Juventus dished out a goalless draw against rivals Fiorentina, while AS Roma came from two goals down to draw their encounter against Sassuolo. Napoli played out their fourth draw of the campaign, while AC Milan suffered a slender defeats at the hands of Genoa, who go third in the Serie A.
Fiorentina Frustrate Highflying Juventus
Juventus were left stranded against Fiorentina, in their goalless draw. Both sides, nullified each other and shared the spoils of battle. The El Viola, were able to match the Bianconneri for the whole 90 minutes and brought their run of four straight wins to a draw.
Keeping in mind the Champions League encounter against Atletico de Madrid, in midweek, Max Allegiri decided to rest Argentine striker Carlos Tevez. With Tevez on the bench, Juventus started the match with Fernando Llorente and Kingsley Coman upfront. Minutes into the first half, and it was evident that Juventus missed the untired running and pressing of Carlos Tevez. Kingsley Coman although, showcased his talents with a sudden burst of speed and skill, lacked the tactical abilities of Tevez.
Although Juventus dictated play against Fiorentina, ideas in the final third eluded the Turin based club. Fiorentina meanwhile, kept their shape and attacked Gigi Buffon’s goal through counters. Relying on the pace of Juan Cuadrado, Fiorentina began attacking Juventus through the wings. Giorgio Cheillini, one of Juventus’s stalwarts, had a an enticing and exciting battle raging against Cuadrado. With Bonnuci in the heart of defense, the Juventus back three looked solid and compact.
Carlos Tevez was finally introduced with thirty minutes to go. The Argentine, with time running out, dint play a protagonist in Juventus’s crunch encounter and failed to sway the tie to Juventus’s side. Vincenzo Montella’s side were forced to withstand considerable pressure during the final stages, but held firm and claimed a commendable draw.
Adem Ljajic Inspires 10 Men Roma To A 2-2 Draw Against Lowly Sassuolo
Adem Ljajic proved to be the hero for AS Roma, as his braced saved the Romans blushes against lowly Sassuolo. The Giallorossi boss made six changes to the starting XI which beat Inter 4-2 in the previous game, with Alessandro Florenzi, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Daniele de Rossi, Mattia Destro and Juan Iturbe coming into the first-team, while Kevin Strootman made his first start for nine months.
While Roma completely dominated possession throughout the game, they failed to stretch or get the better of the Sassuolo defence for most of the clash, as the opponents were organised incredibly well and stacked with players who threw themselves in front of the ball to block the opponents’ shots on goal.
A quick fire brace from Juventus outcast Simone Zaza, led Sassuolo to edge Roma 2-0 at half time. The second half started with more horrors unfolding for the hosts. Defensive pitbull, Danielle de Rossi who was yellow carded before earned a second card and was sent off just minutes into the second half. The midfielder had been booked in the first period for pulling Sansone to the ground and his second came after bringing down Domenico Berardi in the middle of the park.
The win seemed inevitable for Sassuolo till the 78th minute when a penalty kick from Adem Ljajic, halved the deficit. An injury time goal by the 23 year old, equalized the scoreline and saved Roma blushes. AS Roma once again failed to capitalize on Juventus’s slump and still find themselves three points behind the league leaders.
Napoli Plays Out An Exciting 2-2 Draw Against Empoli
Rafa Benitez’s Napoli played out an exciting 2-2 draw against Empoli. This result, marks the fourth successive draw for the Partenopi, who now slump to fourth, below Genoa. Napoli delivered a torrid and horrific first half performances and were lucky to be only a goal down at half time. Simone Verdi put Empoli in the driving seat around the 19th minute marker, as he slipped the ball comfortably into goal, following an inch perfect through ball by Massimo Maccarone.
Daniel Rugani put the visitors even further ahead, eight minutes into the second half, as Rugani took advantage of a corner kick which Napoli’s backline failed to deal with. Rafa Benitez surprisingly, chasing the game with two goals down, decided to replace Marek Hamsik with Gonzalo Higuain.
The ailing and bruised Napoli team, was offered a chances of rejuvenation and hope, as Cristian Zapata, scored in the 67th minute, following a corner kick and halved the deficit. Napoli were quick to pounce on this situation and introduced Jonathan de Guzaman, who scored with his first touch of the ball, just five minutes later.
In hope of an extraordinary comeback, Napoli committed men forward, but failed to find an opening onto Empoli’s goal. As it was, though, Napoli were forced to settle for a third successive draw in Serie A and their fourth in all competitions.
Elsewhere In The Serie A…
Highflying Genoa defeated AC Milan 1-0 to leapfrog Napoli and move into the third place. Luca Antonelli scored the only goal of the game as Genoa held on to dear life, to defeat AC Milan. This defeat marks the AC Milan’s first defeat in four games. Milan were handed a golden opportunity to draw the game, late in the second half, but Giacomo Bonaventura miscued the ball way off target. Parma remain rooted at the bottom of the table, as suffered a 2-1 defeat against Lazio. Although, against all odds, Parma did take the lead in the dying embers of the first half through Palladino, Lazio equalized just second later. Felipe Anderson scored Lazio’s second goal around the 59th minute marker, as the Eagles grabbed all three points and climbed to fifth in the league table.
A dramatic comeback by Atlanta against Cesena, resulted in a 3-2 win for the hosts. Atlanta suffered in their opening minutes of the tie, as Cesena led the Bergamo side by two Defrel goals. A remarkable comeback led by Benaloune, and finished by Moralez, led the Bergamo based club to grab all three points. In a gameweek of 2-2 draw, Torino played out yet another 2-2 draw with Palermo. Rigoni opened the goal scoring charts of the visitors, Palermo, around the 16th minute marker, but the scoreline was soon equalized by Martinez, 20 minutes later. A Dybala goal which was later once again equalized by Torino, through Glik, meant that the spoils of battle would be shared between the two sides.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan slump to yet another defeat against Udinese, as the Bianconneri mounted a late comeback to grab all three points from the Nerazzuri. Inter took the lead through Mauro Icardi in the 44th minute, but goals by Bruno Fernandes and Thereau meant that Udinese would clinch Inter for all three points.
Goal Of The Week:
A beautiful move constructed by Empoli for their opening goal against Napoli, features in our Goal of The Week section. An inch perfect through ball by Macarrone, which was controlled superbly by Verdi on first touch, before converting it coolly past Rafael earned Empoli a deserved lead against Napoli.