Sunday, 25 January 2009

Serie A - Week 20: Sunday Review

Inter 1-0 SampdoriaInter restored their three-point lead over Juventus at the top of Serie A as an Adriano goal proved enough to beat Sampdoria, while Ricardo Kaka and David Beckham scored in AC Milan's 4-1 win at Bologna. Elsewhere Roma secured an impressive 3-0 win at Napoli, Lazio suffered a shock at home and Palermo edged out Udinese.

Inter restored their three-point lead at the top of Serie A, but were made to suffer for all three points against Sampdoria. A goal in first-half stoppage time from Adriano was enough to win the game for Jose Mourinho's side, although the Inter coach was forced to watch the second half from the stands after being sent off as tempers flared. Samp performed spiritedly, despite losing their last two remaining fit defenders during the second half, but they could not get level, despite their perseverance. And Inter held on to a crucial three points which take them back three points clear of Juventus and six above Milan.

Bologna 1-4 AC MilanBOLOGNA 1-4 AC MILAN
David Beckham scored his first goal in Milan colours as he helped his side to a comprehensive victory over 10-man Bologna. It was Ricardo Kaka who was the star of the show, however, as he showed he has put all talk of a move away from the club firmly behind him with a first-half brace. Bologna took a shock lead through a Marco Di Vaio penalty in the ninth minute but Clarence Seedorf restored parity four minutes later. Kaka, who on Monday rejected a deal to go to Manchester City, gave Milan the lead from the spot after 17 minutes and grabbed his second with a sublime finish two minutes before half time. That was the final nail in the coffin for Bologna who had been reduced to 10 men two minutes earlier when Gaby Mudingayi was shown a second yellow card. The hosts employed damage limitation tactics in the second half, but they could not prevent Beckham from scoring his first goal for the club on the hour mark.

Napoli 0-3 RomaNAPOLI 0-3 ROMA
Roma gave their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season a significant shot in the arm with a 3-0 mauling of fellow hopefuls Napoli. The visitors began the day in eighth place but soon set about changing that as Philippe Mexes opened the scoring after 18 minutes. Juan doubled the lead just after the half-hour mark and Mirko Vucinic then made it three five minutes after half-time. However, it might have been very different had Marcelo Zalayeta's sixth-minute effort for Napoli counted. The win moves Luciano Spalletti's side up to sixth place, level now on points with Napoli who stay fifth, and just three points behind fourth-placed Genoa.

Lazio 1-4 CagliariLAZIO 1-4 CAGLIARI
Cagliari struck four times in the first half and upset an in-form Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. The Romans capitalised on a defensive mistake by Diego Lopez with Tommaso Rocchi opening the scoring after three minutes. But Lazio's tactics backfired and Cagliari hit back with a vengeance. With Lazio coach Delio Rossi playing his usual attacking trio of Rocchi, Goran Pandev and Mauro Zarate, there were holes in the home defence and Cagliari punished them with Jeda scoring twice and both Robert Acquafresca and Alessandro Matri notching a goal apiece. Lazio did have a chance to hit back but both Rocchi and Zarate failed to convert from the penalty spot as their team conceded their third home defeat of the campaign.

Genoa 1-1 CataniaGENOA 1-1 CATANIA
Ten-man Genoa came from behind to salvage a point, their unbeaten home record and their place in the top four of Serie A with a 1-1 draw against Catania. Things looked bad for the Rossoblu when they lost Matteo Ferrari to a red card just after the hour mark and fell behind to a Jorge Martinez goal after 68 minutes. But they came back to clinch a point thanks to the 13th goal of the season from Diego Milito, who even had a chance to win it late on for an under-par Genoa.

Palermo 3-2 UdinesePALERMO 3-2 UDINESE
Udinese's slump continued as they squandered an early lead and missed a penalty on their way to defeat at Palermo. The north-east club came into the game having collected just three points from their previous 10 league matches - a run of form which has seen them fall away from the top six in Serie A. They started well in Sicily, however, and went ahead in the second minute when Simone Pepe crashed home a 25-yard free-kick. But then some familiar defensive failings hampered their efforts to claim a much-needed three points. Fabio Simplicio levelled after 17 minutes before Udinese wasted the chance to reclaim the lead, Fabio Quagliarella hitting the bar from the penalty spot. The visitors were made to pay as Simplicio put Palermo ahead and then Edinson Cavani made it 3-1. Antonio di Natale pulled one back but Udinese could not find the equaliser, even against 10 men when the home side's Federico Balzaretti was sent off late on for a verbal tirade against the referee.

Lecce 3-3 TorinoLECCE 3-3 TORINO
Torino twice battled back to claim a share of the spoils and remain within two points of hosts Lecce - although both stay in Serie A's bottom four after an entertaining encounter at the Stadio Via del Mare. Gianni Munari's first-half brace looked to have put the home team in control, but Jurgen Saumel and Hernan Dellafiore struck early in the second half to get the Toro back on level terms. Jose Castillo again put the Salentini ahead after 73 minutes only for Cesare Natali to once again restore parity for the visitors.

Siena 1-0 AtalantaSIENA 1-0 ATALANTA
A Mario Frick goal handed Siena all three points in what proved to be a close encounter with fellow Serie A mid-table side Atalanta. The visitors put up a struggle in the second half with Tiberio Guarente hitting the crossbar and Ferreira Pinto and Thomas Manfredini also coming close to an equaliser.

[Saturday 24 Jan] - [Sunday 25 Jan]

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