For anyone still unconvinced about the quality and excitement of Italy’s Serie A, this was the weekend to be converted.
With red cards, dramatic late goals and some surprising results thrown up, the competitiveness in Italy seems to be at its peak. Except for the title race, of course.
Here are a few things you may have missed from an enthralling weekend of Italian football.
Fabio Quagliarella Takes the Lead in
Two Sent Off as Bologna Edge Thriller in Turin
After a sixth minute own goal from Erick Pulgar, the visitors stormed into a 3-1 lead as Andrea Poli, Pulgar and Riccardo Orsolini all netted. Lyanco was dismissed for two cautionable offences in the 88th minute, with Armando Izzo pulling one back a minute later before Ola Aina was given his marching orders in injury time.
Claudio Ranieri Suffers First Loss of Second Roma Stint
Judging off his recent spell at Fulham, it would appear the magic surrounding Ranieri during the 2015/16 season has pretty much dissipated. After starting his second era at Roma with a victory, that familiar losing feeling came calling again on Saturday against SPAL.
I Giallorossi are undoubtedly underachieving this season and failed to deliver again as goals from Mohamed Fares and Andrea Petagna condemned the visitors to a 2-1 defeat.
Champions League qualification looks a tough proposition now, with Milan and Inter both looking strong ahead of the run in, and a return to the Europa League seems increasingly likely for Roma.
Empoli Ease Relegation Fears With Much Needed Frosinone Victory
Empoli have the third most losses in Serie A this season with 15 but two wins and a draw from their last five have helped them draw a point clear of the drop zone.
Their latest victory came against Frosinone, themselves heavily tipped to go down, and a solid first half performance in which Gli Azzurri scored twice through Francesco Caputo and Marko Pajac ensured they scraped past Marco Baroni’s side, despite Luca Valzania’s 70th minute goal.
However, Empoli face Juventus, Napoli and Udinese in their next three games in a crucial run of fixtures. Some big performances needed there.
Lazio Blitz Parma Thanks to Incredible First Half Performance
Given the mercurial talent present in their side, Lazio should be doing a lot better than their position of seventh suggests. But considering their natural inconsistency, perhaps it’s not too perplexing.
However, there were no signs of any cobwebs on Sunday as I