With the Christmas break over, the Serie A was back in full swing with another exciting weekend of action throughout the country.
Roma opened the round in an entertaining, hard fought contest at the Olimpico as they saw off Torino to continue their mini-revival.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli were forced into battle in their opening game of 2019 when Lazio came to town in a contest which saw the home side escape with a 2-1 win.
The under-pressure Milan were tested by a dogged Genoa as two second half goals were enough for the Rossoneri to climb back in the top four.
Meanwhile, Juventus defeated Chievo with relative ease in a top vs bottom clash in Turin and Inter were held by Sassuolo at home.
Roma fight off stubborn Torino as they continue to turn season around
It was only a few weeks ago when the future of Eusebio Di Francesco was being weighed up after Roma continued to fall down the table.
However, after three wins from four games, Roma are suddenly back in the hunt for the Champions League places as they look to revive their season.
The promising form of youngster Nicolo Zaniolo has been a major part of their turnaround as he got on the score-sheet once again.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Roman outfit after Torino fought back from two goals down to tie it in the second-half before Stephan El Sharaawy’s inspired cameo off the bench led his side to another important win. Even though the Giallorossi are not playing at their brilliant best which we saw get them to a Champions League semi-final last season – the mix of their best XI is starting to come to the fore.
With Edin Dzeko now back and forming a nice partnership with El Sharaawy, Zaniolo, Kluivert and substitute Patrick Schick – Roma are beginning to find their groove heading into an important part of the season.
Napoli show resilience in important victory over European contender
In the game of the week, Napoli continued to keep up the pressure on league leaders Juventus with a tough victory over Lazio at home.
Early goals from Jose Callejon and Arkadiusz Milik got Carlo Ancelotti’s men off to the perfect start as they heaped the pressure on the Biancocelesti from the onset.
But Lazio have been prone to dominate with their fluid movement in attack, setting up opportunities which they have failed to capitalise.
Ciro Immobile, this time, was called upon to pull one back and it appeared Lazio were closing in on clinching a point before Francesco Acerbi was sent-off late, sealing the win for the Azzurri.
The win for Napoli is timely as they need to try keep up with the reigning champions who are still undefeated.
However, the gap is still at nine points and until someone can actually defeat the Bianconeri, it seems like Ancelotti’s men will be falling short once again.
While Lazio exit the top four, they have a chance at a major scalp when they host Juventus next week.
Whereas Napoli play Milan in what is sure to be a highly emotional match as Ancelotti returns to Milan for the first time against the Rossoneri in Serie A since his departure in 2009.
Post-Higuain Milan show signs of life to begin 2019
Isn’t it amazing how things change in Serie A?
Milan looked dead and buried after an uninspiring performance against Frosinone a few weeks ago and Gennaro Gattuso’s position at Milan hung by a thread.
But after wins against SPAL and Sampdoria on the road in the Coppa and an unlucky defeat to Juventus in the Suppercoppa – things are starting to turn around. This was further exacerbated in a scrappy victory over Genoa at the Massari overnight. They were tested with a plethora of suspensions and an early injury to Cristian Zapata along with outgoing, Gonzalo Higuain refusing to play in light of his proposed move to Chelsea.
Milan showed resiliency as they faced an early barrage of chances with Gianluigi Donnarumma making a range of unbelievable saves to keep his side in the game. Fabio Borini and Suso both scored timely goals in the second-stanza as they fought over the line and in the process, sealing a spot in the top four.
In even better news for the Rossoneri, Lucas Paqueta was brilliant in his Serie A debut which was capped off with an unbelievable rainbow flick and Andrea Conti continuing his superb return from injury with another assist.