Sunday 16 September 2007

Serie A Week 3: Sunday Review

Roma are the only side with a 100 per cent record in Serie A after they won 2-0 at Reggina while Juventus suffered a shock 1-0 home reverse against Udinese. Elsewhere, champions Inter and Napoli secured 2-0 home wins.

Roma maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable 2-0 victory at 10-man Reggina. The Giallorossi dominated the clash and were unlucky not to take the lead until after the half-time interval, Brazilian defender Juan breaking the deadlock five minutes after the break with a clever back heel. Matters went from bad to worse for the hosts when Carlos Valdez was sent off a minute later, before Francesco Totti compounded their misery with a second goal six minutes from time. The victory sees Luciano Spalletti's side go two points clear of reigning champions Inter at the top of the table, while Reggina are still searching for their first win of the campaign.

Udinese inflicted a shock 1-0 defeat on high-fliers Juventus to bring an abrupt end to their 100% league record. The hosts had several good opportunities to find the net during an end-to-end game, Alessandro Del Piero hitting the woodwork on no less than three separate occasions. And they were made to pay for their lack of clinical finishing when Antonio Di Natale scored a controversial winner, from what appeared to be an offside position, a minute after the break. The strike capped off a fantastic week for Da Natale after he netted two goals to secure victory in Italy's crucial Euro 2008 qualifier against Ukraine on Wednesday.

Ten-man Atalanta twice fought back from a goal down to secure a hard-earned 2-2 draw against Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Gianpaolo Bellini put through his own net to hand Fiorentina the lead on 25 minutes while Atalanta's afternoon got even worse when Morris Carrozzieri was given his marching orders for a second yellow card shortly after the break. But even a man down the visitors managed to equalise through Cristiano Doni's delightful free-kick. La Viola looked to have secured all three points when they went ahead for a second time through veteran striker Christian Vieri with just 18 minutes remaining, but Riccardo Zampagna rescued a point for Atalanta with a goal five minutes from time.

Inter warmed up for their Champions League trip to Fenerbahce with victory over Catania at the San Siro. But they will travel to Turkey knowing they will have to improve in front of goal if they are to make an impression on Europe's premier club competition this season. An early goal from Hernan Crespo gave the Nerazzurri the lead, but they found the Sicilians tough to finish off and were not assured of their victory until Cesar grabbed a second with 11 minutes to go.

Marcelo Zalayeta and Marek Hamsik earned Napoli a 2-0 home victory over Sampdoria to push them up to third place in the table. Zalayeta scored late in the first half before Hamsik doubled the lead 13 minutes from time as Edoardo Reja's side followed up their 5-0 victory at Udinese with another comprehensive win to continue their impressive return to the top flight. Summer recruit Zalayeta twice hit the woodwork in the first half before taking his tally to three goals in two games in front of nearly 60,000 fans at the Stadio San Paolo to inflict Sampdoria's first defeat of the season.

Torino made it three draws from three games this season after a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Palermo. The northerners will have been pleased to have left Sicily with a share of the spoils, however, after falling behind early on to a Fabio Simplicio goal. Alvaro Recoba equalised with his first goal for the Granata nine minutes into the second half after which a draw was almost inevitable as both sides toiled in the heat.

Two forgotten men of Serie A provided a reminder of their quality with Francesco Tavano and Marco Borriello both on target in an eventful draw between Genoa and Livorno. Former Roma striker Tavano put Livorno ahead with a penalty in the 53rd minute before Borriello replied in the 57th minute with Genoa's first goal since returning to Serie A. Both sides finished with 10 men. First, Jose Luis Vidigal was sent off for a second yellow card, trying to earn the third penalty of the game before Frank Juric followed him down the tunnel for exactly the same crime.

Parma came from a goal down to salvage a draw against Cagliari and pick up only their second point of the season on Sunday evening. Alessandro Matri followed up Andrea Parola's free-kick to put the away side in front from close range just before the break. And despite Paolo Castellini missing the chance to draw Parma level from the penalty spot just after the hour-mark, on-loan debutant Bernardo Corradi made sure they did get a share of the spoils with a well-taken equaliser 19 minutes from time. The result leaves the Gialloblu still struggling at the foot of the table, but ensures Cagliari move up to eighth in the standings.

[Saturday 15 Sep] - [Sunday 16 Sep]

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