Serie A – Roundup – 19th March 2008

Serie AMatchday 29, mid-week round on the 19th of Mar 2008.

This matchday was another mid-week round and it proved to be one where all the big teams stumbled. Inter were held to a draw by Genoa while Roma missed out on a chance to cut the distance between them, losing the derby against Lazio. Juventus were also held and both Fiorentina and Milan were defeated.

So things remain as they were at the top, apart from Sampdoria closing some ground in sixth.

Milan vs Sampdoria (1-2)
Visiting the San Siro used to be a daunting task for most teams but Milan’s poor form continued this round and Sampdoria were only too happy to hand them a defeat. It was a bad start for Milan as Kaka’ pulled up injured after ten minutes and had to be changed for younster, Paloschi. Two minutes later there was more bad news as Maggio tapped in from close range after a good team effort to open up the scoring for the visitors. On 25 minutes, a swift counter-attack and finish by Delvecchio had Milan two goals down. The teams continued to exchange blows with some good chances either side until Paloschi pulled one back with a glancing header from a Pato cross. Although an equaliser was almost found in the final minutes, another 2-1 defeat was the result. Even with Fiorentina’s stumble, Milan’s task of grabbing the last champion’s league spot just got a whole lot more difficult. Sampdoria have closed the gap between the them to just one point.

Cagliari vs Atalanta (1-0)
Another important victory for last placed Cagliari builds on their fight to remain in the top level. The defining moment of the match came shortly after the first quarter of an hour. Pellegrino was adjudged to have fouled Acquafresca in the area and the latter was given a penalty that he promptly converted. The home side did well to maintain the score and even though Atalanta destroyed Empoli last week, they could barely muster a couple of chances against Cagliari. The only other action was Carrozzieri’s second yellow on 76 minutes which meant he was off for an early shower. The home side take another step towards moving up from the bottom while Atalanta maintain 8th position, although are now level on points with Lazio.

Catania vs Siena (0-0)
Both teams went into this match just above the relegation area but Catania couldn’t capitalise on their home advantage with no goals scored for either side. The match was largely uneventful with Siena having the only real chance in the second half. Maccarone saw his strike smash into the goal and the resulting chance was wasted by Locatelli. Catania drop a place to 16th while Siena actually move up a spot to 13th thanks to Torino’s defeat.

Empoli vs Juventus (0-0)
Juventus had another disappointing game, failing to find a way past another relegation battler. There was very little action in this game and few real chances. Empoli did find the net once but Volpato was in an obvious offside position. Luckily most of the teams near Juve also stumbled so their third place spot is still secure and Empoli also remain second from bottom.

Genoa vs Inter (1-1)
Inter are now seven points clear of Roma at the top even though they were held to a draw by Genoa. Suazo was on the scoresheet early for the visitors, giving them an advantage after just 11 minutes. But after Pele picked up a couple of yellows by 40 minutes Inter found themselves down to ten men yet again. Something the nerazzuri must be getting used to by now. They almost held on for a win but allowed Borriello to score five minutes from time.

Livorno vs Reggina (1-1)
This was an important match for both sides with Reggina in the first relegation spot and Livorno just outside of the zone. The visitors were the first on the scoreboard with a lovely goal from Brienza on 32 minutes. He received the ball on the edge of the area and with a couple of well controlled touches, spun around and smacked the ball into the top far corner, out of reach of the diving De Lucia. Diamanti was proving very dangerous but the home side’s equaliser only came just after the hour mark through former Reggina player, Bogdani. A very well placed header from a difficult high cross. Parma’s win means that Livorno and Reggina are now next to each other in 17th and 18th respectively.

Napoli vs Fiorentina (2-0)
A brace by Lavezzi in the first half proved enough to sink Fiorentina. Napoli have become giant killers at home, also defeating Juventus and the only team to beat Inter this season. The first goal came after 23 minutes as Lavezzi slid in to finish Mannini’s pass. The second was a bit of a gift as Frey got it all wrong from a corner kick that Lavezzi nodded in. The home side jump up a couple of places to tenth while Fiorentina maintain forth.

Parma vs Palermo (2-1)
Parma took a step towards securing their place in Serie A next season, moving up from 17th to 15th. The win wasn’t without controversy though as the winner came in the dying minutes when Parma were awarded a penalty. The home side did well and played for over an hour with ten men although Palermo also finished with only ten after Barzagli picked up a second yellow just after 70 minutes. Surprisingly the first goal was Parma’s, Budan nodding in at the far post from a Gasbarroni free kick on 52 minutes. But Palermo equalised when they still had the numerical advantage. Cavani with a nice run onto a through ball and a cool finish with the outside of the boot into the bottom right of the goal. Dessena fell awkwardly from a Migliaccio challenge but did not deserve a penalty, nonetheless, Budan stepped up again to send the keeper the wrong way. Palermo drop two places to 11th, tied on points with Napoli and Genoa.

Torino vs Udinese (0-1)
The home side came into this match off a crushing defeat by bottom-placed Cagliari whereas Udinese were looking to improve on their draw to Lazio last week. One goal was enough to decide this encounter and it came on 25 minutes when Pepe delivered a well-placed free kick over the wall and just inside of the near post. Rosina tried his best to get Torino back into the match but Handanovic was up to the task of denying him glory. The home side did score but in another controversial decision it was disallowed because Di Michele was in an offside position even though Stellone was the scorer. Torino drop a place to 14th while Udinese remain seventh, only just behind Sampdoria and Milan.

Lazio vs Roma (3-2)
The derby of Rome delivered a five-goal thriller that saw Roma’s distance from Inter widen by a point while Lazio jumped up the table to 9th. The visitors were first to score even though Taddei knew little about the clearance that smashed into his face and then back into the goal! Just before the break, Pandev equalised as Doni palmed a cross straight into his path for an easy finish. Juan gave away a penalty on 58 minutes as he tugged on Bianchi’s shirt and Rocchi stepped up to convert. Four minutes later, Perrotta equalised with a strong drive after being set up by Vucinic. It was end to end stuff in the remaining minutes until finally Behrami converted a badly dealt with cross at the near post in stoppage time.

The standings
1st Inter 68pts 29 played
2nd Roma 61pts 29 played
3rd Juventus 55pts 29 played
4th Fiorentina 50pts 29 played
5th AC Milan 46pts 29 played
6th Sampdoria 45pts 29 played

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