Serie A big guns show their class

Napoli, Roma, Fiorentina and Juventus were the biggest winners in Serie A on Sunday as they all recorded comprehensive victories.

In the first match of the day, 16th placed Empoli managed to secure a narrow win over seventh-placed Sassuolo despite going a man down in the dying minutes of the encounter.

The matched remained goalless until the 88th minute when striker Massimo Maccarone guided Piotr Zielinski’s cross into the net at a corner.

However, the drama did not end there and Zielinski was shown his second yellow card just two minutes later after the referee judged him to have handled the ball.

Empoli managed to hold on a for a 1-0 win despite the Zielinski’s dismissal, and the three points will help them climb further away from the relegation zone.

Palermo’s match against Roma was the polar opposite of the opening game; with the first goal coming after just two minutes and six in total being scored.

Roma’s Miralem Pjanic opened the scoring in the second minute; burying his shot after latching onto a through ball from Alessandro Florenzi.

The Giallorossi doubled their lead 11 minutes later when Pjanic turned provider to set up Alessandro Florenzi.

They took the score to 3-0 in the 27th minute when Gervinho netted after an assist by Iago Falque, and the score remained unchanged until half time.

Palermo finally managed to pull a goal back in the 58th minute when Franco Vázquez played Alberto Gilardino through on goal and the Italy striker made no mistake with his finish.

The score stayed unchanged until the 91st minute when Giancarlo Gonzalez scored a header from a corner to make it 3-2.

However, Roma restored the two-goal lead when Gervinho claimed his second in the very next minute to ensure a 4-2 win.

Meanwhile, league leaders Inter Milan could only manage a draw against mid-table Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

After a goalless first half, Sampdoria striker Luis Muriel scored from close range in the 51st minute to hand his side the lead.

Inter leveled matters in the 76th when attacker Ivan Perisic also struck from inside the box, and the match finished without any more goals.

Udinese and Genoa also played out a 1-all draw in their clash at the Stadio Friuli, with the home side taking and then relinquishing the lead.

Antonio di Natale opened the scoring just two minutes into the second half when he fired in close range.

The hosts held the lead until the 76th minute, when Genoa’s Diego Perotti converted a penalty which had been won when Serge Gakpe was fouled in the box.

In Turin, Juventus had no trouble scoring in their Alvaro Morata-inspired, come-from-behind win against Bologna.

Anthony Mounier fired Bologna into the lead when he turned in an Adam Masina cross just five minutes into the match.

The visitors held the lead until the 33rd minute when Sami Khedira’s cross deflected to Morata, and he took the chance comfortably.

Morata played an integral role in Juve’s second goal as well; drawing a foul in the box to earn the penalty which Paulo Dybala would go on to convert.

Juve put the result beyond doubt in the 63rd minute when Morata’s cross found Khedira and the German international scored to hand his side a 3-1 win.

Lazio were able to secure their fifth win of the Serie A season despite leaving it late against newcomers Frosinone.

Balde Keita was in the right place to fire Lazio into the lead in the 80th minute when he was found in space by Filip Djordjevic.

Djordjevic then turned from provider to scorer, finishing off a counter attack in the 94th minute to seal a 2-0 win.

Atalanta went into their match against third-placed Fiorentina as underdogs, but they destroyed any hope of causing an upset just five minutes into the match.

Defender Gabriel Paletta was red carded and conceded a penalty when he fouled Jakub Blaszczykowski in the fifth minute, and Josip Ilicic converted to hand the home side a perfect start.

Fiorentina doubled the lead in the 34th minute when Federico Bernardeschi found Borja Valero in space and the midfielder took his chance with aplomb.

Despite having the three points secured, Fiorentina continued pressing and scored a third when Joan Verdú took hold of a Nikola Kalinic through ball scored to secure a 3-0 win.

The day’s most surprising result came in AC Milan’s mid-table clash with Napoli at the Giuseppe Meazza.

Napoli took the lead in the 13th minute when Italian forward Lorenzo Insigne found Allan in space and the Brazilian tucked in a neat finish.

Insigne then doubled the lead 48th minute after he was played through on goal by strike partner Gonzalo Higuaín. Insigne and then took the score to 3-0 in the 67th minute when he thumped a right-footed shot to the top left corner from a free kick.

Further salt was rubbed into Milan’s proverbial wounds in the 77th minute of the match when defender Rodrigo Ely scored an own goal to hand Napoli a resounding 4-0 win.

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