Sunday, 18 January 2009

Serie A - Week 19: Sunday Review

Atalanta 3-1 InterAtalanta recorded a stunning 3-1 victory over Serie A leaders Inter, but Juventus failed to take full advantage as they were held at Lazio - closing the gap only to three points. Roma left it late to beat Torino, while Genoa overtake Napoli. Sampdoria and Udinese continue to struggle.

Atalanta cut defending Serie A champions Inter down to size, sending them down to only their second league defeat of the season with an emphatic 3-1 triumph. Sergio Floccari put the home side ahead after 18 minutes before Cristiano Doni added a second 10 minutes later. Doni's second five minutes later ensured Atalanta their first win over Inter in almost 15 years and opened up the race for the Scudetto at the midway stage of the season. Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted his 12th goal of the season in stoppage time, but it was too little too late for the visitors.

Lazio 1-1 JuventusLAZIO 1-1 JUVENTUS
Scudetto-chasing Juventus drew against Lazio in Rome as they failed to take full advantage of Serie A leaders Inter's defeat. Cristian Ledesma deservedly opened the scoring for the hosts after 24 minutes with a free kick that goalkeeper Alex Manninger judged wrongly before Olof Mellberg equalised on the half-hour mark. Juve were unlucky not to claim all three points as Nicola Legrottaglie's bullet strike from the distance hit the post with four minutes remaining. The result leaves the Turin giants three points adrift of three-time defending champions Inter at the half-way point of the season.

Torino 0-1 RomaTORINO 0-1 ROMA
Julio Baptista scored a last-minute goal to hand Roma all three points at Torino. The Roma striker was the hero for the second time in five days as last Wednesday, Baptista's brace handed Roma a 2-0 triumph over Sampdoria. His goal at Turin's Stadio Olimpico decided a game which seemed certain to be heading for a draw after both sides missed their few opportunities. The hosts ended the game down to 10 men after midfielder Simone Barone was shown a straight red for dissent seconds after Baptista had broken the deadlock. The outcome allowed Roma to climb to eighth in the Serie A standings, just five points behind a Champions League spot.

Chievo 2-1 NapoliCHIEVO 2-1 NAPOLI
Chievo climbed off the foot of the Serie A table with a controversial 2-1 win over high-flying Napoli in Verona. Domenico Di Carlo's side probably deserved victory in a match they dominated throughout, however, the 74th-minute penalty that sealed their win was debatable. Leandro Rinaudo was the player harshly adjudged to have fouled Simone Bentivoglio in the area with Michele Marcolini stepping up to stroke home his second spot-kick of the game. Marcolini had earlier converted from the spot after 30 minutes only to see that effort cancelled out by Ezequiel Lavezzi shortly after the break. Two minutes after Lavezzi's equaliser the game suffered its first major moment of controversy when Napoli's Marek Hamsik was sent off after he argued heatedly with the referee. Hamsik was incensed by the referee's decision not to award a free-kick following a strong challenge on Lavezzi. Chievo were then themselves reduced to 10 men after 71 minutes when Santiago Morero was shown a second yellow card, but their winning goal arrived soon after thanks to their dubious penalty award.

Lecce 0-2 GenoaLECCE 0-2 GENOA
Genoa maintained their surge up the Serie A table with a 2-0 win at Lecce which moves them up to fourth in the standings, just two points adrift of third-placed AC Milan. Goals in the second half from Bosko Jankovic and Giuseppe Sculli earned an impressive Rossoblu all three points to take them into a position which would see them qualify for a place in the Champions League next season. The win was even more eye-catching as it came without top scorer Diego Milito, who sat out his third game on the trot. Lecce, meanwhile, crash back down to earth a week after their shock win at Fiorentina to remain just two points above the relegation zone.

Cagliari 2-0 UdineseCAGLIARI 2-0 UDINESE
Udinese coach Pasquale Marino is hanging on to his job by an ever-thinning thread after two first-half Cagliari goals saw his side lose 2-0 - their seventh defeat in nine games. Cagliari got off to the perfect start as a Daniele Conti's deflected free-kick gave them the lead in the fourth minute and Davide Biondini doubled his side's lead after 20 minutes. It is a dramatic turnaround since the opening weeks of the campaign where it took Cagliari until the sixth game of the season to pick up a point, while Udinese were sitting pretty at the top of the standings. Marino's men have now not won since the end of October and he must be fearing the chop.

Sampdoria 0-2 PalermoSAMPDORIA 0-2 PALERMO
Palermo ruined Giampaolo Pazzini's debut for Sampdoria with a smash-and-grab 2-0 win at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Two goals from Mark Bresciano either side of half-time earned Davide Ballardini's men all three points to deny Samp, who were hoping the arrival of Pazzini from Fiorentina this week would breathe life into their season. Instead, the Blucerchiati's ninth defeat of the season sees them fall closer to the bottom three.

Catania 1-2 BolognaCATANIA 1-2 BOLOGNA
Bologna extended their unbeaten run to nine matches with a crucial 2-1 win against 10-man Catania. After Mariano Izco was sent-off for a bad challenge, Marco Di Vaio fired the away side ahead early in the second half before Adailton headed home to make it 2-0. Catania could have dragged themselves back into it had Giuseppe Mascara not missed a penalty and when Michele Paolucci did eventually score, it was too late for the home side to salvage a point.

[Saturday 17 Jan] - [Sunday 18 Jan]

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