Saturday, March 25, 2017

Serie A Week 29: Race for Top Three Continues

Luca D'Amico-Wong in Editorial, Serie A 20 Mar 2017

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Dzeko

Edin Dzeko added on to his tally with a goal against Sassuolo. Image: Sky Sports

The top three clubs continued to win this week as Roma and Napoli battle it out to ensure that they are directly qualified for the Champions League rather than having to play a Best-Placed playoff for the spot. Here’s a rundown of how things went in Italy.

Hart Blunders

Joe Hart made a pair of costly blunders that cost Torino all three points. The first came on a Kondogbia shot that squeaked under the keeper, and the second came after he mistimed a cross, allowing Candreva to bury it into the open net. Acquah and Baselli were the goalscorers for Torino, the former scoring an unbelievable strike into the top left corner. Torino should have gotten the win, but their attack did well to recoup the goals and keep them in it. I Granata had a great start to the season, but they’ve slowed down considerably, now sitting in tenth place. Inter lost some crucial points, putting them just two points ahead of rivals AC Milan who sit in seventh place, just outside European qualification.

Roma Dominant

Roma were the better side when they took on Sassuolo. Goals from Salah, Paredes, and Dzeko were enough to put them past the sole goal of Defrel. The Bosnian’s season continues to be a fairy tale, and it seems as though all mistakes have been forgiven from last year, when the forward failed to perform. Roma are fighting for that second place with Napoli, and they only hold a two point advantage over the Partenopei.

Milan Get Revenge

Milan got the result they were looking for when Mati Fernandez’s goal powered them past Genoa. It was revenge for the Rossoneri, who had lost 3-0 at Genoa prior. They have an easy string of games ahead, and they need to take advantage of them if they wish to surpass Atalanta and grab the final European spot.

Juventus don’t Lose

Juventus do not lose. Sampdoria actually had more shots than the defending champions, but Juan Cuadrado was the sole goalscorer in another win for Juventus. The win doesn’t carry much weight for the visitors, who have practically secured the title by now. They drew Barcelona in the Champions League, and they’ll need to be at their best if they wish to win.

Napoli Escape Defeat

Napoli almost succumbed to a late Empoli resurgence, but three first half goals from Insigne and Mertens were enough to put them past Empoli. El Kaddouri and Maccarone were the goalscorers for the 17th placed side. It was a much needed win for the Partenopei, who find themselves only two points behind Roma.

Lazio Slip against Cagliari

Lazio emerged goalless in a 0-0 draw with 14th placed Cagliari. It’s a disappointing result for Lazio, who could have extended their advantage over Inter had they been able to get the win.

Kalinic Hero Again

Fiorentina were lucky to get the win, but another late goal from Nikola Kalinic got them all three points. They’ll need to play better if they wish to make up the seven point deficit between them and Atalanta, the team that holds the final European spot.

Don’t Doubt Gomez

Alejandro Gomez continued to prove that he is one of the best players in the Serie A, this time with two goals and an assist on Grassi’s goal. It was a superb performance from the Argentinian, who has been hugely influential for Atalanta’s Cinderella run. They’ll need to keep up this form to fend off potential competitors, Milan.

Palermo are Doomed

It’s all over for Palermo, barring a miraculous comeback. The visitors succumbed to an excellent attacking performance from Udinese, the goals coming from Thereau, Zapata, De Paul, and Jankto. Palermo’s only goal came early, form Sallai, but Diamanti’s red card in the 74th doomed them. They are now seven points behind Empoli, and it’s unlikely they’ll escape relegation.

Bologna Hammer Chievo

Four second-half goals from Bologna propelled them past Chievo. Castro opened the scoring for Chievo, but Verdi, Dzemaili, and Di Francesco combined to score four and defeat a lackluster Chievo side. Ultimately, the match doesn’t matter much, but the hosts can retain pride in beating a higher ranked team.

All Serie A Results, Week 29

Torino vs Inter 2-2

Milan vs Genoa 1-0

Empoli vs Napoli 2-3

Sampdoria vs Juventus 0-1

Bologna vs Chievo 4-1

Atalanta vs Pescara 3-0

Cagliari vs Lazio 0-0

Crotone vs Fiorentina 0-1

Udinese vs Palermo 4-1

Roma vs Sassuolo 3-1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Luca D'Amico-Wong


Writer for Various Blogs including The AC Milan Offside on SBNation, Courtside Watch, Forza Italian Football, Clash Royale Tactics, and Soccer News. Loves AC Milan and Roger Federer. Avid football and video game fan who loves to travel. Will find blogging about football and video games in his free time.

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