Sunday, 21 December 2008

Serie A - Week 17: Sunday Review

Atalanta 1-3 JuventusJuventus restored the six-point gap to Serie A leaders Inter at the Winter break with a 3-1 win at Atalanta. AC Milan recorded a thumping 5-1 win against Udinese but Roma's unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt halt at Catania. Elsewhere Fiorentina and Genoa recorded wins and Napoli were beaten.

Juventus beat Atalanta 3-1 at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia to keep up the pressure on Inter at the top of Serie A. Alessandro Del Piero and Nicola Legrottaglie fired The Old Lady into a commanding lead and, although substitute Christian Vieri pulled a goal back for the hosts, Amauri added his name to the scoresheet as the Turin side claimed their fourth league win in a row. The result means Claudio Ranieri's men will spend the winter break six points behind leaders Inter, while Atalanta will have to be content with a mid-table placing over the festive period.

AC Milan 5-1 UdineseAC MILAN 5-1 UDINESE
AC Milan brought an end to Serie A action for 2008 with a merciless demolition of Udinese under the watchful gaze of new loan signing David Beckham. The home side found the back of the net three times inside the first 18 minutes with Alexandre Pato on target twice and Ricardo Kaka scoring the first of two goals. Antonio Di Natale had given Udinese hope with a goal after 17 minutes but Clarence Seedorf ensured the home side took a three-goal cushion into the break. Kaka completed the scoring after 52 minutes to round-off the rout which lifts the Rossoneri up to third in the table, where they will lie when Beckham joins them for the trip to Roma on January 10.

Catania 3-2 RomaCATANIA 3-2 ROMA
Catania romped to their seventh home win of the season as they held on to beat in-form Roma 3-2 in a thriller at Stadio Angelo Massimino. A Davide Baiocco strike and a brace from Takayuki Morimoto eased Catania into a 3-0 lead inside an hour. Mirko Vucinic and substitute Jeremy Menez pulled goals back for Roma but the Giallorossi were unable to find a leveller and fell to their first defeat since November 1. Luciano Spalletti's team are now 19 points behind leaders Inter while Catania are eighth, 12 points clear of the drop zone.

Sampdoria 0-1 FiorentinaSAMPDORIA 0-1 FIORENTINA
Fiorentina moved up to third in Serie A thanks to a 1-0 win over Sampdoria in Genoa. Riccardo Montolivo scored the only goal of the game after 19 minutes to lift the Viola above Napoli and ensure a positive end to 2008 for Cesare Prandelli's side. For Samp, the defeat ends the euphoria which had arisen after their historic UEFA Cup win against Sevilla three days ago and leaves Walter Mazzarri's side struggling in the wrong half of the table.

Torino 1-0 NapoliTORINO 1-0 NAPOLI
Rolando Bianchi's second-half strike was enough to see off high-flying Napoli 1-0 and give Walter Novellino his first Serie A win since being re-appointed as Torino coach. Novellino replaced Gianni De Biasi as coach a fortnight ago after a dismal run of form had seen Torino plummet into the relegation zone. Alessandro Rosina's shot came back off the post just into the second half and Bianchi was the quickest to react and poke home to pick up his third goal of the season and give the home side their first league win in six. The win sees Toro leapfrog Lecce out of the relegation zone.

Chievo 0-1 GenoaCHIEVO 0-1 GENOA
Chievo's miserable season continued as they slumped to a heartbreaking 1-0 home defeat to Genoa. The Flying Donkeys looked on course for a point until Ruben Olivera scored an 89th-minute winner to extend Genoa's unbeaten run to five games. The side from Verona are now four points adrift at the foot of Serie A approaching the halfway point of the season while the visitors move up to sixth.

Cagliari 1-1 RegginaCAGLIARI 1-1 REGGINA
A dubious penalty at Cagliari ensured coach Giuseppe Pillon avoided defeat on his debut on the Reggina bench. Cagliari led for an hour thanks to Robert Acquafresca's goal in the opening minute but controversy followed in the second half when Paolo Bianco was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. The defender was given his marching orders for a second yellow card and Franco Brienza stepped up to slot home the equaliser. Reggina, who sacked Nevio Orlandi on Monday, remain second from bottom while the point sees Cagliari inch further away from the relegation zone.

Lecce 0-0 BolognaLECCE 0-0 BOLOGNA
Two sides in desperate need of points failed to deliver any Christmas sparkle as Lecce and Bologna cancelled each other out in a dismal goalless draw at Stadio Via del Mare. Jose Castillo came closest to breaking the deadlock for the hosts with a shot that rattled the bar midway through the second half, just minutes after team-mate Simone Tiribocchi had been guilty of firing over an open goal. The stalemate means Lecce will spend the festive season mired in the relegation zone, while Bologna are just one point better off but two places clear of danger.

[Saturday 20 Dec] - [Sunday 21 Dec]

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