Serie A Week 32 Review: Juventus Go Six Points Clear At The Top As Napoli Slip Up
Juventus capitalised as Napoli failed to win versus Milan on Sunday, and the bottom of the table continues to be tight. All this and more in this week’s key Serie A talking points.
Napoli Scudetto ambitions continue to slip
After two very late goals secured a last-gasp victory for Napoli versus Chievo last weekend, the Partenopei failed to score at San Siro on Sunday afternoon as they faced Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan. The 0-0 scoreline did little to help the title ambitions of the Neapolitans, a failure from boss Maurizio Sarri to adequately rotate his squad looking to have cost them dearly once again.
Substitute striker Arkadiusz Milik caused problems for the Rossoneri after his introduction, the Polish front-man only stopped from scoring in the final minute thanks to a superb save from goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. “We don’t care what Juventus do,” declared a bullish Sarri after the final whistle. “We are on our journey, the team did well and if we had played this performance with this result in the first half of the season, we would’ve been praised for it.”
Juventus took a huge stride towards a seventh consecutive Serie A title this weekend with a 3-0 home win over Sampdoria. There was to be no hangover from the league holders after a last-minute exit from the Champions League in midweek, the Bianconeri taking 37 from a possible 39 points during 2018.
The game looked to be heading for stalemate until winger Douglas Costa was brought on, the talented Brazilian providing a hat-trick of assists for team-mates following his introduction in the 43rd minute. This means that Juve head into the midweek round six points ahead of their title rivals, with a crunch match against them still to play next Sunday.
Inter whimper to another scoreless draw
The frustration was etched all over Coach Luciano Spalletti’s face as Inter limped to their sixth 0-0 draw of the season away at Atalanta, the Nerazzurri having notched up this scoreline more than any other Serie A side this term. His side blew the chance to overtake one of Lazio or Roma into a Champions League spot, the capital clubs facing each other in the Sunday evening kick-off.
Relegation battle hots up
Hellas Verona were plunged further into trouble with a 2-0 defeat to Bologna this weekend, with themselves and Benevento looking increasingly likely to drop down into Serie B for next season. However, the side who be doomed to the drop in 18th place remains a mystery, with only six points separating Crotone, SPAL, Chievo, Sassuolo, Cagliari and Udinese.
Derby della Capitale stalemate
The Sunday night match between Lazio and Roma ended scoreless, the fifth 0-0 draw of Week 32. The Biancocelesti had Stefan Radu sent off in the 80th minute, and their rivals were unlucky not to take the points late on. Striker Edin Dzeko had a trio of chances as the seconds ticked away, one saved expertly by goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha, one headed on to the bar and one shot just wide. The capital clubs are now equal on points in third and fourth spots in the table, with Inter just one behind in fifth place.
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