Domenico Berardi is the first player in the history of Serie A to put four goals past Milan in a single encounter. On Berardi’s unforgettable evening he was aged 19 years five months and 11 days, the youngest four-goal hero since Silvio Piola aged 18 years and 23 days for Pro Vercelli against Alessandria on November 22 1931. The only other striker under 20 to net a poker in Serie A over the last 15 years was Mauro Icardi for Sampdoria, aged 19 years 11 months and eight days. The Sassuolo striker now has 11 goals in 14 top flight appearances.
The Rossoneri have fumbled 17 points this season from leading situations, but the last time they lost in the League from 2-0 up was a 3-2 defeat to Udinese on January 27 2002. Milan have won only one of their nine Serie A games with Mario Balotelli and Kaka starting together. Massimiliano Allegri’s men beat only bottom of the table Catania in their 10 away tests this term, drawing four and losing the other five. The last time they conceded four on their League travels was a 4-2 result at Roma on December 22 2012.
Milan reach the midway point of the season having failed to beat any of the newly-promoted sides. They lost 2-1 at Verona, drew 2-2 with Livorno and were defeated 4-3 by Sassuolo.
Massimiliano Allegri was the second most successful Coach in the Berlusconi era, winning 55.6 per cent of his Serie A games. Only Carlo Ancelotti did better with 57.6 per cent, while third-placed Fabio Capello and Leonardo both won 52.6 per cent. On the bench for three and a half seasons, he was also the longest-standing Rossoneri tactician since Ancelotti’s eight and a half campaigns. Allegri lost seven League matches this season, whereas he suffered only four defeats throughout his entire debut 2010-11 term.
Sassuolo had picked up just one point from their previous five games, failing to score in four, since the 2-0 victory over Atalanta on November 24. They last netted four on home turf in a 4-0 Serie B drubbing of Varese on October 14 2012.
Juventus set a new club record, having never previously won 11 top flight ties on the trot. They equal Luciano Spalletti’s Roma, who got 11 in 2005-06, but Roberto Mancini’s Inter earned 17 consecutive victories in 2006-07.
Antonio Conte’s men have 52 points after 19 rounds, matching the club record set by Fabio Capello in 2005-06. The Turin giants scored in each of the last 32 rounds for a total 67 goals. Cagliari had been unbeaten in seven rounds, including two victories, but their Bianconeri curse continued, failing to beat Juve home or away in the last five seasons.
Lorenzo Insigne became the first Italian to find the net for Napoli in Serie A this season. The Partenopei stretched their positive streak to four wins and two stalemates. Verona suffered only their second home defeat of the campaign after Chievo won the local derby and had picked up 10 points from the last four games. Napoli haven’t lost in Verona between Serie A and B since a 2-1 result in 2001, earning two victories and as many draws.
Even with this setback, Hellas Verona reach the midway stage of the season with 32 points – second only to the Scudetto-winning side of 1984-85. Osvaldo Bagnoli’s men had 30 points (translating three for a win) after 15 rounds, an average of two points per game.
Mehdi Benatia and Yuto Nagatomo are the most prolific defenders in the top five European Leagues this term with five, on a par with Everton’s Seamus Coleman. Genoa did not have a single attempt on goal, the first time a Serie A match has seen this since Chievo against Milan in April 2005. The Grifone have lost their last eight consecutive trips to the Stadio Olimpico and earned only two draws in 12 attempts since winning here 1-0 in 1990. In 219 Serie A games Francelino Matuzalem has scored 10 goals and received nine red cards.
Roma and Juventus remain the only sides unbeaten at home this season.
Before Sampdoria-Udinese, the last Serie A game to have three double yellow cards was Sampdoria-Piacenza in October 1997. Eder has netted five in his last five appearances, but Daniele Gastaldello hadn’t scored since Sampdoria 2-1 Siena on September 2 2012.
Chievo had lost their previous seven consecutive visits to Inter before this stalemate. Their only victory here was the first in 2001, followed by three draws and nine defeats. Both clubs have not received a spot-kick this season. The Nerazzurri had 70.4 per cent possession against the Flying Donkeys, their highest Serie A figure since May 2010, but it didn’t get them more than a point.
Not since 2000-01 had the two San Siro clubs put together so few combined points at the halfway stage of the season.
Parma had not been awarded a Serie A penalty since December 2012, going 391 days without a spot-kick. This was the Ducali’s first ever victory in Livorno in all competition after seven draws and as many losses. The last time Amauri scored in back-to-back top flight matches was in October 2012 and his career tally is now 79. Livorno have one point from the last eight rounds, a 2-2 draw with Milan. Gabriel Paletta marked his 100th Serie A appearance.
Torino extended their unbeaten home run to three wins and three draws, but failed to get a fourth consecutive victory here. Home and away, Toro scraped only three draws in their last 11 encounters with Fiorentina. The Viola haven’t conceded a goal in 527 minutes of football between Serie A and the Europa League. This was only their second 0-0 of the campaign after a draw at Lazio.
Lazio, Cagliari and Catania are the only sides without an away victory in Serie A this season. Bologna managed one victory in the last nine games, along with four draws and four losses. Davide Ballardini starts his Bologna career with a 0-0 draw at the Dall’Ara, while his last game was an identical result in the same stadium on the Genoa bench on May 19 2013.
Atalanta terminated their winless streak after two points from six rounds. Catania conceded in all of their last 13 away matches, shipping a total 34 goals, and have lost all 10 this term. The Sicilians have never won a Serie A fixture in Bergamo, managing just seven draws in their 14 visits.
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