Serie A Spotlight: Milan Firing on All Cylinders, Roma Win Derby & More

Serie A Gameweek 31 is edging to a close, with Monday’s game between Udinese and Inter dropping the curtain on another exciting round. Let’s look at the most captivating stories of the first springtime weekend in Italy’s top flight. 

Mancini Paints Rome ‘Giallorossi‘ 

Connoisseurs of action-packed football might have disliked Saturday’s Derby della Capitale, yet a low-scoring theme has been common in this fixture in recent years. Roma maintained that trend this weekend but threw Lazio to the receiving end for a change after drawing a blank in four successive meetings with their arch-rivals. 

Jose Mourinho proved unable to inspire Giallorossi to a coveted derby win down the final stretch of his stint at Roma. But Daniele De Rossi showed his predecessor a way to deal with Biancocelesti, overseeing a morale-boosting 1-0 win in his first Derby della Capitale appearance as a coach. 

The game-defining moment took place in the 42nd minute as Gianluca Mancini headed home Paulo Dybala’s teasing corner-kick delivery to settle an ill-tempered encounter. Despite failing to create much in the front third for the rest of the game, Roma looked rock-solid at the back, allowing Lazio just one shot on target.

After beating Juventus on his touchline debut, Igor Tudor has lost back-to-back games without a reply, with Lazio seemingly in trouble despite Maurizio Sarri’s exit. 

Pioli’s Free-Firing Squad Puts Lecce to The Sword

Everything seems to be going Milan’s way these days. Not even Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s suspension derailed their tremendous firepower, as Lecce had a chance to witness first-hand. Deployed as an attacking midfielder for the first time this term, Christian Pulisic scored a delightful strike from the edge of the box to give Rossoneri an early lead.

The first half didn’t reach the halfway point when Olivier Giroud doubled the home side’s advantage before Nikola Krstovic’s expulsion on the stroke of halftime confirmed what was obvious. It was always going to be Milan’s victory. 

Rafael Leao put the icing on the cake midway through the second half, sealing an emphatic 3-0 scoreline to set Milan up nicely for the upcoming Europa League quarter-final tie against Roma. Stefano Pioli’s men must be brimming with confidence after extending their winning streak in all competitions to seven matches. 

Napoli’s Six-Minute Blitz Brings Monza to Their Knees

Defending Serie A champions Napoli fought back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to beat mid-table Monza 4-2 in a goal-glutted showdown at the Stadio Brianteo. Milan Djuric’s thumping first-half header increased the likelihood of Partenopei’s fifth straight match without winning.

However, it took Napoli just six minutes at the start of the second half to turn the game on its head. Victor Osimhen’s flying header initiated a superb comeback. Matteo Politano and Piotr Zielinski scored in quick succession to give the visitors a comfortable two-goal cushion.

Francesco Calzona’s men were not out of the woods yet as Andrea Coplani pulled one back for Monza. But the home team’s hopes of avoiding defeat came crashing down six minutes later when Giacomo Raspadori found the net off the bench to cement Napoli’s precious triumph. 

Gatti Catapult Apathetic Juventus Back to Winning Ways

What not long seemed unrealistic has recently become possible as a four-game winless Serie A run plunged Juventus into a crisis, allowing fifth-placed Roma to reduce the gap to only seven points. Roma’s derby win put Bianconeri in a must-win situation, with only four points separating the sides ahead of the evening kick-off. 

Sunday night’s game at the Allianz Stadium was a carbon copy of Juventus’ 1-0 win in November’s reverse fixture as Massimiliano Allegri’s side fought tooth and nail to keep Fiorentina at bay after scoring an early opener. Federico Gatti assumed the hero tag, latching onto a fortunate rebound inside the six-yard box to give Juventus a much-needed win. 

Despite posting just their second victory in their last ten Serie A outings, Juventus can’t be proud of their performance, especially in the second half. With seven games left, Allegri is running out of time to prove to the board and fans he deserves to remain in the dugout next season. 

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