Serie A Spotlight: Martinez Unplayable, Milan Profligate & More

Buckle up Serie A enthusiasts as we walk you through the most captivating stories of Gameweek 22. From Milan paying a heavy ‘penalty’ against Bologna to Lautaro Martinez’s ‘golden touch,’ it’s time to delve into another whirlwind weekend. 

Milik’s Absurd Tackle Sets Juventus Back, but Vlahovic Is Not Enough

Arkadiusz Milik’s insane, not to mention needless, challenge on Empoli forward Alberto Cerri earned him a straight red in the 16th minute as Juventus relinquished a seven-game winning streak in all competitions. Down to ten men, Massimiliano Allegri’s side took the lead through Dusan Vlahovic, but Tommaso Baldanzi made it 1-1 to diminish the Bianconeri‘sScudetto chances. 

While it’s needless to say, the game would’ve probably panned out differently had Milik avoided an early expulsion. It’s obvious that Juventus can’t compete for the Serie A title without at least one more quality addition in the front third. Even with Vlahovic hitting a purple patch, he can’t win matches alone, signaling Allegri it’s time to intervene in the market. 

Time’s ticking, but a last-gasp attacking signing could turn the tide. 

Two Different Takers, Two Identical Outcomes as Milan Wave Goodbye to Serie A Title Hopes

When was the last time you’ve seen a side at this level miss two penalties in one game? If it’s been a while, check out a pulsating encounter between Milan and Bologna to refresh your memory. Olivier Giroud and Theo Hernandez missed from the spot on either side of halftime before Riccardo Orsolini taught them how it’s done.

The Italian winger struck home a stoppage-time penalty to hold Milan to a 2-2 draw at San Siro, effectively ruling Stefano Pioli’s team out of the Serie A title race. Despite overhauling Bologna’s lead, thanks to Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s first double in the Rossoneri shirt, wasted opportunities returned to haunt Pioli’s charges. 

Now eight points adrift of pacesetters Inter, who also have a game in hand, Milan do not seem a valid title candidate anymore.

Lazio and Napoil ‘Rockabye’ Olimpico 

If there’s no ticket refund program in place, Lazio chiefs should establish one, at least to make up to their fans for a tepid 0-0 draw against Napoli. Describing Sunday’s game as boring would be an understatement, with just one shot on target witnessed throughout 90 minutes of one of the most uneventful matches in recent Serie A history. 

Though Lazio had the privilege to test Pierluigi Gollini’s capabilities while preventing the downtrodden Serie A champions from troubling Ivan Provedel, there was nothing worth mentioning at the Stadio Olimpico. Since neither side benefited much from a draw, it’s unfathomable why both managers treated this fixture like a ‘don’t lose’ contest.

One thing was sure from the get-go – no one would take home three points. 

Martinez Continues ‘Catch Me If You Can’ Type of Season as Inter Move back to the Top

Only two things are certain – Jose Mourinho will blame everyone but himself and Lautaro Martinez will beat your goalkeeper. Everything else is relative, as evidenced by Sunday’s clash between Inter and Fiorentina at Stadio Artemio Franchi. 

Fresh off catapulting Inter to Supercoppa Italiana glory in Riyadh, the unstoppable Argentine forward struck again to inspire Simone Inzaghi’s side to a 1-0 win in Tuscany. In a moment of brilliance, Martinez escaped his man and powered home a thumping header on the near post to settle a dramatic affair. 

In turn, Inter are back to the top of the pile, while he’s now only one strike away from hitting a 20-goal barrier in the 2023/24 Serie A season. To be continued…

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