Monday, 3 December 2007

Spotlight - Week 14: Antonio the enigma

Here's a round up the winners and the losers from Week 14 of the Serie A season.

Antonio Cassano (Sampdoria): We saw both sides of Fantantonio on Saturday night. His mazy runs and incisive through balls inspired the Blucerchiati to a 3-0 win over Reggina and reminded us why he is one of the peninsula's great natural talents. His crazy touchline spat with Renzo Ulivieri reminded us why he is playing for a mid-table side. All in all, an exhilarating display from Serie A's Jekyll and Hyde.

Ferreira Pinto (Atalanta): The catalyst at the heart of Atalanta's demolition of Napoli. He may not be Serie A's most famous Brazilian, but he looked every bit a Seleção star with his two assists and a slotted finish.

Luis Jimenez (Inter): The Chilean international is a perfect demonstration of Inter's formidable strength in depth. An injury crisis handed Jimenez his chance and he took full advantage with a goal and an all-round menacing performance to show Fiorentina they made a mistake letting him go.

Marco Ballotta (Lazio): Serie A's oldest player looked 83 rather than 43 when he comically fumbled a routine cross to hand Siena the lead at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Juan Pablo Carrizo can't arrive soon enough so Ballotta can be put out to pasture.

Giampiero Pinzi (Udinese): In just his second start of the season, the highly-rated Lazio youth product let his side down when he saw red against Roma. Within 15 minutes of coming on as a substitute, a fired up Pinzi slid through the back of Juan and ended any hope of stealing a vital point.

Maurizio Zamparini (Palermo): The trigger-happy President may have lost faith in Stefano Colantuono, but firing his Coach before a derby betrayed his trademark naivety. Will Zampa learn his lesson after a disjointed performance and a humiliating defeat at less illustrious neighbours Catania?

Ferreira Pinto (Atalanta): In a microcosm explaining how Atalanta tore apart Napoli 5-1, this brilliant team move saw Sergio Floccari and Cristiano Doni exchange passes at speed for Ferreira Pinto to finish through the goalkeeper’s legs.

Jorge Martinez (Catania): The Uruguayan has been consistently impressive this season and he curled his fifth goal of the campaign with his right foot, a shot often called ‘alla Del Piero.’

Roberto Sosa (Napoli): A spectacular strike on the volley that looped over a helpless Ferdinando Coppola and into the far top corner. Such a shame he won’t have fond memories of it.

San Siro sick: Never before in Serie A history have Milan gone nine consecutive home matches without a win. The previous record was eight, set way back between April 1934 and February 1935. They haven't won at the Meazza since a 3-1 triumph over Cagliari on April 21.

Empoli's bad Parma: Empoli's defeat at Parma comes as little surprise to the statisticians. The Tuscans have lost all seven of their top-flight trips to the Stadio Tardini, scoring just once and conceding 14.

Sardinian snooze: Cagliari v Livorno has a reputation as a neutral's nightmare. The last four times the sides have met at the Stadio Sant'Elia it has finished 0-0.

Source: Paul Watson (C4 Football Italia)

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