It was a weekend of late drama in Serie A as we saw the early leaders return to the summit following the conclusion of Matchday 27.
The recent woes of both Milan clubs has allowed Napoli to strike and Juventus to lurk in the context of the Scudetto race. Dusan Vlahovic’s impact in Turin continues to send reverberations across the country as his brace helped Juve to a 3-2 win over an out of sorts Empoli.
We also saw some changes at the bottom of the table as a resurgent Cagliari finally escaped the clutches of the bottom three as their quite incredible 2022 continued on Sunday.
Serie A Matchday 27 round-up
Here’s a round-up of all the action across Serie A on Matchday 27 of the 2021/22 campaign.
Napoli capitalise on Milanese woes
Fabian Ruiz broke Biancocolesti hearts on Sunday night as his pinpoint strike at the death helped Napoli to the top of Serie A.
Lorenzo Insigne opened the scoring for Luciano Spalletti’s visitors with a trademark curling effort before Pedro equalised in some style with three minutes remaining to surely earn the Biancocelesti a point.
Not so fast.
A late Napoli breakaway in the final minute of stoppage time concluded with midfielder Fabian guiding home a pinpoint winner from outside of the area, sparking scenes of delirium among the new league leaders.
Spalletti’s side made the most of a terrible Friday night for both Milan clubs. Stefano Pioli’s Rossoneri were pegged back at home to Udinese in a 1-1 draw, while inefficient final third play cost Inter again as they were held to a stalemate away at Genoa.
Atalanta get back on track
Juventus’ 3-2 victory over Empoli on Saturday evening opened up a six-point advantage over Atalanta, who took on an improving Sampdoria on Monday night.
It was a hugely important game for La Dea, but Gian Piero Gasperini’s side rose to the challenge. They put four past Marco Giampaolo’s Samp as Teun Koopmeiners starred with a brace. Monday’s win was Atalanta’s first in a miserable February.
A dominant AS Roma, meanwhile, only squeaked past the ten-men of Spezia on Sunday thanks to a Tammy Abraham penalty after Juventus target Nicolo Zaniolo took a boot to the face.
The victory moved Roma up to sixth in the Serie A table with Juventus six points better off in fourth.
Venezia sink into bottom three
Venezia slid into the bottom three on Sunday as their 3-1 defeat away at Hellas Verona followed Cagliari’s 2-1 win on the road against Torino.
Giovanni Simeone opened his account for 2022 in some style as his hat-trick sunk the Venetians. The Argentine hadn’t scored in Serie A since mid-December heading into Sunday’s win.
Venezia are now three points adrift of safety after Cagliari made the most of Torino’s slump to snatch all three points in Turin. Walter Mazzarri’s side are now unbeaten in five and have emerged as one of Serie A’s most in-form outfits in 2022.
Best of the rest
The second iteration of a hipster’s wet dream ended with a dramatic climax as Sassuolo edged out Fiorentina 2-1.
The ten men of La Viola cancelled out Hamed Traore’s opener – the Ivorian’s enjoying the most productive run of his young career – through Arthur Cabral, who tapped home his first goal for the club, before Domenico Berardi picked out substitute Gregoire Defrel for a stoppage-time winner.
Berardi’s assist was his 11th of the season, a league-high.
Finally, Salernitana were held to their fourth unhelpful draw in a row at home to Bologna. Marko Arnautovic scored again for the visitors.