Serie A Spotlight: Inter Galloping Toward Scudetto, Milan Beat Themselves & More

We’re looking in the back of another breathtaking weekend in Serie A, and it’s time to take stock of the highlight moments of Gameweek 25. From Inter’s statement win against rock-bottom Salernitana to Milan’s ludicrous performance against Monza, we’ll walk you through the most telling storylines. 

Free-Flowing Inter On Next Level

Inter’s dress rehearsal for the upcoming Champions League last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid went smoothly, as they extended new Salernitana manager Fabio Liverani a warm welcome to Serie A. Runaway leaders turned on a beast mode in the first half in an overwhelming 4-0 home victory on Friday night.

Indeed, Liverani was lucky to enter the locker room only 3-0 down as Inter created numerous presentable chances, racking up 16 shots, including seven on target. Guillermo Ochoa was the only culprit Simone Inzaghi’s side only opened the scoring in the 17th minute through Marcus Thuram as he made several unbelievable saves in the early stages.

However, Thuram’s deadlock-breaker opened the floodgate. Lautaro Martinez chipped in with his 20th Serie A goal of the season moments later before Denzel Dumfries gave Inter a landslide halftime cushion. Second-half substitute Marko Arnautovic put the icing on the cake in the 90th minute to catapult Nerazzurri nine points clear of second-placed Juventus.

Juventus’ Hell-ish Serie A Patch Goes On

Juventus wasted a golden opportunity to halt a disappointing three-game winless streak in Serie A against hot relegation candidates Hellas Verona on Saturday. Despite losing 12 players during the winter transfer window and going four league matches without a win in the build-up, Marco Baroni’s men put on a stoic performance to secure a 2-2 draw.

Verona could’ve taken all three points at Marc’Antonio Bentegodi, considering they went up twice before the break. But goals from Dusan Vlahovic and Adrien Rabiot salvaged a point for out-of-sorts Juventus, who effectively relinquished their Scudetto hopes after a fourth consecutive winless outing in Serie A.

Massimiliano Allegri hoped a match-up against a Verona side Juventus swept aside in their four previous league encounters without conceding would be an ideal chance for his team to get back on track. But another sub-par showing now offers Inter an opportunity to stretch their lead at the table’s summit to 12 points as they have a game in hand.

Serie A Wonder Boy Zirkzee Stuns Olimpico

High-flying Bologna couldn’t have picked a better occasion to post only their second Serie A away win in 2023/24. Thiago Motta’s charges toppled fellow Champions League hopefuls Lazio 2-1 in Sunday’s top-six six-pointer at the Stadio Olimpico to go level on points with fourth-placed Atalanta. 

To sweeten the deal, Bologna overhauled an early deficit to make it four league triumphs on the trot and reaffirm their top-four credentials at the expense of last season’s Serie A runners-up. Lazio took the lead in the 17th minute through Gustav Isaksen following a quick one-two between the ex-Midtjylland winger and Ciro Immobile.

Bologna restored parity before the interval as Oussama El Azzouzi took advantage of Lazio’s reckless attempt to build from the back to beat Ivan Provedel from point-blank range. For long, it looked like his goal would be the game’s last, but Joshua Zirkzee had no intention of departing the capital without leaving his mark.

One of Serie A’s brightest prospects gave Bologna a dream victory in the 78th minute with a clinical first-time finish from merely inside the box, powering an instinctive volley into the bottom corner. While the win consolidated Gialloblu’s top-four ambitions, Lazio’s third winless league match in their last four demoted them to eighth in the standings.

Self-Destructive Milan Humbled in Lombard Derby

Serie A title hopes are no longer on the table for an error-prone Milan after Stefano Pioli’s men shot themselves in the foot during a woeful 4-2 defeat to Lombard rivals Monza. Pioli’s gamble didn’t pay off as his experimental frontline looked clueless in the first half, which Rossoneri lost 2-0. 

It wasn’t attackers who helped Raffaele Palladino’s team set the tone for their first-ever Serie A win against Milan but Malick Thiaw. Back to the starting lineup after months on the sidelines, the German center-back committed a silly penalty before losing track of Dany Mota on the stroke of halftime.

As if Thiaw’s erratic defending wasn’t troubling enough, Pioli’s little experiment with Luka Jovic as a starter soon returned to haunt the Milan boss. A moment of madness saw the Serbian striker receive marching orders from referee Andrea Colombo for punching Pablo Mari in the face without the ball.

Despite falling to ten men early in the second half, Milan staged another trademark comeback. Olivier Giroud and Christian Pulisic got on the scoresheet off the bench to draw Rossoneri level on the stroke of second-half stoppages. 

But Monza substitutes replied in equal measure. Warren Bondo scored a stunning goal from the edge of the box to put Monza back in front before Milan loanee Lorenzo Colombo hammered the final nail in the visitors’ coffin deep into injury time. 

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