AS Roma were the big losers of the round, slipping a further three points behind Juventus after drawing 0-0 against Sampdoria. On the other hand, their direct title rivals won 2-0 at home, with Arturo Vidal and Fernando Llorente on target for the league leaders.
Behind these two giants there’s plenty of clubs battling it out for Champions League places in Serie A.
Seven teams are just separated by four points, however, the two teams who share third place are Udinese and Sampdoria. Breathing down their necks are AC Milan and Napoli who have both begun to turn their fortunes around recently.
Three strikers who are all class acts in their own right were the round’s best players. Before the weekend’s action kicked off there was no sign of Llorente, Miroslav Klose or Gonzalo Higuain at the top of the scoring charts.
However, it was a time that all three signalled a return to form. Llorente and Klose both scored a goal each, whilst the former Real Madrid striker and Argentina international Higuain scored a sublime hat-trick.
Here’s a look at the three star performers from this round.
1. FERNANDO LLORENTE
Injuries have curtailed the Spaniard’s chance of hitting his physical peak. Under Antonio Conte last season he missed out on a string of matches at the start of last campaign. With just a solitary goal in his first 11 appearances, life got off to a difficult start for Llorente at his new home.
However, he found his form and scored a total of 16 goals, with seven of them coming via his trademark aerial ability. Again, he pounced on a high ball opportunity to help Juventus secure a comfortable 3-0 victory over Cagliari.
The club’s fans will be hoping this is the beginning of a goalscoring spree for the imposing centre-forward.
2. MIROSLAV KLOSE
This is a curious story or perhaps the German veteran is starting to show his age. Following success with his nation at the World Cup in Brazil, and in the process becoming the tournament’s most prolific scorer of all-time, he could be suffering from a post World Cup hangover.
When Filip Djordjevic from Nantes he wasn’t seen as a replacement and Klose was still regarded as the preferred striker in Lazio’s starting XI.
However, the team’s struggling start has seen Stefano Pioli rotate both of his primary strikers more than he would have expected, and Djordjevic hit the ground running with six goals in the opening seven matches. Pioli had never tried the two strikers together, however, he did it against Torino.
As soon as Klose came on at the end of the first half it took just 15 minutes for the German to benefit from the presence of Djordjevic and scored the winning goal that kept Lazio within a point of Champions League places.
3. GONZALO HIGUAIN
At the start of the campaign many believed that this man had the potential to be the competition’s top scorer.
Although he scored a first official goal against in the side’s Champions League qualifier, it was all in vain as they had to make do with a spot in the Europa League.
The irritability of missing out on Europe’s most lucrative competition appeared to spread throughout the squad in the early stages of the season, and particularly their Argentinean striker.
His sluggish attitude on the pitch also led many to believe that he could force a move out of the club in January. Thankfully for coach Rafael Benitez he was helped by Jose Callejon to score the goals.
But as they say, form is temporary and class is permanent and sooner or later the ex-Real Madrid frontman would be back amongst the goals.
Higuain’s subsequent hat-trick against Verona at the weekend couldn’t have emphasised this old adage more, and came as welcome relief to the manager and fans.
Consistency and keeping a sharp mental focus will now be key for the striker as Napoli go in search of a Champions League spot.
25+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
- Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
- Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
- Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
- Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
- Starting price: $4.99/mo.
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
- $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
- Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
- Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family