Here's a round up the winners and the losers from Week 17 of the Serie A season.
Esteban Cambiasso (Inter): It’s difficult to believe Real Madrid released him on a free in 2004, as since then Cambiasso has been one of the hardest workers and most consistent performers in the ever-changing Inter squad. Still only 27, the Argentine secured the derby bragging rights and the title of Winter Champions.
Luca Vigiani (Reggina): Reggina registered only their second win of the campaign and it was all thanks to an unlikely hero, as Vigiani bagged an historic hat-trick against Catania. In one match he scored as many goals as throughout all of last season and on four has already set a new personal best. With the Amaranto forwards continuing to misfire, they needed the midfielder to spring a surprise.
Francesco Totti (Roma): Er Pupone does not do things by halves. Having missed five Serie A penalties last season and barely played in two months, he could be forgiven for taking the easy route, but Totti was determined to place a trademark chip over the goalkeeper and prove he was back with a bang. Completing his brace late on was just the icing on the Christmas cake.
Nelson Dida (Milan): Inter’s very own Santa Claus gave Cambiasso the winning goal with a bow on top, as he somehow managed to completely misjudge the flight of the ball and threw himself in the opposite direction. At first it seemed a deflection had left him stranded, but upon closer inspection it was just another in the catalogue of Dida howlers that Milan supporters are now all too familiar with. Reggina’s Nenad Novakovic avoids this loser title as letting the ball squirm through his legs didn’t stop his side winning 3-1.
Maurizio Domizzi (Napoli): It really wasn’t his day. First the referee bizarrely awards a penalty for handball when it is evident his outstretched foot made contact, then he gets the chance to make amends and fires his spot-kick straight at Matteo Sereni. Domizzi must’ve been very glad to hear the final whistle at the San Paolo.
Amauri (Palermo): Yes he got on the scoresheet and technically the whole team was at fault for throwing away a 2-0 lead against Lazio, but the Brazilian is singled out for one of the worst penalty kicks seen in Serie A history. It was high, it was wide, it allowed the Biancocelesti to equalise four minutes later.
Andrea Pirlo (Milan): The former Inter benchwarmer showed just what his old side are missing with a classic free kick curled into the top corner. Julio Cesar could only watch and admire.
David Trezeguet (Juventus): Sheer class and technique from the striker more commonly associated with tap-ins. He flicked the ball on with his heel before smashing the right-foot shot from 20 metres.
Luca Vigiani (Reggina): The first of his hat-trick was a well-worked training ground move. Nicola Amoruso teed up the free kick for Vigiani’s thumping volley from the edge of the box.
Derby old boy: Paolo Maldini played his 55th Milan derby, having begun that journey with a 2-2 draw on December 1, 1985. This was the 266th Derby della Madonnina and the Rossoneri still lead overall on 104 wins, 72 draws and 90 defeats despite losing the last three meetings on the trot. Last season Milan had also taken the lead only to lose 2-1.
The Specialist: Matteo Sereni has saved three spot-kicks this season, denying Siena striker Massimo Maccarone twice in the same game. Napoli have now missed two penalties, as Emanuele Calaiò saw his effort parried against Reggina.
Grifone release: Genoa were without a victory since seeing off Cagliari 2-0 on October 7, followed by five defeats and four draws. Curiously, all but one of Marco Borriello’s eight goals this term have been scored at Marassi.
Source: Susy Campanale (C4 Football Italia)