Milan, Napoli and Inter made no mistake on Sunday, solidifying their positions in the top-four Serie A race, yet the two remaining fixtures were nothing short of exciting. Though both ended without a winner, neutrals had plenty to enjoy in Rome and Liguria.
It’s time to take a look at everything that happened at the Stadio Olimpico and Alberto Picco.
Tepid Draw Between Lazio and Udinese at Olimpico
Lazio and Udinese shared the spoils in a dull 0-0 stalemate at the Stadio Olimpico in Sunday’s top-four Serie A six-pointer as Ciro Immobile’s injury highlighted the encounter.
With both sides taking the field inside the top four and level on points, there was a genuine feeling a keenly-contested battle would be inevitable, and indeed, it was the case.
For the first time since February 2007, the Biancocelesti have kept five league clean sheets on the spin, courtesy of a defiant defensive performance against the high-flying visitors.
Despite controlling the possession in the opening stages of play, Lazio almost conceded within 20 minutes as Lazar Samardzic’s curled effort rattled off the crossbar.
After being saved by the woodwork, the hosts consolidated their defensive ranks, but finding spaces behind Udinese’s backline proved daunting.
Things swiftly went from bad to worse for the home side. Maurizio Sarri had to make an early change as his headline performer Immobile picked up an injury less than 30 minutes into the game, forcing Pedro’s early involvement.
While Lazio struggled to create anything meaningful in the front third without their captain, Udinese threatened Ivan Provedel’s goal again through Destiny Udogie.
However, the Tottenham Hotspur loanee, who had the first presentable scoring chance of the second half, was left rueing a woeful header from a promising position.
Udogie came close to redeeming himself, as he found Roberto Pereyra, yet Provedel pulled off a decent save to deny the Udinese captain and maintain his impressive form for Lazio.
The Friulians came knocking on the door late in the game as Gerard Deulofeu smashed the crossbar with a thunderous half-volley in the 85th minute.
Strugglers Spezia and Cremonese Produce Four-Goal Thriller
Cremonese fought back from a 2-1 halftime deficit to hold Spezia to an eye-catching 2-2 draw at the Stadio Alberto Picco and register their third successive Serie A stalemate on the road.
An action-packed showdown between the two bottom-half strugglers could have gone either way, but a draw looked like a fair outcome, given the topsy-turvy nature of this fixture.
Massimiliano Alvini’s men broke the deadlock only two minutes into the game as Cyriel Dessers latched onto Bartlomiej Dragowski’s save to tap the ball into the net on the goal line.
However, Spezia replied quickly, with M’Bala Nzola powering home a devastating effort from the edge of the box to restore parity in the 19th minute.
It took Luca Gotti’s side only three minutes to turn the game on its head. Emil Holm was quickest to react to a loose ball inside Cremonese’s six-yard box to complete the turnaround and hand Spezia a halftime lead.
Unfortunately for the Aquilotti, a slender one-goal advantage at the break proved insufficient to bounce back from back-to-back Serie A defeats the way they wanted.
Charles Pickel’s second-half header rescued a point for Cremonese, who remain winless after the opening ten league matchdays (D4, L6).
While La Cremo failed to dig themselves out of the relegation zone, Spezia slightly extended their lead on 18th-placed Hellas Verona to four points.
Yet there’s not much Gotti can celebrate following another poor defensive showing from his team.