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Serie A Match-Day 24 Wrap-Up: Atalanta & Napoli Take Advantage of Roma’s Loss, While Lazio & Juve Drop Points

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It wasn’t a banner weekend for Roma, but not all the results went against the Giallorossi.

UC Sampdoria v Atalanta BC - Serie A Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

The most important match of the weekend was always going to be Roma hosting AC Milan. For Roma and Romanisti, it was never going to matter what the other results were if Roma didn’t find a way to get all three points. After all, Roma’s struggles against their six direct rivals for Champions League football were well documented.

Unfortunately for Roma, yet another loss at the hands of a direct rival means that the Giallorossi are now on the outside looking in at the top four. And things won’t get any easier for Fonseca’s men as the pressure will begin to grow on the CT and his troops. With 14 matches to play there is still plenty of time for Roma to get back into the Champions League places, but that worrying trend will have to be halted.

Luckily for Roma, there were some other surprising results around the league that prevented the Giallorossi from completely capitulating in the table. It was another exciting and entertaining week around the league, so read on to find out how it all went down outside of Rome.

Serie A Matchday 24 Results

Bologna Buries Lazio

Bologna 2, Lazio 0

In the first match of the weekend that directly impacted Roma in the table, Lazio traveled to Emilia-Romagna to take on Bologna. The Biancoceleste entered coming off a humbling defeat midweek to Bayern Munich at the Olimpico. Nevertheless, it appeared as if Lazio was ready to put that match behind it quickly.

Simone Inzaghi’s side came out the aggressors and it looked like they’d be off to an early lead when Joaquin Correa was brought down for a penalty. Ciro Inmobile stepped to the spot but was denied by Lukasz Skorupski on a less than stellar spot-kick. And that save would prove to be vital as just two minutes later, in the 19th minute, Bologna took to the lead when Ibrahima Mbaye was able to put in the rebound after Riccardo Orsolini was denied by Pepe Reina.

And just like that Bologna was in the lead and didn’t look back. Lazio managed to win the possession battle but couldn’t create a decisive chance to level the match and the Rossoblu again made them pay. It was in the 64th minute that Bologna struck again through Nicole Sansone. That 2-0 lead would be more than enough for the hosts to see this one out and damage Lazio’s top four hopes.

Lazio now sits seventh, but are only a point behind Roma for fifth.

Verona Vexes Juve (Again)

Hellas Verona 1, Juventus 1

Saturday got even better for Roma by the end of this match. Verona has had Juve’s number in recent seasons, especially at the Bentegodi and this one would be no different. The match went to halftime scoreless. However, that nil-nil scoreline wouldn’t last long.

In the 49th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo struck to give the visitors the lead and it looked like Juve would be on its way to provisionally cutting into Inter’s lead at the top. But, it wasn’t to be as Verona continues to have the Bianconeri’s number. Despite Juve controlling more than 60% of possession, the Mastiffs were able to find a late equalizer. In the 77th minute, Antonin Barak headed home Lazovic’s cross to level the score and that was the way this one would end.

The two dropped points leave Juve’s Scudetto hopes teetering on the brink despite its match in hand. In reality, Juve may now have to worry more about fending off some of the other sides to stay in the top four than catching the Inter Milan. Roma now trails the Bianconeri by two points with Juve having a match in hand.

La Dea Leaves Liguria with Three Points

Sampdoria 0, Atalanta 2

In the early Sunday meeting, Atalanta took care of business on the road against a pesky Samp side. The Blucerchiati were the aggressors early as they looked to repeat their 3-1 victory over Atalanta from earlier in the season.

However, La Dea was able to weather the early storm thanks to some nice saves by Marco Sportiello. Then Atalanta broke through in the 40th minute on a lovely Ruslan Malinovsky strike. From there on out, it was all about Atalanta, who put it away when Robin Gosens scored in the 70th.

The 2-0 win coupled with Roma’s loss means that La Dea has replaced the Giallorossi in the top four. Gasperini’s side is now level with Juve on 46 points; two ahead of Roma.

Inter Continues to Roll

Inter Milan 3, Genoa 0

If anyone thought the Nerazzurri would experience some post-derby hangover, think again. Antonio Conte’s side wasted no time in demonstrating why it’s now the unquestioned Scudetto favorite. Romelu Lukaku struck just 33 seconds into the match to get the ball rolling.

It was a somewhat shocking start considering Genoa’s fine form of late. Davide Ballardini decided to rotate much of his squad ahead of the mid-week Derby della Laterna and Inter took full advantage. To Genoa’s credit, the Grifoni kept it a one-goal game for much of the way, but outside of one scare where Handanovic spilled a cross off his own defender, there wasn’t much doubt that this would be a win.

Inter drove home the results when Matteo Darmian and Alexis Sanchez put the match out of reach late in the proceedings. Inter would win 3-0 and still leads rivals Milan by four at the top.

Napoli Dispatch of Benevento

Napoli 2, Benevento 0

The Partenopei have been riding a rollercoaster of late. From the ecstasy of beating Juve to crashing out of the Coppa Italia and Europa League, it’s been a wild ride in Campania in 2021. However, if you were hoping the other side from the same region would get a surprise result, tonight wasn’t the night.

Despite frustrating Roma last weekend, Benevento couldn’t keep Napoli at bay on Sunday. Dries Mertens opened the scoring in the thirty-fourth minute and Matteo Politano put the match out of reach in the sixty-sixth in a result that never really felt in doubt.

The win was crucial for Napoli, as it looks to keep pace with the field. The win puts Napoli sixth, just a point behind Roma with a point in hand.

Other Results

  • Spezia 2, Parma 2
  • Crotone , Cagliari 2
  • Udinese 1, Fiorentina 0
  • Torino vs Sassuolo- PPD

FiveThirtyEight Top Four Probabilities

The odds aren’t looking great for Roma at the moment.
fivethirtyeight.com

Head-to-head matches are always going to ultimately decide the race for the top four. No matter how well Roma plays against everyone else, these six-pointers will be crucial. That being said, Sunday’s loss to Milan was always going to be damaging for Roma.

FiveThirtyEight now gives Roma a 31% chance of a top four finish—down from 44% a week ago. In contrast, Milan received an 18% boost to 76%. Atalanta also saw a slight boost up to 67% of qualification. Meanwhile, Napoli saw a slight rise to 32%.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Juve’s draw to Verona slightly hurt its cause—down 8% to 79%. The Bianconeri also took a hit to their title hopes, which are down to 9%. Meanwhile, Lazio’s top four probability is now down 16% from 28%. Misery loves company, so at least Romanisti can take solace in that fact.

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Where will Roma finish the season?

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