Juventus and AC Milan sit second and third respectively behind Serie A leaders Inter after the former beat Udinese 1-0 and the latter defeated Cagliari 4-3 in a thrilling contest. Elsewhere, Roma and Sampdoria recorded precious wins.
Milan 4-3 Cagliari
AC Milan continued their pursuit of Serie A leaders Inter by edging out Cagliari in a seven-goal thriller at the San Siro. Clarence Seedorf gave the hosts the lead in the fifth minute, but Alessandro Matri replied within five minutes and Andrea Lazzari gave the Sardinians a deserved lead after half-an-hour. But two goals in as many minutes earned Milan the half-time lead with Marco Borriello and Alexandre Pato on target. A penalty by Ronaldinho gave the Rossoneri a two-goal advantage on the hour mark, but they were made to sweat for their third straight league win when Nene reduced the arrears after 69 minutes. Leonardo's men remain third, seven points adrift of city rivals Inter.
Juventus 1-0 Udinese
Juventus regained second spot and closed the gap on Serie A leaders Inter to five points with a narrow 1-0 victory over Udinese. Fabio Grosso scored the only goal of a game which marked the season's debut of Alessandro Del Piero for Juve. Grosso's goal in the 51st minute came just seconds before the Bianconeri captain made his entrance from the bench after a lengthy injury absence, but he could not provide much of a spark in a dour game at the Stadio Olimpico. Juve just did enough to win the game against a very defensive Udinese, who only once threatened Gianluigi Buffon's goal.
Sampdoria 2-1 Chievo
Sampdoria moved back up to fourth in Serie A but they made hard work of defeating a Chievo team who played with 10 men for the entire second half. Luciano saw red for the Flying Donkeys on the strike of half-time and with his side trailing to Marco Rossi's 19th-minute goal, it looked like being a long afternoon for the visitors. Giampaolo Pazzini doubled Samp's advantage but Chievo hit back through a Andrea Mantovani effort with 10 minutes to go. Samp held on though to move within a point of third-placed AC Milan and give coach Luigi Del Neri a win against the side with whom he made his name.
Roma 3-1 Bari
Francesco Totti returned from injury and struck a hat-trick in the first 28 minutes for Roma in an impressive 3-1 victory over Bari. Out since October because of a knee injury, the Roma captain made a dramatic comeback, notching his first from the penalty spot after six minutes. His second came eight minutes later from a set-piece and he smashed home a loose ball from inside the area just before the half-hour mark to make it 3-0. Bari reduced the arrears with an own goal by Marco Andreolli on 77 minutes but could not find a way back into the game. The outcome left Roma 11th in the standings - six points behind fourth-place Sampdoria, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.
Livorno 2-1 Genoa
Nico Pulzetti headed a late winner as Livorno secured a valuable 2-1 win over Genoa in their mission to avoid relegation. Genoa had taken seven points from the three previous rounds of Serie A matches and were looking to build on that run of form, and a draw looked highly likely as the match neared its conclusion, after Domenico Criscito had cancelled out the home team's opener from Cristiano Lucarelli. However Pulzetti had the final say in the third minute of stoppage time, arriving to head home a dramatic winner.
Palermo 1-1 Catania
Lowly Catania fought back to claim a 1-1 draw in the Sicilian derby at Palermo but the visitors to La Favorita will perhaps feel the three points went begging after finishing far the stronger of the two sides. Giulio Migliaccio fired the hosts into an early lead but second-bottom Catania levelled through Jorge Andres Martinez in the second period. Late pressure from Gianluca Atzori's visitors failed to bring the goal which could have sealed Catania's first away win of the season, meaning the Elefanti are three points from safety after 13 games. The point will do little to lift the gloom surrounding Palermo coach Walter Zenga, who was given a vote of confidence by club President Maurizio Zamparini prior to the game following a disappointing string of results.
Napoli 0-0 Lazio
Napoli's unbeaten run at the Stadio San Paolo continued but they were unable to break down Lazio and shared a 0-0 draw with the struggling Roman outfit. The visitors had the better of the first half, dominating the midfield and creating the better chances with the hosts limited to counter-attacks. The Partenopei picked up the pace after the break and were the better team for the second 45 minutes, however, meaning a draw was a fair result. Napoli are still undefeated under boss Walter Mazzarri and move up a place to ninth in the standings, five points adrift of a Champions League spot, while troubled Lazio lie 15th.
Siena 0-2 Atalanta
Siena remain rooted to the bottom of Serie A after going down 2-0 at home to Atalanta, their ninth defeat in 13 games. Simone Tiribocchi gave the visitors the lead after 52 minutes and Robert Acquafresca looked to have sealed the win 16 minutes later from the penalty spot. Siena were gifted the chance to get back into the game on 78 minutes but Michele Paolucci saw his penalty saved and the home side knew it would not be their day when they hit the bar twice within a matter of seconds.
SERIE A REVIEW:
[Saturday 21 November] - [Sunday 22 November]