Sunday 31 August 2008

Serie A - Week 1: Sunday Review

Milan 1-2 BolognaAC Milan's home hoodoo from last season returned in their 2-1 defeat by promoted Bologna while a late Alberto Gilardino goal gave ten-man Fiorentina a share of the spoils against Juventus. Roma were also held 1-1 by ten-man Napoli. Elsewhere there were impressive wins for Lazio, Torino and Catania.

Milan's miserable form at the San Siro continued as they made a losing start to the Serie A season, going down 2-1 to newly-promoted Bologna. Not even Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko were able to reverse a trend of bad results at home which effectively condemned Milan to finishing only fifth last season. Marco Di Vaio put Bologna ahead in the 18th minute, but Massimo Ambrosini ensured the Rossoneri went in at the break on terms. However, a wonder goal from Francesco Valiani sealed the win for Bologna 10 minutes from time and put Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti under pressure after just one game.

Fiorentina 1-1 JuventusFIORENTINA 1-1 JUVENTUS
Title hopefuls Fiorentina and Juventus had to settle for a share of the points after a 1-1 draw in Sunday's big evening match. Juventus looked the sharper side throughout at the Stadio Artemio Franchi and deservedly took the lead through Pavel Nedved in the first half. The visitors created further chances throughout, but Alberto Gilardino levelled the scores late on despite the Viola having one man fewer following Felipe Melo's straight red card for a late tackle.

Roma 1-1 NapoliROMA 1-1 NAPOLI
Last season's Serie A runners-up Roma failed to capitalise on any of the other title challengers' results in their opener when they too were held to a draw at home to 10-man Napoli. Alberto Aquilani put the home side ahead on the half-hour mark as they dominated the first half, but it was a different story in the second 45 minutes with Marek Hamsik netting a deserved equaliser in the 55th minute - shortly after Fabiano Santacroce was sent off for the visitors. Both teams searched for a winner, and had chances to get one, but honours ended even in an entertaining game at the Stadio Olimpico.

Cagliari 1-4 LazioCAGLIARI 1-4 LAZIO
Lazio new boy Mauro Zarate enjoyed a dream Serie A debut with two second-half goals to set his side on their way to a stunning 4-1 win against 10-man Cagliari. In contrast, it was a nightmare debut for Cagliari coach Massimiliano Allegri. Joaquin Larrivey put the hosts in front on the half-hour mark and Cagliari looked like they were going to cruise to victory against a side who had a dire away record last season. But Lazio looked a different team in the second half and the game turned on its head when Diego Lopez was given his marching orders shortly after the hour mark and Zarate grabbed his first of the day from the spot. Zarate doubled his tally in the 71st minute before former Cagliari player Pasquale Foggia added insult to injury four minutes later and Goran Pandev grabbed the fourth in the game's final stages.

Torino 3-0 LecceTORINO 3-0 LECCE
Rolando Bianchi's second-half strike on his Torino debut rounded off a comfortable 3-0 win against new boys Lecce. Alessandro Rosina's penalty on the half-hour mark gave the hosts the ideal start, before Paolo Zanetti added a second four minutes later. Bianchi completed the rout after 74 minutes when he headed home from close range after goalkeeper Francesco Benussi fumbled a powerful Rosina shot. Toro could have added more goals after dominating the game from start to finish, with Lecce struggling to create any clear opportunities. New coach Mario Beretta's side become the only promoted side not to have won on the opening weekend.

Catania 1-0 GenoaCATANIA 1-0 GENOA
Catania edged past Genoa 1-0 to get their season off to a winning start as they bid to avoid a second successive relegation dogfight. Having only just managed to stay up last season, coach Walter Zenga had emphasised the importance of a strong start and got just that as Giuseppe Mascara's 61st-minute strike sunk last year's surprise package. It was the second time that Catania got the ball in the net as Cristian Silvestri had seen an earlier effort scrubbed out for a foul.

Chievo 2-1 RegginaCHIEVO 2-1 REGGINA
Chievo made a triumphant return to the top flight with a late 2-1 win at home to Reggina. Having spent just one season in the Second Division, the Gialloblu made a fine start to the new campaign and came back from a goal down through Michele Marcolini's penalty in the 76th minute and Vincenzo Italiano's strike two minutes from time. Bernard Corradi had briefly put the visitors ahead with a 72nd-minute spot-kick but Reggina could not find an equaliser despite Chievo new boy Antonio Langella's dismissal late on.

Atalanta 1-0 SienaATALANTA 1-0 SIENA
Simone Padoin's first-half goal ensured that Atalanta's good opening-day record continues as they edged out a Siena side who had Massimo Maccarone sent off in the dying seconds to complete a miserable day. Padoin gave the hosts the lead in the 15th minute and Siena never really troubled the Atalanta defence. Any hope the visitors had of taking a point back to Tuscany disappeared four minutes from time when Maccarone was sent off for a second bookable offence. The forward could find himself in even more hot water after he pushed the referee when he flashed him the red card. Siena coach Marco Giampaolo, who replaced Mario Beretta in the summer, will have plenty to do to keep his side up.

[Saturday 30 Aug] - [Sunday 31 Aug]

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