The Stadio Olimpico hosted Juventus on Friday night as they came in search of their fifth straight win. Lazio Coach Stefano Pioli was reported to be in fear of losing his job due to a poor run of form and problems worsened when an own goal from Santiago Gentiletti, saw the hosts go a goal down after only seven minutes. The team from the capital did rally but all thoughts of a revival were dashed when Dybala flicked the ball up and volleyed it past Federico Marchetti from fully 25 yards. The win sees the Bianconeri move up to fifth, only six points adrift of first-placed Inter.
Knowing that Juventus had already claimed victory put Roberto Mancini’s men under more pressure for their clash with Genoa at San Siro on Saturday night. The Nerazzurri were intent on bouncing back after their defeat to Napoli in the previous round and this showed as they started the game at a furious pace. Despite having chances they took none of them and it was not until the 59th minute that a sweeping free kick from Adem Ljajic beat Mattia Perin who was expecting someone to get a connection on the ball in the box.
The pressure was now transferred to Napoli who were in confident mood heading to Bologna to face Roberto Donadoni’s side. What happened next was almost unbelievable as the Neapolitans’ strong defence was breached three times in 60 minutes thanks mostly to Mattia Destro. Gonzalo Higuain also grabbed a brace near the end but it was too little too late for the Partenopei, and they will certainly rue their missed opportunity.
Fiorentina thrashed Udinese at Stadio Artemio Franchi giving them hope of securing their first Serie A title since 1969. The 3-0 scoreline allowed Paolo Sousa’s men to climb to second in the table only one point off Inter in first. Roma are another team that had title ambitions seemingly have gone in to free fall. A draw at Bologna and a defeat against Atalanta was topped off with a dramatic draw against Torino on Saturday night. Despite Rudi Garcia’s side managing to take the lead late on, they could not hold it. A penalty given away in the 94th minute saw Maxi Lopez convert and heap more misery on the Giallorossi.
The game in Bergamo pitched an Atalanta team playing with fight, against a Palermo team that seems to have lost all sense of who they are. This was translated in the 3-0 victory for the home side, Marten De Roon completed the scoring only moments after his team had gone down to ten men. Atalanta are now up to seventh and looking like a side to be reckoned with.
Sassuolo are one place ahead of the team from Bergamo on sixth and have also been one the seasons surprise packages so far this term. Eusebio di Francesco’s side destroyed Sampdoria by 1-3, pouring more misery on Vincezo Montella. He has now lost his first three games in charge of the Blucerchiati and it is the teams fourth on the bounce. Montella’s men sit in 14th place only two points from the relegation zone.
Finally Milan were held to a draw by minnows Carpi, who in fairness could have stolen all three points. It certainly was a night for goalkeepers as the Rossoneri’s 16-year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma made seven saves and Vid Belec in the Carpi goal was also in fine form. Gigi Del Neri’s Serie A debut on the Verona bench was a miserable one, as Empoli’s Andrea Costa scored the only goal of the game in the second half. This leaves Hellas in a terrible position as they sit rooted to the bottom of the Serie A table with only six points. Empoli however, have climbed to a very respectable 10th. The other team from Verona are picking up some healthy results this year and they did so again against Frosinone. Chievo did not make an easy job of it as they went down to ten men before scoring two late goals on the 89th and 92nd minute. This result sees them climb to 11th place, Frosinone sit in 18th place and are one point away from safety.