Juventus fell to only their second defeat of the season after a 4-2 at Fiorentina in October. They had notched up 20 victories and two stalemates. The champions fired blanks for the first time in this campaign, having scored in each of the last 43 rounds for a total 88 goals – a Serie A record. The Old Lady hadn’t failed to net in 22 consecutive Serie A away matches, scoring 39 times.
The last time Juventus lost 2-0 on their travels in Serie A, Gigi Del Neri was still the Coach in a trip to Lecce on February 20 2011. However, thanks to Bayern Munich’s 3-3 Bundesliga draw with Hoffenheim, they remain the only club in Europe’s top five Leagues to maintain a perfect home record this season.
Napoli are unbeaten at home to Juventus in seven encounters, including five victories. The Partenopei hadn’t managed such a streak against their Turin rivals since 1982-87, but the all-time record remains nine games from 1938 to 1951. Antonio Conte had never previously lost a League game to Napoli on the Bianconeri bench, winning two and drawing two.
Jose Callejon rose to 12 Serie A goals and surpassed Arturo Vidal as the top-scoring midfielder this term. Napoli have won 15 out of 16 games in all competition with the Spaniard on target, interrupted only by a 2-2 draw at Bologna. Dries Mertens is on seven, but became the first Belgian to score against Juve in the League this century.
Juve have used 24 players in the League this season, fewer than any other club. This was the first time this term they lost after conceding the opening goal, having previously won four and drawn two. Napoli found the net more times in the first half than any other team with 33 goals, while Juventus scored 32.
Roma, Napoli and Juventus have all set new club records for points gathered at this stage of the season. The Bianconeri are level pegging with the all-time Serie A best of 81 points for Inter in 2006-07.
Atalanta set a new club record thanks to a sixth consecutive Serie A victory, having previously managed only five in 1990-91. They hadn’t won in Bologna since a 1-0 result in 2008, followed by one point from three visits. Giuseppe De Luca has scored five career Serie A goals, two of them in the last two rounds. Marcelo Estigarribia went up to four with his first since February 2013 for Sampdoria against Roma.
Bologna suffered a second consecutive defeat, but have scored only one goal in their last five home games, 13 netted in 16 at the Dall’Ara overall. The Rossoblu scored two goals in eight rounds, but both were Lazaros Christodoulopoulos penalties. They haven’t found the net from open play since Jonathan Cristaldo’s brace in a 2-1 win at Torino on February 9. On home turf that drought stretches back to Rolando Bianchi’s double to hold Napoli 2-2 on January 19.
Ricky Kaka celebrated his 300th appearance in a Milan jersey with his 12th Serie A brace. He now has 77 Serie A goals under his belt, 104 in all competition for the club. This term he netted seven times, but only one was outside San Siro.
Mario Balotelli equalled his personal best of 13 goals in a single season set in 2011-12 at Manchester City, going up to 45 in his Serie A career. Milan ended their San Siro taboo after three consecutive defeats in all competition. Chievo have never won this fixture, managing two draws and 10 losses (the last nine in a row), but home and away they’ve lost 14 of their last 15 League meetings with the Rossoneri.
Roma made it four wins on the bounce and a 19th clean sheet, just one shy of the club record set in 2003-04. With an average of one goal conceded every two games, they have the strongest defensive record in Europe this season. Mattia Destro found the net for the fourth game running, something he had never achieved before, and now has 30 Serie A goals to his name. His strike rate this term is one goal every 94 minutes. Michel Bastos broke his Serie A duck at the ninth appearance. Sassuolo have lost 20 of their 31 games this term, conceding 61 goals. The Neroverdi have amassed only four points from the last 12 rounds, an available 36.
Innocent Emeghara has scored in two of his three encounters with Inter, the other being Siena’s 3-1 victory in February 2013. The Nerazzurri have drawn four away matches from leading situations, more than any other club. Livorno have conceded in each of their last 20 Serie A fixtures for a total 42 goals. Walter Mazzarri’s men had kept an away clean sheet for 278 minutes of football, since a 2-1 at Fiorentina on February 15.
Livorno haven’t beaten Inter, home or away, since a 3-2 result in 1947, followed by three draws and 14 defeats. Rodrigo Palacio’s goals have proved decisive in earning 20 points for Inter this season and this was his 50th in a Biscione jersey. La Trenza had never scored against Livorno before, so he has now marked 28 different Italian clubs. Hernanes got his first for the club at the eight appearance, 34 in Serie A overall. Paulinho had never previously scored against Inter, losing all three meetings.
Lazio have won only two of their last seven home games in all competition and that was also a 3-2 result against Sassuolo, along with three draws and two losses. Senad Lulic matched his personal best of four goals set in the 2011-12 campaign, nine overall in the top flight. Miroslav Klose went up to 35 in this tournament, but hadn’t celebrated since February 23 against Sassuolo. Antonio Candreva is the Aquile’s top scorer this season with eight Serie A goals.
Parma’s last win away to Lazio was 2-1 in 2009, followed by four losses in as many attempts. The Ducali had strung together two consecutive defeats twice before this season in September and November. Jonathan Biabiany scored his 19th Serie A goal.
Sampdoria had not played out a 0-0 draw for precisely one year, since their game away to Atalanta on March 30 2013, which was 38 rounds ago.
Fiorentina are grinding to a halt with just eight points from the last eight rounds and only seven goals scored. Extending it to all competitions, Vincenzo Montella’s men have won two of their last 10 matches, losing four.
Cagliari are Alessio Cerci’s favourite victims, as he has put four goals past them in his career. The Torino forward has 12 in the current campaign, 32 overall in the top flight. Omar El Kaddouri is now on five goals in his maiden Serie A season. Nene found the net for the second game on the bounce and has 23 in his Serie A career. All of Toro’s last 12 goals have involved Cerci or Ciro Immobile, either as scorers or assist men. The Sardinians extended their winless away streak to 21 games.
Luca Toni leapfrogged Gianluca Vialli and David Trezeguet in the all-time scorers’ charts, taking his Serie A tally to 124 goals. This season he has been involved in almost half his team’s 46 goals, netting 15 and providing seven assists. It’s his most prolific campaign since bagging 24 in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich in 2007-08.
Verona got back to winning ways after a draw and four consecutive defeats, but also ended their goal drought at 529 minutes of football (almost nine hours). Marco Donadel celebrated his fifth Serie A goal, his first since Fiorentina 2-1 Bari on October 23 2010.
Genoa managed just one Serie A win at Verona, 3-1 in 1953, drawing three and losing five here. The only Grifone away victory in the last 10 attempts was 1-0 at Livorno along with four draws and five defeats.
Antonio Di Natale has scored in each of Udinese’s last six Serie A home fixtures. He is also their only player to have netted in the last four at the Stadio Friuli. The veteran’s career tally is now 187 Serie A goals (one behind Alessandro Del Piero and Beppe Signori), but he has scored six times in his last five meetings with Catania. Udinese’s 17-year-old goalkeeper Simone Scuffet has kept four clean sheets in the last five games, six in his total 10 top flight appearances. The Sicilians can boast only one point from six rounds, one victory from 13. Between League and Coppa Italia, Catania have managed two draws and six defeats in Udine since a 1-0 win in 2007.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.