Round 34 was filled with intriguing matchups; Roma-Lazio, Atalanta-Juventus, Inter-Napoli, and Torino-Sampdora. In round 34 we witnessed things for the first time ever this season, things we haven’t seen in 5 years, and the dominance of Napoli over the city of Milan. All of this is part of the round 34 musings.
1) Lazio did something they haven’t done in nearly 5 years
In the most anticipated game of round 34, Lazio beat Roma 3-1. This was Lazio’s first win over Roma in Serie A since November 2012; nearly 5 years. Lazio got two goals from Keita and the third from Dusan Basta. That was Basta’s first goal since 2014. Five out of the last six Rome Derby’s have been decided by two or more goals. On another note, Francesco Totti may have made his final appearance ever in a Rome Derby.
2) Napoli owns the city of Milan
Napoli beat Inter 1-0 to extend their unbeaten streak in Serie A to 8 games. Over their 8 game unbeaten steak, Napoli has beaten the likes of Roma and Lazio, and they have drawn with Juventus. What may be even more remarkable is Napoli has only lost one Serie A game since November 5th, that is crazy. Napoli kept a clean sheet for the 3rd time out of their last 4 games. Napoli are 4-0 against Milan and Inter this season, making them the only club to beat both Milan clubs in all 4 meetings. Roma play Milan next weekend and could match Napoli’s feat.
3) Atalanta thinking positive
We all know about Atalanta’s great season, and if you don’t, you must have been living under a rock. Atalanta drew with Juventus at home in this round to keep their positive record against the big boys in Italy. In games against Juventus, Roma, Napoli, and Lazio (all the teams ahead of them), Atalanta has taken 11 points out of a possible 24, not bad. Atalanta has beaten Napoli twice this season, beat and drew against Roma, and drew with Juventus. That is 5 positive results out of 8 games. Gasperini is very much in the running for Coach of the Year along with Lazio’s Simone Inzaghi.
4) Crotone winning?
Crotone are not losing. I wrote about them last week in my musings and they reappear this week for the same reason. Crotone drew 1-1 with Milan to extend their streak of unbeaten games in Serie A to 5. A truly unremarkable run for the club from Calabria. Davide Nicola’s men are not heading back to Serie B without putting up a fight. Fortunately for Crotone, Empoli lost to Sassuolo this weekend, which has pulled them within 4 points of getting out of the relegation zone. Still work to be done for Crotone, but they are making things interesting, especially when no one was giving them a chance. Crotone’s remaining games are against Pescara, Udinese, Juventus, and Lazio. Two of those games are very winnable, the other two Crotone will have to fight hard. I’ll let you figure which games I’m referring to for each scenario.
5) Inter seeing red
It has been a while since Inter have won, they have seen a lot of red of late. Inter has not won a game since March 12th, when they trashed Atalanta 7-1. In the 6 Serie A games since, they have lost 4 of them. Their most reason defeat was to the hands of Napoli this round. Napoli beat Inter 1-0 (goal from Callejon) at the San Siro. This is Inter’s longest stretch of games without a win and the pressure is certainly getting turned up on Stefano Pioli and his players. Earlier this season Inter had a 7-game winning streak in Serie A. Inter failed to score a goal for the first time since February 5th, when they lost 1-0 to Juventus.
6) Drought for Serie A’s best
The top 10 goal scorers in Serie A this season are: Belotti, Dzeko, Icardi, Higuain, Mertens, Immobile, Borriello, Papu Gomez, Insigne, and Kalinic. None of these players scored a goal this round, the first time that has ever happened this season.