Serie A: Lazio rescues Milan draw, Napoli held, Empoli wins late
Napoli and Lazio both took the field on Sunday hoping to entrench themselves in a top four position, but came away with disappointing draws. Napoli was held off the scoreboard, while Lazio needed a stoppage time goal just to earn the lone point.
It was especially disappointing for Napoli, who hosted basement-dwellers Chievo Verona and failed to find the scoresheet. Napoli ripped off 21 total shots, including eight on net, but could not find an opener. Lorenzo Insigne missed a huge opportunity just minutes after halftime as he ripped wide on a turn-and-shoot behind the defense. It looked like Insigne expected the offside flag to go up, but it correctly never did. With ticks left on the clock, Amadou Diawara attempted an audacious overhead kick and nearly won it in spectacular fashion, but his was just wide right.
Lazio found the back of the net, but it took 94 minutes to do so as they drew 1-1 with AC Milan. It was quite a cheap goal for Milan to concede, as Lazio lumped the ball forward, and while Christian Zapata cleared the initial ball with his head, it wasn’t nearly far enough, and it fell to Joaquin Correa who flicked it up in the air and then volleyed a speculative effort on net that squeaked past Gianluigi Donnarumma. That canceled out Franck Kessie’s opener that had come in the 78th minute, a deflected effort that banged hard off the tucked arm of Lazio defender Wallace. The draw leaves Lazio in fourth, unable to extend their one-point above fifth-place Milan.
Empoli picked up a huge three points by downing 10-man Atalanta 3-2 with a goal from Matias Silvestre in the 92nd minute. The 34-year-old Argentinian headed in off a corner for a huge victory, moving Empoli out of the relegation zone and into 17th position with 12 points. Serbian midfielder Josip Ilicic had been stupidly sent off in the 84th minute, earning a yellow card for a tackle in transition, and then immediately sent off for dissent. That left Empoli to go for the win in the dying minutes with the game level at 2-2.
Parma moved into 6th in the table with a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo. All three goals were scored in the first half, with Parma going two-up on a 25th minute winner from 36-year-old Portuguese defender Bruno Alves, the first Parma goal for Alves who joined this summer on a free transfer from Rangers. It’s the fourth one-goal victory for Parma this season, jumping a point above Roma in the league table.
Elsewhere, Genoa and Sampdoria drew 1-1 after early goals from Krzystof Piatek and Fabio Quagliarella cancelled out. Fiorentina popped off 19 shots on a visit to Bologna, but only managed five of those on target as they drew 0-0.