Sunday, 7 October 2007

Serie A Week 7: Sunday Review

Two goals a-peice from Kaka and Alberto Gilardino helped AC Milan to an emphatic victory against Lazio, while a last-gasp penalty from Adrian Mutu denied Juventus a win at Fiorentina. Roma took advantage of that draw to move into third spot in Serie A with a 3-0 win at Parma. There was another victory for Genoa and vital wins for Catania, Siena and Torino.

European champions Milan, who had only registered one win prior to their visit to Rome, took the lead on 15 minutes when Massimo Ambrosini found the net. Lazio were level seven minutes later but it would offer short-lived cheer for the hosts as Milan soon took control. They were awarded a penalty with 32 minutes on the clock after goalkeeper Nestor Muslera fouled Gilardino, Kaka duly converting before the Brazilian added a second six minutes into the second half. Gilardino then wrapped up a 5-1 win with two fantastic finishes (70 & 78) to secure an impressive three points. Lazio fans vented their fury at President Claudio Lotito once again and he was clearly unimpressed with the performance of his side, leaving his seat with 20 minutes remaining.

Adrian Mutu came back to haunt Juventus with a late penalty to preserve Fiorentina's unbeaten record in Serie A. The Romania striker, who joined the Viola from Juve in July last year, beat Gianluigi Buffon from the spot with two minutes remaining after Nicola Legrottaglie handled in the area to deny Claudio Ranieri a victory against the club where he won the Coppa Italia and SuperCoppa in 1996. Summer signing Vincenzo Iaquinta's controversial first-half strike looked to have won it for the visitors, who remain second but now trail leaders Inter by three points. Juve were second best for much of the game and on reflection may look on the game as point gained rather than two points dropped.

Francesco Totti struck twice as Roma got their title challenge back on track with a convincing 3-0 victory over 10-man Parma. The result sees the Eternal City giants climb to third in the standings, just three points behind Serie A leaders Inter. Totti opened the scoring after two minutes played before providing the assist for Alessandro Mancini to double Roma's advantage midway through the first half. Parma, who created little, suffered a huge setback with striker Bernardo Corradi sent off in the 26th minute after two yellow cards. Totti made sure to kill the game off with eight minutes remaining.

Palermo snatched a point at the death to deny Reggina their first victory of the season. Having dominated the encounter at La Favorita, Palermo fell behind when Nicola Amoruso scored in second-half injury time but Carvalho Amauri came to the rescue for the Sicilian giants with a last-gasp equaliser. It was all the more impressive considering the home side were forced to play in numerical inferiority after defender Giuseppe Biava had been sent off for a double booking in the 88th minute.

Genoa secured their third successive victory with a routine 2-0 win over Cagliari to move into fifth place in Serie A. Marco Borriello scored his fifth goal of the season after an hour before Marco Di Vaio opened his account to put the game beyond doubt with 17 minutes to go. The home side dominated throughout and picked up a deserved three points.

Siena claimed their first win of the season in style as they beat fellow strugglers Empoli at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Massimo Maccarone was the hero as he first won the penalty that saw Daniele Adani sent-off for a professional foul and then converted it himself on his return to the side following injury. Coach Andrea Mandorlini will have been glad to see his side get the rub of the green with the officials after the club refused to speak to the media in the build-up to the match due to "dubious refereeing decisions in previous matches which in each case had harmed the football club". That will all be forgotten now though as further goals from Thomas Locatelli and Daniele Galloppa sealed an impressive win which lifts the side out of the relegation zone.

Eugenio Corini scored an 89th-minute winner for Torino to sink a Sampdoria side who played for the entire second half with 10 men. The first half was an even affair but the whole nature of the game changed a minute before the break when the visitors' Sergio Volpi was sent off for a reckless tackle on Matteo Rubin. The Genoa-based side battled bravely but they could not hold out with Corini deflecting Dominique Malonga's shot into the net with time almost up.

Gennaro Sardo scored the only goal as Catania claimed their second victory of the season over lowly Livorno. Livorno's woes were compounded when David Balleri was sent off for a second yellow card 14 minutes from time to leave the Tuscany side bottom of Serie A without a win and with two points from seven matches. The result sees pressure continue to build on beleaguered Livorno coach Fernando Orsi, with club president Aldo Spinelli not renowned for his patience.

[Saturday 6 Oct] - [Sunday 7 Oct]

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