Serie A: AC Milan falls again, Napoli and Lazio roll
AC Milan’s nosedive has been nothing but painful, and it continued again this weekend as Fiorentina downed them at home 3-1 behind an early Erick Pulgar penalty and a second half strike by Gaetano Castrovilli. Milan, already down 1-0, fell behind a man when Mateo Musacchio was sent off early second half when he went in studs up over the ball on Franck Ribery. The incident was initially deemed a yellow card but was upgraded to a red, dooming AC Milan to its fate. Ribery scored to make it 3-0 in the 78th minute before AC Milan bagged a consolation goal two minutes later through Rafael Leao to finish the scoreline.
Marco Giampaolo’s seat warmed even further with the club’s fourth loss in their last six games, dropping to 16th in the table. They out-passed Fiorentina 500-300 and still just managed two shots on target to Fiorentina’s six. It could have been even worse as Federico Chiesa missed a penalty that would have put them 3-0 up, but the defeat still stings for a club in regression.
Napoli skated passed Brescia 2-1 despite Mario Balotelli’s consolation goal with his daughter in attendance. Dries Mertens and Kostas Manolas scored in the first half, the latter in first-half stoppage time, and the home side held on thanks to a VAR review that chalked off a long-range rocket from young Sandro Tonali for a foul in the buildup. The win moved Napoli into fourth one point back of Atalanta, four points behind Juventus and six back of leaders Inter.
Lazio obliterated Genoa at home 4-0 in a comprehensive performance backed by four different goalscorers. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic started things off seven minutes in on a curler from the top of the box, and Stefan Radu made it 2-0 before halftime with a quality left-footed strike from a tough angle. Felipe Caciedo added a third on the hour mark one the break, and Ciro Immobile rounded out the scoring also on the counter 12 minutes from time. Lazio moved to sixth, level with Cagliari on 10 points but above on goal differential.
Edin Dzeko gave Roma a 1-0 road win over Lecce to keep them in 5th in the table. He struck on 56 minutes with a header at the far post to push the visitors through, despite finishing level with the newly-promoted side on shots on target, each with six. Roma fouled Lecce players 20 times during the sloppy match, but Paulo Fonesca’s club pulled out the clean sheet victory.
Stefano Okaka scored just before the half-hour mark and Udinese beat 10-man Lazio 1-0 to pull out of the relegation zone. The goal is the Italian international’s first of the season, and moved them to six points on the year in a crowded bottom half of the table six matches in. Roberto Soriano saw red six minutes into second-half stoppage time for a second yellow card, ending the threat.
Calgiari and Hellas Verona drew 1-1 on goals from Lucas Castro and Davide Faraoni. The goal for Castro is his second in two games, coming after his winner over Napoli last time out.