Sunday, 14 January 2007

Serie A Wk 19: Review

Saturday 13 January
Torino 1-3 Inter
Internazionale made Serie A history on Saturday evening with their 12th consecutive victory in the top flight putting them 10 points clear at the summit. The Nerazzurri look even hotter favourites for the title and fully deserved their win, the record-breaking triumph coming against a Torino side managed by former Inter boss Alberto Zaccheroni. Adriano headed them into a first-half lead before Stefano Fiore hit back for Toro just before the hour mark with a goal that took a wicked deflection off the chest of Inter defender Marco Materazzi. It did not take the Nerazzurri long to wrest back control with Ibrahimovic putting them back ahead. Materazzi made amends by clinching the result with a late penalty, awarded for a professional foul on Adriano by goalkeeper Christian Abbiati who was ordered off for the incident. Inter thus surpass the 11-game record set by Roma last season.

Empoli 2-0 Parma
Empoli kicked off 2007 with a fine win over struggling Parma. Goals from Andrea Raggi and Davide Matteini sealed the win for the men from Tuscany against a Parma team that looks set for a long battle against relegation. The sending-off of Ferdinand Coly, when the score was 1-0, completed a miserable day for Parma.

Sunday 14 January
Messina 1-1 Roma
Roma's title ambitions were jolted late in the game on Sunday as a Messina penalty held them to a 1-1 draw in Sicily. Alessandro Parisi's spot kick stunned Roma, who had led since the 38th minute thanks to a goal from Amantino Mancini. Messina striker Arturo Di Napoli was clearly brought down inside the area by Cristian Chivu. The home side were forced to play the last two minutes of extra time without hero Parisi after he was sent off for a second bookable offence. The result leaves Roma nine points adrift of leaders Inter.

Milan 3-1 Reggina
Milan clinched their third win in a row after beating strugglers Reggina 3-1 to kick off 2007 on the right foot. A sixth-minute free-kick from former Reggina midfielder Andrea Pirlo put Milan in front before Clarence Seedorf doubled his team's advantage 10 minutes before the break. Reggina forward Rolando Bianchi re-opened the contest with an impressive 66th minute strike before Alberto Gilardino made sure to kill the game off shortly after

Palermo 2-0 Udinese
Palermo made a fine start to 2007 with a 2-0 win over Udinese that further strengthens their case for a place in next year's Champions League. Andrea Carraciolo opened the scoring in the first half for the Sicilians against a team that also has a declared aim of getting into the Champions League. The victory was secured in the second half by a goal from World Cup-winning defender Cristian Zaccardo

Atalanta 5-1 Livorno
Whatever Atalanta did with their winter break seems to have worked. The Bergamaschi ran riot in a 5-1 demolition of Livorno in their first game of 2007. Cristiano Doni netted a first-half brace and, although Marc Pfertzel got one back for Livorno early in the second half despite the 48th-minute dismissal of Carmine Coppola, it would have little affect on the outcome. Massimo Donati added a third before Luca Ariatti and Nicola Ventola completed the rout.

Sampdoria 0-0 Fiorentina
Fiorentina failed to score for the first time in 15 games and had to settle for their first 0-0 draw of the season against Sampdoria in Genoa. The home side looked the brighter throughout, but lacked the cutting edge to claim all three points.

Chievo 2-1 Catania
Chievo came from a goal down to beat Catania 2-1 and edge themselves further away from the relegation zone. Lorenzo Stovini opened the scoring six minutes before the break, but Franco Semioli's equaliser after 57 minutes and Sergio Pellissier's penalty six minutes later gave the Verona club a much-needed three points

Cagliari 1-0 Ascoli
David Suazo's first-half penalty proved decisive as Cagliari clinched their third Serie A victory of the season - 1-0 in the basement battle with plucky Ascoli. The Honduran forward slotted home his fifth goal of the campaign in the 16th minute as Franco Colomba's side put some daylight between themselves and the bottom three.

Lazio 1-1 Siena
Francesco Cozza struck four minutes from time to rescue a point for Siena in a 1-1 against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. Tommaso Rocchi's goal just after the hour mark looked to have given Delio Rossi's team all three points until Cozza's late intervention. The draw sees the Eternal City club climb one place in the table to fourth, but they lose ground on third-placed Palermo.

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