Monday, 1 October 2007

Spotlight - Week 6: Wizard of Os

Here's a round up of the winners and the losers from Week 6 of the Serie A season.

Pablo Daniel Osvaldo (Fiorentina):
There is no better way to introduce yourself than to score a brace on your Serie A debut. The young Argentine tore into Livorno to decide the Tuscan derby with two goals of real quality. If Giampaolo Pazzini was nervous at having Christian Vieri look over his shoulder, then he has a new competitor to worry about.

Roberto Mancini (Inter): Furious at the media for painting Inter as the dull and muscular warriors to Roma’s balletic beautiful game, Mancio tactically throttled Luciano Spalletti’s side. Even before Ludovic Giuly’s idiotic dismissal, he stunned the Olimpico with Zlatan Ibrahimovic as lone striker supported by Cesar Aparecido and Luis Figo. He didn’t speak to the Press after the match – he didn’t have to.

David Trezeguet (Juventus): If you watched all of the Turin derby, you’d have heard this name only twice. Once after 55 seconds when his shot was beaten away by Matteo Sereni and again at the 93rd minute as he pounced on a Toro defensive error to give Juve victory. There is simply no other goal poacher like him and, as infuriating as he may be at times, he certainly knows how and when to get himself noticed.

Ludovic Giuly (Roma):
Perhaps it was always the tiny player’s dream to be a goalkeeper, but 28 minutes into the Scudetto showdown was not the time to experience that thrill. Not only did he hand Inter a penalty, he left his side with 10 men for over an hour. Thanks to the Gallic moment of madness, a great football match was ruined.

Carlo Ancelotti (Milan): Something is rotten in the Rossoneri. It is true they have had their fair share of bad luck recently, but the performance against Catania was downright dreadful, deserving nothing more than a point. Without a Serie A win since Week 1’s 3-0 at Genoa, Ancelotti has to shake his squad out of their complacency. They almost act as if the smaller clubs aren’t worth the effort.

Daniele Balli (Empoli): As goalkeeping howlers go, this was a classic. An abysmal first touch saw him deposit the ball straight at Edison Cavani’s feet, so the Palermo man had the entire goal to aim at. Thankfully for Balli, Empoli were able to win 3-1 in the end.

Aleksander Kolarov (Lazio): The strike from almost 40 metres was so powerful that even with the slow-motion replay it zips past your eyes. The Serb Under-21 international full-back created a goal out of nothing, unleashing a cruise missile that stunned everyone – teammates and opponents alike. It is perhaps fortunate goalkeeper Nicola Pavarini didn’t get a hand to it, as it might have taken his arm off.

Pablo Daniel Osvaldo (Fiorentina): The Argentine scored a memorable first Serie A goal on his debut. Mario Alberto Santana’s cross floated towards the back post, where Osvaldo volleyed with the inside of his right foot to steer the ball into the far top corner from the cutest of angles.

Antonio Cassano (Sampdoria): At last, the jewel of Bari Vecchia is making headlines for all the right reasons. His first goal in a Samp jersey saw him spring the offside trap, chest down Sergio Volpi’s pass over the defence and keep his cool to sweep it past the ‘keeper with the inside of his right foot. Welcome back, Antonio!

Olimpico entertainment: There have been 33 goals in the last eight meetings between Inter and Roma in all competitions, home or away. Hernan Crespo netted six of them and these two teams haven’t played out a goalless draw since October 26, 2003 in Serie A.

Tuscan taboo: Fiorentina had not avoided defeat at Livorno since the 3-0 Coppa Italia victory of 1971-72 and in the following four visits failed to score. In Serie A their last win was 75 years ago, a 2-1 result on January 6, 1935.

Mole comeback: The Derby della Mole had not been played in any competition for four years, but it picked up where it had left off – with a Juventus victory. Torino haven’t won this fixture since a 2-1 'away' result on April 9, 1995 earned thanks to Ruggero Rizzitelli's double.

Source: Susy Campanale (C4 Football Italia)

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