Here's a round up the winners and the losers from Week 13 of the Serie A season.
Christian Panucci (Roma): It was a case of déjà vu for Christian Panucci at the weekend. Just seven days after his Hampden heroics, the Roma captain mirrored his Azzurri strike by heading in an almost identical goal against Genoa on Saturday evening. It was enough to earn the capital giants three crucial points and underline what a good player this 34-year-old critic splitter really is.
Marcelo Zalayeta (Napoli): The big Uruguayan lit up the San Paolo with his second brace of the season and in some style. Not known for his finesse or dribbling ability, the 28-year-old single-handedly tore through the Catania rearguard. The summer signing from Juventus may just prove to be one of the shrewdest buys of the season.
Pavel Nedved (Juventus): The real Czech Fury is back – and it’s about time. Nedved has had a difficult start to the campaign with some questioning what more he can give to this silent Scudetto contender. But the former Golden Ball winner was one of numerous Juventus players to catch the eye at the Olimpico on Sunday night.
Kaka (Milan): A seriously disappointing display from the man who will, in all probability, win the Golden Ball next weekend. Although not helped by his travels to South America in midweek, the former Sao Paulo youngster had an afternoon to forget against Cagliari – and not only for his missed penalty. This currently struggling Milan side need him constantly at his best.
Andrea Barzagli (Palermo): He was all set to join Juventus in the summer until Claudio Ranieri vetoed the move. The latter could argue he had a point after witnessing the Italian international’s display in Palermo’s 5-0 loss in Turin. Although not the only Rosanero to have a bad night at the Olimpico, he – as captain – must shoulder some responsibility.
Simone Inzaghi (Atalanta): He came on in the 79th minute and was dismissed in the 91st. It wasn’t exactly a great evening for Inzaghi at Inter on Saturday. With a place in the starting line-up seemingly up for grabs given the problems with Riccardo Zampagna in Bergamo, the former Italian international needs to start playing football with his head as well as his feet.
Francesco Tavano (Livorno): You can tell Ciccio Tavano has got his confidence back by witnessing his first of two strikes against Sampdoria. A goal developed on the training ground, Tavano instantly volleyed into the top corner after Daniele De Vezze purposely pulled the ball back from a free-kick.
Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus): He’d only been on the pitch a matter of minutes before he made the Olimpico erupt with a trademark free-kick. Positioned around 30 yards out and slightly to the right, Del Piero curled the ball effortlessly over the wall and into the back of the net as Federico Agliardi just stood and watched.
Sergio Floccari (Atalanta): It proved to be nothing more than a consolation, but Floccari’s strike was the goal of the night at San Siro. With his back to goal, he chested down a long ball on the edge of the area, turned Ivan Cordoba before instantly thumping past Julio Cesar.
Away the lad: Alberto Gilardino of MIlan scored his fifth League goal of the campaign at Cagliari on Sunday. Interestingly, all of those strikes for the Italian international have come away from home. Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick was his first in Serie A this term.
Late late show: Lazio’s Fabio Firmani likes his late goals. His injury time winner against Parma on Sunday was just his second Serie A strike of his career. Ironically, his first also arrived just before the final whistle when he netted in the 92nd minute for Vicenza in a 2-0 win over Napoli in March 2001.
Camolese cure: Livorno’s decision to sack Fernando Orsi and bring in Giancarlo Camolese seems to have been the right one. The former Torino tactician has seen his side collect 10 points from their last four games after the 3-1 win over Sampdoria yesterday.
Source: Antonio Labbate (C4 Football Italia)