Sunday, 28 February 2010

Serie A - Week 26: Sunday Review

After drawing their last three domestic outings, Serie A leaders Inter triumphed 3-2 at Udinese to stay four points clear of AC Milan, who beat Atalanta 3-1. Roma threw away a 2-0 lead at Napoli while Palermo leapfrogged Juventus in fourth with a 2-0 win in Turin.

Udinese 2-3 Inter
Inter seemed in control at half-time but were made to battle all the way for a thrilling 3-2 victory at Udinese. After the shock of Simone Pepe's early goal for the hosts, Jose Mourinho's depleted side hit back with strikes from Mario Balotelli, Douglas Maicon and Diego Milito. But Serie A top-scorer Antonio Di Natale halved their lead from the penalty spot and Gokhan Inler hit the woodwork in stoppage time as the visitors were left clinging on. The victory maintains Inter's four-point lead at the top while Udinese are four points clear of the relegation zone.

Milan 3-1 Atalanta
An Alexandre Pato brace set AC Milan on their way to a routine win over Atalanta which kept them on the heels of city rivals Inter in the Serie A title race. The Brazilian, whose afternoon ended on a negative note as he came off injured 10 minutes from time, scored twice in the final 15 minutes of the first half and, even though Jaime Valdes pulled one back, Marco Borriello followed up to score after Ronaldinho's penalty was saved five minutes later. The win was a fourth in a row for Leonardo's men and kept them four points adrift of Inter. Defeat, though, left the visitors five points from safety at the other end of the table.

Napoli 2-2 Roma
Marek Hamsik's late equaliser earned Napoli a 2-2 draw against Roma, who had won their last seven. Hamsik fired in from the penalty spot after a handball from Philippe Mexes to deny Roma, who looked to be on their way to a convincing win after taking a 2-0 lead after 65 minutes. Julio Baptista broke the deadlock on the hour mark from the penalty spot after the Brazilian was brought down by Hugo Campagnaro inside the area. Mirko Vucinic doubled the visitors' lead six minutes later. Substitute German Denis reduced the deficit before Hamsik levelled at the end as Napoli grabbed a point. The result leaves Roma in third place, three points behind Milan and seven points adrift of league leaders Inter. Napoli, who are without a win in five games, now lie sixth in the standings.

Juventus 0-2 Palermo
Palermo beat Juventus 2-0 in Turin to leapfrog the Bianconeri into fourth in Serie A. Fabrizio Miccoli opened the scoring for the visitors on the hour mark with a stunning effort before Igor Budan came off the bench to double his team's advantage nine minutes from time. The outcome marked Alberto Zaccheroni's first defeat as coach of Juve and sees his team drop to fifth in the standings, two points behind Palermo, who now hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.

Genoa 3-4 Bologna
Bologna came from behind three times before beating Genoa 4-3 in a dramatic game at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. David Suazo opened the scoring in the eighth minute before Antonio Busce brought Bologna level for the first time three minutes later. Giuseppe Sculli restored Genoa's lead after 18 minutes only for Adailton to equalise again. Suazo made it three seven minutes before half-time but two goals from Adailton in the second half completed his hat-trick and gave Bologna a shock win in Liguria.

Parma 1-0 Sampdoria
Sampdoria's recent unbeaten run came to a shuddering halt as Parma eased to a 1-0 victory in the Serie A encounter at Stadio Ennio Tardini. Parma went into the game having taken just two points from the last 27 available but succeeded in turning the form book on its head thanks to Cristian Zaccardo's second-half winner. With Samp missing attacking trio Giampaolo Pazzini, Nicola Pozzi and Antonio Cassano, coach Luigi Del Neri handed a Serie A debut to Stefan Scepovic, but the youngster failed to mark the occasion with a goal as the visitors slipped to a first loss in seven.

Chievo 2-1 Cagliari
Chievo cast aside their relegation fears with a second Serie A victory in a week, defeating Cagliari 2-1 and denting their European hopes. Marcos Ariel De Paula gave the hosts the lead after 33 minutes with his first goal for Chievo and, although Davide Astori levelled early in the second period, Pablo Granoche netted the winner 12 minutes from time. Both sides ended the game with 10 men after Michele Marcolini and Radja Nainggolan picked up their second yellow cards within 10 minutes of each other. The Verona side ended a four-match winless run against Atalanta last weekend while Cagliari missed the chance to go fourth as they crashed to defeat against Udinese in a rescheduled midweek game.

Livorno 1-2 Siena
A last-minute winner from Massimo Maccarone completed a late comeback 2-1 win for Serie A basement boys Siena at Livorno. Cristiano Lucarelli put Livorno ahead from the penalty spot after 10 minutes but they lost Davide Moro to a second yellow card six minutes after half-time. Nevertheless, their lead held until the 79th minute when Emanuele Calaio pulled Siena level - and Maccarone then struck in stoppage time to give his side three points, taking them to within three of their opponents and just six shy of 17th-placed Lazio.

[Saturday 27 February] - [Sunday 28 February]

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