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Serie A Matchday 25 Wrap-Up: Atalanta & Juve Roll, While Milan & Napoli Stumble

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The Giallorossi were able to keep pace with Juve and Atalanta and picked up ground on Milan and Napoli thanks to Diawara’s late winner in Florence.

AC Milan v Udinese Calcio - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

The whole premise of tracking Roma’s top four chances on a week-to-week basis is dependent on the Giallorossi holding up their end of the bargain by continuing the win. If the Giallorssi don’t obtain maximum points most match weeks, then the top four chances go out the window. And that’s certainly where it looked like things were heading in Florence on Wednesday.

With the Giallorossi deadlocked at nil-nil at halftime, it looked like Roma could be en route to dropping points for the third straight match. Then Leonardo Spinazzola scored a lovely goal to bolster Roma’s hopes. But, as quickly as Leo giveth, Leo taketh away with an own goal, and the three points were in doubt again. However, perhaps the most unlikely of goal scorers, Amadou Diawara, struck in stoppage time to seal the win for Roma.

That second goal for the Guinean in Roma colors meant that the Giallorossi are still firmly entrenched in the battle for Champions League qualification. But, did Roma get any help in that fight, or was it status quo after matchday 25? Read on to find out as we peruse the peninsula and see how it all went down in the midweek fixtures.

Serie A Matchday 25 Results

Juve Takes Care of Business Against Spezia

Juventus 3, Spezia 0

With the Lazio match postponed, this one kicked off the matchday on Tuesday. Spezia has been a great story this season, but the new boys had no answer for the defending champions in this one. Despite holding 54% of possession and shooting 12 times (only one on target), the side from Liguria couldn’t find a breakthrough. And despite holding out for some time, the Spezia defense eventually cracked before it crumbled.

Alvaro Morata found the breakthrough in the 62nd minute assisted by Federico Bernardeschi. Then it was Federico Chiesa who doubled Juve’s lead just nine minutes later. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo piled it on in the 89th minute to finish off Spezia 3-0.

The win means Juve maintains its two-point advantage over Roma with a match in hand. That match in hand also gives the Bianconeri the third spot over Atalanta which is level with Juve on 49 points.

Sassuolo and Napoli Share the Spoils

Sassuolo 3, Napoli 3

This match, which looked like it could be a high-scoring affair, certainly met expectations in the early match on Wednesday. This one turned into a six-goal thriller that included three penalties and an own goal in Emilia-Romagna. Sassuolo were given a lead in the 34th minute when Nikola Maksimovic put the ball in his own goal. However, just four minutes later Piotr Zielinski continued his hot streak, scoring to level it 1-1.

That wasn’t all the action in the first half though as Domenico Berardi would send the Neroverdi into the locker room up 2-1 after converting from the spot in stoppage time. Napoli were fortunate to stay just one down after Berardi and Franceso Caputo struck the woodwork. Sassuolo would level the score midway through the second half when Giovanni Di Lorenzo would level the score.

It looked like the match would end 2-2, but the action was far from over. Lorenzo Insigne would score from the spot in the 90th minute to make it 3-2. Napoli was nearly over the line with a crucial three points until Sassuolo was given a penalty of their own, which Caputo scored in the 95th minute.

The dropped points mean Napoli falls further out of the race for the CL places. The Partenopei now sit three behind fifth place Roma on 44 points and five off the top four. That match in hand against Juve, which will be played on 3/17 could be vital for Napoli’s top four chances.

Milan Gifted Point By Late Handball

AC Milan 1, Udinese 1

Despite controlling 62% of possession at the San Siro, Milan needed a last-minute gift to get a point in this one. Udinese took the 1-0 lead in the 68th minute through Rodrigo Becao. It looked like the Rossoneri were out of luck and would lose unexpectedly to Udinese.

However, the most absurd handball occurred when Jens Stryger Larsen decided to play volleyball—gifting Milan the tying penalty in the dying moments of stoppage time. There have been plenty of complaints about the number of penalties in Milan’s favor, but there was no denying this one.

Milan continues to scuff along, as they dropped points for the fifth time in six matches in all competitions. That’s a stat that just makes us Romanisti feel even worse about Sunday’s loss at the Olimpico, as Roma now sits six off of second-place Milan.

Atalanta Annihilates Crotone

Atalanta 5, Crotone 1

It was always a long shot that last place Crotone would be able to get a result off of an in-form La Dea side. That being said, Crotone made it a match for a half when Simeon Nwankwo canceled out Robin Gosen’s goal in the 23rd minute. Then Atalanta decided to go to work in the second half.

This match turned into an absolute rout in the second stanza when La Dea struck three times in the first 13 minutes. Goals by Jose Palomino (48’), Luis Muriel (50’), and Josep Ilicic (58’) killed off any hope of a Crotone surprise. Then Aleksei Miranchuk rubbed salt in the wounds when he made it 5-1 in the 85th minute.

The win is Atalanta’s fourth on the trot in the league and keeps Gasperini’s side level with third place Juve on 49 points. Atalanta is looking strong and it’ll likely be La Dea that Roma will have to pip for fourth. No small task indeed.

Sanchez Brace Wins it for Inter

Parma 1, Inter Milan 2

It wasn’t easy for Inter, but Antonio Conte’s men got the job in Parma on Thursday. The Nerazzurri had a hard time breaking down a stubborn Ducali side that is desperate for points. However, as hard as Roberto D’Aversa’s team fought, it just wasn’t enough.

Inter was finally able to find a breakthrough in the 54th minute when Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring. Then the Chilean secured his brace just eight minutes later to put Inter up two. Parma would keep fighting and Hernani would cut Inter’s lead in half in the 71st minute. But, it would be too little, too late for Parma.

Inter’s win coupled with Milan’s draw means that the Nerazzurri are now six clear at the top.

Other Results

  • Cagliari 1, Bologna 0
  • Genoa 1, Sampdoria 1
  • Benevento 0, Hellas Verona 3
  • Lazio vs Torino—PPD

FiveThirtyEight Top Four Probabilities

Roma’s top 4 probability jumped slightly, but the Giallorossi are still on the outside looking in.
https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/soccer-predictions/serie-a/

Not a whole lot has changed in the fivethirtyeight.com predictions since last matchday. Milan saw a slight drop in its top four probability (76% to 71%) thanks to its draw against Udinese. The same can be said for Napoli (32% to 25%) after Sassuolo snatched a point from Gattuso’s side at the death.

Meanwhile, Roma saw its top four hopes ride slightly from 31% to 38%. Roma benefited from the aforementioned teams dropping points, but the Giallorossi remain projected to finish fifth.

Poll

Who does Roma have the best chance of catching for fourth place?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Milan
    (81 votes)
  • 10%
    Juve
    (15 votes)
  • 30%
    Atalanta
    (43 votes)
139 votes total Vote Now