Sunday, 31 January 2010

Serie A - Week 22: Sunday Review

AC Milan missed the chance to close the gap on Serie A leaders Inter after a frustrating 1-1 home draw against Livorno. There were draws galore on Sunday as Juventus were held by Lazio in Alberto Zaccheroni's first game in charge but Roma edged to a late win.

Milan 1-1 Livorno
AC Milan missed the chance to close the gap on Serie A leaders Inter to six points as they were held to a 1-1 draw by relegation-threatened Livorno. Massimo Ambrosini opened the scoring in the final minute of the first half but Livorno levelled matters eight minutes after the break thanks to Cristiano Lucarelli. The result sees Milan move to eight points behind Inter, whose match at Parma was postponed due to snow, and although they remain second, they have now been caught by Roma who are level on points with the Rossoneri. It is a great result for the Tuscan outfit following an astonishing week which saw coach Serse Cosmi resign following last weekend's 2-0 loss at home to Napoli but return after a meeting with club President Aldo Spinelli. Livorno remain two points above the drop zone.

Juventus 1-1 Lazio
New Juventus boss Alberto Zaccheroni had to settle for a point at Turin's Stadio Olimpico in his first match in charge as they played out a disappointing draw with Lazio. The former Lazio coach, who replaced Ciro Ferrara on Friday, saw his team take the lead through Alessandro Del Piero's 70th-minute penalty. However, that soft penalty was as good as it got for Juve as Stefano Mauri grabbed the equaliser eight minutes later by volleying home a cross from Mauro Zarate. The result lifted the Turin outfit to fifth in the standings, level on 41 points with Palermo and four points adrift of Napoli, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot. The result leaves Lazio two points clear of the drop zone.

Roma 2-1 Siena
Second-half substitute Stefano Okaka struck three minutes from time to hand Roma a narrow 2-1 win over bottom club Siena. Okaka, who is set to join Fulham on a six-month loan deal on Monday, fired a low shot into the net with a deliberate flick of his heel to bring the Stadio Olimpico to life. Jon Arne Riise had put the hosts in front on the half-hour mark before Siena's Simone Vergassola equalised before half-time. The outcome marks Roma's fourth straight triumph in Seire A and lifts them level on 41 points with second-placed Milan.

Cagliari 2-2 Fiorentina
Ten-man Cagliari were held by Fiorentina in an entertaining 2-2 draw as the hosts extended their unbeaten run to six games. However, they will have rued their inability to hold on to the 2-1 advantage they claimed three minutes into the second half. Marco Marchionni had put the visitors into an eighth-minute lead, but Andrea Lazzari levelled nine minutes before half-time and Davide Astori scored to put Cagliari in front, only for Stevan Jovetic to score a 63rd-minute equaliser after Andrea Cossu had been sent off five mintes into the second half. It was a welcome result for the visitors who had lost their last two games and were also without Adrian Mutu following his positive tests for sibutramine, an anti-obesity drug. Despite the result leaving both sides in mid-table, the two are just within a win of the top six European spots.

Sampdoria 2-0 Atalanta
Sampdoria maintained their European challenge with a comfortable 2-0 win over struggling Atalanta. The match was played against a backdrop of anger from the home fans towards coach Luigi Del Neri over his treatment of star striker Antonio Cassano. The Italy international was left out of the squad for last weekend's victory over Udinese - their first since late November - and missed out today because of injury amid reports of a bust-up. Cassano revealed today he had been offered the chance to join Fiorentina on loan until the end of the season but decided to stay with the Blucerchiati. The hosts coped easily without Cassano today, though, taking the lead through Angelo Palombo after 36 minutes and then doubling their advantage thanks to a Giampaolo Pazzini strike just before half-time. Marco Padalino was shown a straight red card for dissent in the final minute but it did not affect the outcome as Samp took their unbeaten home run in the league past the 12-month mark.

Chievo 1-1 Bologna
Chievo and Bologna shared the spoils with their top goalscorers both on target in a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Marc' Antonio Bentegodi. Marco Di Vaio put Bologna in front with his eighth goal of the season after 11 minutes before Sergio Pellissier's sixth strike of the campaign earned Chievo a point four minutes into the second period. The result keeps Chievo at a safe distance from the bottom three while Bologna remain four points clear of the danger zone.

Catania 1-1 Udinese
Marco Biagianti hit a late leveller as Catania stayed just a point behind Udinese after a 1-1 draw between the strugglers in Serie A. Udinese had been poised to claim their first away win of the season but had to settle for a point which means they remain above the relegation zone, but only just. Striker Antonio Floro Flores had put Udinese ahead just after the half-hour mark and they retained that lead until Biagianti rifled in a clinical equaliser with 10 minutes remaining.

Parma P-P Inter
This match was postponed from its original date because of heavy snowfall in the Emilia-Romagna region. It was rescheduled by the Lega Calcio for Wednesday 10 February [Match Review].

[Saturday 30 January] - [Sunday 31 January]

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