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5 interesting facts and stats from matchday 28

DID YOU KNOW: 5 interesting facts and stats from matchday 29 in Serie A

April 3, 2017 By Michelle Bonsu
Napoli's Marek Hamsik nears a club record, whilst Sassuolo establish an unwanted precedent and Edin Dzeko continues to star for Roma. takes a look at the happenings across Italy from this weekend.

After a pause for the international hiatus, calcio fans finally got to see their favorite Italian sides in action over the past weekend. Round 29 is not over just yet, as Inter take on Sampdoria in a must-win game for the Nerazzurri later today, but there were still plenty of talking points from the games that took place on Saturday and Sunday.

Let's have a look at some of them.

1. Not a good day for Chievo...but perhaps some hope for Crotone

Earlier in the season, Chievo set a rather unwanted precedent: the Flying Donkeys became the first team to lose to debutants Crotone on matchday 11. They were also the first side to fail to score against the Squali. Flash-forward to this past Sunday and it was Chievo this time welcoming Crotone.

Davide Nicola's side earned a well-deserved 2-1 win, which marks their first ever away victory in Serie A. And that means that Chievo are the only side to have lost both home and away to Crotone this season. The Squali are still in 18th spot, but now have closed the gap on Empoli to five points. With nine rounds to go, there just may be hope for them after all.

2. A night to forget for Gonzalo Higuain

Napoli vs. Juventus was bound to be a tough game. Especially for ex-striker Gonzalo Higuain, who was making his first ever return to the Stadio San Paolo since moving up north to the Bianconeri. It goes without saying that Partenopei fans were not impressed, and they made their feelings known throughout the game.

Perhaps the pressure got to the Argentinian attacker, as he failed to make much of an impact. In fact, he made no impact whatsoever, as this stat points out:


3. The most "creative" player in the league is...

Well, according to stats, it's Chievo's Valter Birsa. At least when it comes to set play situations. The Slovenian is not exactly a household name for calcio fans, but he is certainly no stranger to Serie A. Prior to joining his present club, the 30-year-old featured for Genoa, Torino, and AC Milan.

Chievo have not really impressed this season, but Birsa has arguably been one of their best players. So far, he has created 31 opportunities from set play situations, which is more than any other player in the league.

Valter Birsa (right) celebrates a goal for Chievo. The 30-year-old Slovenian has been one of the few shining lights for the Flying Donkeys this season

4. A day to celebrate for Atalanta...

Atalanta have truly had a very excellent campaign. La Dea have more than surpassed expectations and are looking good to possibly seal a spot in the Europa League for next term. They have had their set-backs, namely a 7-1 humiliation at the hands of Inter last month, but Gian Piero Gasperini's young side have recovered quite well to get back on track.

This past weekend, they cruised to a very comfortably 5-0 win over a Genoa side that have truly lost their way. And in doing so, they set an impressive milestone:

5. ...but one to forget for Sassuolo

Meanwhile, as this season continues to be a good one for Atalanta, who struggled last term, it appears that the tides have turned for Sassuolo. The Neroverdi made their Serie A debut in 2013, and along the way, have manged to shock all of Italy's big sides in one way or another. Eusebio Di Francesco's men even beat Milan to a spot in the Europa League by finishing sixth, but unlike Leicester City, who have done well in continental competition, Sassuolo quickly ran out of steam.

Their home ground was once a place where bigger teams ran into trouble. Juventus lost at the MAPEI Stadium in October, whilst Massimiliano Allegri saw his Milan career come to an end after the Rossoneri lost 4-3 in January 2014. Not so much this season, and this past weekend, Lazio became the latest side to travel to Sassuolo's home ground and leave with all three points.

Unfortunately, that defeat means that:

How the race for the Capocannoniere is shaping up...

It's a close race between Andrea Belotti and Edin Dzeko, as both were on target for Torino and Roma respectively this weekend. However, don't discount Inter's Mauro Icardi, Napoli's Dries Mertens or Juventus ace Gonzalo Higuain. There are still plenty of rounds left to go and anything can happen between now and May.

Assist Kings

You can not have goals without assists, and here is how the key assist-providers stack up. Mauro Icardi's 8 assists plus his 23 goals mean that he is directly involved in 31 of Inter's 55 this term, whilst Marek Hamsik has contributed to 19 of Napoli's total haul of 69 (11 goals, eight assists).

Serie A Matchday 29 rankings: Napoli halt Juventus (somewhat) whilst Roma still are not throwing in the towel and Milan suffer setback in race for European football

Here's how things are shaping up in Serie A after 29 rounds...will there be more changes after matchday 30 this coming weekend?


1 Juventus 26 20 3 3 50 24 +26 63 WWWLW
2 Lazio 26 19 5 2 60 23 +37 62 WWWWD
3 Internazionale 25 16 6 3 49 24 +25 54 LLWWD
4 Atalanta 25 14 6 5 70 34 +36 48 WWWDW
5 Roma 26 13 6 7 51 35 +16 45 WWLLL
6 Napoli 26 11 6 9 41 36 +5 39 WWWLW
7 Milan 26 10 6 10 28 34 -6 36 LDWLD
8 Hellas Verona 25 9 8 8 29 26 +3 35 LDWDD
9 Parma 25 10 5 10 32 31 +1 35 LWLDW
10 Bologna 26 9 7 10 38 42 -4 34 LDLWW
11 Sassuolo 25 9 5 11 41 39 +2 32 WLWWD
12 Cagliari 25 8 8 9 41 40 +1 32 LLLDD
13 Fiorentina 26 7 9 10 32 36 -4 30 DDWLL
14 Udinese 26 7 7 12 21 37 -16 28 DDDDL
15 Torino 25 8 3 14 28 45 -17 27 LLLLL
16 Sampdoria 25 7 5 13 28 44 -16 26 WLWLD
17 Genoa 26 6 7 13 31 47 -16 25 WLWWD
18 Lecce 26 6 7 13 34 56 -22 25 LLWWW
19 SPAL 26 5 3 18 20 44 -24 18 WLLLL
20 Brescia 26 4 4 18 22 49 -27 16 LLLDL
Champions League (Group Stage)
Europa League (Group Stage)
Europa League (Qualification)
Relegation - Serie B

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