Sunday, 25 November 2007

Serie A Week 13: Sunday Review

Juventus emphatically brushed aside Palermo to go joint second in Serie A on Sunday night. AC Milan got a much-needed victory, coming from behind to defeat Cagliari. Udinese rose to third, Lazio left it late against Parma and Fiorentina were held by Reggina.

Juventus moved into second place in Serie A as their three-pronged attack each grabbed a slice of a thumping 5-0 win over Palermo. David Trezeguet scored the first in the 29th minute with his initial strike-partner Vincenzo Iaquinta doubling the lead four minutes before the interval. Alessandro Del Piero came on for the final 25 minutes and scored within five before turning provider for Marco Marchionni in the 74th minute. A goal and an assist were not enough for Del Piero, who added another from the penalty spot in stoppage time as he and the Bianconeri set themselves up nicely for next Saturday's big match at the San Siro against AC Milan.

Andrea Pirlo's stunning free-kick allowed AC Milan to record a come-from-behind win over Cagliari on Sunday afternoon. Robert Acquafresca had given the Sardinian outfit a fourth-minute lead before Alberto Gilardino equalised on the hour mark. Although Cagliari goalkeeper Marcos Fortin had saved Kaka's first-half penalty strike, there was little he could do to stop Pirlo's majestic effort with four minutes remaining. The outcome sees the Rossoneri climb to ninth in the standings, 11 points behind Serie A leaders and city rivals Inter.

Fabio Quagliarella scored one and created another as 10-man Udinese crushed struggling Siena 2-0 to go third in Serie A. The former Sampdoria striker got the ball rolling with a close-range header in the 43rd minute before turning provider for Antonio Di Natale to wrap up the win 10 minutes from time. In between, Felipe da Silva collected two yellow cards in as many minutes and was dismissed, but Udinese faced few obstacles en route to picking up the three points. The result, Udinese's seventh win of the season, puts Pasquale Marino's side within three points of table topping Inter.

Fiorentina failed to keep pace with Inter and Roma at the summit of Serie A after being held to a 0-0 draw at struggling Reggina. The Viola, who started the weekend in second place in the standings, rarely looked like winning against a side currently lying inside the bottom three. The home team went closest to scoring in the first half with Emmanuel Cascione while they were also unfortunate not to be given a penalty minutes later when Michele Pazienza handled inside the box. But they will have to wait even longer for their first penalty of the season and their next three points after failing to turn their minimal superiority over the 90 minutes into a winning goal.

Fabio Firmani's last-minute goal handed Lazio a victory over Parma at the Stadio Olimpico. With the game looking to be heading for a goalless draw, Firmani got on the end of Stephen Makinwa's cross to fire past Parma goalkeeper Luca Bucci. The result marked the Roman club's first league triumph in Rome since September 26 and lifted Delio Rossi's side three points clear of the drop zone.

Napoli got back to winning ways in Serie A thanks to a brace from Marcelo Zalayeta which leaves Catania still looking for their first victory on the road. The Partenopei have collected just one point from their past three matches but the Uruguay international fired them into the lead just before half-time before doubling his and his side's tally in the 65th minute.

Francesco Tavano scored twice to sink Sampdoria as Livorno recorded their first home win of the season. Livorno had picked up just two points from five games at the Stadio Armando Picchi before this game, but two goals in as many minutes early on from Dario Knezevic and Tavano effectively sealed the win. Samp threatened to take something from the game when Claudio Bellucci scored with 10 minutes remaining but the equaliser proved elusive and it was Livorno who had the final say when Tavano grabbed his second in the 89th minute.

Empoli and Torino had to settle for a share of the points as the two sides played out a scrappy and open 0-0 draw at the Stadio Carlo Castellani. Both sides were guilty of squandering chances but it will be the hosts that are the most disappointed as they looked to be out for a much needed win. The result won't have eased any of the pressure on Azzurri coach Luigi Cagni as the Tuscans remain in the drop zone.

[Saturday 24 Nov] - [Sunday 25 Nov]

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