Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Serie A - Week 9: Midweek Review

Catania 0-2 UdineseUdinese and Napoli are out in front in Serie A after picking up victories while Inter drew 0-0 at Fiorentina. Juventus, Lazio and Milan all secured tight wins while the Roma-Sampdoria match was abandoned after five minutes due to torrential rain in the Italian capital.

Udinese's title charge shows no sign of slowing down as a goal in each half gave them victory over Catania. Alexis Sanchez set the visitors on their way after 13 minutes before Fabio Quagliarella sealed the points seven minutes from time. The win keeps Udinese top of the Serie A table, level on points with another surprise package in Napoli and a point ahead of AC Milan. It could have been so different at the Stadio Angelo Massimino though as the Sicilians contrived to squander a succession of very presentable chances in a thrilling end-to-end game.

Napoli 3-0 RegginaNAPOLI 3-0 REGGINA
A German Denis hat-trick helped Napoli to an emphatic victory over rock-bottom Reggina which saw the Azzurri remain joint top of the Serie A table. Denis grabbed his first of the game after just seven minutes and doubled his tally less than 10 minutes later, before completing his hat-trick shortly after the hour mark. Napoli are level on 20 points with Udinese - two points clear of champions Inter - while Reggina remain bottom of the pile.

Fiorentina 0-0 InterFIORENTINA 0-0 INTER
Fiorentina produced a battling performance to hold defending champions Inter to a goalless draw in Florence. It was a fair result for both sides although the visitors did hit the crossbar through Amantino Mancini while the Viola applied some real pressure late on as they pushed for a winner. The result means Inter have now been held to two goalless draws in row while Fiorentina's four-match winning run comes to an end.

Milan 2-1 SienaAC MILAN 2-1 SIENA
AC Milan held off a resilient Siena to notch their fourth consecutive league victory. Filippo Inzaghi put the home side in front on the half-hour mark before Simone Vergassola levelled matters shortly after the interval. But Ricardo Kaka ensured the Rossoneri claimed all the points firing from the spot after after Inzaghi had been held inside the area by Daniele Portanova. The outcome saw Carlo Ancelotti's side climb to third in the standings, one point behind joint Serie A leaders Udinese and Napoli.

Bologna 1-2 JuventusBOLOGNA 1-2 JUVENTUS
Pavel Nedved scored twice as Juventus recorded their third win on the trot against Bologna to move up to ninth. Claudio Ranieri's side got off to a slow start this season but have started to show signs of recovery over the past week. And they were too strong for a Bologna side scrapping for their lives at the wrong end of the table. Veteran Czech midfielder Nedved opened the scoring after 12 minutes and added a deflected second on the hour mark. Former Juve striker Marco Di Vaio pulled one back with 16 minutes to go but the home side could not find an equaliser.

Chievo 1-2 LazioCHIEVO 1-2 LAZIO
A late own-goal from Andrea Mantovani gifted Lazio victory and denied Chievo the chance to climb out of the bottom three. Mantovani turned a cross into his own net eight minutes from time as the visitors came from behind to claim their first win since September. Sergio Pellissier had given Chievo hope of posting only their second win of the season with the opener after 11 minutes, but Goran Pandev levelled things up. The win lifts the Rome-based side up to sixth in the Serie A table, just four points behind joint-leaders Udinese and Napoli.

Genoa 2-1 CagliariGENOA 2-1 CAGLIARI
Genoa maintained their 100% home record thanks to a narrow win over Cagliari. Sokratis Papastathopoulos put the home side ahead after 25 minutes and Thiago Motta made it two close to the hour mark. But Gian Piero Gasperini's side were made to sweat when Paolo Bianco pulled a goal back after 66 minutes before a red card for Cagliari's Michele Fini all but ended their hopes of snatching an equaliser. The win - Genoa's fifth in five games at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris - lifts the Rossoblu up to seventh place, just four points behind leaders Udinese.

Torino 2-1 AtalantaTORINO 2-1 ATALANTA
Torino eased the pressure on coach Gianni De Biasi with a battling win at home to Atalanta. Two goals in three second-half minutes from Nicola Amoruso and Roberto Stellone gave the hosts the edge and, although Sergio Floccari's reply ensured a nervy finish, Toro held on for only their second win of the campaign. Prior to the match, De Biasi had been given another vote of confidence from Torino President Urbano Cairo amid reports Walter Novellino - who coached Toro last season before being fired in April - was set for a return to the Granata outfit.

Lecce 1-1 PalermoLECCE 1-1 PALERMO
Palermo coach Davide Ballardini will be breathing a little easier after Edison Cavani's last-gasp goal rescued a point against 10-man Lecce. Ballardini was clinging onto his job by a thread following two successive defeats and must have been thinking the worst when his side fell behind after 22 minutes thanks to Daniele Cacia. However, the turning point of the match occurred after 75 minutes when Guillermo Giacomazzi was sent off for two yellow cards and Palermo made the man advantage count as they levelled matters three minutes from time.

Roma's Serie A match against Sampdoria was abandoned because of a waterlogged pitch after a storm brought a heavy downpour in Rome. The conditions at the Stadio Olimpico became unplayable after just five minutes with the score still goalless and referee Paolo Tagliavento called a halt to proceedings. Tagliavento waited 20 minutes to see if conditions improved before abandoning the game for the night. The Lega Calcio confirmed that the remaining 85 minutes would be played on Wednesday 14 January. [Match Review]

[Wednesday 29 Oct]

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