Five Serie A developments you may have missed
Napoli stamped their authority on the Serie A title race with a 4-1 thumping of Lazio to maintain their one-point lead on champions Juventus who beat Fiorentina 2-0.
Inter Milan got their first win in two months, 2-1 over Bologna, to return to the podium, ahead of Roma who beat Benevento 5-2, with Lazio dropping to fifth.
Here are five things you may have missed from the 24th round of Serie A matches:
‘Mask Off’ as Karamoh steals show
“Great effort, no one said it was easy. Congratulations my brother,” tweeted Inter midfielder Rafinha after Yann Karamoh, 19, scored on his Serie A debut, to get Inter back to winning after two months. The victory was greeted with relief in the San Siro with the Ivorian-born French player celebrating his goal by covering his face in his hand, a special dedication to his younger brother, who he said shares his love of the song ‘Mask Off’ by American rapper Future.
“This is the most important goal of my career,” said Karamoh who joined Inter from French club Caen last August. “It’s my first goal in Italy, it arrived during a delicate time for the team and I hadn’t played for a while.”
Totti still pulling Roma strings
Roma legend Francesco Totti may have hung up his jersey but coach Eusebio Di Francesco revealed the former captain is still an important figure in the locker room.
“He’s a great resource, maybe not very showy, but very important, he gives me the scents and moods of the dressing room, which for me are not always easy to grasp,” said Di Francesco after a 5-2 success over Benevento gave Roma their 800th victory at their Stadio Olimpico and put the capital side back in the Champions League places.
Cutrone on Mbappe’s heels
Milan striker Patrick Cutrone’s 12 goals this season are second only among Europe’s Under-20 players behind Paris Saint-Germain’s teenager star Kylian Mbappe.
The Italian forward scored twice against SPAL, bringing his tally to 12 this season in all competitions – five in Serie A, five in the Europa League and two in Italian Cup.
French international Mbappe, on loan at PSG with an obligation to buy for 180 million euros in the summer, has 15 in all competitions for the French club.
Ghoulam tribute by Napoli
Napoli showed their support for Algerian teammate Faouzi Ghoulam, whose season looks over after he fractured his kneecap in training just ahead of his return from a cruciate liagement injury, as the entire team lining out before kick-off wearing the Algerian’s number 31 jersey.
“There was a lot of tension in the first half, because Ghoulam’s injury struck all of us,” said coach Maurizio Sarri. “It really affected morale. (Vlad) Chiriches got hurt too, so it’s been a very difficult couple of days, emotionally.”
Coach Maurizio Sarri marked his 100th Serie A game in charge of Napoli against Lazio. In his third season in charge, the 59-ear-old Naples-born coach has recorded 71 league wins, 18 draws and 11 defeats. He didn’t finish the game on the sidelines after being banished just before half-time for berating the officials over a challenge by Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
“In the second half, we started to play the right way and things opened up for us,” he said. “I was lucky to watch the second half from the stands, I enjoyed it.”
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