Top 5 Stories of Serie A Round 14: Milan Close 2020 on Top!

Serie A signed off with a Bang in 2020! The second midweek round in a row began on Tuesday with a disastrous day for Juventus, while Crotone’s win over Parma lifted them from the bottom spot.

On Wednesday, the action resumed with a routine Inter win, two unsatisfying draws for Atalanta and Napoli, and finally Theo Hernández sealing the top spot for Milan with a dramatic late winner. So here are our Top 5 stories from Serie A round 14. 

Milan Deservingly End the Year on Top 

You can never argue with the league table. Had Inter managed to end on top of the Serie A table after round 14 then it would have been a deserved lead as well. Nonetheless, after their brilliant undefeated run since the restart of last season in June, it just feels right to have Milan heading to the holiday season sitting in 1st place. 

On Wednesday night, the Rossoneri started brilliantly in their tough fixture against Lazio, scoring two early goals. However, the visitors managed to draw level and seemed to be heading to complete a comeback. Still, Simone Inzaghi decided to rest his main stars Ciro Immobile and Sergei Milinkovic-Savic, whilst Stefano Pioli kept going for the win. 

The Milan tactician was rewarded with an injury time winner by the man of the hour Theo Hernández, as his injury-depleted squad squeezed its way to defend their unexpected lead against their city rivals. Although it is a trophy-less achievement, ending 2020 on top should offer the Diavolo a huge mental boost going through 2021.

Inter Finally Adopting Conte’s Mentality

When Antonio Conte arrived at Inter in the summer of 2019, no one expected the former Chelsea manager to portray an exciting genre of football that meets the eye. The Italian coach was brought for his most famous characteristic, which is the ability to grind the needed results. 

After an underwhelming first season, and a slow start to the current campaign, Inter have finally been able to put their Champions League elimination behind them, and achieve a solid run of seven league wins in row. 

The Nerazzurri’s round 14 tough victory over Hellas Verona summarizes their current run. It was far from an enjoyable match – especially after a dull first half – nonetheless Inter managed to come out with their second 2-1 win in the space of three days, and it came against a club that earned away points against their rivals Milan and Juventus in the previous rounds. One can see why Conte’s men are the current bookies’ favorites to win the league. 

Some Light at the End of the Tunnel for Crotone and Genoa?

Throughout the past seasons, we usually label a club or two as relegation certainties by this time of the year – like Brescia and SPAL last season, or Chievo two years ago – and while Crotone and Genoa looked like they are heading through that doomed path, their round 14 wins over Parma and Spezia respectively suggest that these two teams won’t go down without a fight. 

Crotone are arguably the least equipped side in the top-tier, but the Calabrians don’t lack the spirit, and they have been able to come out with the three points in their direct encounters against Parma and Spezia. On the other hand, Davide Ballardini’s return to Genoa could help the Grifone in reclaiming a more familiar mid-table position. 

With a simple look at the table, Torino are now surprisingly at the very bottom, while the likes of Spezia, Parma, Cagliari, Fiorentina, and even Bologna and Udinese could find themselves dragged into an unwanted battle to avoid relegation. 

Franck Ribery and Co. Seal a Disastrous Day for Juventus 

On Tuesday morning, and on the heels of an exciting win against Parma in the weekend, Juventus fans felt confident ahead of their round 14 encounter with the struggling Fiorentina, as it would be a chance to close the gap with the Milan giants who are on top of the Serie A charts. 

However, bad news was in store for the Bianconeri, as just few hours before the awaited clash, the final ruling in the Juventus – Napoli match was pronounced, and the Italian champions now must face their southern rivals on the pitch, as the 3-0 win that was previously awarded for them was overturned. 

Perhaps affected by the decision, Juventus started their match against Fiorentina with some lackluster defending as they conceded an early goal, and then had to play with 10 men after a foolish foul by Juan Cuadrado. They eventually lost 3-0 to their Tuscan rivals, which effectively means that the Bianconeri dropped 6 points as well as 6 goals in their last active day of 2020.

Final Round of the Year Was a Bless for Serie A fans

Despite the physical exhaustion due to back-to-back matches, round 14 delivered the goods. Whilst Milan and Lazio will be the most remembered tie – as well as Fiorentina’s historic win in Turin – the match between Sassuolo and Sampdoria may have even exceed its high expectations with the Neroverdi winning 3-2, while Roma won against Cagliari in the same result

Elsewhere, Bologna came back from a two goal deficit to rescue a point against Atalanta, and Lorenzo Insigne salvaged a late Napoli draw against Torino, whilst Benevento continue to fly high with a 2-0 away victory at Udine.  

With all the excitement going on, calcio fans will be eagerly awaiting what is promised to be an epic 2021 in Italian football.