Juventus are Campioni d’Inverno for the 26th time in their history, going on to win the Scudetto in 17 of the previous 25 occasions (not including 2004-05 and 2005-06, where the Scudetti were stripped). The last time they failed to take the title after being top at the half-way stage – not counting the Calciopoli years – was 1999-00.
Mirko Vucinic had provided the assists for the last three Juventus League goals, but finally got his name on the scoresheet for the first time since September 16, a 3-1 victory in Genoa, for his 85th in Serie A. The Montenegrin’s last League goal in Turin was in January against Cagliari. The Bianconeri have now won their last five games in all competition and haven’t conceded in 509 minutes of football. Claudio Marchisio got his third in as many rounds.
Andrea Pirlo has scored four goals directly from free kicks this term, more than anyone else in the Division. In all 20 of Pirlo’s 49 Serie A goals have been free kicks, catching Roberto Baggio and Gianfranco Zola in third place over the last 30 years, but Sinisa Mihajlovic got 27 and Alessandro Del Piero 22. Atalanta haven’t won away to Juve since 1989, when Claudio Caniggia got the only goal, losing 13 and drawing three.
Napoli fell to their first home defeat of the season. They had managed 10 wins and two stalemates since Atalanta’s 3-1 result here in April. Alessandro Gamberini hadn’t scored in the top flight since Fiorentina’s 3-0 win over Roma on December 4, 2011. This takes his career total to seven goals in 286 Serie A games. Manolo Gabbiadini and Panagiotis Kone went up to four, while Daniele Portanova netted his 15th.
Edinson Cavani’s 95th Serie A goal was his fifth in the last four official matches and the 40th in 2012 for Napoli.
Bologna had lost their previous six away games on the bounce, scoring a grand total of one goal. Their record at the San Paolo between Serie A and B is now two wins, five draws and 10 losses.
Miroslav Klose had never scored against Inter in his previous four Serie A meetings, but took his career total in this Division to 23. The German international has put his mark on eight of Lazio’s 10 victories this season.
The Nerazzurri’s wonderful run of six straight away wins has been followed by three defeats at Atalanta, Parma and Lazio. Inter have lost their last three trips to the Olimpico against Lazio, the first time this run has ever happened. The Biancocelesti notched up four consecutive home wins for the first time since February. In all competition, the Aquile are unbeaten in nine – including six wins – and have conceded just one goal in the last five rounds.
Antonio Di Natale went into double figures for the eighth time in his Serie A career and his total now stands at 163 in 338 games. Josip Ilicic scored only Palermo’s second away goal of the season, his fourth of the campaign and third in the last four rounds. Curiously, both of those were netted in the first half, the other being at Genoa.
The Sicilians ended a run of four consecutive League defeats at the Stadio Friuli, as they last won here 2-1 in 2007, losing four and drawing two. Gian Piero Gasperini has gathered 14 points in 14 games on the Palermo bench, but he has never lost to Francesco Guidolin thanks to three victories in their five meetings. Udinese have drawn five of the last eight rounds.
Roma broke several taboos at the Bentegodi. It was the first time this season they had failed to score, the last blanks also fired in a 0-0 with Chievo on May 1. The Romans had notched up 46 goals in their last 19 official matches. The Giallorossi had never lost in Verona before, earning four victories and seven draws in all competition. They had only tasted defeat once against Chievo, home and away, in 20 Serie A meetings along with 10 wins and nine draws.
The Flying Donkeys made it three consecutive Serie A wins for the first time in three years, but Zdenek Zeman’s men saw their run of five successes on the bounce come to an end between League and Coppa Italia. Zeman suffered his 100th Serie A defeat.
Sergio Pellissier put his fourth Serie A career goal past Roma, 73 overall, but the previous three had all contributed to draws. He hadn’t netted against them since October 2006. Pellissier’s 84th top flight goal was his first in over a month.
Milan-Pescara is a goldmine for howlers, as there have been six own goals in their 13 meetings – home and away – between Serie A and B. The legendary Franco Baresi even scored two in a single game, Pescara 4-5 Milan on September 13, 1992. Curiously, Massimiliano Allegri was on target that day for the Delfini. The last side to score two own goals in a single Serie A game was Catania in September 2008 against Inter.
Milan have won four Serie A games in a row for the first time since March and six of the last seven official outings. Pescara have lost all six of their top flight visits to the Rossoneri side of San Siro, scoring three goals and conceding 21. The Delfini hadn’t played this fixture since a 4-0 defeat in February 1993. Cristiano Bergodi’s men have lost their last six away games, conceding 17 goals. Christian Terlizzi got his 11th Serie A goal.
Antonio Nocerino found the net after 33 seconds, but the fastest goal of the season remains Arturo Vidal against Inter after just 18. Nocerino didn’t have any season goals before last week, but has now scored twice in as many rounds and took his career total to 19.
Stephan El Shaarawy has scored 14 League goals this term without penalties. Only Lionel Messi on 22 for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic with 16 have been more prolific in the top Divisions. With 14 goals after 17 games, the Little Pharaoh is on a par with Andriy Shevchenko’s pace in 2003-04 and ahead of Ibra in 2011-12.
Mario Angel Paglialunga broke his Serie A duck at the third appearance and confirms the South American influence in Catania, as so far 19 of their 25 goals have been scored by Argentines. Catania are the comeback kings, recovering to earn 13 points from trailing situations this season.
Enzo Maresca had only converted one Serie A penalty before in his career, in Piacenza’s 4-2 win over Milan on May 24, 2003. It was his 20th Serie A strike, the third of the current campaign.
Fiorentina are unbeaten in the Tuscan Derby against Siena on home turf, winning eight of the 10 editions between Serie A and B. This isn’t Robur’s heaviest defeat in Florence, as they were beaten 5-0 in March 1946. Siena haven’t won a derby since a 1-0 home result in 2008-09, followed by two points from six meetings. Reginaldo’s 18th top flight goal ended Siena’s 270-minute away drought.
The Viola continue their ability to score in all their games this season except the 0-0 against Juventus. They are back to winning ways after two points from three rounds. Luca Toni took his Serie A tally up to 107 goals in 235 appearances – six of them against Siena. It was his first brace since Roma 3-0 Genoa on January 17, 2010.
Alberto Aquilani had never previously taken a Serie A penalty and he blasted his first off target. He still set a new personal best with his fourth goal of the season, improving on three for Roma in 2005-06 and 2007-08. David Pizarro has converted 15 Serie A spot-kicks in his career, missing five, and gets his first goal since Roma’s 2-1 win at Lecce on March 4, 2011 for a total 25. Pizarro is the 13th different Fiorentina player to score this season.
Gigi Del Neri marked his first draw on the Genoa bench after one win and seven losses, ending a run of four consecutive home defeats. The lone 1-0 victory away to Atalanta was also their only clean sheet, conceding 17 goals in the other eight matches. The last time Torino drew at Marassi in Serie A was another 1-1 on February 13 1994, followed by three defeats on the bounce. The Granata haven’t won here since 1981, losing nine and drawing seven between Serie A and B. Giampiero Ventura has only lost once against Del Neri in Serie A, drawing twice and winning three times.
Andreas Granqvist had only ever scored once before in Serie A, during Genoa’s 3-2 home win over Udinese in January 2011. Rolando Bianchi netted his 40th Serie A strike in 150 appearances. The last time he found the net against Genoa in the top flight was Torino’s 3-2 home defeat on May 24, 2009.
Parma ended a run of one win from the last six rounds, but Cagliari extended their winless streak to five defeats and two draws. The Sardinians have scored two goals in the last four rounds, conceding 11. Ishak Belfodil celebrated his first Serie A brace for a total five career strikes. Marco Sau took his tally to five goals.