Sunday, 21 March 2010

Serie A - Week 29: Sunday Review

AC Milan spurned the opportunity to take pole position in Serie A after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Napoli. Sampdoria moved above Juventus in the race for the UEFA Champions League after beating the Bianconeri 1-0, while Atalanta, Lazio and Siena all recorded vital wins in the relegation battle.

AC Milan 1-1 Napoli
AC Milan failed to take full advantage of Inter's slip-up against Palermo as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Napoli and missed the opportunity to leapfrog their city rivals to the top of the Serie A table. Hugo Campagnaro put a lively Napoli ahead after 13 minutes, but Filippo Inzaghi equalised 12 minutes later. Napoli enjoyed the better of the first half while Milan improved in the second 45 minutes, but neither side did enough to deserve more than a point, which takes the Rossoneri back to within a single point of Inter.

Sampdoria 1-0 Juventus
Sampdoria climbed to fifth in Serie A after a narrow win over struggling Juventus. Antonio Cassano scored the only goal of the game after 77 minutes, a breathtaking shot from 32 yards out which stunned Juventus goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti, to hand the Blucerchiati three valuable points. Cassano spotted the Juve keeper off his line and got what proved to be the match-winner on target. The Samp hero celebrated briefly before asking to come off with a suspected thigh injury. The result has lifted Samp level on 47 points with Palermo, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot. Meanwhile, Juventus are two points further adrift in sixth place.

Cagliari 0-2 Lazio
Lazio secured only their third away win of the season in a 2-0 win over Calgliari to move four points clear of the Serie A relegation zone. First-half goals from Tommaso Rocchi and Sergio Floccari did the trick for the capital club, who progressed to 29 points from 29 games as a result. The hosts, on the other hand, have now claimed just one point from their last five games and dropped to 10th in the standings. The defeat is a costly one financially for the Sardinians with Cagliari President Massimo Cellino earlier this week promising his club's fans he would reimburse the cost of their tickets if the team failed to beat Lazio.

Siena 1-0 Bologna
Siena breathed new life into their battle to avoid relegation with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Bologna. Alberto Malesani's men are now unbeaten in six Serie A games although fourth-bottom Lazio's win at Cagliari means they remain four points from safety. Argentinian Marcelo Larrondo grabbed the only goal for Siena after 10 minutes as the hosts maintained the momentum gained from last week's astonishing comeback at Juventus, which saw the Tuscans gain a draw after trailing 3-0.

Atalanta 3-0 Livorno
Serie A relegation-battlers Atalanta gave their fight for survival a boost with a 3-0 win over fellow strugglers Livorno, who now sink tothe bottom of the table. Simone Padoin set the Bergamasco on their way with the opening goal after 13 minutes and further strikes from Javier Chevanton and Adriano Ferreira Pinto early in the second half sealed matters. Despite the win, the home side remain four points away from Lazio and safety.

Bari 1-1 Parma
Andrea Masiello scored five minutes from time to grab a 1-1 draw for Bari at home to Parma. The visitors were fortunate to take a 36th-minute lead after Nicola Belmonte turned the ball into his own net following a cross by Damiano Zenoni. Parma thought they had done enough to secure their third away win this season but Bari battled back to clinch a deserved point at the Stadio San Nicola. The coaches of each side will be pleased to have taken another step towards securing their top-flight status for another season. The result has lifted Bari to 11th place, level on 39 points with Cagliari. Parma trail one point behind Bari with nine games remaining.

Chievo 1-1 Catania
Chievo paid the price for their profligacy in front of goal as Maxi Lopez's penalty ensured Catania snatched a 1-1 draw in their relegation six-pointer at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi. The hosts wasted a plethora of chances before Sergio Pellissier eventually gave them the lead after 64 minutes but Lopez scored his third goal in as many games to ensure Catania made the long trip back to Sicily with a point. Catania remain seven points above the drop zone with Chievo only four points better off.

[Saturday 20 March] - [Sunday 21 March]

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