Top 5 Stories of Serie A Round 12: A Derby with No Winner

Just like any other Calcio weekend, the latest Serie A round offered 10 courses on the menu. But whenever the Derby della Madonnina is on display, the rest of the fixtures degrade into afterthoughts. In an exciting contest between Milan and Inter, the two giants ended up sharing the spoils on Sunday night. But here at the Cult of Calcio, we kept an eye on the action elsewhere as well, and we’ll recap it for you in our Top 5 Stories of Serie A Round 12.

Never a Dull Week at Juventus

As we all know by now, Juventus are having anything but a usual Serie A campaign, as they now sit 8th in table following their round 12 win over Fiorentina thanks to an added-time winner by Juan Cuadrado.

But here’s an interesting fact that we noticed. The Bianconeri have thus far won five matches, drawn three and lost four. However, all of their wins have come via a one-goal advantage, and the same goes for their losses.

This practically means that not a single encounter for the Old Lady reached a forgone conclusion before the final whistle. Instead, the club has stayed true to its famous motto “Fina alla Fine”… although it hasn’t always played out in its favor.

Not Without a Fight

Prior to the start of the season, newcomers Salernitana and Venezia, as well as Spezia, were highlighted as the most likely candidates for relegation by the end of the campaign.

These three sides arguably posses the weakest squads in the league. However, they surely don’t lack the right mindset and the needed spirit, and they aren’t planning on going down without a fight.

In round 12, Spezia kept their composure to derail the Torino train with a 1-0 win, while Venezia shocked Serie A fans with a stunning 3-2 victory of Roma.

While the likes of Cagliari, Genoa and Sampdoria are expected to strike back once they rise from their deep sleep, the minnows are now scoring some precious goals that could make all the difference by May.

A Fatal Road

Speaking of Roma’s defeat in Venezia, we said it previously, José Mourinho’s vile approach could be self-destructive, and we’re already beginning to witness the results.

Following the embarrassing 1-6 defeat in Norway, the Special One decided to abandon all sort of squad rotation, and mainly focus on 13 players while deeming the rest of the squad as unfitting for his plans.

In the second half against the Arancioneroverdi, the players on the pitch were visibly exhausted, as they surrendered the lead and almost allowed their opponents to add some more.

On the other hand, some of the Roma players who came in the second half (like Borja Mayoral) lacked confidence due to the manager’s previous outburst.

This surely has all the ingredients for a total disaster, unless the club somehow manages to fix the holes.

Verona Curse Strikes Again

With the Milan giants set to battle it afterwards, Napoli surely wouldn’t miss the chance to take advantage of the situation, right?

Nevertheless, the Partenopei found in their path the same side that cost them Champions League qualification with a dramatic late draw last season.

Although this was far less dramatic, the Southerners once again slipped to a 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona who are now officially the dark horses of this Serie A season.

Was There a Morale Winner in the Milan Derby?

And yet, the big finale of the European weekend failed to provide us with a winner as well, as Hakan Calhanoglu (out of all people) put Inter in the lead, but his teammate Stefan de Vrij brought Milan back with an own goal.

Nevertheless, in the lack of an actual winner, perhaps we can find a morale one just to pretend that the whole affair wasn’t a complete waste of time.

In recent years, the Nerazzurri mostly had the upper hand both in the league standings and in direct clashes.

However, the Rossoneri fared much better this time around, and almost snatched a late winner in a balanced encounter.

At the end of the day, Stefano Pioli’s men remain in the lead alongside Napoli after round 12, while the defending champions wasted a chance to close the gap, as they remain 3rd in the Serie A standings with seven points separating them from top.

Perhaps not a crystal clear winner, but Milan fans have their reasons to be somewhat pleased with the final outcome.

Read More – Hakan Calhanoglu Etches Himself in Milan Derby History Books