Sunday, 30 September 2007

Serie A Week 6: Sunday Review

AC Milan's stumbling start to the Serie A season continued on Sunday as they were held 1-1 at home by Catania, while David Trezeguet's injury-time goal decided the Turin derby in favour of Juventus. Elsewhere, Napoli and Palermo were beaten, Antonio Cassano bagged his first Sampdoria goal and Lazio continue to struggle.

AC Milan had taken just six points from their first five games before the visit of Catania to the San Siro and the draw leaves them seven points adrift of leaders Inter, who won 4-1 at fellow high-fliers Roma on Saturday. Jorge Martinez's header put the Sicilians in front on 25 minutes and the visitors managed to hold out until half-time. Milan were level three minutes after the interval though when Kaka stepped up to score from the penalty spot after a Mark Edusei handball.

David Trezeguet's injury-time goal decided the Turin derby in favour of Juventus to take the Bianconeri second in Serie A. Torino will feel hard done by after doing most of the running in the game, while the goal, in the third minute of stoppage time, will have been even more hurtful since it came from a dubious offside position. Trezeguet, who had been marked out of the game to that moment, had found some space behind the Torino defenders to put away his first chance of the game and win all three points for Juve with his seventh goal of the season.

Napoli fans were not allowed into the Stadio San Paolo for today's match with Genoa, but they may have been glad to have missed it after Giuseppe Sculli's last-minute strike condemned them to a 2-1 defeat. The misbehaviour of a small number of fans at Wednesday's win over Livorno meant the game was played behind closed doors, a fact which may have been some consolation to Paolo Cannavaro when he put through his own net after 12 minutes. But Maurizio Domizzi equalised from the penalty spot seven minutes after the break and the game seemed to be headed for a draw until Sculli struck. The result sees Genoa move to within a point of their hosts in the top half of the Serie A table.

Empoli posted their first victory of the Serie A season with a thrilling come-from-behind win over 10-man Palermo. Edison Cavani had put the Sicilian visitors in front just before the break to leave the home fans facing the prospect of another defeat. But clearly Empoli coach Luigi Cagni struck the right note at half-time with his pep-talk as Nicola Pozzi equalised. Following the dismissal of Palermo's Fabio Caserta, a late goal from substitute Sebastian Giovinco and a stoppage-time penalty from Ighli Vannucchi completed the job for the Tuscany-based club.

Substitute Antonio Cassano scored his first goal for Sampdoria who secured only their second Serie A victory of the season against previously in-form Atalanta at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Cassano, on loan from Real Madrid, was once again forced to settle for a place on the bench but fired a reminder to coach Walter Mazzarri with a clinical strike seven minutes from time. However, Mazzarri's decision to pair Claudio Bellucci and Vincenzo Montella in attack was vindicated when the pair combined superbly for Bellucci's early opener. Montella was also the architect for the second goal 12 minutes after half-time, with substitute Paolo Sammarco providing the finish.

Reggina are still without a win this season after a second-half equaliser from Lazio's Aleksandar Kolarov. Looking to spark their flagging campaign into life, the Amaranto took a seventh minute lead through midfielder Francesco Cozza but the Biancoceleste grabbed the share of the spoils in a lively encounter at the Stadio Oreste Granillo. The frustrated hosts ended the game with 10 men following the dismissal of Francesco Modesto.

Udinese came from behind to beat Parma at the Stadio Friuli. The home side had the better of the game and could have put the result beyond Parma inside the first 45 minutes, but it was the visitors, with only their second attack of the game, who went ahead through Bernardo Corradi in the 72nd minute. Udinese threw everybody forward and equalised in the 79th minute through substitute Fabio Quagliarella before Cristian Zapata won it in the second minute of stoppage time for the home side.

Siena continue to search for an elusive first win of the season after Cagliari claimed the spoils at the Stadio Sant'Elia. Pasquale Foggia scored from the penalty spot early in the match, and that goal proved decisive as the home side claimed only their second win of the campaign. The result maintains an impressive record for the Sardinians, who have never lost in Serie A to Siena at the Sant'Elia having posted two wins and one draw in their previous encounters.

[Saturday 29 Sep] - [Sunday 30 Sep]

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