Monday, 24 September 2007

Spotlight - Week 4: Just Di-licious

Here's a round up of the winners and the losers from Week 4 of the Serie A season.

Antonio Di Natale (Udinese):
Arguably the most in-form player in Italian football right now, Antonio Di Natale enjoyed another weekend to remember. Having secured Italy the three points in the Ukraine with a brace and then netting the winner at Juventus in Week 3, he made the difference yet again against Reggina. He put his side in the lead with the cheekiest of goals before making sure of the points with a sensational second.

Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus): His team may well have been rather fortunate to net a point at Roma, but there is no doubt that he deserved his late goal for his efforts at the Olimpico. Having been surprisingly fielded in a trident attack, the hard-working summer signing repaid the Coach’s faith in him by being Juventus’ most dangerous attacking component. It’ll be hard to drop him for Wednesday’s game against Reggina now.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter): An irreplaceable figure in the Inter starting XI, the Swedish international again underlined just how important he is to Roberto Mancini with a brace at Livorno. In a side which at this point of the season seems to be relying more on individual brilliance rather than cohesive team football, it was little surprise that the dangerous looking Ibra was the Nerazzurri’s most effective player.

Domenico Criscito (Juventus):
Thrown in at the deep end by Juventus’ questionable defensive summer transfer campaign, his inexperience was cruelly exposed by an on-fire Francesco Totti in the 2-2 draw with Roma. Although he’s highly rated, he’s still got some way to go before he delivers on his potential. Nevertheless, likely to see more regular action after the serious injury sustained by Jorge Andrade.

Fabrizio Miccoli (Palermo): It was a frustrating afternoon for the pint-sized phenomenon at the Stadio Sant’Elia. Although Cagliari gave him the space to play, the Italian was arguably the biggest disappointment out there. He had just one shot of any real significance and ended the game by showing dissent following his inevitable substitution.

Douglas Maicon (Inter): The powerful Brazilian was one of Inter’s better players against Livorno before his moment of madness in the closing stages of the 2-2 draw. A great first half saw him even supply Zlatan Ibrahimovic with an assist before he saw red with 10 minutes of the game left. You can’t kick a grounded Erjon Bogdani and expect anything less than an early bath.

Antonio Di Natale (Udinese): The Udinese sensation illustrated just how confident he is at the minute by opening the scoring against Reggina with an audacious strike. Standing in a wide position, it seemed as if the Italian’s only option would be to cross for a teammate. Instead, he chipped the ball from the narrowest of angles over a highly surprised Andrea Campagnolo.

Antonio Di Natale (Udinese): Di Natale’s first goal was of the highest quality, but he saved the best for last. Gaetano D’Agostino found the pint-sized attacker with a long ball which Di Natale controlled by flicking it up in the air before instantly blasting a volley into the bottom corner.

Riccardo Zampagna (Atalanta): The Atalanta hitman has a reputation for being a bit of a brute, but his strikes so far this term have illustrated that there is a touch of finesse in his finishing. Having netted a bicycle-kick against Fiorentina, the former Messina man delivered a delicate chip over Nestor Muslera to ensure the Nerazzurri collected a 2-1 over Lazio.

Trez bien: David Trezeguet scored his 100th Serie A goal in 155 games for Juventus by giving his side the lead at Roma. As a result, there are now seven players presently in the top flight who have netted a century – Filippo Inzaghi (127 in 289 games), Hernan Crespo (133 in 246), Christian Vieri (135 in 233), Alessandro Del Piero (135 in 335), Vincenzo Montella (138 in 267) and Francesco Totti (155 in 374).

Treble trouble: Milan have now drawn their last three League games with a 1-1 scoreline – something that hasn’t happened in Serie A since January 1984 when they were held by Verona, Roma and Catania. The Rossoneri eventually finished that campaign in eighth place.

Nil by mouth: The 0-0 draw at the Stadio Castellani between Empoli and Napoli wasn’t exactly a surprise. Three of their last four Serie A meetings also ended scoreless. However, there is a notable exception given that the Tuscan outfit thumped the Azzurri 5-0 back in February 1998. Napoli have now not conceded a goal for 301 minutes.

Source: Antonio Labbate (C4 Football Italia)

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