Serie A 2015/16 week 12 saw Fiorentina maintaining their top slot, Inter Milan retaining a strong second-place position, and Juventus continuing their climb up the table, among other things. All of the "major contenders" in Italy won their matches this past weekend, ratcheting up the competitive tension at the top of the table even further. Now, with a break this coming weekend for Euro 2016 play, each of these clubs will have a chance to take a deep breath and reassess their plan of attack for the remainder of the calendar year.
Fiorentina continue to impress in the 2015/16 Serie A. Though they've lost three of their 12 games so far, the Lilies have also won nine-more than any other soccer team in the league. The football club's win this past weekend-a 2-0 away game triumph against Sampdoria-kicked their goal difference up to +15 and served as insurance to protect their leading position.
Fiorentina vs. Internazionale
The Lilies, it turns out, would need that insurance. Inter Milan have kept pace with Fiorentina in recent weeks. Both clubs currently have three-game winning streaks-something no other team on the table can claim at the moment. In other words, Inter and Fiorentina are both waiting for the other to make a mistake.
So far, neither team has. The Lilies beat Sampdoria over the weekend and Internazionale countered that victory by scoring their own away win against Torino. The match continued Inter's streak of small victories, though, only ending in a 1-0 win for the Black and Blues. With only 12 goals in the first 12 matches of the season, Internazionale are skating by right now on great defense, but might not have the firepower necessary to take and hold the top spot. After all, both Fiorentina and Inter have 27 points in the standings, but the Lilies lead the table thanks to a +15 goal difference. The Black and Blues, in comparison, can only claim a GD of +5.
Roma and Napoli
The other contenders to the top of the table, Roma and Napoli, also had strong weeks of soccer. Inter got the better of Roma last week, taking the Wolves out of the top spot and giving Fiorentina a chance to usurp. Roma course-corrected this week, mustering a 2-0 victory against Lazio. The win maintains Roma's title of the highest-scoring team in the 2015/16 Serie A, with 27 goals in 12 matches. In comparison, Fiorentina have only netted 24.
Napoli also had a recovery this weekend, following a lukewarm scoreless draw against Genoa on November 1st. Fueled by a massive 5-0 Europa League win against Midtjylland in the middle of the week, Napoli coasted to a 1-0 home win against Udinese over the weekend. They'll need more substantial victories if they are going to contend for the 2015 2016 Serie A title, but this smaller triumph will at least keep them in the running.
Those four football clubs are all within two points of one another in the current Serie A standings. Fiorentina and Internazionale lead the way with 27 points, while Roma and Napoli are just behind, at 26 and 25 points, respectively. Sassuolo, who also snagged a victory this past weekend (1-0 against Carpi) round out the week 12 top five.
Juventus: Making a Comeback, or Too Little, Too Late?
While Fiorentina, Internazionale, Roma, and Napoli were toiling at the top of the table this weekend, Juventus quietly won their second Serie A match in a row. That achievement may not sound huge, but it's the first time we've seen the Zebras notch two consecutive league wins since last football season.
The victory, a 3-1 win against Empoli, pushes Juventus into seventh place and leaves them just nine points off the lead. Could Juve still formulate a comeback and contend for a fifth consecutive Serie A title? Or is it too little, too late for the reigning Italian soccer champions?
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