Monday, 17 September 2007

Spotlight - Week 3: Ham it up

Here's a round up of the winners and the losers from Week 3 of the Serie A season.

Marek Hamsik (Napoli): Napoli transfer guru Pierpaolo Marino will certainly be smiling this morning. After being heavily criticised for his lack of major investment over the summer, the doubters have been well and truly silenced. Ezequiel Lavezzi underlined his ability in Week 2 only for Hamsik to prove himself as a potential star against Sampdoria on Sunday. His second half performance and goal have underlined just what quality this youngster possesses.

Juan (Roma): It was a debut to remember for the South American in Reggio Calabria. Not only did the summer signing from Bayer Leverkusen look totally in control in defence, the centre-back gave his side the lead with a goal of Ronaldinho-esque beauty. Will he be the latest Brazilian to become a Giallorossi hero?

Alvaro Recoba (Torino): You would have thought Recoba was still playing for Inter after his first half performance at the Barbera, but El Chino certainly awoke during the second period. He was the driving force behind all of Torino’s most dangerous moves when going forward and it was no coincidence that he netted the equaliser. Early signs are that he’s joined the right club.

Nelson Dida (Milan): A massive question mark continues to hang over the head of this Brazilian shot-stopper. Although he has the ability to make some fantastic saves, he so often accompanies such goalkeeping with errors of a costly nature. We saw further evidence of that at Siena when Daniele Galloppa was denied with a stop of the highest quality before his clanger gifted the Bianconeri a lead.

Kakha Kaladze (Milan): Dida wasn’t the sole culprit in the Massimo Maccarone goal which gave Siena the lead as Kakha Kaladze played his part too. With the ball bouncing off the goalkeeper’s chest, Kaladze somehow failed to clear the ball. It was an incredible error that undoubtedly affected the rest of his game which looked shoddy and uncertain.

Sergio Almiron (Juventus): Arguably not the worst Juventus player on the pitch against Udinese, but the biggest disappointment in the 1-0 loss. The Argentine was netted from Empoli in the summer to become the driving force of the midfield, but it’s not quite working out. He lacked ideas, failed to deliver any real penetrating passes and visibly tired as the clock ticked down.

Juan (Roma): Juan’s first goal in Italy may also be the best he’ll ever score in a Roma shirt. Having gone up for a Francesco Totti free-kick, Juan lost his marker at the far post and volleyed the ball in from close range with the aid of a flick from heaven. Not bad at all for a central defender…

Riccardo Zampagna (Atalanta): Atalanta grabbed an unlikely point in Florence on Sunday with the aid of a Zampagna stunner. A long ball landed slightly behind the striker in the box, but with his back towards goal he just instinctively hooked it over his shoulder to catch out an unsuspecting Sebastien Frey in the Viola goal.

Bernardo Corradi (Parma): Corradi marked his return to the Tardini as a Parma player with a goal that may stun some Manchester City fans. But it isn’t just the giant hitman who deserves credit for his stunning volley on the turn, but Luca Cigarini’s sublime lofted assist was something of pure beauty too.

Waiting game: Genoa fans can finally celebrate a goal in Serie A after Marco Borriello found the net in the draw with Livorno. That strike was the club’s first in the top flight since Tomas Skuhravy netted in a 1-1 draw with Padova in June 1995.

Three speech: The last time Roma won their first three games of the season they also lifted the Scudetto under the leadership of Fabio Capello in 2000-01. The win at Reggina on Sunday also ensured that the Giallorossi lead the Serie A table outright for the first time since December 21, 2003.

Late late show: For the second season running, Milan scored at Siena in injury time. Alessandro Nesta’s 91st minute blast ensured a point on Saturday, whereas a Cristian Molinaro own goal gave the Rossoneri a 4-3 win last season.

Source: Antonio Labbate (C4 Football Italia)

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