was set up by Lukaku and just past the hour mark it was 2-0 to Inter and there was no coming back from that by the away side.

A few minutes later Alexis Sanchez made it 3-0 and it was game over. Although not before a VAR review but thankfully the goal stood. Inter are 4 points clear at the top after Milan also won at the weekend. But the big news was that Juventus had their game in hand in midweek and they could only draw 1-1 at Verona. They followed that up yesterday by beating Spezia 3-0 but the old lady are now seven points behind Inter and have now played the same games. One has to wonder if Juventus’ domination of the league is over?

Inter’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku had this to say after the game: We faced some defeats in these kind of games last season and we want to improve. I am really happy with the victory. Now we must focus on Parma, it’s not going to be an easy game. We want to show our opponents that we are here. We must focus on one game at a time. It was an important match after two back to back victories. We scored three goals and kept a clean sheet, perfect.”

Pirelli waving goodbye

In other news Pirelli the infamous shirt sponsors of Inter will be no more. With talk of Inter being sold in the summer and negotiations taking place it has been confirmed that the club will have different shirt sponsors from next season. Pirelli has had a strong association with Inter and they have been their official shirt sponsor for the past 27 years.

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Juventus Top Performers – Round 25 vs Spezia

After surviving to a poor first half, Juventus successfully flipped the switch in the second one and received a major boost from the bench, taming a feisty opponent like Spezia and extending their victorious run at home.

Federico Bernardeschi (2 points): as weird as it may sound, the much-maligned winger changed the course of the game off the pine with two deep runs down the left flank and two quality balls towards the middle. The first one was met on the near post by Alvaro Morata, giving him an assist, while Federico Chiesa was denied by the goalkeeper on the first attempt on the second one but literally smashed home the rebound. The ex-Fiorentina man bagged a key goal but he was a little sloppy and not so vigorous down the flank prior to that, so the best midfielder among the starters was Dejan Kulusevski, who continuously challenged the defense with his technical runs. He dished two bonbons in the six-yard boxes but his teammates were unable to capitalize. Adrien Rabiot and Rodrigo Bentancur were outhustled and outrun but were fine in the offensive phase. Continue reading

AC Milan vs. Udinese: Serie A Round 25 – Team news, stats and prediction

Milan bounced back in style with a necessary 2-1 win away at Roma on Sunday, ending the latter’s impressive unbeaten run at home. After two consecutive defeats, therefore, they are back on the right track and will be looking to add another three points to their tally on Wednesday, taking on Udinese. 

Stefano Pioli’s men were under some pressure to get the job done against Roma, considering its importance both in terms of the standings and confidence-wise. However, they didn’t seem bothered about this at all as they put in one of their best performances of the season, especially in the first half.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Players of the Month in February – Lukaku and Handanovic

A pretty lean month for Serie A players as just one cracked the EuroFantasyLeague of the Month, however it is fitting that the top two contributors come from what is currently the best team in the Peninsula, Inter, which are going on a run and making a strong push in the title race.

Romelu Lukaku and Samir Handanovic both amassed 21 points in the past 31 days, separating themselves from the competition. The big Belgian is in tremendous form and he has found the target four time in the past four matches, adding two assists. Continue reading

Serie A Predictions – Round 24

Juventus-Spezia: the Bianconeri partly slipped again versus Verona as they were held to a tie, failing to win for the second of the last three games. The Aquilotti came back from Parma after losing big to Fiorentina the previous game. They recently played Milan off the park, but at home. The Old Lady has won five in a row at the Stadium, so they have an edge despite the ever-underwhelming form: 2-0.

Sassuolo-Napoli: the Neroverdi have not been impressive in some time as they have prevailed just once over the past seven fixtures, versus Crotone, picking up three draws with Parma, Cagliari, Bologna. They got to rest over the weekend. The Partenopei continue to alternate home wins to road losses as they topped Benevento Sunday, while they have came a cropper with Verona, Genoa and Atalanta in the past three away tilts: 1-1. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 25

Atalanta: Marten De Roon is suspended. Duvan Zapata (thigh) has a chance to return but will be a late call. Bosko Sutalo (ankle) and Sam Lammers (shoulder) will remain sidelined and Viktor Kovalenko is on the mend too. 

Benevento: Federico Barba is disqualified. Riccardo Improta has recuperated from a thigh strain, while Iago Falque is nursing an unspecified injury.

Bologna: Danilo is out due to yellow-card accumulation. Aaron Hickey (shoulder sprain) joins Takehiro Tomiyasu (calf) and Andri Baldursson (thigh) among the players expected to miss two-to-three weeks. Gary Medel is available after a contracture, while Paolo Faragò will likely stay out. Continue reading

Serie A Probable Lineups – Round 25

JUVENTUS-SPEZIA

Juventus (3-4-1-2): Szczesny; Demiral, De Ligt, Danilo; Chiesa, Bentancur, Rabiot, Sandro; Ramsey; Kulusevski, Ronaldo.

Potential lineup changes: Bernardeschi for Sandro, McKennie for Bentancur, Fagioli for Ramsey.

Likely bench options: McKennie, Bernardeschi, Morata.

Probable: Morata (illness), Fagioli (illness).

Ruled out: Dybala (knee), Cuadrado (thigh), Arthur (lower leg), Bonucci (thigh), Chiellini (calf).

Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 25 – Remaining Games

ATALANTA-CROTONE

Atalanta: Duvan Zapata will be a late call for this one, but they downed Sampdoria even without him as Luis Muriel led the way despite not scoring, setting up a goal and constantly challenging the opposing defender. Ruslan Malinovskyi stepped up and fired home the second goal of his season, which could earn him more playing time moving forward. However, the squabble between Josip Ilicic and Gian Piero Gasperini was quickly resolved and therefore he is set to continue seeing regular minutes, much to the chagrin of Malinovskyi and Aleksey Miranchuk. The mercurial Slovenian subbed in well over the weekend but has not produced in recent outings, although he can break out in any moment and the match-up is certainly ripe. Who instead never abates is Robin Gosens, who has picked up points in five straight matches, scoring three times and adding one assist. He is up to eight and four in the season. Joakim Maehle has also been quite effective on the right flank and the chemistry between the two wing-backs is improving. Marten De Roon is suspended so it is likely one between Matteo Pessina and Mario Pasalic will play in a more defensive role, but, in any case, they have been major fantasy assets up to this point despite their tactical importance in their design. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 25 – Top Matches

JUVENTUS-SPEZIA

Juventus: despite a not-so-great offensive night in Verona, Cristiano Ronaldo came through once again, bagging his 19th goal of the season and scoring in two consecutive games for the first time in a while. Federico Chiesa dished his fifth assist of the season which, on top of his six goals, makes him their second-best offensive weapon. CR7 would likely get the day off in this spot if Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala were fully healthy, but only the Spaniard has some chances to feature and he is not 100 percent. Dejan Kulusevski has gotten some run thanks to the absences and he is coming off his best outing in some time, although he was unable to snap out of his lengthy scoring slump. Aaron Ramsey has looked pretty lively since coming back from yet another injury and they can certainly use his offense, but he probably needs to be handled carefully. Weston McKennie (four goals, two assists) is a better bet to see ample minutes after getting most of the day off over the weekend. Continue reading