Sunday, 1 March 2009

Serie A - Week 26: Sunday Review

Inter 3-3 RomaInter clawed their way back from 3-1 down to earn a dramatic 3-3 draw at against Roma in a thrilling encounter at the San Siro, leaving the Serie A leaders seven points clear of Juventus and 12 clear of AC Milan, who lost 2-1 at Sampdoria. Elsewhere both Fiorentina and Genoa slipped up while Catania thumped Palermo 4-0 in the Sicilian derby.

Inter came from behind to clinch a hard-earned point in a dramatic 3-3 draw with Roma. Substitute Hernan Crespo scored a 79th-minute equaliser to save the Nerazzurri from what would have been a costly defeat after Juventus won on Saturday. Daniele De Rossi headed Roma ahead after 23 minutes and John-Arne Riise doubled their lead six minutes later. The first of Mario Balotelli's double gave Inter hope five minutes into the second half, but Matteo Brighi put Roma 3-1 up before a controversial penalty, earned and converted by Balotelli, on the hour mark laid the foundations for Crespo to grab a point for Jose Mourinho's side. The draw moves Inter seven points clear of Juve at the top of Serie A.

Sampdoria 2-1 AC MilanSAMPDORIA 2-1 AC MILAN
Sampdoria piled the pressure on AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti with a surprise 2-1 victory at a rain-drenched Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Antonio Cassano put the Blucerchiati ahead after 33 minutes with Giampaolo Pazzini adding a second after 52 minutes. Alexandre Pato reduced the arrearswith ten minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish, during which Emerson had a goal disallowed as the home side just managed to hold on to all three points. After crashing out of the UEFA Cup on Thursday, the Rossoneri slip 12 points behind league leaders Inter, and with Fiorentina, Genoa and Roma are all pushing behind them, it leaves Ancelotti's job hanging in the balance.

Reggina 1-1 FiorentinaREGGINA 1-1 FIORENTINA
Reggina's woes continued as they were held at home by Champions League-chasing Fiorentina. Nevio Orlandi's side have not won a game since November 23, but that seemed set to change when Alessio Sestu put them ahead after 21 minutes. However, their lead lasted only two minutes before Emiliano Bonazzoli struck to earn the Viola a point at the Stadio Oreste Granillo. The Amaranto dominated the encounter and were unlucky not to clinch all three points when Francesco Cozza's late header struck the crossbar. The result leaves Fiorentina just two points behind Milan in fourth position in the standings and Reggina at the foot of the table, five points off safety.

Siena 0-0 GenoaSIENA 0-0 GENOA
Diego Milito had a goal ruled out as Champions League hopefuls Genoa failed to find a way past Siena at Stadio Artemio Franchi. With fourth-placed Fiorentina held at bottom side Reggina, Gian Piero Gasperini's side could have leapfrogged the Viola but they came up against resolute opponents in Tuscany. Highly-rated Argentina striker Milito put the ball in the net on the half-hour mark after great work by Thiago Motta, but the linesman's flag was raised for offside. The result leaves Genoa in fifth, one point behind Fiorentina and one ahead of Roma.

Palermo 0-4 CataniaPALERMO 0-4 CATANIA
Catania's 4-0 away win against 10-man Palermo in the Sicilian derby has hauled them further clear of relegation troubles and towards mid-table safety. The visitors were already a goal up via their Argentinian midfielder Pablo Martin Ledesma after 14 minutes by the time Palermo lost Mark Bresciano. Bresciano had to go for a bad tackle on Takayuki Morimoto just after the quarter-hour, his second similar offence in less than a minute earning him a straight red card. Catania took advantage of their numerical superiority - with subsequent, unanswered goals from Morimoto and Giuseppe Mascara before half time and Michele Paolucci with 25 minutes remaining. Mascara's strike was easily the pick of any match, an astounding volley from inside the centre-circle which somehow caught goalkeeper Marco Amelia napping and dipped just under the bar.

Udinese 2-0 LecceUDINESE 2-0 LECCE
Udinese had to wait until the last 15 minutes for substitute Gaetano D'Agostino to break the deadlock before earning a deserved victory against 10-man Lecce at the Stadio Friuli. Lecce suffered a further blow when Luca Ariatti was shown a straight red card after he appeared to stand on Alexis Sanchez who was lying on the ground. Giovanni Pasquale scored the second deep into stoppage time, pouncing on a bad error from Lecce goalkeeper Francesco Benussi to add gloss to a scoreline that just about reflected the home team's dominance.

Atalanta 0-2 ChievoATALANTA 0-2 CHIEVO
Substitute Antonio Langella came back to haunt his former side as he propelled Chievo to victory at Atalanta, a result which inches them closer to safety. The game seemed to be heading for a goalless draw when Langella, who spent last season at Atalanta, broke the deadlock 12 minutes from time. Any hope Atalanta had of getting back into the game disappeared four minutes later when Thomas Manfredini was handed a straight red card and Chievo made sure of the points a minute from time when Sergio Pellissier converted a penalty. The result moved the Verona club level on points with 17th-placed Bologna, while Atalanta drop a place to ninth.

Cagliari 0-0 TorinoCAGLIARI 0-0 TORINO
Cagliari and Torino had to settle for a share of the points as they drew 0-0. Both teams were guilty of squandering chances but it will be the visitors that are the most disappointed as they looked for a much-needed win. The result won't have eased any of the pressure on Toro coach Walter Novellino as the Granata remain one point clear of the drop zone and still winless on the road this campaign.

[Saturday 28 Feb] - [Sunday 1 Mar]

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