Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Serie A Week 25: Wednesday Review

Javier Zanetti scored a last-gasp equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw for Serie A leaders Inter against second-placed Roma to maintain their nine-point lead. Fiorentina moved above AC Milan into fourth after a 1-0 home win over Livorno while the Rossoneri were held by Catania.

Inter scored an 89th-minute equaliser to deny 10-man Roma in Wednesday's 1-1 draw. Francesco Totti rediscovered his scoring touch to fire Roma into a 38th-minute lead and he looked to have blown the title race wide open until Javier Zanetti salvaged a late point for the league leaders. The dismissal of Philippe Mexes in the 85th minute for a second bookable offence did not help the visitors, but to blame the defender for the squandering of a precious lead would be harsh as Roma missed a host of chances and Inter dominated the second half.

Fiorentina bounced back immediately from their defeat to Roma with a 1-0 victory over Tuscan rivals Livorno. A first Fiorentina goal for substitute Ndiaye Papa Waigo was enough to keep all three points in Florence and see Livorno slump to a third consecutive defeat. The Labronici are now in real trouble as the defeat saw them slip down into the relegation places while the Viola reclaimed fourth place from AC Milan.

AC Milan slipped out of the Champions League qualifying spots after only managing a 1-1 draw at struggling Catania. Milan went ahead after 56 minutes through young Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato but Gionatha Spinesi equalised for the home side eight minutes later. A draw was the least Catania deserved for a battling display which belied their placing in the table. The Rossoneri are now two points behind fourth-placed Fiorentina.

Atalanta returned to winning ways in emphatic style with a comfortable win over in-form Sampdoria in Bergamo. Samp, who had taken seven points from their previous three games, took the lead through captain Sergio Volpi in the third minute, but Cristiano Doni equalised 10 minutes later. The former Blucerchiati midfielder added a second just after the half-hour mark and Sergio Floccari made it 3-1 nine minutes before the break. Defender Daniele Capelli, returning from suspension, rounded things off in the 53rd minute to give the Bergamaschi their first win in four games.

Genoa moved level with city rivals Sampdoria in the chase for a place in Europe next season thanks to a win over Napoli. Giuseppe Sculli broke the deadlock in the 41st minute and a penalty from Marco Borriello in the 75th minute secured the win. Borriello had been fouled by Maurizio Domizzi, who earned a red card in a keenly contested match at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. The goal was the striker's 16th of the season and takes him to the top of the Capocannoniere chart.

Late goals from Cristiano Lucarelli and Luca Cigarini gave Parma a 2-0 win against Udinese and hauled them to 14th place in Serie A. Lucarelli scored with 12 minutes to go, a splendid volley from the edge of the penalty area after an Andrea Pisanu cross. Cigarini then converted an 86th-minute penalty to wrap up the result. Udinese have now suffered four defeats in five games but still retain sixth place in the standings.

Lazio beat Reggina 1-0 with a spot-kick from Rolando Bianchi to ease their troubles. After having eggs thrown at them by fans on Monday at the club's training ground 24 hours after losing to bottom side Cagliari, Lazio prevailed to go six points clear of the drop zone. The goal was Bianchi's first in Serie A since joining the Roman club from Manchester City during the winter transfer window. The outcome sees the Biancoceleste climb to 12th in the standings and clinch their third consecutive win at home.

Palermo scored twice in the first half to bring Empoli's three-game winning streak crashing to a halt. The visitors had notched consecutive wins against Catania, Napoli and Lazio before the clash at the Stadio Renzo Barbera, but Fabio Simplicio and Leandro Rinaudo both scored to secure the points for the hosts. The Sicilians are now just two-points off sixth-placed Udinese. Empoli were unable to reproduce their recent good form and the defeat means they slip to 16th in the standings, just two points above the bottom three.

Massimo Maccarone scored with two minutes remaining and gave Siena breathing space from the relegation zone with a 1-0 win over bottom club Cagliari. The 28-year-old returned to action after missing the 2-2 draw at Atalanta, but showed no signs of rustiness as he beat two defenders to a cross, slotting in from 10 yards. Siena are now unbeaten in three Serie A games, and move up two places to 15th. Cagliari remain rooted to the foot of the table, now six points from safety.

[Tuesday 26 Feb] - [Wednesday 27 Feb]

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