Sunday, 18 February 2007

Serie A Wk 24: Review

Saturday 17 February
Inter 1-0 Cagliari
Any doubts that Inter will be crowned Serie A champions look to have ended on Saturday as the Nerazzurri extended their winning streak to 16 matches with a 1-0 home win with Cagliari. An early goal from Nicolas Burdisso ensured that Inter would extend their lead over Roma to 14 points. The 16th straight victory in Serie A surpasses the top-flight record of Europe's 'big five' leagues held by Spain's Real Madrid in 1960/61 and Germany's Bayern Munich, between 2004/05 and 2005/06. It would take a collapse of epic proportions now to deny the champions a successful defence on the field of the Scudetto they were awarded by a disciplinary committee last summer following the punishments handed out to Juventus and AC Milan.

Empoli 1-0 Roma
Roma's hopes of reeling in Inter look to be over after the Eternal City club came unstuck at Empoli. The surprise packages from Tuscany had a fifth-minute Nicola Pozzi goal to thank for their unexpected victory. But the home side had to hung on for the three points despite having defender Vittorio Tosto sent off in the closing stages for a second bookable offence. The victory keeps Empoli in fourth and the final Champions League place

Siena 3-4 Milan
AC Milan had a last-gasp Massimo Ambrosini goal to thank for a 4-3 win at Siena that moved them into fifth, just two points behind Empoli. The day belonged to Ronaldo however, with the Brazil striker opening his account for the Rossoneri before Simone Vergassola equalised. Ricardo Oliveira restored Milan's lead only for Massimo Maccarone to again quickly peg them back. Despite having Cristian Brocchi sent off, Milan took the lead again through Ronaldo inside the last ten minutes. As time ticked away, Maccarone looked to have earned a draw with his second goal of the game but reckoned without Ambrosini's late winner.

Sunday 18 February
Palermo 1-1 Chievo
Palermo failed to take full advantage of Roma's slip-up on Saturday with a draw at home to Chievo leaving them six points behind second place. David Di Michele gave the Rosaneri the lead after 23 minutes and they looked comfortable until Victor Obinna equalised in first-half stoppage time. The home side continued to push for a winner in the second half, but were unable to break down a stern Chievo, who held on to a much-needed point in their fight against relegation.

Catania 0-1 Fiorentina
Luca Toni's second-half goal handed Fiorentina a deserved victory over 10-man Catania. The Italian international headed the ball into the back of the net three minutes from time to give the Viola their third win in a row. Catania were forced to play with 10-men since the 58th minute after defender Mauro Minelli was sent-off for a second bookable offence. The outcome sees the Viola climb to 11th in the standings, five points behind AC Milan, who hold the last UEFA Cup spot. The game was played behind closed doors at the neutral venue of Rimini after Catania were banned from playing at home for the rest of the season at their Stadio Angelo Massimino

Parma 0-1 Sampdoria
New coach Claudio Ranieri was not able to halt Parma's slide towards Serie B after losing his first Serie A match in charge, 1-0 at home to Sampdoria. Fabio Quagliarella scored the decisive goal for Samp after 58 minutes. The visitors also had the best chances to score a second with Sergio Volpi missing a penalty and Quagliarella going close again. But one goal was enough for a thoroughly-deserved win for Sampdoria, who move back within reach of the European places while Parma remain in the relegation zone with 15 points.

Lazio 2-0 Torino
Goran Pandev struck twice as Lazio eased past strugglers Torino to maintain their unbeaten run in 2007. Pandev scored the opener in the 11th minute before adding his second on the hour mark to bring the Stadio Olimpico to life. The result sees the Biancoceleste climb to fifth in the standings, just one point behind Empoli, who occupy the last Champions League spot. Opponents Torino, under former Lazio coach Alberto Zaccheroni, did little to avoid slipping to their fourth consecutive defeat.

Ascoli 2-2 Udinese
Andrea Soncin scored twice as struggling Ascoli came from two goals behind to secure a crucial draw against mid-table Udinese. Two quick-fire first-half goals by strikers Vincenzo Iaquinta and Paulo Barreto looked to have given the away side the victory. But Soncin struck twice after the interval to rescue a vital point for Ascoli and keep alive their slim survival hopes.

Livorno 2-1 Messina
Livorno's players let their football do the talking as they earned manager Daniele Arrigoni a second stay of execution with a crucial win over struggling Messina. New signing Stefano Fiore opened his account for his new club with the opener and Cristiano Lucarelli made sure of the points with his 15th of the season, although Marco Zoro pulled a goal back late on. Arrigoni was sacked by president Aldo Spinelli after a 5-1 defeat to Atalanta in January, but senior players, including Lucarelli, successfully persuaded Spinelli to reverse his decision. The Amaranto had not won since then, however, this game at home to relegation-threatened Messina was seen as Arrigoni's last chance.

Reggina 1-1 Atalanta
An own goal from Maurizio Lanzaro 15 minutes from time handed 10-man Atalanta a share of the spoils against Reggina. Nicola Amoruso's eight goal of the season looked to have set the hosts on their way to victory, but Lanzaro's blunder cost the Calabrian club a third win on the trot. Giulio Migliaccio's late dismissal for foul play came too late for Walter Mazzarri's team to make any further inroads, but the point moved them a little further away from the drop-zone. The Reggio Calabria outfit are currently flying in Serie A, with last Sunday's 2-1 triumph at Torino helping them pull clear of the relegation area for the first time this season after starting with a 15-point deduction, later reduced to 11, for their involvement in the Calciopoli scandal.

No comments:

Post a Comment