Three Talking Points from the Sunday Serie A Action

Another enthralling Serie A weekend, highlighted by mouth-watering match-ups in Naples and Bergamo, is behind us. From a relegation-six pointer at Luigi Ferraris to an eagerly-contested top-four battle in Bergamo, let’s take a look at the three talking points from Sunday’s Serie A action. 

#3 Time Is Ticking for Genoa and Salernitana

Genoa’s frustrating Serie A season continued on Sunday as they could only draw 1-1 with basement boys Salernitana at Luigi Ferraris. Mattia Destro fired the home side in front right after the half-hour mark, but Federico Bonazzoli’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time ensured a point for the visitors. 

Neither side managed to ease their relegation fears, with Genoa stretching their winless Serie A streak to a staggering 22 matches. With their solitary top-flight success this season dating back to September, the long-term Serie A tenants appear to be a doomed outfit already in February. 

Things are looking even worse from Salernitana’s perspective as they now sit nine points adrift of safety. The Granata are seemingly on their way to dropping to Serie B next term unless miraculous developments in the crunch period of the season shift momentum in the opposite direction. 

#2 Milan Mean Business This Season

Despite lacking several first-team stars, including Theo Hernandez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan delivered another eye-catching performance to ease past Sampdoria 1-0. Though the full-time scoreboard gives the impression of an evenly-contested fixture, Saturday’s early afternoon kick-off witnessed one-way traffic. 

Stefano Pioli’s men outplayed bottom-half opposition through and through at the San Siro to leapfrog Inter to the top of the Serie A summit. Mike Maignan picked out lightning-quick Rafael Leao with a pinpoint cross-field pass for the home team’s winner only eight minutes into the match. 

Milan had several clear-cut opportunities to kill the game off way before the final whistle. Though a lack of the finishing touch let Pioli’s side down one too many times, the Rossoneri walked away with a routine three points, preventing Sampdoria from creating anything meaningful in front of Maignan’s door.

#1 Juventus Flattered to Deceive in Another High-profile Fixture

Atalanta and Juventus shared the spoils in an exciting 1-1 draw at the Gewiss Stadium as Massimiliano Allegri’s men again failed to shine against direct top-four rivals. After eking out a goalless draw at Milan three weeks ago despite failing to land a single shot on target, the record-time Italian champions slumped in another high-profile encounter.

Danilo’s last-gasp equalizer cancelled out Ruslan Malinovskyi’s stunning second-half opener, rescuing a point for Juventus at the death. However, the Bianconeri were lucky to leave Bergamo undefeated after producing another sub-par performance. 

And while Massimiliano Allegri hailed his team’s showing at the Gewiss Stadium (via TUTTOmercatoWEB), Juventus’ record against direct top-four rivals this season reads disastrously. Whether it’s the gaffer’s set-up or Juve’s psychological barrier, the Turin powerhouse remain winless in all seven league matches against current top-five sides (D5, L2). 

What’s more, Juventus scored one goal or less in each of those seven fixtures, underlining their cowardly approach in these high-octane, heavyweight clashes. For a club that took no prisoners en route to establishing a decade-long reign in Italy’s top-tier football, this looks inconceivable.