Sunday, 22 April 2007

Serie A Wk 33: Review

Saturday 21 April
Milan 3-1 Cagliari
Milan warmed up for their Champions League semi-final with Manchester United next week with a fine Serie A win over Cagliari on Saturday evening. Ronaldo, who is cup-tied in the Champions League, led a largely reserve team to victory with goals in the 14th and 69th minutes. David Suazo narrowed the gap in the 74th minute with a penalty but Andrea Pirlo netted five minutes later to secure all three points which allowed Milan to hold onto fourth place in Serie A and focus all of their efforts on Tuesday. Milan lost Kakha Kaladze to a red card five minutes from time for a second yellow card.

Sampdoria 3-1 Messina

Sampdoria left it late to claim all three points against relegation-threatened Messina with a 3-1 win in Genoa. Reto Ziegler
was the inspiration behind the home side's win, scoring the opener after 13 minutes and creating the second for Daniele Franceschini seven minutes from the end. essina's best player was Christian Rigano, who brought his side level in the 54th minute as the visitors enjoyed their most productive spell and even threatened to snatch the points. But Franceschini's goal took the wind from their sails and Gennaro Delvecchio finished them off one minute from time.

Sunday 22 April
iena 1-2 Inter
Inter - Campione d'Italia
Inter were crowned champions of Italy for the first time on the pitch since the 1988-89 season as Marco Materazzi once again showed his ability to shine on the big stage. Materazzi scored both goals for Inter either side of Paolo Negro's strike for Siena to ensure the Nerazzurri defended the title they were awarded by a disciplinary committee last summer following the Calciopoli punishments handed to Juventus and rivals Milan. The result proved good enough as the only other team still in contention, Roma, lost 2-1 to Atalanta in Bergamo. With Juve in Serie B and Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina among several clubs handed points deductions, Inter's dominance of Serie A has been breathtaking with only one defeat so far and the title sealed with five matches to spare. Inter secure 15th Scudetto >>>

Atalanta 2-1 Roma
Roma's 2-1 defeat at Atalanta handed Inter the Serie A title. The outcome left the Giallorossi 16 points behind the Nerazzurri, who won 2-1 at Siena, with five games remaining. Cristiano Doni opened the scoring for the hosts in the 37th minute before Riccardo Zampagna doubled his team's advantage before half-time. Roma midfielder Simone Perrotta reduced the deficit shortly after the hour mark but the Eternal City giants failed to make the most of their chances to find the equaliser. The Giallorossi ended the game down to 10 men after Matteo Ferrari was sent off for a second bookable offence deep into stoppage time.

Lazio 0-1 Fiorentina
Lazio's four-month unbeaten run came to an end as they suffered a narrow loss at home to Fiorentina. A second-half goal from Adrian Mutu was the difference between the two sides in a thrilling encounter at the Stadio Olimpico. The outcome keeps the Viola in a UEFA Cup position with five games remaining.

Palermo 3-4 Parma
Struggling Parma came from behind to claim a stunning 4-3 victory against Champions League-chasing Palermo at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. The visitors produced a scintillating second-half display to come away with a win which lifts them one point clear of the relegation zone. Strikes from Fernando Couto, Andrea Gasbarroni and Giuseppe Rossi turned the game on its head after Francesco Guidolin's side had gone into the break in the lead. Igor Budan had put Parma ahead on 25 minutes before Mark Bresciano and a David Di Michele penalty looked to have put the hosts in control. But after having Marco Pisano sent off early in the second half they were put to the sword by a ruthless Parma and Cristian Zaccardo's goal in injury time proved too little too late. While the result is a real boost to Claudio Ranieri's side's chances of survival, it is a major blow to Palermo's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League and leaves them seven points behind fourth-placed Milan.

Empoli 0-0 Torino
Empoli lost further ground on Milan in the race for the last Champions League place after being held to a goalless draw at home to Torino. The Tuscan minnows now trail the Rossoneri by six points with Milan having won their game on Saturday evening against Cagliari. With five rounds remaining, Empoli, who only won promotion last summer, will attempt to play well enough to qualify for the UEFA Cup. As for Torino, Serie A survival is anything but secure.

Chievo 2-1 Livorno
Chievo moved a point clear of the relegation zone after coming from behind to beat Livorno in Verona. Trailing to Cristiano Lucarelli's 17th-minute opener, the home side stormed back and levelled through a Sergio Pellissier effort 10 minutes into the second half. They clinched a vital three points 19 minutes later when substitute Erjon Bogdani found the net.

Reggina 1-1 Udinese
A late penalty from Nicola Amoruso earned Reggina a share of the spoils against Udinese, but the result did little to ease their relegation worries - as they dropped back into the relegation zone.
Amoruso put away the spot-kick five minutes before the final whistle to cancel out a first-half opener from Sulley Muntari and spare Reggina's blushes at the Stadio Oreste Granillo. The Amaranto are just one point away from Parma and Chievo who sit just above the relegation zone.

Catania P-P Ascoli
This match was postponed amid a legal row over whether the FIGC or Catania TAR tribunal has jurisdiction over the ban on fans in the Sicilians' home games following the Sicilian riots in February. The game was scheduled to take place on Sunday but the Lega Calcio rescheduled it for Wednesday May 2. Now the Catania TAR has ruled they can attend the matches and that the game be played on the first available day. Wednesday is a national holiday in Italy. The match will take place in Modena as Catania's Stadio Angelo Massimino does not meet the required safety measures.

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