Inter and Milan pick up slender wins, Roma succumbs 2-0 to Fiorentina

Sandro Tonali celebrates after equalizing for Milan

Milan maintained their slender two-point lead at the top by beating Verona 3-1 in Matchday 36 of Serie A. The second-placed Inter rallied from two goals behind to emerge victorious against Empoli with the final scoreline reading 4-2 as the 2021-22 season nears its end. 

Inter 4-2 Empoli

Andrea Pinamonti silenced the San Siro crowd by giving Empoli the lead in the 5th minute after sliding his legs forward to connect a low cross from the right flank and Kristjan Aslani controlled a lobbed pass nicely to fire it past the ‘keeper as Inter’s spirits dampened further in the 28th minute.

Trying to clear a cross, Simone Romagnoli ended up finding his own net to give the home side a sigh of relief and Lautaro Martinez restored parity for Inter by powering the ball with the outside of his weaker foot at the stroke of half-time.

Twenty minutes after the resumption of play, Lautaro Martinez made the most of a mistimed clearance to slam the ball home and give Inter the lead for the first time. Edin Dzeko struck the crossbar later but found himself amongst the assist-makers by passing the ball towards Alexis Sanchez in the dying embers, who made no mistake in thumping the roof of the net.  

Genoa 2-1 Juventus

Domenico Criscito scores the winning penalty for Genoa against Juventus

Domenico Criscito scores the winning penalty for Genoa against Juventus

Fighting for their survival, 19th placed Genoa beat Juventus for the first time in the last three years as Domenico Criscito’s last-minute penalty turned out to be the difference. Earlier in the game, Paulo Dybala gave the away side the lead in the 48th minute by thundering his shot into the bottom corner from outside the box. 

Dybala struck the woodwork moments later but Genoa equalized in the 87th minute through Albert Gudmundsson after the 24-year-old placed the ball perfectly into the far post. Mattia de Sciglio tripped Kelvin Yeboah inside the box in the final minutes as Criscito made no mistake in completing Genoa’s comeback. 

Torino 0-1 Napoli

Lorenzo Insigne missed a penalty for Napoli but Fabian Ruiz ensured the Azzurri got their goal in the 73rd minute after piercing the ball through the legs of the ‘keeper. Napoli remains third on the table with 73 points and with the gap against Juventus widening, it is likely that they will finish the league third.

Sassuolo 1-1 Udinese

Giacomo Raspadori dribbled past three defenders inside the box to pass the ball towards Gianluca Scamaco, who prodded the ball in as Sassuolo drew first blood in the 6th minute. The ‘keeper dived full-stretched to save a shot from outside the box but Bram Nuytinck pounced on the rebound to equalize for Udinese in the 77th minute.  

Lazio 2-0 Sampdoria

Patric got a free header off a free-kick in the 41st minute and the Spaniard made the most of it by nodding the ball home. Blessed with his nimble footwork, Luis Alberto rounded off the ‘keeper to come up with a classy finish in the 59th minute as Lazio won the contest 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico. 

Spezia 1-3 Atalanta

Luis Muriel dribbled past a defender inside the box to find some space and nestled the ball into the bottom corner as Atalanta bagged the lead in the 16th minute. However, the joy was short-lived as Daniele Verde beat the offside trap and banged the ball into the far post to equalize for Spezia in the 30th minute. 

Atalanta found themselves up front again in the 73rd minute as Berat Djimsiti connected a headed pass with his forehead from six yards out. Mario Pasalic scored the insurance goal for La Dea as the ball ricocheted into the net after hitting the inside of the woodwork. 

Venezia 4-3 Bologna

Anything less than a victory would have relegated Venezia to the Serie B and the home side reacted to the urgency well by taking the lead in the 6th minute through Thomas Henry after the Frenchman found himself at the end of a goal kick and chipped it past the onrushing rival ‘keeper. 

The ‘keeper saved Sofian Kiyine’s penalty attempt in the 19th minute but was helpless as he saw the rebound trickled into the net. Bologna pulled one back in the dying embers of the first half through Riccardo Orsolini’s free header and the away side completed the comeback in the 55th minute after Marko Arnautovic poked the ball into the empty net. 

Jerdy Schouten tiptoed his way past two defenders and buried the ball into the top corner to put Bologna in the ascendancy in the 68th minute. Venezia equalized in the 78th minute through Mattia Aramu’s spot-kick before Dennis Johnsen scored the winning goal in the third minute of added time. 

Salernitana 1-1 Cagliari

Salernitana and Cagliari shared the spoils in a relegation six-pointer clash that saw both teams get reduced to ten men. Simone Verdi scored the opening goal in the 68th minute through a penalty before the referee brandished a red card to both Salernitana’s Franck Ribery and Cagliari’s Boris Radunovic a minute later. 

Just when it seemed that the home side would walk away with a victory, Giorgio Altare thumped the ball into the net off a corner kick to ensure Cagliari didn’t return home empty-handed. 

Verona 1-3 Milan

Alessandro Florenzi celebrates after scoring the insurance goal for Milan

Alessandro Florenzi celebrates after scoring the insurance goal for Milan

Davide Faraoni connected Darko Lazovic’s cut-back cross in the 38th minute to hand Verona the lead before Sandro Tonali restored parity for Milan at the stroke of half-time by slamming Rafael Leao’s square pass across the face of the goal.

The duo combined nicely four minutes after the second half as Tonali was at the right place at the right time to tap in Leao’s low cross after the Portuguese dazzled his way through the left flank. With no one closing him down, Alessandro Florenzi muscled his shot into the far top corner to score the insurance goal for Milan in the 86th minute as the Rossoneri took a mighty step forward in winning the Scudetto. 

Fiorentina 2-0 Roma

Fiorentina took an early lead after Nicolas Gonzalez converted his penalty in the fifth minute and Giacomo Bonaventura piled further pressure on the away side six minutes later by swinging the ball in the air to find the roof of the net from a tight angle. Fiorentina is level on points with Roma and Atalanta as the fight for the final European spot on offer is heating up.