Sunday, 16 March 2008

Serie A Week 28: Sunday Review

Inter shrugged off their midweek Champions League exit to move six points clear of Roma at the Serie A summit while Juventus and Fiorentina cemented their top four positions. Elsewhere there were wins for Atalanta, Cagliari, Reggina and Sampdoria.

Having witnessed title challengers Roma reduce their lead to three points last night, Inter responded in perfect fashion by overcoming Palermo 2-1 at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Patrick Vieira set the champions on their way five minutes in when he headed Zlatan Ibrahimovic's lofted pass. The Sicilians were level 21 minutes later though when Marco Materazzi deflected the ball into his own net after Fabio Simplicio's follow-up from Fabrizio Miccoli's shot rebounded off Julio Cesar and on to the defender. However, Inter regained the initiative within nine minutes when Luis Jimenez converted Maicon's square ball across the penalty area.

Fiorentina opened up a four-point lead over AC Milan in the battle for a Champions League berth following a convincing 3-1 victory against mid-table Genoa. Mario Alberto Santana and Adrian Mutu gave the hosts a two-goal cushion before the break, and Giampaolo Pazzini fired in the Viola's third after almost an hour before young substitute Matias Masiero scored on his debut for the Grifone.

Substitute Vincenzo Iaquinta's late goal kept Juventus' hopes of qualifying directly for next season's Champions League alive with a 1-0 victory against Napoli at the Stadio Olimpico. Their hopes had been undermined by their recent poor form at home, when they had managed just one win from their past five games in Turin. And it looked as though they would slip further behind second-placed Roma until Italy striker Iaquinta netted late on to keep Juve seven points adrift of the capital club.

Sampdoria continued their charge towards a UEFA Cup place with a convincing 3-1 win against travel-sick Catania. Angelo Palombo's strike from distance opened the scoring for Samp on 68 minutes, and although Lorenzo Stovini equalised for Catania on 74 minutes, Pietro Accardi put the hosts back in front two minutes later. Claudio Bellucci then came off the bench to seal the win with his 11th goal of the season four minutes from time, completing a remarkable comeback after undergoing knee surgery less than a fortnight ago. Walter Mazzarri's side leapfrog Udinese into the final UEFA Cup qualification spot in sixth place.

New Parma coach Hector Cuper saw his side fight back from a goal behind to earn a vital point from a 1-1 draw against fellow relegation battlers Livorno. The 52-year-old Argentinian, who was confirmed as the Gialloblu boss on Wednesday, had a Brazilian to thank for earning his team a rare point away from home when striker Reginaldo found the net on the hour mark to cancel out Jose Vidigal's first-half strike. Parma have yet to register a win away from home this season, however this result has ensured they remain outside the relegation places by a point, with Livorno just one point better off.

Reggina coach Nevio Orlandi enjoyed a dream home debut as he watched his new charges thrash Siena in his first match in charge at the Stadio Granillo. Having overseen a 2-0 defeat at Inter last weekend, Orlandi saw his side storm into a 3-0 lead before half-time thanks two goals from Franco Brienza either side of a brilliant free-kick converted by Francesco Cozza. Substitute Simone Missiroli netted the fourth midway through the second half against a Siena side who had put clear water between themselves and the relegation zone.

Bottom club Cagliari stunned Torino by ending their recent resurgence with a 3-0 win at the Stadio Sant'Elia. Jedaias Jeda's early goal set the tone for the home side before David Di Michele missed a penalty for Torino. Robert Acquafresca showed him how it is done, scoring from the spot soon after and added a second in the second half to seal the win for the Rossoblu. Three points are not enough to haul Cagliari off the foot of Serie A and they are still five points from safety. Defeat for Toro has not significantly harmed them, as they remain six points away from the relegation places.

Atalanta dispelled any lingering relegation fears afternoon after inflicting a fourth successive defeat on Empoli with a 4-1 victory. Antonio Langella gave the home side a 19th-minute lead which Cristiano Doni doubled approaching the half-hour mark. Simone Padoin settled the contest in the second period with two goals in the last 13 minutes, either side of an Ighli Vannucchi strike.

[Saturday 15 Mar] - [Sunday 16 Mar]

No comments:

Post a Comment