We witnessed some great games from this weekend’s round in Serie A. There were some high scoring affairs, surprise results, and some not so surprising results. Here are some musings from round 33.
1) Goals Galore
We saw 48 goals scored in this round; that is a lot. There was an average of 4.8 goals scored per game. Only one team managed to keep a clean sheet and that was Juventus in their 4-0 win over Genoa. Fiorentina-Inter scored a combined 9 goals and Lazio-Palermo scored 8 goals combined. Lazio’s Keita scored 3 goals within a 5-minute span. Mauro Icardi also scored 3 goals. Five players scored 2 goals this round: Matias Vecino, Khouma Babacar, Ciro Immobile, Andrea Rispoli, and Mohammed Salah. Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik scored his first goal since September 28th, which came in a Champions League game against Benfica. Interestingly enough, with all the goals scored in this round, none were scored by Serie A’s joint leading scorers: Belotti and Dzeko.
2) A 9 goal thriller in Florence
On Saturday, Fiorentina and Inter battled in a 9 goal thriller in the city where the Renaissance was born. The game had a weird start; little rhythm or continuity from either side. Fiorentina struck first in the 23rd minute on a goal by Vecino. That lead quickly disappeared because Perisic and Icardi scored successive goals to put Inter ahead 2-1.
In the second half, Fiorentina scored three goals in an 8-minute span to retake the lead and stun Inter. Prior to those three goals, Federico Bernardeschi had his penalty kick saved by Handanovic. It was a really bad penalty kick, so bad it had some wondering if Bernardeschi did it on purpose because Inter may be his future employer. Already with a 4-2 lead, Fiorentina added a 5th goal via Babacar (his second of the game). Inter were heading towards a disappointing 5-2 to loss. In the 88th and 91st minute, Mauro Icardi scored to make it a 5-4 game. Inter’s comeback effort came up short, as Fiorentina held on to win 5-4.
The Fiorentina-Inter game was certainly the most exciting game from this round in Serie A.
3) Woes in Milan
Both Milan and Inter lost this round, only the second time that has happened this season (first time was on February 5th, round 23). Perhaps both clubs are feeling the effects from last weekend’s Milan Derby. Milan and Inter are letting their hopes of a Europa League spot slip away. Atalanta has a 5 point lead over Milan and 7 point lead over Inter.
4) Pescara Relegated
After losing 4-1 to Roma, Pescara have assured themselves relegation back to Serie B. Pescara have only 14 points this season, and have conceded more goals (74) than any other team in Serie A. The Delfini have not won a game since February 19th, when they beat Genoa 5-0 in Zeman’s first game back in charge. Pescara have only earned 5 points out of a possible 36 under Zeman.
5) Juventus, Roma, and Crotone?
What is something Juventus, Roma, and Crotone all have in common? They are the only three teams in Serie A to have won 3 out of their last 4 games. That’s right, Crotone have won 3 out of their last 4 games, and in fact, they are unbeaten in their last four. Their three wins have come against Chievo, Inter, and Sampdoria. The one game they drew was against Torino. Crotone did not win their first game of the season until October 30th. It took them until January 29th to win their 3rd game of the season.
Still stuck in the relegation zone, Crotone are putting up a tremendous effort to stay up in Serie A. They remain 5 points behind Empoli for salvation. Crotone’s remaining games are against: Milan, Pescara, Udinese, Juventus, and Lazio. The club from Calabria has been led by Diego Falcinelli, who has scored 12 goals this season. None of his teammates have more than 3 goals. Crotone have scored 28 goals this season as a team, Falcinelli nearly has half of them.
It remains to be seen if Crotone can manage to stay up in Serie A, but they are not going down without a fight.