Five Things First: Top Stories From Serie A Round 33

In the latest round of the Italian top-flight, Juventus moved one step closer to the Scudetto despite failing to win for the third time in a row. Inter maintained their second spot in the table as they put four past desperate SPAL, reducing their gap from the Bianconeri to six points only.

Atalanta crushed Brescia in a classic regional derby of Lombardy to pass Lazio in the ranking – as Simone Inzaghi’s Biancocelesti didn’t go past a goalless draw in Udine.

At the bottom end of the table, both Genoa and Lecce failed to collect any point, making next Sundays’ direct clash an even more important one in order to decide which of them will likely be relegated.

Here are our top 5 stories from the Serie A round that just ended:

Atalanta Destroy Brescia In Lombardy Derby

These are hard times for Brescia. Never has the gap in performance between the Rondinelle and their bitter enemies Atalanta been so wide as in this season. The two Lombardy sides are used to stage some spectacular Regional derbies, like an epic 3-3 draw which went down in history as the game of Carlo Mazzone’s run.

But on Tuesday night, Atalanta literally destroyed Brescia finding the back of the net six times against the Biancazzurri’s two. It couldn’t end any differently as Gian Piero Gasperini’s side is experiencing an incredible state of form whereas Diego Lopez’s squad seems to have given up and accepted an almost certain relegation by now.

After making Juventus quiver, Gasperini’s Nerazzurri thus added another pearl to their already extraordinary Serie A campaign. Atalanta scored at least six goals for the fourth time this season, reaching an overall tally of 93 – they need just one more to break Napoli’s record from the 2015-16 season, the best result since the Serie A re-increased its participants to 20 in 2004.

Atalanta were merciless on Tuesday night as they grabbed one of the most mismatched Lombardy derby with Brescia in the past few years with a sounding 6-2 score

Juventus’ Non-Winning Streak Extends to Three

It doesn’t happen often to see Juventus failing to make a full score for three games in a row. Maurizio Sarri’s Bianconeri have collected only two points from their last three endeavors – losing 2-4 to Milan, snatching a 2-2 tie from Atalanta, and then failing to overcome Sassuolo on Wednesday despite taking a double lead.

As we have said many times, Juventus’ hunt to their ninth Scudetto in a row will most likely end successfully as the Bianconeri are still six points clear of second-placed Inter. But that will rather be due to lack of competition than to Maurizio Sarri boys’ own merits.

Had Antonio Conte’s Inter not been so inconsistent, or had Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio not lost their heads after the Serie A restart, the Bianconeri would have had to fight much harder to collect yet another Italian title.

But – with just five games left – it seems that even this colorless version of Juventus, featuring a Cristiano Ronaldo surprisingly out of shape, will be enough to grab the title.

Fiorentina Score Three To Achieve Virtual Safety

Fiorentina beat Lecce 3-1 at the Via del Mare Stadium to achieve virtual safety and put Fabio Liverani’s Giallorossi even more at risk.

Thanks to Federico Chiesa, Rachid Ghezzal, and Patrick Cutrone’s goals, the Viola moved 10 points clear of the drop zone with just 5 games to go. Mission accomplished for coach Giuseppe Iachini, who inherited the team from Vincenzo Montella with the objective of maintaining president Rocco Commisso’s side in Serie A after a staggering start of the season.

For Fiorentina, it is now time to start planning the next campaign as their passionate fan base will surely be expecting something more from their ambitious president.

The first question to answer is: Where will Federico Chiesa play next season? Will Fiorentina manage to keep their home-grown jewel with them for one more year?

Fiorentina can breathe a sigh of relief as they are pretty much out of the relegation battle. But now, it’s time to do some better planning for the future!

Replacement Coaches Get Job Done For Torino and Udinese

Sitting, respectively, two and three points below Fiorentina, Torino and Udinese can also consider themselves almost safe, having an eight and seven point margin over third-to-last Lecce.

Just like in the case of the Viola, both clubs are almost sure to maintain their Serie A slot thanks to the work of two coaches who were hired in the middle of the season.

Torino captured three key points today as they crushed Genoa 3-0, with Azzurri striker Andrea Belotti scoring for the 7th game in a row. Young coach Moreno Longo had taken the helm of the Granata in February and started with a three-game losing streak. He was rumored to be on the verge of being sacked himself, but apparently was saved by the love players and fans have for him – as Longo is a Granata to the heart. Facts proved him right.

Udinese’s coach Luca Gotti, on the other hand, spent a life working as a vice-manager for multiple clubs. He was indeed the Friulani‘s second-in-command when Igor Tudor was sacked in November and was initially asked to step up only for the time needed to find a replacement.

But the Veneto-born trainer did so well that he was confirmed until the end of the season, and promptly delivered at his first experience as a head-coach.

Luca Gotti, aged 52, had never had any experience as a head coach and – by his own admission – was never planning to. After brilliantly leading Udinese towards a comfortable permanence in Serie A, he might be changing his mind…

Milan Enjoy Frank Kessié’s Rebirth to Reach Napoli In Sixth Place

Taking advantage of Napoli’s 1-1 in Bologna, Milan reached the Partenopei in the sixth spot of the table as they beat Parma 3-1 on Wednesday.

Together with Atalanta, the Rossoneri are the Serie A side who has been performing best since the campionato restarted, collecting five wins and only failing to make a full score against SPAL and Napoli. Stefano Pioli has managed to transform Milan from a timid, frightened lineup into an impressive goal machine who also knows how to get back on track when things take a bad turn – as they showed against SPAL, Juventus, and now even against Parma.

Pioli has also been distinguishing himself for regenerating some players who had been under-performing in the first part of the season – the most recent one being Frank Kessié, who scored a great goal against the Crociati on Wednesday. “I had some problems with him at the beginning,” said Pioli, “but then we understood each other and now he is an essential part of my Milan.

Frank Kessié has turned into a brand new player and a leader in Milan’s midfield under Stefano Pioli’s guidance (Photo: Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Feature Photo: Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images