Sunday, 2 September 2007

Serie A Week 2: Sunday Review

Juventus and Roma made it two wins out of two in Serie A after wins against Cagliari and Siena respectively while there was a feast of goals in the day's other games as Napoli thumped Udinese 5-0 and Palermo won 4-2 at Livorno.

Giorgio Chiellini powered in a last-minute winner to maintain Juve's 100% record on their return to Serie A after a barnstorming match against Cagliari. Five goals, two penalties, two red cards and a host of interesting refereeing decisions made this an entertaining, if not flowing, game of football which Juve will count themselves extremely lucky to have taken all three points from after being second best for most of the game. The visitors twice went ahead through David Trezeguet and Alessandro del Piero but were pegged back both times by Pasquale Foggia's penalties, the second earning former Cagliari defender Jonathan Zebina a red card on his return to the Stadio San Elia. The Rossoblu did not have a man advantage for long, though, as Cristiano del Grosso soon followed Zebina down the tunnel and shortly after that Chiellini grabbed the winner.

Roma's impressive start to the new campaign continued as they ran out convincing 3-0 winners over Siena at the Stadio Olimpico. The Giallorossi did not have it all their own way though, and were just one goal up with eight minutes to go courtesy of another stunning goal from Alberto Aquilani after 17 minutes. But the hosts made the scoreline more comfortable in the closing stages, with Ludovic Giuly and Francesco Totti adding further strikes. The result sees Roma move joint-top of the standings alongside Juve with six points from their two matches, while Andrea Mandorlini's Siena remain point-less after having gone down 2-1 at home to Sampdoria in their opener.

Palermo produced a first-half masterclass to pick up their first points of the season with a 4-2 victory over Livorno. Leandro Rinaudo opened the scoring for the Sicilians after nine minutes and then two goals from Fabrizio Miccoli and Amauri Carvalho ensured they took a 4-0 lead into the dressing room. Substitute Fausto Rossini and Alessandro Grandoni reduced arrears in the second half but the team from Tuscany never looked like getting on terms. Livorno's players must be nervous now, especially since coach Fernando Orsi had said he felt like "headbutting them all" after their opening 5-1 defeat at the hands of Juventus.

Napoli bounced back in emphatic fashion from their opening-day defeat in Serie A with a 5-0 demolition of Udinese at the Stadio Friuli. Edoardo Reja watched his side beaten 2-0 at home by Cagliari in their first game in the top flight after being promoted last season, but the coach would have been left proud at the manner of their first victory. Summer recruit Marcelo Zalayeta set the Azzurri on their way in Udine firing them ahead in the 16th minute, before Maurizio Domizzi doubled the advantage four minutes before the break. Ezequiel Lavezzi and Zalayeta made it four with Roberto Sosa rounding up a convincing victory that gives Napoli their first points of the new campaign. The result is a real blow for Udinese coach Pasquale Marino, who saw his side fight from a goal down in their opening game to steal a 1-1 draw at champions Inter.

It was honours even between 10-man Sampdoria and Lazio at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Sunday evening. Both sides showed signs of tiredness, particularly mentally, after crucial European qualifiers in midweek. Even a red card for Samp full-back Reto Ziegler 10 minutes from time did not allow the visitors to claim all three points, leaving both sides satisfied with maintaining their unbeaten starts to the season.

A goal in each half from Riccardo Zampagna and Morris Carrozzieri handed Atalanta their first win of the season, 2-0 against Parma in Bergamo. Zampagna struck a 21st-minute penalty to put the home team ahead after Antonio Langella was fouled by Ferdinand Coly, before the win was sealed midway through the second period by Carrozzieri, handing Luigi Del Neri's side all three points.

Catania's fans were finally allowed back into the Stadio Angelo Massimino but were subjected to a goalless draw against newly-promoted Genoa. However, despite the lack of goals, they may be glad that there was at least no controversy after last season's tragic events and the antics of their manager already this term. The fans may have been back in their proper place but there was no first sight of coach Silvio Baldini on the touchline, as he began a five-match ban for an altercation which ended with him kicking opposition manager Domenico Di Carlo of Parma last week.

Francesco Cozza climbed off the bench to grab a last-minute equaliser for Reggina and deny Torino their first win of the new season. Cozza was an 84th-minute replacement for Luca Vigiani but made quite an impact, firing home in the closing seconds to preserve the visitors' unbeaten start. Reggina took the lead shortly after the half-hour mark through Nicola Amoruso but goals from Alessandro Rosina and Nicola Ventola appeared to have handed the Turin-based side maximum points. A draw was arguably the right result as both sides created a host of chances in an absorbing encounter.

[Saturday 1 Sept] - [Sunday 2 Sept] - [Monday 3 Sept]

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