Easter Sunday meant that calcio lovers were treated to a day off amid another frantic weekend of Serie A action.
Starting with a pair of fixtures on Friday and ending with two clashes on Monday night, Matchday 33 was laden with twists and turns at both ends of the table as we close in on the 2021/22 season epilogue.
Here’s a round-up of all the action.
Inter & AC pull away from Napoli in the title race
Matchday 33 kicked off with a pair of victories for leading Scudetto contenders Inter and AC Milan.
The Nerazzurri are returning to their ruthless best following a barren run before the March international break. After dispatching Hellas Verona last weekend, they stormed beyond Spezia on Friday evening, winning 3-1 thanks to rare goals from Marcelo Brozovic and Lautaro Martinez – wink, wink. Alexis Sanchez then rounded off the triumph in stoppage time after Giulio Maggiore had brilliantly pulled one back for the home side.
Milan then eased beyond Genoa, who are surely destined for the drop, to keep their noses ahead of Inter at the top of Serie A. Rafael Leao scored his first goal since February to open the scoring before Junior Messias tapped home a late second to seal the Rossoneri’s win.
The two Milanese outfits pulled away from third-place Napoli as Luciano Spalletti’s side were held at home by top-four chasing AS Roma on Monday evening. Stephan El Shaarawy cancelled out Lorenzo Insigne’s early penalty to put a huge dent into Napoli’s Scudetto challenge.
Fiorentina’s unbeaten run continues
Roma’s point in Naples meant they didn’t lose any ground on Juventus, who were dire in their 1-1 draw with Bologna, in the top-four race.
However, a fresh contender for the final Champions League spot has emerged in the form of Vincenzo Italiano’s Fiorentina. La Viola were victorious yet again on Matchday 33, beating the lowly Venezia 1-0 at the Franchi.
Lucas Torreira scored the game’s only goal as Fiorentina leapfrogged Lazio in the Serie A table. The Biancocelesti slipped down to sixth after Torino left the Stadio Olimpico with a point on Saturday night. Ciro Immobile rescued a draw for Lazio after Pietro Pellegri headed home his first Torino goal to give the visitors the lead.
Are Salernitana still alive?
Is the Great Escape on? Are Salernitana still alive?
Well, probably not. But it was nice to see Serie A’s whipping boys claim just their fourth win of the season and first since January.
On Matchday 33, Davide Nicola’s side deepened Sampdoria’s woes under Marco Giampaolo as they won 2-1 at the Marassi thanks to goals from towering centre-half Federico Fazio and midfielder Ederson in the opening ten minutes.
Unfortunately, though, their rare victory was cancelled out by Cagliari’s earlier victory over Sassuolo. Alessandro Deiola scored the winner for Walter Mazzarri’s side as they stretched their advantage over 18th-placed Venezia to six points in the fight for survival.
Best of the rest
Atalanta, once protagonists in the top-four race and outsiders for the Scudetto, have been resigned to the ‘Best of the rest’ section of our round-ups. The demise of La Dea perpetuated on Matchday 33 as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Hellas Verona – their sixth Serie A defeat in Bergamo this season.
Elsewhere, Udinese won their third game on the bounce as they thrashed Empoli 4-1 in Udine. I Friulani climbed above Bologna in the table and they’ll be targeting a top-half finish come the end of the season.