Serie A Weekly Review Match Day 16 #719

Juventus 3 Udinesse 1FT

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Juventus went into this weekend’s fixtures after to a back-to-back disappointing performances. Despite beating A strong Bayer Leverkusen side in the Champions League in a match they didn’t necessarily need to win the team needed some sort of response. Juventus had lost last week to Lazio and the week before dropped points in a 2-2 draw with sassuolo. In that span Inter Milan has gone to the top of the table and Juventus this weekend was determined to get back into it. They hosted a struggling Udinesse team that was simply put overmatched on the night. Cristiano Ronaldo has been an utter disappointment this season you can see the age and deterioration of an all-time great this season. It’s been on display nearly every week he hasn’t had that Killer Instinct he typically does. With at least a good majority of his goals coming from the penalty spot. This was the perfect opportunity for Cristiano Ronaldo to respond to a very shaky first half of the season. Against a team that can see that concede goals and has struggled defensively. It became light work for Cristiano Ronaldo. Juventus dominated all the way throughout the match. This team has not had one comfortable match all season. This was the opportunity to do that and that’s exactly what they did. Less than 10 minutes into the match Cristiano Ronaldo would have his moment. Following a superb cross from Leonardo Bonucci from his own area, he found Paulo Dybala who made a terrific run that ultimately landed at the feet of Cristiano Ronaldo. Without thinking or questioning it Cristiano Ronaldo struck on the first touch ripping through the bottom of the net to give Juventus a 1-0 lead. Without miralem pjanic in the lineup, Gonzalo Higuain acted as the team’s playmaker. It was only one of the few times this season in which Cristiano Ronaldo Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala all played together it turned out to be a smashing success. Udinesse occasionally came forward with confidence and had some opportunities but they certainly were limited. Shortly before half-time, Gonzalo Higuain supplied a perfect pass inside the box to Cristiano Ronaldo who made no mistake from close range beating the keeper to give Juventus a 2-0 lead after 45 minutes. It was an incredibly one-sided half and it didn’t change. Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala had numerous opportunities to extend the lead. As for the first time this season Juventus was in a game they felt comfortable. Then Midway through the second half Juventus would add a third through Leonardo Bonucci as his header crossed the line giving Juventus a 3-0 lead. Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time this season displayed world-class abilities coming close to a third goal on multiple opportunities one that hit the bar. Udinesse could not orchestrate chances often and could not orchestrate chances often enough but in the closing moments of the game, Ignacio Pussetto found the back of the net to minimize the deficit. After the full-time whistle, Juventus put away Udin 3-1 in what was the first comfortable victory of the season and the best performance Cristiano Ronaldo has displayed all year. Juventus Drew level at the top of the table after Inter Milan’s draw with Florentina the title race is on!

 

 

Parma 2 Napoli 1FT

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Napoli has been a Borderline Disaster this season. Especially after the expectations of challenging Juventus for the scudetto this season. It has been a failure and by the looks of it, they may not get into Europe this season at all. It has been the worst start to a Napoli season in a decade. Carlo Ancelotti might have been the problem or might not have been the problem but nonetheless, they sacked him last week and immediately replaced him with former AC Milan manager Genardo Gattuso. It was a quick hire and maybe did not have time to prepare a game plan. It was a new age in Naples and it did not get off to the best start against a Parma team that is explosive on the counter-attack. Just 4 minutes into the match Parma had already pushed themselves in front. After a defensive Mistake by Koulibaly, 19 year old is super Talent Dejan Kulusevski took the ball inside the Box in a one-on-one situation placing the ball into the back of the net to give Parma a 1-0 lead. Outside of that Napoli did dominate a good portion of the match. They would be occasional counter-attacks that Parma would look dangerous on but for the most part, Napoli was in control. Despite all this Parma nearly double dare lead when Gervinho struck a well-hit ball at Alex Meret who got his hand to it causing the ball to hit the post. They would be in serious trouble have that gone in. In the second half Napoli continue to try to break the game open. This was not the start Gattuso and Napoli were hoping for. Gattuso made a big change bringing in Dries Mertens to try to inflict some infusion of energy. Mertens set up Milik for an equalizer as the Polish Striker connected on a cross that ended in the back of the net. Napoli was back into the game but could not find a way through. They controlled possession had twice as many shots and did everything possible to try to earn what could have been A massive three points. Each game that goes by they fall further and further out of the race for European football. With Angelotti gone The Hope was Gattuso could get on the right foot but they shot themselves in the foot far too many times with 33 shots in the game only 5 On Target Napoli just wasted too many chances. Chances are that would come back to haunt them. In stoppage time on a counter-attack, Gervinho and Dejan Kulusevski came forward when the youngster set up Gervinho inside the box from close range on a Counterattack the explosive Striker hit gold when he connected on a game-winning goal at the stroke of death. Parma would hold on to earn a 2-1 victory. The late goal would ruin Gattuso’s debut as Napoli manager as they continue to search for a victory. We cannot judge Gattuso after one match but this team is all over the place and despite having so many opportunities to score they continued to slide down the table that’s now seven league matches without a victory new manager with the same result as Parma start to push for the Europa League leapfrogging Napoli in the process.

 

 

A.S Roma 3 SPAL 1FT

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Last night Roma attempted to get back on the right track. After a disappointing display in the Europa League despite qualification Roma made things far too difficult on themselves. In the previous League match, they became the first team this season to shut out Inter Milan all season in what was a very impressive 0-0 draw. Roma was without the best center-back partnership in the league with Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini out with injury and suspension respectively. Not to mention Justin kluivert was also out due to injury concerns. They were at home at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome as they hosted bottom table SPAL who despite having significant last Talent they swept Roma last season so it was certainly something to be wary about. This was an opportunity for Roma to minimize the gap in the Champions League race. With Lazio and Cagliari playing each other Monday Roma could close the distance with three points. Meanwhile, SPAL was just trying to find a way to possibly get some points as they are deep in the relegation zone being unable to score as having been the biggest problem is so far this season. It was a test for both teams for different reasons. Roma would have failed to win matches like this last season which is a big part of them missing out on the Champions League this season. This is a different Roma team that plays a different style of football. Despite this, they had their struggles in the first half. Roma had the bulk of the possession and created many chances but the finishing was not where it needed to be. They created a lot but they couldn’t convert throughout the first 45 minutes. This is very concerning not to mention the backline was a bit fragile for Roma without the two key components they struggled. So much so that the best chance of the game came from one of SPAL’s limited chances. In fact, Roma even fell behind to Spal’s toothless attack. A controversial penalty decision was called against Roma in the closing moments of the first half. Andrea Petagna came through delivering the strike as SPAL took a very unlikely lead in the game. The relegation side Led 1-0 after the first half. In the second half Roma came out with a different energy and got themselves at back into the game almost immediately. Lorenzo Pellegrini Struck from the side of the box that ended up being an own goal with the ball hitting the back of the net to equalize. Roma continues to have control and dominated not long after the equalizer Roma would take the lead. Edin Dzeko was brought down inside the box as Roma was given a penalty. Diego Perotti stepped up and delivered giving Roma to 2-1 lead. They continued to carve open SPAL as the majority of the game was played in their danger area. It was attacking football brilliance at its finest form Roma exploded. late in the game, Hendrix Mkhitaryan came off the bench putting his foot through a beautifully orchestrated play by Lorenzo Pellegrini and Florenzi as Mkhitaryan hit the back of the net to give Roma the 3-1 lead as a second-half display proved to be crucial and a massive three points by Roma as they come from behind to beat the bottom feeders at the Stadio Olimpico.

 

OTHER RESULTS 

Brescia 3 Lecce 0FT
Sampdoria 1 Genoa 0FT
Milan 0 Sassuolo 0FT
Florentina 1 Inter 1FT
Lazio 2 Cagliari 1FT
Bologna 2 Atalanta 1FT
Torino 3 Verona 3FT

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