Sunday, 11 January 2009

Serie A - Week 18: Sunday Review

Juventus 1-0 SienaJuventus closed the gap to Inter at the top of Serie A to four points with a 1-0 defeat of Siena while Roma drew 2-2 with AC Milan on David Beckham's debut. Elsewhere Lazio and Napoli secured crucial wins and Fiorentina were shocked at home.

After reigning champions Inter dropped points at home to Cagliari following the end of the winter break, Alessandro Del Piero made sure Juventus would not follow suit with a trademark 34th-minute free-kick that moves Claudio Ranieri's side to within four points of the leaders. Alex Manninger, in goal for the injured Gianluigi Buffon, had an inspired game to keep out his former Siena team-mates.

Roma 2-2 AC MilanROMA 2-2 AC MILAN
David Beckham played nearly the full 90 minutes on his AC Milan debut but could not inspire them to victory as the Rossoneri were held to a 2-2 draw at Roma. The England midfielder, signed on a short-term loan deal from Los Angeles Galaxy, impressed but it was Roma who went ahead through a Mirko Vucinic strike midway through the first half. Alexandre Pato turned the game with two stunning quickfire goals early in the second period, before Vucinic equalised with a header to deny Milan maximum points.

Napoli 1-0 CataniaNAPOLI 1-0 CATANIA
Napoli's impressive home form in Serie A continued as they claimed a narrow but nevertheless dominant win over Catania at the Stadio San Paolo. Cristian Maggio scored the only goal of the game for the hosts 10 minutes from time to spare the blushes of Marek Hamsik who had earlier missed a penalty for the Partenopei. The result sees Napoli move into fourth place in the table.

Fiorentina 1-2 LecceFIORENTINA 1-2 LECCE
Lowly Lecce recorded a shock 2-1 victory over Fiorentina to end the Gigliati's unbeaten run at home this season. The visitors took the lead through Guillermo Giacomazzi only for Felipe Melo to equalise, but Jose Castillo struck the winner for the Salentini, with all the goals coming inside the opening half-an-hour. La Viola substitute Pablo Osvaldo was dismissed for dissent late on as Lecce picked up their first away win of the season to move out of the Serie A relegation zone.

Reggina 2-3 LazioREGGINA 2-3 LAZIO
Goran Pandev hit a hat-trick as Lazio edged an entertaining encounter 3-2 against struggling Reggina. Reggina went ahead in the fourth minute with former Lazio forward Bernardo Corradi converting a dubious penalty but Pandev struck twice inside the first 22 minutes to turn the game around. Reggina responded with Francesco Cozza equalising after 68 minutes, but Pandev pounced to complete his hat-trick and earn Lazio all three points.

Palermo 3-2 AtalantaPALERMO 3-2 ATALANTA
A late Edison Cavani winner spared Palermo's blushes after the Sicilians let slip a two-goal lead against Atalanta. Palermo were 2-0 up by the break, Fabrizio Miccoli and Mark Bresciano the goalscorers, before the Bergamaschi began their comeback. The influential Miccoli was forced off just before half-time and Atalanta took advantage with Sergio Floccari pulling one back five minutes after the hour mark and Ferreira Pinto levelling matters 12 minutes before the end. But the hosts re-established their lead within three minutes when Cavani took advantage of a fine ball by Fabio Liverani to seal a 3-2 win.

Udinese 1-1 SampdoriaUDINESE 1-1 SAMPDORIA
Udinese and Sampdoria shared the spoils at the Stadio Friuli, a 1-1 draw leaving both sides lingering in Serie A mid-table. After a lively first half in which both sides had strong appeals for penalties waved away, Gennaro Delvecchio put the visitors ahead on the hour mark. Maurizio Domizzi replied within five minutes to earn the home side a point which still leaves their coach Pasquale Marino under pressure. The Bianconeri have not won since October and, like Samp, now have a tough job to qualify for Europe next season.

Bologna 1-1 ChievoBOLOGNA 1-1 CHIEVO
Bologna missed the chance to pull themselves clear of the bottom three after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to cellar-dwellers Chievo. The rock-bottom side shocked their hosts two minutes before half-time when they took the lead through Sergio Pellissier but Marco Di Vaio levelled from the penalty spot just before half-time. The hosts ended the game with 10 men after Gaby Mudingayi received a red card eight minutes from time for a terrible challenge on Luciano.

[Saturday 10 Jan] - [Sunday 11 Jan]

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