Monday, 12 November 2007

Spotlight - Week 12: Talking Tedesco

Here's a round up the winners and the losers from Week 12 of the Serie A season.

Giovanni Tedesco (Palermo): We saw the best of football in Sicily this weekend in a thoroughly entertaining Derby del Sud and Tedesco was the undoubted hero, bagging a brace to overturn the deficit and defeat Napoli 2-1. As the only hometown player in the Palermo squad and even President Maurizio Zamparini said he doubted the veteran midfielder could still command a starting spot, it was an extra special evening.

Antonio Di Natale (Udinese): Fiorentina are known for playing the beautiful game, but Udinese out-shone them at the Stadio Franchi. Di Natale started and finished a brilliant team move, so on his current form he’s a prime candidate to start in Italy’s crucial Euro 2008 qualifier in Glasgow.

Renzo Ulivieri (Reggina): The oldest Coach in Serie A still has a few tricks up his sleeve, as Reggina finally picked up their first win of the campaign, marking his debut at the Stadio Granillo in style. Genoa were swept aside 2-0 and the Amaranto have clearly had their confidence restored in just a few short weeks under Ulivieri’s tutelage.

Domenico Morfeo (Parma): It is no secret he has a fiery temperament, but even Morfeo is expected to stay on the field longer than 30 seconds before he is sent off and has to be dragged away by his teammates. Whatever talent he possesses, it’s no longer enough to excuse his appalling disciplinary record.

Andrea Mandorlini (Siena): Odds on favourite to be the next coach sacked in Serie A after a dismal Tuscan derby defeat to struggling Livorno. A team that can’t take its chances and has a leaky defence cannot expect to survive in the top flight and neither can this eternally disappointing tactician.

Atalanta fans and the FIGC: If Serie A and B was stopped for two weeks following the death of police chief Filippo Raciti, should the authorities have shown a little more common sense and postponed this Sunday’s games to mourn a Lazio fan shot by police? Probably, but Atalanta Ultras demolishing the stadium to make that point was one step forward and eight steps back.

Antonio Di Natale (Udinese): A glorious team effort that began with Di Natale, went through Simone Pepe and Fabio Quagliarella before the striker finished off what he had started with a perfectly timed run and powerful finish under the bar.

Giovanni Tedesco (Palermo): The midfielder was alert to a lucky deflection to trap the ball and smack a splendid volley into the far top corner with the outside of his right boot.

Dominique Malonga (Torino): Really the credit goes to Nicola Ventola, as it was his magnificent overhead kick that cracked the crossbar and handed Malonga the tap-in on a plate. It was the Frenchman's debut Serie A goal.

Viola breached: Fiorentina were unbeaten at the Stadio Franchi in over a year, since the 3-2 loss to Palermo on October 29, 2006. That was followed by 15 wins and five draws in Serie A. This setback also ends their run as the only Italian club without defeat in all competitions this term, so in Europe only Arsenal and Bayern Munich can now vaunt that record.

Reja revival: Palermo and Napoli had not met in Sicily in 35 years, since a 1-0 home win on November 26, 1972. Curiously, one of the Rosanero players that day was Edy Reja – now the coach for Napoli.

Ulivieri off mark: Reggina finally celebrate their first win of the season after six draws and five losses. The Amaranto had not emerged with a victory in Serie A since a 2-0 result over a second-string Milan side on May 27, the final round of 2006-07.

Source: Susy Campanale (C4 Football Italia)

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