Another thrilling round of Serie A action saw Inter retain their hold at the top of the table, Juventus maintain pressure with a late win and Milan return to winning ways.

The run up to the weekend’s games was focused around the Champions League, where a heavily rotated Nerazzurri drew Benfica and a Milan under pressure fell to Borussia Dortmund in painful fashion. Whilst the former have already qualified for the Round of 16, the latter now seem set to crash out at the first hurdle.

For Juventus, it was a more relaxing week, with their lack of European competition allowing them to place full focus on their opponents Monza.  Inter travelled south to face defending champions Napoli whilst Milan hosted a positive Frosinone side who clearly posed a threat.

So, what did the 14th round of Serie A action hold?

Napoli 0-3 Inter – The charge continues

Simone Inzaghi clearly had an eye on Walter Mazzarri’s side when lining up his Inter for their Champions League clash with Benfica, and the move paid off, especially as the team have already qualified for the Round of 16.

A full strength Nerazzurri looked fit and hungry at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, making their chances count with three impressive goals from Hakan Calhanoglu, Nicolo Barella and Marcus Thuram.

Whilst Inter took less shots than Napoli, 11 to 15, their chances were far more potent, producing an xG of 2.69 to 0.57. Inzaghi’s side never fully controlled proceedings in Campania, but their ability to burst into life allowed them to be decisive when it mattered, a sign of a Scudetto winning squad.

Monza 1-2 Juventus – Until the end

Considering their more relaxed week, Juventus did not look particularly full of life at the Stadio Brinteo, allowing the home side to sit in the driving seat for the majority of the match. The Biancorossi proved problematic last term and Massimiliano Allegri was not keen to take risks.

Juventus took an early lead against Monza through Adrien Rabiot, whose 12th minute strike allowed the Old Lady to sit back and try to protect their lead. Allegri’s side have not been majorly enjoyable to watch this term but their insistence on victory is something to marvel at.

The plan almost came back to bite Juventus in the 92nd minute when Valentin Carboni found a late equaliser, but the away side didn’t settle for a draw and a last-second Federico Gatti goal allowed them run home to Turin with all three points. Their resilience and ability to carve out wins could prove decisive in the title race this season.

Milan 3-1 Frosinone – Finally a sigh of relief

Coming into the match, Milan had only won two of their prior eight outings across Serie A and the Champions League. Storm clouds were quickly starting to gather over Milanello, and many were beginning to question Stefano Pioli’s position as head coach, believing a change may be needed.

The Rossoneri responded in the only way that matters. Whilst a home win over Frosinone isn’t the most impressive result on paper, the newly promoted side have shown themselves to be ambitious and willing to fight this term, making them scary opponents for a team under pressure.

A first Milan goal for Luka Jovic and second half strikes from Christian Pulisic and Fikayo Tomori allowed smiles to return around San Siro, reminding the fans that everything isn’t all doom and gloom after all. It’s not enough to consider the choppy waters navigated, however, so a good showing against Atalanta is needed to start turning this ship around.

Words: @ApolloHeyes

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