Sunday, 14 February 2010

Serie A - Week 24: Sunday Review

Inter failed to increase their lead at the top of Serie A to nine points after a goalless draw at Napoli, who move up to fourth. Juventus are back in contention for a Champions League spot after a controversial 3-2 win against Genoa, while Lazio enhanced their chances of survival and Cagliari maintained their Euro hopes.

Napoli 0-0 Inter
Napoli and Inter shared the spoils at the Stadio San Paolo to conclude Week 24 in Serie A with an entertaining goalless draw. Napoli had enough chances to win several games and struck the woodwork twice - through Marek Hamsik and Fabio Quagliarella - on a frustrating night against the defending champions. The rebound from Quagliarella's effort bounced too high for German Denis to be able to shoot instantly into an empty goal as the hosts had to settle for a third consecutive 0-0home draw. Sulley Muntari also hit the frame of the goal for Inter, who improved in the second half to claim a point which extends their lead over second-placed Roma to seven points while Napoli move back above Sampdoria and up to fourth.

Juventus 3-2 Genoa
A disputed penalty allowed Juventus to win their first game under coach Alberto Zaccheroni as they came from behind to earn a 3-2 victory against Genoa. The visitors went ahead with a goal from captain Marco Rossi after 16 minutes, but Amauri brought the Bianconeri level shortly before the break. Alessandro Del Piero put the home team in front after an hour, but Rossi struck back immediately with an equaliser Genoa more than deserved. However, the game was decided after 78 minutes by a penalty earned and converted by Del Piero, although doubts remain whether it should have been a spot-kick in the first place. Del Piero appeared to trip himself up before rolling into the penalty area. Juve move up to sixth, one point behind the top four spots, while Genoa are a further three points back.

Parma 0-2 Lazio
Edy Reja enjoyed a dream start at the helm of Lazio after inspiring his new charges to a 2-0 win at Parma which moved them out of the relegation zone. Reja took over on Wednesday after the Biancoceleste board finally lost patience with Davide Ballardini following the 1-0 defeat by Catania last weekend. After surviving a few nervy moments in the first half, Lazio grew in stature after the break and went ahead after 68 minutes through Guglielmo Stendardo. Parma's hopes of getting back into it were derailed due to Luis Jimenez's dismissal and the visitors sealed just their second away win of the season when Mauro Zarate struck with two minutes to go.

Cagliari 3-1 Bari
Cagliari boosted their hopes of sneaking into Europe as they got back to winning ways with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Bari in Sardinia. Salvatore Masiello got Bari back into the game shortly after the break following first-half goals from Daniele Conti and a deflected Nene free-kick. But the hosts immediately restored their two-goal cushion when the unfortunate Alessandro Gazzi headed into his own net. The result sees Cagliari move to eighth in the Serie A standings while Bari remain 10th.

Livorno 0-1 Bologna
A solitary Marco Di Vaio goal was enough to hand Bologna all the spoils in their relegation scrap at fellow strugglers Livorno. Di Vaio, the club's top scorer, came to his side's aid once again, netting after 22 minutes to hand Bologna a 1-0 victory. However, the visitors, who had lost Francesco Modesto to injury early on, were hit by a blow when veteran striker Di Vaio was forced off injured. Bologna's first victory in Leghorn in 70 years sees them remain in 14th spot in the Serie A standings but they are now five points above Livorno who have slipped into the relegation zone.

Chievo 0-1 Siena
Siena claimed a shock 1-0 victory at Chievo to increase their slim hopes of avoiding the drop. Serie A's basement club had gone seven games without a win, and had not won away from home since the end of August. They had also spent the build-up to the game training behind closed doors under a self-imposed media silence in an effort to bring the squad closer together. A late volley from Reginaldo was enough to secure the points for Alberto Malesani's side, who started the game 10 points from safety, but the defeat adds to Chievo's own relegation worries.

Catania 0-0 Atalanta
Catania and Atalanta played out a goalless draw that did little to ease the relegation concerns of either club. Atalanta had Gianpaolo Bellini sent off for a second yellow card with 16 minutes remaining, but in a match when goalmouth action was limited the away side easily held out to claim a point. Both sides hit the woodwork early on but that was as close as they would come to a goal as they stayed deep in the relegation picture. Atalanta, who have now failed to score in five of their past six away trips, remain second from bottom and three points behind Catania who fell to 17th place and just a point above the drop zone.

[Fri 12 February] - [Sat 13 February] - [Sun 14 February]

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