Sunday, 20 December 2009

Serie A - Week 17: Sunday Review

Juventus 1-2 CataniaJuventus ended the year on a fresh low as they suffered yet another loss, going down 2-1 at home to Catania, to slip nine points behind Serie A leaders Inter, who beat Lazio 1-0. Roma climbed above Parma into fourth with a 2-0 win, while Napoli and Palermo were also winners.

Juventus 1-2 Catania
Juventus crashed to their third consecutive defeat to leave coach Ciro Ferrara under severe pressure after a 2-1 loss at home to bottom club Catania. The Sicilians picked up their first win over Juventus in more than 45 years thanks to a penalty from Jorge Martinez midway through the first half and a winner from Mariano Izco three minutes from time. Hasan Salihamidzic had given Juve some hope after 66 minutes, but it was not enough to prevent another defeat for the Bianconeri. With temperatures below freezing, the reception the Juve team received from their own fans was equally frosty as the team bus was confronted by angry fans who threw eggs and fire crackers.

Inter 1-0 LazioInter 1-0 Lazio
Samuel Eto'o's first-half goal earned Inter a narrow win over Lazio and ensured the Nerazzurri ended the year with an eight-point lead at the top of the Serie A table. The Cameroon international struck after 14 minutes to enable Jose Mourinho's side to return to winning ways. The triumph gave Inter a comfortable cushion over second-placed AC Milan, whose game at Fiorentina on Saturday was postponed due to bad weather. And Mourinho will be pleased to have ended a controversial week on a high note following a verbal dispute with a journalist after last weekend's draw at Atalanta that has led to criticism in the Italian press. For Lazio, the result left them in 16th place - three points clear of the drop zone.

Roma 2-0 ParmaRoma 2-0 Parma
Roma enhanced their prospects of a Champions League place with a 2-0 victory over surprise top-four rivals Parma at the Stadio Olimpico. Nicolas Burdisso scored early in the second half before Matteo Brighi added a second late on to lift the Giallorossi above Parma on goal difference and ensure a positive end to 2009 for Claudio Ranieri's side. Parma ended the game with 10 men after Massimo Paci was sent off for a second bookable offence three minutes from time.

Napoli 2-0 ChievoNapoli 2-0 Chievo
Napoli's impressive run of results continued as they ended the year in sixth place thanks to a comfortable 2-0 victory over in-form Chievo. The Partenopei got off to the perfect start when Marek Hamsik fired them into an early lead from the spot after German Denis had been fouled by Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino. And Fabio Quagliarella secured all the points three minutes from time. The result fires Napoli into the European spots, a position they would have scarcely dreamed about under Roberto Donadoni, but they have not lost a game since Walter Mazzarri took over the reins. Chievo slipped to ninth in the standings.

Palermo 1-0 SienaPalermo 1-0 Siena
Palermo maintained their impressive form under new coach Delio Rossi with a narrow 1-0 win over Siena that propelled them to the verge of the European places in Serie A. The Sicilian giants went into their final match before the winter break fresh from last weekend's 2-0 victory away at AC Milan. Siena are also improving, though, with successive wins over Catania and Udinese lifting them away from the foot of the table. However, that is exactly where they find themselves after Edison Cavani netted the winner at La Favorita and Catania claimed a surprise victory at Juventus.

Livorno 3-1 SampdoriaLivorno 3-1 Sampdoria
Livorno slowed Sampdoria's charge for European football and picked up three vital points for themselves as they came from behind to win 3-1 at the Armando Picchi Stadium. Antonio Cassano had put Sampdoria ahead after 15 minutes, but Nelson Rivas equalised six minutes before the break and Tomas Danilevicius had Livorno ahead early in the second half. Samp piled forward in a desperate bid to end a barren run away from home that stretches back to September 13, but instead it was Danilevicius who sealed victory for the hosts with an injury-time strike.

Bologna P-P AtalantaBologna P-P Atalanta
Fiorentina P-P Milan
Genoa P-P Bari
Udinese P-P Cagliari
Heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures across Italy forced the postponement of four Serie A matches from the Week 17 programme. Both of Saturday's scheduled games - Bologna-Atalanta
and Fiorentina-Milan - and Sunday's matches between Genoa-Bari and Udinese-Cagliari fell victim to the adverse weather conditions. The Lega Calcio could not set a new date for the games for the next few days because of the start of the winter break in Italy, so the matches were scheduled for the New Year. The Bologna-Atalanta and Genoa-Bari games were played on Wednesday 20 January [Match Reviews], while the Fiorentina-Milan and Udinese-Cagliari games were played on Wednesday 24 February [Match Reviews].

[Sunday 20 December]

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