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Serie A

Serie A round-up: Goals galore as Milan teams lose

In a tough weekend for both sets of fans, Inter and AC Milan suffered embarrassing losses to place a further dampener on their respective seasons.

The Nerazzurri experienced a second-half collapse to lose 5-4 to Fiorentina while the Rossoneri were beaten 2-1 at home by the lowly Empoli.

Juventus continued their dominance at the top by thumping Genoa 4-0, while Napoli were held to a 2-2 draw by a spirited Sassuolo.

It was a weekend packed full of goals in Serie A, which began with a five-goal thriller in Bergamo.

Atalanta hosted Bologna and notched two goals in the opening 15 minutes through Andrea Conti and Remo Frueler to provide a bleak outlook for the away side.

However the Rossoblu hit back in the 16th-minute via Mattia Destro to half the margin, with the score remaining 2-1 at half-time.

A 61st-minute strike from Federico Di Francesco had the Bolognese back on equal terms with their more fancied opponents before Mattia Caldara buried his seventh goal of the season to secure maximum points in the race for Europa League qualification.

Inter travelled to Florence looking to put the heartache of the previous week’s Milan derby behind them, however found themselves down after 23 minutes thanks to a strong Matias Vecino finish from a Hrvoje Milic squared ball.

Goals to Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi looked to have turned things around for the Nerazzurri, as they went into the break 2-1 ahead.

However, a second half collapse saw the Viola net four goals in the space of just 17 minutes. A goal from Davide Astori started the goal blitz, followed by Vecino’s second from a pin-point shot on the counter-attack, and finished with a brace from Khouma Babacar, making a mockery of the away team’s defence.

Two stunning late finishes completed a hat-trick for Icardi, however there was little to celebrate with Fiorentina finishing 5-4 victors.

In Sunday’s early game, it took Napoli 52 minutes to find the net away to Sassuolo, eventually taking the lead through a Dries Mertens header off the back of strong lead up play from Marek Hamsik and Jose Callejon.

Against the run of play, Sassuolo equalised through Domenico Berardi when the Partenopei captain made a rare error by misplacing his headed back-pass.

Both Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne went within inches of scoring by hitting the crossbar before Napoli were made to pay for not clearing their lines from a free-kick, as the Neroverdi took a surprise lead through Luca Mazzitelli.

Arkadiusz Milik finished a scramble in the box to score his first Serie A goal since September, however Napoli were unable to find a winner in the final minutes, drawing the match 2-2.

Buoyed by their last second derby equalise, Milan were expected to take maximum points when they hosted 17th placed Empoli.

However, it was the away team who angered the home fans by grabbing a 40th minute opener, with Levan Mchedlidze heading home from a corner.

15 minutes into the second half, Suso was given the perfect opportunity to equalise after the referee awarded a penalty when Mario Pasalic was brought down in the box.

However the winger failed to convert and the Rossoneri were punished just eight minutes later when Mame Thiam took advantage of some sloppy defending to double the lead.

Gianluca Lapadula grabbed one back with just under 20 minutes to play, though their attempts for a winner were in vein with Empoli picking up just their second victory in 12 matches.

The afternoon’s other matches saw Lazio thrash Palermo 6-2, with Keita Balde scoring a first half hat-trick, Crotone keep their Serie A survival hopes alive by coming from behind to beat Sampdoria 2-1, and Udinese condemninh Chievo Verona to a fifth consecutive loss.

Off the back of their Champions League quarterfinal triumph, Juventus went through the motions at home to Genoa to register an emphatic 4-0 victory.

The Italian champions opened the scoring in the 16th minute courtesy of an own goal from Ezequiel Munoz before Paulo Dybala continued his impressive goal scoring form by doubling the lead just one minute later.

It was 3-0 shortly before the half-time break with Mario Mandzukic netting his first goal in over 10 weeks in stunning fashion, curling around the keeper from the left-edge of the 18-yard-box.

Leonardo Bonucci looked to have made it four in the 52nd-minute, however the goal was disallowed due to a perceived foul on the Rossoblu’s defence. However just 12 minutes later, the centre back took matters into his own hands by taking the ball from behind the halfway line, beating the defence and looping a shot over the keeper to complete a stunning solo goal.

Despite hitting the woodwork on three occasions, the Bianconeri were unable to extend the lead, finishing as comfortable 4-0 winners.

Monday night’s match between Pescara and Roma finished off week 33 of Serie A, with the Giallorossi cruising to victory against the league’s bottom ranked team.

Luciano Spalletti’s men scored twice in the final two minutes of the first-half through Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan to provide a comfortable half-time buffer. Mohamed Salah continued where they left off just three minutes into the second-half, before the Egyptian completed a brace another 12 minutes later, with Stephan El Shaarawy providing a hat-trick of assists.

The win allowed Roma to move a further two points clear of third-placed Napoli, tightening their grip on a second placed finish.

Meanwhile, Atalanta increased the gap over AC Milan to five points, with Europa League qualification looking all but confirmed, while Fiorentina moved to within a point of Inter, who sit precariously in seventh place.

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