Serie A 2015-16 – Week 24 Roundup: Napoli and Juventus pull further clear in two horse title race

cuadrado dybala juventusRound 24 of Serie A action saw Napoli and Juventus pull even further clear at the top, extending the gap between second and third to eight points.

Gonzalo Higuain continued his outstanding goalscoring record this season by bagging his 24th goal in as many Serie A appearances to give league leaders Napoli a 1-0 win over Carpi. Maurizio Sarri’s side were forced to sweat it out as it took them 69 minutes to break the deadlock, with their goal eventually coming through a penalty from the runaway capocannoniere leader. Having expressed a desire to break Serie A’s record of 36 goals in a single season, El Pipita appears to be on track to rewrite the history books, with 14 rounds of fixtures to be played.

Juventus continued their phenomenal run of form by brushing Frosinone aside as they claimed a 2-0 win at the Stadio Matusa, making it 13 consecutive wins for Massimiliano Allegri’s men. Though they left it late, with Juan Cuadrado and Paulo Dybala both scoring in the game’s final 20 minutes, the Old Lady were the only side who really looked like winning, as they bombarded Nicola Leali’s goal throughout the game.

Third-placed Fiorentina lost further ground on the Bianconeri as they were held 1-1 against Bologna. After a quiet first half, the second half started in lively fashion as Matias Fernandez was dismissed twelve minutes after the restart, having collected two yellow cards since the break. Federico Bernardeschi then gave La Viola the lead just a couple of moments later, only for Emanuele Giaccherini to level the scores within five minutes, with what would be the game’s final goal.

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Following on from their first win of the season in midweek, Hellas Verona played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Inter, who continue to fall away from the table’s summit. Breaking from their usual solidity, the Biscione have now conceded three times in two of their last three outings, having fallen to a 3-0 defeat in the recent Derby della Madonnina. Jeison Murillo gave Roberto Mancini’s side the lead early on, only to see Filip Helander and Eros Pisano put the Mastini ahead with just 16 minutes on the clock. Artur Ionita extended Verona’s lead after the break to put the hosts within touching distance of a win. However, Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic added a goal each to rescue a draw for Inter.

The Nerazzurri’s city rivals AC Milan were also held to a disappointing draw as they hosted Udinese at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Former Rossoneri full-back Pablo Armero gave the Zebrette the lead which saw them ahead at the break. Just three minutes into the second half M’Baye Niang equalised for the hosts, with neither side able to add another.

Luciano Spalletti’s Roma continued their recent resurgence with a 2-1 defeat of relegation-threatened Sampdoria. Alessandro Florenzi and Diego Perotti scored either side of the break to put the Giallorossi two goals to the good. Miralem Pjanic had the misfortune of giving the Blucerchiati a lifeline before the hour mark, but, fortunately for the Bosnian international, Vincenzo Montella’s men could not capitalise on the gift.

manolas florenzi el shaarawy roma

Sassuolo and Palermo shared the spoils at the Mapei Stadium in a 2-2 draw. Franco Vazquez and Gregoire Defrel netted for their respective sides in the first half. Simone Missiroli gave the Nervoverdi the lead early in the second, only to see Uros Djurdjevic level within three minutes. Achraf Lazaar was sent off for the visitors with 15 minutes left to play, but Eusebio Di Francesco’s side could not make the most of their numerical advantage.

Despite taking the lead at the Stadio Olimpico through Marco Benassi, Torino fell to a 2-1 defeat against Chievo. Bruno Peres scored an own goal to draw the Flying Donkeys level, allowing Valter Birsa to seal the points with a second-half penalty.

The weekend’s other two games both finished scoreless, with Lazio unable to overcome Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Saturday and Atalanta still left seeking their first win since December as they played out a stalemate with Empoli.

Forza Italian Football

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