Sunday, 10 May 2009

Serie A - Week 35: Sunday Review

Chievo 2-2 InterInter will have to wait at least another week to seal the Serie A title after being held 2-2 at Chievo, although nearest challengers AC Milan could not close the gap after a 1-1 draw with Juventus. Elsewhere Fiorentina strengthened their grip on fourth spot as both Genoa and Roma were held.

Inter travelled to the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi knowing victory combined with a triumph for Juventus later in the evening would seal a fourth consecutive Scudetto. They looked set to fulfil their half of the bargain after Hernan Crespo fired in a rebound with just three minutes gone but, desperate to move clearer of the bottom three, the hosts responded through Michele Marcolini on the half-hour mark. Although Mario Balotelli then put Jose Mourinho's men back in front with a stunning volley on the hour, former Nerazzurri Inter player Luciano levelled the scores once again with 15 minutes to go. The draw means Inter must now wait until their home game with Siena next Sunday before being able to clinch the title.

AC Milan 1-1 JuventusAC MILAN 1-1 JUVENTUS
Milan failed to take advantage of city rivals Inter's slip-up at Chievo earlier on Sunday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Juventus. Clarence Seedorf put the Rossoneri ahead on the hour mark, but an equaliser three minutes later from Vincenzo Iaquinta meant Milan recovered only a point on Inter, who can now clinch their fourth straight Scudetto next Sunday regardless of Milan's result at Udinese 24 hours earlier. And Milan ended the game with 10 men as Giuseppe Favalli was shown a second yellow card five minutes from time. The result leaves Claudio Ranieri's Juve still four points adrift of second-place Milan.

Catania 0-2 FiorentinaCATANIA 0-2 FIORENTINA
Fiorentina tightened their grip on fourth place in Serie A after beating Catania in Sicily. Stevan Jovetic opened the scoring after just 11 minutes before substitute Luciano Zauri doubled the visitors' lead deep in stoppage time. The outcome sees Cesare Prandelli's Fiorentina, who hold the final Champions League spot, increase the gap over fifth-place Genoa to three points with just three games remaining.

Atalanta 1-1 GenoaATALANTA 1-1 GENOA
Genoa snatched a last-gasp draw against 10-man Atalanta but still saw their Champions League aspirations hit at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia. The Grifoni needed a late goal from Domenico Criscito to get them out of trouble after trailing to Jaime Valdes' strike for most of the match. Tiberio Guarente was also sent off for the Bergamo side to give Genoa a helping hand, but Gian Piero Gasperini's side still lost ground on Fiorentina in the race for the final Champions League spot.

Cagliari 2-2 RomaCAGLIARI 2-2 ROMA
Roma came from behind to earn a point in a thrilling encounter at Cagliari and to hold on to sixth place. Both teams battled to the end of a game that was packed with chances and end-to-end football. Alessandro Matri opened the scoring for the hosts after 34 minutes before Robert Acquafresca doubled his team's lead before the hour mark. Roma captain Francesco Totti reduced the arrears five minutes later and Simone Perrotta equalised with 22 minutes left. The mood will nevertheless be sombre for the Giallorossi, who are out of the chase for a Champions League spot and only hold onto the last Europa League qualifying berth. The capital giants are only two points above Palermo with three games remaining. Cagliari, along with Udinese, are also chasing the final European spot.

Siena 1-0 PalermoSIENA 1-0 PALERMO
Palermo missed out on the chance to overtake Roma in the Serie A table as they slipped to a defeat at Siena. Emanuele Calaio scored the only goal of the game on the hour mark to cap a dominant Siena performance and continue the Sicilians' poor away form. It was a real missed opportunity for Palermo who, with Roma being held at Cagliari, would have moved into the last Europa League spot with a win.

Torino 1-1 BolognaTORINO 1-1 BOLOGNA
Marco Di Vaio converted a late penalty to keep Bologna in touch with relegation rivals Torino. A win for the home side would have taken them four points above Bologna, who occupy the final place in the bottom three, and seriously compromised the Rossoblu's chances of remaining in the top flight with just three games to go. And that seemed the most likely outcome when Alessandro Rosina put Torino ahead from the spot eight minutes before half-time. Toro held their lead until just four minutes from time when goalkeeper Alex Calderoni brought down Pablo Daniel Osvaldo inside the area and leading scorer Di Vaio kept his nerve to salvage a draw and keep Bologna within a point of their opponents and safety.

Lecce 1-1 NapoliLECCE 1-1 NAPOLI
Lecce remain in deep relegation trouble after being held to a 1-1 draw by mid-table Napoli at the Stadio Via del Mare. The Salentini fell behind to a Inacio Pia goal on the half-hour mark but equalised just before the interval from the penalty spot, Andrea Zanchetta netting. However, the draw means they remain two points behind Torino, who hold the final position of safety in Serie A.

[Saturday 9 May] - [Sunday 10 May]

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