Sunday, 3 May 2009

Serie A - Week 34: Sunday Review

Catania 0-2 AC MilanAC Milan consolidated their grip on second spot in Serie A with a 2-0 victory at Catania while Juventus drew with lowly Lecce. A hat-trick from Diego Milito helped Genoa defeat Sampdoria in the derby which keeps his side one point behind fourth-placed Fiorentina, who beat Torino. Meanwhile, Roma's hopes of a top-four finish took another blow and they are in real danger of missing out on Europe altogether with Palermo chasing.

AC Milan kept the race for the Serie A title alive at least for another week thanks to a comfortable 2-0 win at Catania. Filippo Inzaghi could have netted his third hat-trick in 2009 but had to settle for just one goal on the half-hour mark to put the Rossoneri on their way to another three points which cut the gap to city rivals Inter to seven points. Ricardo Kaka completed the scoring six minutes into the second half on a day when Milan were rarely put under pressure by a disappointing Catania side who seemed to have lost all their motivation for the season having already all but mathematically secured their future in Serie A next season.

Juventus 2-2 LecceJUVENTUS 2-2 LECCE
Juventus' woes increased as a stoppage-time equaliser saw them held 2-2 at home by second-bottom Lecce. Axel Cedric Konan silenced the Stadio Olimpico when he gave the visitors an 11th-minute lead, but Pavel Nedved looked to have turned the game on its head with two strikes in the second half. However, there was one last twist as substitute Jose Ignacio Castillo snatched a last-gasp leveller to nick a point for Lecce. Juve coach Claudio Ranieri and his side have come under heavy fire this week following a disappointing April during which they failed to win any of their four league matches while they were also bundled out of the Coppa Italia by Lazio.

Genoa 3-1 SampdoriaGENOA 3-1 SAMPDORIA
Diego Milito scored a hat-trick as Genoa won the 100th Derby della Lanterna 3-1 in a dramatic game against Sampdoria. The hosts ended the game with nine men after seeing Matteo Ferrari and Thiago Motta sent off in the final three minutes while Sampdoria lost Hugo Campagnaro to a late red card. Earlier, Campagnaro had replied to Milito's 30th-minute opener on the stroke of half-time before two second-half goals from the Argentinian completed a 3-1 win which lifts Genoa back into contention for a place in the Champions League next season.

Fiorentina 1-0 TorinoFIORENTINA 1-0 TORINO
Fiorentina strengthened their bid for Champions League qualification with a narrow 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Torino at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Peruvian defender Juan Manuel Vargas grabbed the only goal 12 minutes into the second period to keep Cesare Prandelli's side one point ahead of Genoa in the race for fourth place in Serie A. Torino remain just a point above the relegation zone with four games left to play.

Roma 0-0 ChievoROMA 0-0 CHIEVO
Chievo moved a step closer to Serie A safety with a goalless draw against inconsistent Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. Domenico Di Carlo's men frustrated the Giallorossi and held on for a point despite having Giampiero Pinzi sent off in injury-time. Sixth-placed Roma, who hold the final Europa League position, are now eight points behind in the race for Italy's final Champions League position. The visitors, meanwhile, sit six points above the relegation zone.

Palermo 5-1 CagliariPALERMO 5-1 CAGLIARI
Palermo continued their brilliant home form in Serie A with a 5-1 thrashing of Cagliari in Derby della Isole at La Favorita. Five different players were on target as Davide Ballardini's side made it four wins in a row at home and Palermo have now accrued 39 of their 52 points this season in Sicily. Goals from Giulio Migliaccio and Fabrizio Miccoli put the home side in command at half-time, and although the Sardinians pulled one back through Capucho Jedaias just after the break, further strikes from Giovanni Tedesco, Edison Cavani and Davide Succi sealed a comprehensive victory. The result takes Palermo above their opponents into seventh, just one point behind Roma and the final Europa League position.

Siena 2-1 NapoliSIENA 2-1 NAPOLI
Siena have almost guaranteed their Serie A status as they extended Napoli's dismal away run to 13 matches without a win with a 2-1 victory in Tuscany. First-half goals from Houssine Kharja and Massimo Maccarone put the hosts in control. Inacio Pia pulled a goal back for the visitors ten minutes from the end but it was too little too late for the midtable Partenopei, who have not won on the road since beating Lazio in October.

Udinese 3-0 AtalantaUDINESE 3-0 ATALANTA
Fabio Quagliarella scored twice as Udinese cruised to a 3-0 win over 10-man Atalanta to keep their faint hopes of European qualification alive. Udinese have struggled to make an impact in Serie A this season with the demands of competing in the UEFA Cup taking its toll. But ever since being ousted from the European competition last month, the Friuli outfit have shown some signs of recovery. The win was their fourth in succession and lifted them to ninth in the table, five points behind Roma, who hold the last European qualifying spot.

[Saturday 2 May] - [Sunday 3 May]

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