Monday, 22 October 2007

Spotlight - Week 8: Alessandro the Great

Here's a round up of the winners and the losers from Week 8 of the Serie A season.

Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus):
Having finally penned a contract extension last week, the script was written for Alex to celebrate with a goal and he didn't disappoint. Written off by many as past his sell-by date, Del Piero couldn't have more eloquently demonstrated his importance to the club. After a tough spell, things are looking up and the Juventus captain can look forward to the birth of his first son safe in the knowledge that his role as Bianconeri leader is secure.

Marek Hamsik (Napoli): Every player on the pitch at the Stadio Olimpico deserved recognition for their part in a titanic 4-4 draw, but Napoli's young Slovak gets a special mention. The 20-year-old didn't just score a superb goal, he was at the heart of everything the Vesuviani created and never looked intimidated by the tension of the Derby del Sud. A star in the making.

Adriano (Inter): L'Imperatore hit his first goal since April 15 and secured maximum points from a testing trip to Reggio Calabria. Goals on waterlogged pitches against resolute minnows win titles and Adriano silenced his critics at the Stadio Granillo, even if he marred his achievement by ignoring Roberto Mancini's congratulations.

Carlo Ancelotti (Milan):
Defeat at home to Empoli simply wasn't an option for the struggling Carletto. The Rossoneri seemed to be back on track after Week 7's 5-1 hammering of Lazio, but they are floundering and already all but out of the title race. Jose Mourinho's long shadow looms...

Pavel Nedved (Juventus): The veteran Czech winger elbowed Genoa's Abdoullay Konko at the final whistle and faces a sizeable ban. He really should know better than to let his temper get the better of him and now he stands to miss the all-important Derby d'Italia against Inter.

Aldo Spinelli (Livorno): The fiery Livorno President has the patience of a toddler. Having stressed his unwavering trust in Coach Fernando Orsi, Spinelli sacked him to bring in Giancarlo Camolese and is already on the new man's back after just one defeat. Publicly criticising your Coach leaves a sour taste at the best of times, but when the tactician has had 11 days to turn things around it is unacceptable.

Giampaolo Pazzini (Fiorentina): Pazzo has been under pressure to replace Luca Toni and this goal made his mark. A perfect example of the Viola’s entertaining football, Franco Semioli held up the ball for Pazzini to chest it down and crack a glorious acrobatic volley under the bar.

Walter Gargano (Napoli): There were several stunners in the epic 4-4 at the Olimpico, but Walter Gargano deserves the nod for opening his Serie A account in such impressive fashion. It was a thunderbolt out of nowhere that flew past a flummoxed Gianluca Curci from almost 30 metres.

Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus): How better to celebrate his new contract and impending fatherhood? Alex snuck between two central defenders to volley Pavel Nedved’s cross in off the outside of his right foot.

Fortress Ferraris: Sampdoria still haven't conceded a goal at home this season. The Blucerchiati's 3-0 thumping of Parma extended their run to 360 unbeaten minutes at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Beautiful south: The incredible 4-4 in the Derby del Sud wasn't the only time Roma and Napoli have managed eight goals in a game. The last time was in 1959 and it wasn't such a close encounter with the Giallorossi running out 8-0 victors.

Purple power: Fiorentina are the only side to match Inter's unbeaten start to the campaign. The Viola's 3-0 derby win over Siena took their record to four wins and four draws.

Source: Paul Watson (C4 Football Italia)

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