Sunday, 16 May 2010

Serie A - Week 38: Sunday Review

Inter stay on course for an unprecedented Italian treble after securing their fifth successive Serie A title on a thrilling final day of the season. With title rivals Roma winning 2-0 at Chievo, the Nerazzurri secured a tense 1-0 win against Siena. Sampdoria were also celebrating after they secured fourth spot and the final UEFA Champions League qualifying spot ahead of Palermo.

Siena 0-1 Inter
Inter sealed their fifth consecutive Serie A title after Diego Milito earned his side a 1-0 victory against already-relegated Siena with a 57th-minute winner. Milito, Inter's top-scorer with 21 league goals to his name at the start of the match, provided the finishing touch as Jose Mourinho's side claimed the victory they needed to secure the club's 18th Scudetto. Until Milito's intervention, title rivals Roma had moved into pole position by taking a 2-0 lead in their match against Chievo, a scoreline which put the pressure back on the treble-chasing Nerazurri. Inter enjoyed plenty of possession in the match and were not short of attempts on goal but at no stage did the difference in the sides' league positions - first against second-bottom - manifest itself, with Inter nerves no doubt a contributing factor.

Chievo 0-2 Roma
Roma beat Chievo 2-0 but their title dreams disappeared as Inter edged Siena to win the Scudetto on the final day of the season. Mirko Vucinic put Roma ahead after 39 minutes after Francesco Totti had earlier hit the post. Daniele De Rossi doubled Roma's lead on the stroke of half-time and the Giallorossi held on without major scares. Claudio Ranieri's Roma looked as if they might pip Inter to the Scudetto as, for part of the game while they were leading, the Nerazzurri were being held to a goalless draw at Siena. But Diego Milito earned Inter victory in the second half, meaning the result in Verona had no bearing on the top of the table. Roma finish two points adrift of Inter, with Chievo in 16th place in the final standings.

Sampdoria 1-0 Napoli
Sampdoria sealed their place in next season's Champions League with a 1-0 win over Napoli which preserves their unbeaten home record this term. A goal from Giampaolo Pazzini early in the second half sealed the points as Samp saw off the challenge of Palermo to join Inter, Roma and Milan in Europe's elite club competition for the first time since 1992. Napoli, who will be playing in the Europa League next season, made life difficult for the hosts but were unable to beat an inspired Marco Storari in the Blucerchiati goal.

Atalanta 1-2 Palermo
Palermo will have to settle for the Europa League next season after missing out on a Champions League place despite seeing off relegated Atalanta 2-1 deep into injury-time on the final day of the Serie A season. Delio Rossi's side needed to win to triumph in Bergamo but also required European rivals Sampdoria to fail to beat Napoli. Samp ended those hopes with a 1-0 win to take fourth spot, rendering Edinson Cavani's 95th-minute penalty winner academic. Cavani had put his side in front after 12 minutes before Fabio Ceravolo's 48th-minute leveller.

Bari 2-0 Fiorentina
Bari completed their excellent first season back in Serie A with a win to edge ahead of opponents Fiorentina into 10th place in the final table. Cristian Stellini opened the scoring before half-time and, after Fiorentina's Alessandro Gamberini was sent off in injury time at the end of the game, substitute Emanuel Rivas volleyed a late second. The win was Bari's 13th of the season - and their 11th at San Nicola - and brought up their half-century of points for the season.

Parma 4-1 Livorno
Parma ended an impressive campaign back in Serie A with a final-day 4-1 victory over Livorno. Davide Lanzafame opened the scoring for Parma on the stroke of half-time before adding his second one minute after the re-start. Stefano Morrone made it 3-0 after 48 minutes before Livorno's Tomas Danilevicius reduced arrears with 18 minutes remaining. Hernan Crespo capped off a wonderful afternoon for the hosts by scoring his team's fourth in stoppage time. The win lifted Parma up to eighth in the final standings while already-relegated Livorno, who came up into Serie A with Parma last year, ended a dismal season at the foot of the table.

Catania 1-0 Genoa
Catania completed their best ever season in Serie A thanks to a 1-0 win over Genoa at a packed Stadio Massimino. A goal from Maxi Lopez after 65 minutes earned the Sicilians the win which takes them to 45 points, two more than their previous record in the top flight of Italian football set under Walter Zenga last season. Genoa ended the game with 10 men after Ivan Juric was shown a 64th-minute red card. Neither side had anything but pride to play for at the end of a season which had been highly satisfying for the home side yet rather disappointing for the visitors, as they missed out on a European spot for next season.

Cagliari 1-1 Bologna
Cagliari's long search for a win will continue into next season as they had to come from behind to secure a final-day 1-1 draw at home to Bologna. Cagliari have not won since February, and rarely looked like changing that today as they fell behind to Adailton's volley after only two minutes. Daniele Ragatzu eventually levelled in the 65th minute but in a match of few chances, Bologna were rarely threatened as the two sides played out the draw.

[Saturday 15 May] - [Sunday 16 May]

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