Sunday, 1 April 2007

Serie A Wk 30: Review

Saturday 31 March
Roma 1-1 Milan
Roma had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Milan on Saturday night despite a stirring performance. Philippe Mexes put the home side ahead in the fourth minute as Roma showed why they are doing so well in Serie A and the Champions League this season with some excellent football. They had chances to double their lead before Alberto Gilardino grabbed an equaliser just after the hour mark, and both sides slowed down the tempo to settle for a point and turn their attention to crucial Champions League fixtures in midweek.

Reggina 0-1 Siena
Valerio Bertotto's goal gave Siena a precious 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Reggina which could prove to be priceless at the end of the season. Bertotto's header in first-half stoppage time proved enough to separate the sides in a game which saw both teams finish with 10 men. Reggina's Alessandro Lucarelli received his marching orders in the first half after giving away a penalty which was subsequently missed by Francesco Cozza. Daniele Corvia of Siena then departed after the break. The hosts would have been almost safe by now were it not for an 11-point deduction following the Calciopoli scandal but this result means they could slip back into the bottom three by the end of the weekend.

Sunday 1 April
Inter 2-0 Parma
Inter overcame some initial Parma resistance to win 2-0 and extend their Serie A lead to 20 points in a race for the Scudetto that has resembled a procession since Christmas. The relegation-threatened visitors held the San Siro giants at bay in the first half but it did not take long for the champions to seal the game in the second. Brazilian Maxwell opened the scoring before Hernan Crespo killed off his former club with the second to worsen Parma's plight and bring closer still the day when Inter are crowned champions. The Nerazzurri's dominance this season has been staggering and they have taken 64 points from the last 66 on offer, needing just 8 more points to lift the Scudetto.

Udinese 2-4 Lazio
Lazio kept up the pressure for an automatic Champions League spot as they secured their seventh win in a row with a comfortable 4-2 win on the road against Udinese. Two goals in two minutes just after half time ensured the Biancoceleste move to within seven points of Roma. Guglielmo Stendardo opened the scoring after 18 minutes and strikes from Stefano Mauri (49) and Valon Behrami (51) opened up an unassailable lead. Both sides scored quick-fire penalties with Antonio Di Natale reducing the arrears in the 57th minute before Kieran Dempsey restored the three-goal cushion which Lazio held until Vincenzo Iaquinta scored at the death. Udinese finished the game with 10 men as Gaetano De Agostino received his marching orders with 10 minutes remaining, but the game was long-since decided.

Empoli 4-1 Ascoli
Two goals apiece from Nicola Pozzi and Luca Saudati saw Empoli move ahead of Milan into fifth spot after a 4-1 win over 10-man Ascoli. After Pozzi had opened the scoring just before half-time, Andrea Soncin equalised, but Saudati grabbed the first of his double from the penalty spot to retake the lead. Former Italy international Marco Delvecchio was then sent off for the Marchegiani just four minutes after coming on as a substitute and the Azzurri made the most of their numerical advantage, Saudati and Pozzi grabbing a second goal each within four minutes of each other. The result leaves Ascoli rooted to the bottom of the table, six points from safety and favourites for the drop.

Atalanta 2-2 Fiorentina
Atalanta inched closer to survival with a stirring comeback to snatch a 2-2 draw against Fiorentina. Goals from Reginaldo and last week's Azzurrini star Giampaolo Pazzini gave the visitors a 2-0 lead inside 32 minutes in Bergamo but the hosts then showed their mettle. Simone Loria pulled one back six minutes before the break before substitute Cristiano Doni's penalty in the second half levelled the scores. Fiorentina, who would be comfortably sitting in a Champions League spot were it not for a 15-point deduction, thus dropped two points in their pursuit of a place in the UEFA Cup.

Livorno 4-1 Catania
A Cristiano Lucarelli hat-trick gave Fernando Orsi the best possible start as manager of Livorno as his side leapfrogged 10-man Catania with a 4-1 victory over the Sicilians. It was an unpromising start for Orsi as Andrea Sottil struck after 14 minutes to give the visitors the lead, but Lucarelli equalised six minutes later and Stefano Fiore gave Livorno the lead on the stroke of half-time. Catania's Davide Baiocco then received up his second yellow card after 66 minutes before Lucarelli struck twice in the final 10 minutes to complete his treble and lift his side eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Torino 0-0 Palermo
Palermo are finding wins harder to come by in the second half of the season, but they will feel they deserved more than a draw from their trip to Torin. Francesco Guidolin's side had the better opportunities against their hosts but wasteful finishing ensured Toro kept their clean sheet intact. The Sicilians remain in fourth place and, potentially, a place in next year's Champions League, while Toro gain another point that will help them keep any lingering relegation fears at bay.

Chievo 1-1 Sampdoria
A point was of little use to either side as struggling Chievo and European-chasing Sampdoria cancelled each other out in Verona. In a mostly open and entertaining game, a 1-1 draw was a fair result after Matteo Brighi cancelled out Fabio Quagliarella's stunning opener. The result leaves Chievo four points above the drop-zone and the visitors eight points shy of the UEFA Cup spot.

Cagliari 2-0 Messina
Cagliari eased their own relegation fears and plunged 10-man Messina into further trouble with a comfortable 2-0 victory. First-half goals from Davide Biondini and Alessandro Budel earned the Sardinians only their second win from five games to move six points clear of the Serie A drop zone. Messina, on the other hand, were left in the third and final relegation spot, a point adrift of Reggina with nine games remaining - and a miserable day for the Sicilians was made complete by the sending-off of Marc Zoro.

No comments:

Post a Comment