Palermo 3-1 Napoli:
Palermo picked up a convincing victory against Napoli at home. Goals from Achraf Lazaar and Franco Vasquez put I Rosanero in front in the first half, while Luca Rigoni scored in the second half to seal the deal. Napoli scored a late consolation goal through Manolo Gabbiadini, but it was too little too late for the Neapolitans.
After getting demoted from Serie A to Serie B two years ago, the Sicilians have mounted a quick resurgence by returning to Serie A and challenging for European spots. Led by young Argentinian starlet Paulo Dybala, the club has exceeded all expectations for the season. Meanwhile, Napoli have had a moderately-successful season despite being out of the title race. They are in the lead for securing the third and last Champions League spot for next season, which is undoubtedly a crucial goal for them.
Palermo opened the game with a goal in the first half through a 45-yard shot from Lazaar, who, despite a spectacular effort, managed to score off poor goalkeeping from Rafael. Rafael seemed slow to react and couldn’t stop the shot. Palermo then doubled their lead in through Vazquez, who received a set pass from Dybala and curled the ball into the back of the net. In the second half, Palermo would finish the game off through a Rigoni header. Paulo Dybala found some space on the wing to cross a ball into Rigoni, who scored on an open net. Napoli managed to score one late after Gabbiadini capitalized off of an Inter free kick and back-heeled it into the net.
Atalanta 1-4 Inter Milan:
Inter Milan smashed 10-man Atalanta away from home to pick up two consecutive wins. Goals from Xherdan Shaqiri and Atalanta’s Maximiliano Moralez put things level early in the first half while Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin gave Inter the lead before the half ended. Further goals from Guarin and Palacio secured Inter the win.
With many changes made during the January transfer window, Inter have looked to rejuvenate their squad after a poor first half of the season. After hiring Mancini as coach, they added German forward Lukas Podolski and Bayern midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, and sold controversial striker Pablo Osvaldo. Meanwhile, Atalanta have been a consistent mid-table club in Serie A for a while, but they have struggled somewhat this season. They are currently fighting to prevent demotion and are just above a bottom three spot.
Inter scored in the first few minutes off of a Shaqiri penalty. Guarin was brought down in the box by Atalanta, and Shaqiri converted at the line despite goalkeeper Marco Sportiello getting a hand to it. Atalanta equalized later in the first half after an exchange from Pinilla and Moralez led to a Moralez goal. Despite an equalizer, Inter responded through a great solo display by Fredy Guarin. The Colombian midfielder dribbled past multiple Atalanta defenders and curled the ball into the back of the net. Atalanta lost all hope of a comeback after they went down to 10 men when Benalouane picked up a second yellow. Inter capitalized on this when Guarin scored another curling shot from outside the box to all but secure the win. Palacio added one late to add insult to injury on Atalanta.