Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Serie A Week 10: Wednesday Review

Roma won the 129th top flight Derby della Capitale 3-2 against Lazio on a night that saw 34 goals scored in 10 Serie A matches. Milan thumped Sampdoria 5-0, David Trezeguet's hat-trick inspired Juventus, Inter crushed Genoa and Fiorentina narrowly defeated Napoli.

Roma played without captain Francesco Totti but edged Lazio in a thrilling Eternal City derby to stay hot on the heels of leaders Inter. Tommaso Rocchi fired Lazio into an early lead but the Giallorossi hit back courtesy of Mirko Vucinic, who was playing in place of the injured Totti. Alessandro Mancini then put Roma 2-1 up before half-time and Simone Perrotta struck on 66 minutes to give Luciano Spalletti's team a two-goal cushion. Cristian Ledesma gave Lazio a lifeline with a stunning free-kick 21 minutes from the end of the match but Roma defended deeply and held on for the win. The outcome leaves Lazio only two points above the relegation zone.

AC Milan returned to winning ways in emphatic style against Sampdoria. Milan will wish they could play at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris every week after following up their 3-0 win over Genoa on the opening day of the season with another convincing triumph. Kaka scored the first in the 47th minute with Alberto Gilardino doubling the lead five minutes later and completing his brace on the hour-mark. Yoann Gourcuff's 76th-minute strike and Clarence Seedorf's effort four minutes later sealed the rout to lift Milan out of their crisis and send Sampdoria deeper into their own.

Inter defended their place at the top of Serie A and protected key players ahead of their trip to Juventus on Sunday on a perfect night for Roberto Mancini's side. They defeated Genoa 4-1 at the San Siro without Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Walter Samuel even having to risk picking up a yellow card which would have ruled them out of the big match at the weekend. Ivan Cordoba scored in the eighth minute and Esteban Cambiasso got another early in the second half. Although Abdoulay Konko pulled one back, David Suazo immediately replied and Julio Cruz converted a late penalty. Gian Piero Gasperini's visitors have picked up just one point from their last three games - although given the opposition of Juventus, Fiorentina and Inter, they will not be too disheartened.

A solitary goal from Cristian Vieri was enough to hand unbeaten Fiorentina a tight win over Napoli at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, as the Viola stay four points behind leaders Inter. The veteran striker was a surprise inclusion in manager Cesare Prandelli's starting XI and certainly did not disappoint. He fired home after 61 minutes to ensure the three points stayed in Florence, and the Viola kept up the pressure on Inter and Roma above them.

David Trezeguet fired a stunning second-half hat-trick as Juventus swept aside Empoli at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin. Following a goalless first half, the France striker set the Bianconeri on their way six minutes after half-time from the penalty spot and added his second just after the hour-mark. Trezeguet made it 3-0 with 20 minutes remaining as Juve stayed four points behind leaders Inter but moved above Fiorentina into third by virtue of goal difference.

Udinese ensured they kept in touch with the chasing pack in Serie A after a battling victory over Torino at the Stadio Friuli. Goals from Antonio Floro Flores and Gokhan Inler put the home side 2-0 up before Nicola Ventola pulled one back, but the home side hung on to claim the points. Both sides were reduced to 10 men after Torino's Tommaso Vailatti was sent off two minutes before half time and Andrea Dossena received his marching orders following a second yellow in the 57th minute.

Atalanta twice came from behind to earn a point against Cagliari in Bergamo. Michele Fini put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot in the first half but Daniele Capelli equalised after the break. Substitute Alessandro Matri restored Cagliari's advantage but Cristiano Doni restored parity before Atalanta's Riccardo Zampagna was given his marching orders late on. The point leaves Atalanta sixth and keeps Cagliari two places above the relegation zone in 16th.

Parma's hopes of clinching their first away win of the season were scuppered as Carvalho Amauri's late equaliser from the penalty spot earned Palermo a point. It looked as if Stefano Morrone's third-minute effort would be enough to see the Ducale club win their first victory on their travels since April 21. But Brazilian forward Amauri had other ideas and, having earned a penalty after being brought down inside the area, he coolly struck three minutes from time to secure his team a draw. Parma were the better side on the night as Palermo continued to struggle to show their best form at La Favorita, where they have only won once this campaign. The result, which was Palermo's fourth straight draw, leaves the Sicilian outfit in ninth position in the standings.

Fausto Rossini's late goal sealed Livorno's first victory of the season as they swapped bottom position in the Serie A table with opponents Reggina - who remain winless in 2007/08. Nico Pulzetti opened his account for Livorno on 33 minutes, but the lead lasted only three minutes before Nicola Amoruso levelled the scores. An own goal from Carlos Valdez restored the visitors' advantage before Rossini's strike a minute from time secured the three points - the first in three matches for new coach Giancarlo Camolese.

A late goal from Juan Manuel Vargas prevented Catania falling to a defeat at the hands of strugglers Siena. After a missed penalty from Massimo Maccarone in the first half, Paolo de Ceglie scored his first goal since moving from Juventus in the close season to give Siena a surprise lead in the 78th minute. But Vargas levelled the scores 10 minutes later to ensure Catania remain in eighth place.

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