Sunday 9 December 2007

Serie A Week 15: Sunday Review

Inter crushed Torino 4-0 to stretch their lead at the top of Serie A to five points after Roma were held. Juventus edged past Atalanta, while Nicola Pozzi scored four goals for Empoli and Fabio Quagliarella stunned former club Sampdoria.

Inter continued their unbeaten streak after brushing aside Torino at the San Siro. Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the Nerazzurri on their way on 38 minutes when he converted from the penalty spot after being brought down inside the area by Gianluca Comotto. Julio Cruz doubled Inter's advantage on 50 minutes before substitute Luis Jimenez made it 3-0 soon after. Ivan Cordoba capped a wonderful afternoon for Inter by nodding into the net with 14 minutes remaining.

Roma lost ground on Serie A champions Inter after being held to a 1-1 draw with Livorno. The point sees Giancarlo Camolese continue his revival of the hosts, who have now gone six games unbeaten and move further away from the foot of the table. Daniele De Rossi gave Roma an early lead as the visitors looked to maintain their unbeaten away record in the league this season. Diego Tristan equalised soon after with a superb solo effort and despite the best efforts of both sides neither team could find a winning goal.

Juventus kept themselves in touch with Inter and Roma at the top of Serie A with a hard-fought victory over a stubborn Atalanta side at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin. Ferdinando Coppola was in inspired form in the visitors' goal and, despite some inspirational play from substitute Alessandro Del Piero, the match seemed to be heading for a goalless draw. But Pavel Nedved's superb strike from long range in the 86th minute, his first goal of the season, keeps the Bianconeri in third place.

Fabio Quagliarella struck twice as fourth-placed Udinese pulled off a come-from-behind victory against Sampdoria in Udine. With the game looking to be heading for a draw, the former Samp player struck with four minutes remaining to hand the Bianconeri their third victory in four matches. In an open game at the Stadio Friuli, it was the hosts who took the lead through Antonio Di Natale's strike midway though the first half but Claudio Bellucci equalised from the penalty spot shortly after. Christian Maggio gave the visitors a 2-1 lead before the break. However, Udinese hit back in the second half and Quagliarella restored parity on 70 minutes before scoring his second late in the game. The outcome saw Pasquale Marino's side reduced the gap to third-placed Juventus to one point.

Parma remain winless on the road after a first-half strike from Marcelo Zalayeta gave Napoli a one-goal victory at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday night. The Uruguay international scored the only goal of the game in the 17th minute to help the Partenopei bounce back from their 5-1 mauling at the hands of Atalanta last weekend. Napoli move three places up to seventh while Parma, who have the worst away record in Serie A having collected just two points on their travels, remain in 14th spot.

Empoli striker Nicola Pozzi hit four goals to earn the Azzurri three vital points against fellow relegation battlers Cagliari at the Stadio Carlo Castellani. Daniele Conti pulled one back late on but it was nothing more than a consolation for the Sardinians, who replaced Empoli at the foot of the standings with the victors climbing two places as a result of their victory. The Tuscans appeared to take to the cold, wet and muddy conditions much better than their visitors, who never looked in the game. Pozzi will receive the plaudits for his goals, but it was a fine all-round team performance reminiscent of those which earned the side a UEFA Cup spot last season which have been all too rare this term.

Siena won only their second game of the season, destroying Genoa to win three important points in the battle against relegation. Genoa were blown away by three goals in the first 24 minutes with some shocking defending gifting the visitors all three points before the interval. Two-goal Mario Frick scored the opener in the 11th minute with a Simone Loria goal sandwiched in between that and his second in the 24th minute. Genoa substitute Lucho Figueroa scored a consolation with practically the only shot on goal in the second half. The result takes Siena to within two points of their hosts, who must now also look behind them after going an eighth game without a win.

The match between Reggina and AC Milan was postponed as the European champions are participating in the FIFA World Club Cup in Japan. The Lega Calcio have rescheduled the match for January 30, 2008.

[Saturday 8 Dec] - [Sunday 9 Dec] - [Wednesday 30 Jan]

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