All season long we have lauded Roma for taking care of business against the bottom half of the league. However, with the Giallorossi bogged down amidst a busy schedule, injuries and fatigue were just too much for Fonseca’s men at the Tardini. It was a shock result on the surface, as Roma fell to nineteenth place Parma on the road.
However, considering the circumstances, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that as straightforward as we expected this one to be, it wasn’t the case. When Dzeko and Pellegrini let big chances go begging early, a ninth-minute goal by Parma set the tone for the rest of the match.
Roma’s difficulties breaking down compact sides have been discussed plenty this season. And this time around, the Giallorossi had no answer for a Parma side defending a lead. There are still 11 matches to go in the season, but if Roma misses out on fourth place by three points or less then this will likely be the result we are all ruing come late May.
That’s because Roma’s miseries were compounded by the other results around the league this weekend. So, let’s peruse the peninsula and see how it all shook out around Italy as Roma fell from fourth to sixth in the table.
Serie A Matchday 27 Results
Lazio Survives Crotone
Lazio 3, Crotone 2
The match week kicked off early on Friday in Rome as Lazio hosted Crotone. The Biancoceleste entered this one in need of a win to keep their slim fourth place hopes alive. And that’s exactly what they got, but it wasn’t easy against the league’s cellar dwellers.
Lazio dominated this match statistically, but it didn't exactly dominate on the scoreboard. The home side jumped out to an early lead when Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored in the fourteenth minute, but Crotone struck back to level things through a Nwankwo goal in the 29th minute. That wasn’t all the scoring in the first half though as Luis Alberto gave Lazio the lead just ten minutes later.
It was Nwankwo who would again level the score; this time in the 50th minute from the spot. Lazio was in serious danger of dropping two points in this one despite controlling 64% of possession and taking 25 shots. But, substitute Felipe Caicedo would save the day for Inzaghi’s men in the 84th minute.
The crucial win means Lazio remains six points behind fourth-place Atalanta with a match in hand.
Atalanta Surges Passed Spezia in Second
Atalanta 3, Spezia 1
It was slow going in the first half between these two sides and the match went scoreless into halftime. That scoreline would’ve given the other top four challengers some hope on Friday evening. That was until Atalanta took the match over in just three minutes.
Mario Pasalic scored in the 53rd minute to bring the match to life. Then just two minutes later Luis Muriel effectively killed it off. And just like that La Dea was cruising to another three points. Pasalic struck again in the 72nd to erase any doubt of a victory. Roberto Piccoli got a late consolation goal for Spezia, but it was much too little too late.
The win combined with Roma’s loss means Atalanta has moved into fourth place; two points ahead of Roma and Napoli.
Inter Inches Closer to Scudetto
Torino 1, Inter Milan 2
Relegation battling Torino certainly didn’t make it easy for league-leading Inter. However, in the end, Antonio Conte’s side got all that matters: three points.
Romelu Lukaku put Inter in the lead in the 62nd minute from the spot. That lead was erased just eight minutes later when Antonio Sanabria leveled things. However, Inter’s talent eventually won out against a Belotti-less Toro side. In the 85th minute, Lautaro Martinez found the winner for the Nerazzurri.
The win, combined with Milan’s loss, means Inter is now nine ahead in the title race. Inter ending Juve’s run is starting to look like a forgone conclusion as we prepare to enter the home stretch of the season.
Ronaldo Rises to the Occasion
Cagliari 1, Juventus 3
After Juve crashed out of the Champions League to Porto this week, rumors abounded in Turin of a Ronaldo exit. Nevertheless, it only took Cristiano Ronaldo a matter of 32 minutes to put a disappointing week behind the Bianconeri and silence the doubters.
Ronaldo struck in the 10th, 25th, and 32nd minute, as Juve had no problem in Sardegna. Juve wasn’t dominant, as the numbers indicate a fairly even match. However, with a three-goal lead, the Bianconeri could go into cruise control for much of this one. Giovanni Simeone scored in the 61st minute to get one back for the hosts, but this one was never in doubt.
The win moves Juve within one point of Milan for second place with a match in hand. The defending champs have a match in hand on Inter as well, but it remains unlikely they can make up a ten-point deficit.
Napoli Tops Milan
Napoli 0, Milan 1
All the talk about Napoli this weekend was the controversy surrounding the Partenopei’s (again) rescheduled match with Juve and the advantage it gives Gattuso’s side against Roma next weekend. However, Napoli blocked out any outside noise to get a massive result on the road at the San Siro.
Napoli has been on a roller coaster ride all season, but this was certainly one of the highs. Matteo Politano struck in the 49th minute to give Napoli the only goal it would need. An injury-riddled Milan couldn’t find a goal of its own, as the match ended 1-0.
This result makes things even tighter in the race for the top four and hammers home just why Roma’s loss was so big. The win pulls Napoli level with Roma on 50 points ahead of next weekend’s head-to-head with a match in hand. Meanwhile, the loss means Milan are getting pulled closer to the pack in the race for fourth.
- Sassuolo 3, Hellas Verona 2
- Benevento 1, Fiorentina 4
- Genoa 1, Udinese 1
- Bologna 3, Sampdoria 1
A loss at Parma was always going to hurt Roma in the standings and the season-end predictions. Just how badly would ultimately depend on the other results in the league. And with all the other top seven sides other than Milan winning, Roma’s odds were certainly going to take a hit.
The Giallorossi entered as fifth favorites with a 39% chance of finishing top four. The loss to Parma coupled with the other results sees Roma drop to the sixth favorite with a 23% chance at UCL qualification. Roma was jumped by Napoli who received a 10 point boost up to 35%. Meanwhile, Atalanta saw a slight bump and Milan saw a slight dip, but remain fourth and third favorites respectively.