By 90Min
March 18, 2019

For anyone still unconvinced about the quality and excitement of Italy's Serie A, this was the weekend to be converted.

With red cards, dramatic late goals and some surprising results thrown up, the competitiveness in Italy seems to be at its peak. Except for the title race, of course.

Here are a few things you may have missed from an enthralling weekend of Italian football.

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Fabio Quagliarella Takes the Lead in Capocannoniere Race


With Cristiano Ronaldo rested on Sunday, Saturday threw up the opportunity for Quagliarella to put himself out in front in the race for the Capocannoniere, and the iconic frontman took his chance.

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The 36-year-old put himself two goals clear of Juventus forward Ronaldo with a 36th minute effort in Sampdoria's 5-3 win at Sassuolo.


Quagliarella has comfortably beaten his previous season best, 19 in the 2017/18 campaign, and is behind only Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe for goals scored in Europe's top five leagues this season.


Two Sent Off as Bologna Edge Thriller in Turin


There seems to be at least one red card every weekend in Serie A, but this round two were dished out, by the same referee in the same game.

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With Bologna needing a win in their bid to avoid relegation and Torino needing three points to keep their hopes of Europa League qualification alive, it was all to play for at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

After a sixth minute own goal from Erick Pulgar, the visitors stormed into a 3-1 lead as Andrea Poli, Pulgar and Riccardo Orsolini all netted. Lyanco was dismissed for two cautionable offences in the 88th minute, with Armando Izzo pulling one back a minute later before Ola Aina was given his marching orders in injury time.


Claudio Ranieri Suffers First Loss of Second Roma Stint

Judging off his recent spell at Fulham, it would appear the magic surrounding Ranieri during the 2015/16 season has pretty much dissipated. After starting his second era at Roma with a victory, that familiar losing feeling came calling again on Saturday against SPAL.

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I Giallorossi are undoubtedly underachieving this season and failed to deliver again as goals from Mohamed Fares and Andrea Petagna condemned the visitors to a 2-1 defeat.

Champions League qualification looks a tough proposition now, with Milan and Inter both looking strong ahead of the run in, and a return to the Europa League seems increasingly likely for Roma.


Empoli Ease Relegation Fears With Much Needed Frosinone Victory


Empoli have the third most losses in Serie A this season with 15 but two wins and a draw from their last five have helped them draw a point clear of the drop zone.

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Their latest victory came against Frosinone, themselves heavily tipped to go down, and a solid first half performance in which Gli Azzurri scored twice through Francesco Caputo and Marko Pajac ensured they scraped past Marco Baroni's side, despite Luca Valzania's 70th minute goal.

However, Empoli face Juventus, Napoli and Udinese in their next three games in a crucial run of fixtures. Some big performances needed there.


Lazio Blitz Parma Thanks to Incredible First Half Performance


Given the mercurial talent present in their side, Lazio should be doing a lot better than their position of seventh suggests. But considering their natural inconsistency, perhaps it's not too perplexing.

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However, there were no signs of any cobwebs on Sunday as I Biancocelesti steamed past Parma thanks to four goals in 22 minutes.


Former Liverpool forward Luis Alberto got himself a brace, with efforts from Adam Marusic and Senad Lulic either side of the Spaniard's goals sealing the win for the home side. Parma responded through Mattia Sprocati in the 77th minute, but couldn't muster anything else as Lazio eased to a 4-1 victory.

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