Saturday, 11 April 2009

Serie A - Week 31: Saturday Review

Genoa 3-2 JuventusPalermo recovered from two goals down to draw with Serie A leaders Inter but their lead over Juventus is increased following the Bianconeri's controversial 3-2 loss at Genoa. Two goals inside the first four minutes set Lazio on their way to a 4-2 defeat of nine-man Roma in the Derby della Capitale while both AC Milan and Fiorentina recorded wins.

Genoa continued their march towards the Champions League next season by edging out Juventus 3-2 in a dramatic encounter at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Thiago Motta put the home side ahead on the half-hour mark but a controversial penalty from Alessandro Del Piero brought Juve level just before half-time. Motta restored Genoa's advantage deep into first-half stoppage time before Mauro Camoranesi was shown a red card for Juve, but Vincenzo Iaquinta pegged Genoa back again five minutes from the end. But Raffaele Palladino earned Genoa all three points in the 88th minute to take them back above Fiorentina into fourth place in Serie A. Juve fail to take advantage of Inter's earlier slip-up and drop to 10 points behind the league leaders.

Inter 2-2 PalermoINTER 2-2 PALERMO
Serie A leaders Inter threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Palermo at the San Siro. Mario Balotelli and a penalty from Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave the Nerazzurri the advantage at half-time, but two goals in three minutes brought a more determined Palermo level in the second half. Edison Cavani scored first after 73 minutes before Davide Succi brought the Rosanero level. The Sicilians even had the better chances to win the game late on as they became only the fifth club to leave the San Siro with a point this season.

Lazio 4-2 RomaLAZIO 4-2 ROMA
Struggling Lazio beat Roma 4-2 in a thrilling Eternal City derby which saw three players sent off. Goals from Goran Pandev and Mauro Zarate put Lazio in command early on but Philippe Mexes cut the deficit in half 10 minutes into the game. Stephan Lichtsteiner restored his team's two-goal advantage before the hour mark and Roma saw their attempts to fight back hindered when Christian Panucci was given his marching orders soon after. After Lazio's Francesco Matuzalem and Mexes were sent off as well with 15 minutes remaining, Daniele De Rossi made it 3-2 with 10 minutes left. But Aleksander Kolarov made sure of all three points for his club after hitting the back of the net five minutes from time. The outcome has left Roma eight points behind fourth-placed Genoa.

Chievo 0-1 AC MilanCHIEVO 0-1 AC MILAN
Clarence Seedorf rounded off a glorious team goal to sink struggling Chievo 1-0 and strengthen AC Milan's bid for automatic Champions League qualification. The veteran Dutchman guided the ball past Stefano Sorrentino early in the second half after Marek Jankulovski and Filippo Inzaghi had both turned down shooting chances to set him up. Milan did not have it all their own way, though, and boss Carlo Ancelotti had to watch most of the game from the stands after protesting too much over a first-half free-kick. And he was forced to endure a nervous finish, Sergio Pellissier seeing what would have been an equaliser ruled out for offside and Nelson Dida brilliantly saving from Giuseppe Colucci.

Fiorentina 2-1 CagliariFIORENTINA 2-1 CAGLIARI
Fiorentina scored twice in the second half to sink nine-man Cagliari 2-1. The win improved the home side's hopes of Champions League football next season while keeping Cagliari on the edge of the European qualification picture. Fiorentina opened the scoring through Manuel Pasqual before Alessandro Agostini was sent off for Cagliari for a second bookable offence. Juan Vargas extended Fiorentina's lead before Daniele Ragatzu gave the visitors hope of claiming a share of the points. But Michele Canini was the second Cagliari player sent off when he was shown a straight red card with a minute left. The win leaves La Viola still two points behind fourth-placed Genoa.

Bologna 1-4 SienaBOLOGNA 1-4 SIENA
Siena taught Bologna a lesson in their own backyard with an emphatic and thoroughly-deserved 4-1 win at the Stadio Dall'Ara. Emanuele Calaio put the visitors ahead after just five minutes before Daniele Portanova added a second shortly after. Massimo Marazzina gave the home side hope midway through the first half, but further goals from Abdel Ghezzal and the tireless Houssine Kharja earned the Bianconeri all three points which should put an end to their relegation fears. The Rossoblu, however, slipped into the bottom three with their fourth consecutive defeat and are now left staring relegation in the face.

Torino 2-1 CataniaTORINO 2-1 CATANIA
Torino halted their run of four consecutive Serie A defeats and climbed out of the relegation zone after Cesare Natali grabbed a late winner to seal a 2-1 win over Catania. All the goals came in a frantic seven-minute spell at the end of the second half, with Toro striking first when Rolando Bianchi headed home after 82 minutes. Catania equalised three minutes later when Jorge Martinez nodded home from a corner. But the home side stunned Catania with an 89th-minute winner when Natali's shot crept past Albano Bizzarri. Lorenzo Stovini was sent off in stoppage-time for crudely bringing down striker Nicola Ventola as he looked to sprint through and stretch Torino's lead.

Lecce 1-3 SampdoriaLECCE 1-3 SAMPDORIA
Lecce slipped closer to Serie B after going down 3-1 at home to a resurgent Sampdoria. The Apulian side became the latest to feel the force of Samp's new dream attack of Giampaolo Pazzini and Antonio Cassano with the former scoring his 10th goal in 2009 to put the visitors ahead after 11 minutes. Two penalties from Cassano sandwiching a spot-kick from Fabio Caserta earned Samp all three points to lift them into mid-table and leave their hosts three points adrift of safety at the foot of the table.

Napoli 0-0 AtalantaNAPOLI 0-0 ATALANTA
Napoli and Atalanta fought out a miserable goalless draw which provided both sets of fans very little goalmouth action. With both sides sitting comfortably in mid-table in Serie A, clear from relegation and unlikely to be pushing for a place in Europe, the game started poorly and petered out into a dull encounter in which just one shot was on target in the final 45 minutes. Only substitute Cristiano Doni provided some excitement when he was introduced after 66 minutes, but even he failed to find a breakthrough. The stalemate means Napoli boss Roberto Donadoni is still, after three games, searching for his first win since taking charge.

[Saturday 11 Apr] - [Sunday 12 Apr]

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