Round 35 saw all ten games played on the same day, at the same time for once and the Italian public were rewarded with a goal fest. Allan Oliveira has all the details.
The big teams like Roma, Juve and Milan destroyed their opposition while Inter did just enough to defeat Cagliari at home and all but seal the Scudetto for another season. With only three rounds left and 6 points between Roma and the leaders, their challenge is fading. However the Milan derby is the next match and AC Milan are fighting for every point that’s up for grabs.
Roma vs Torino (4-1)
The home side was on fire in the first half, scoring all four goals within 32 minutes. Although their chances of catching Inter are very slim, this convincing win tells the league leaders that they still mean business. On 18 minutes, Perrotta was fouled just inside the area and Pizarro put away the penalty. Two minutes later, Vucinic doubled the score, slotting in Perrotta’s pass from the tightest of angles. Then on 26 minutes Mancini met Cicinho’s cross and powered home a header in at the back post. Soon after, the Brazilian completed a brace and Roma’s goal haul with a tap in following Vucinic’s excellent cut-back. In the second period, Torino found a consolation goal when Ventola headed in a Lazetic cross. Roma were reduced to ten men on 76 minutes as Juan was harshly sent off. It was too late for Torino to conjure up anything else and they returned home still on 34 points, barely out of relegation danger.
Fiorentina vs Sampdoria (2-2)
The Viola hosted Sampdoria in what turned out to be a nail-biter of a match. Fiorentina came close in the first half but most of the action was saved for after the restart. The visitors grabbed an opener on 63 minutes when Cassano set up Maggio for a near post finish through the keeper’s legs. Fifteen minutes later substitute Vieri equalised with a well placed header from Mutu’s cross. Mutu was involved again 5 minutes later when he won a penalty and got up to convert the spot-kick himself. But the home team couldn’t hang on and late in the game Gastadello nodded in a quality equaliser. Just four points separate the teams in fourth and sixth respectively although they’ve allowed Milan to get within two points of the last Champions League spot they’re all clamoring for.
Genoa vs Empoli (0-1)
An early goal was enough for Empoli to secure a win and move them just out of the relegation zone. Abate grabbed his first goal of the season on 15 minutes with a good first time strike from a superb pass from Giovincol. The visitors could’ve made it two but were denied by an incorrect offside call while Genoa finished the match with ten men after Di Vaio lost his cool with the ref and earned a straight red for his verbal assault. Genoa retain eighth spot but can forget about UEFA cup action next season.
Inter vs Cagliari (2-1)
Although Inter were two goals up and in control for most of this match, they had a late scare as Cagliari pulled one back. In the end they held on for the win and now almost certainly have the Scudetto locked down as just one more win will be enough to secure their third consecutive league title. A few months ago this would be an easy fixture but Cagliari have been a dangerous force in recent times, destroying reputations of all those having to face them at home. Although there was good work by Balotelli early on, it was Cruz that put the first goal on the board with a deflected header from a Vieira cross on 22 minutes. The second didn’t come until 82 minutes as Materazzi nodded in from a free kick. The visitors pulled one back at the death as a Biondini shot deflected into the net past a helpless Julio Cesar. Cagliari remain in 15th but are almost certain to remain in the top flight next season. It’ll be a sweet victory for Inter if they can defeat Milan in the derby next week and claim the title at the same time.
Juventus vs Lazio (5-2)
Juve destroyed their visitors to secure Champion’s League football for next season, quite impressive after their first season back in Serie A. Chiellini opened the home side’s goal account on 15 minutes with a glancing header from a Camoranesi free kick. Six minutes later, the provider doubled the advantage himself after turning in Trezeguet’s fluffed effort with a close range finish. Just after the half hour mark, Del Piero left his marker for dead and placed a left-footer into the net. Incredibly, a minute later it was 4-0 as Trezeguet finished off a Camoranesi through ball. Bianchi pulled one back on 55 minutes with a nicely placed lob and then on 61 minutes Siviglia made it 2 for the visitors with a diving header to make it 4-2. Juve seemed to have hit cruise control a little early but unfortunately Lazio’s undisciplined reputation hurt them again as goal-scorer Siviglia was sent off after his second booking on 75 minutes. In the dying minutes the home side sealed the win as Chiellini tapped in a fumbled clearance from six yards. Another loss for Lazio although they retain 12th while Juve can still challenge Roma for 2nd place.
Livorno vs Milan (1-4)
Inzaghi bagged a hat-trick to continue his excellent form of late as Milan routed their hosts to close in on forth place leaving Livorno in serious trouble at the bottom of the table. Milan were in complete control of this match and the veteran Italian grabbed his first on 23 minutes as Kaka rolled a pass across for him to tap in from close range, although replays showed he may have been in an offside position. Shortly after the restart, Inzaghi doubled the score with a glancing header from Bonera’s cross. Then on 59 minutes he completed his hat-trick with another header, this time from a Pirlo corner kick. He also set up Seedorf for the fourth in the 71st minute. The home side at least pulled back a consolation goal two minutes later as Knezevic’s diving header found the net from a corner kick.
Napoli vs Siena (0-0)
Although both teams had their share of chances throughout the match, the best of these were denied by the woodwork for the home side and an offside call for the visitors. Napoli have done well this season after promotion but couldn’t quite reach a UEFA cup spot. They retain ninth spot while Siena can rest a bit easier with a spot in Serie A next season confirmed, holding on to 13th position with a points total of 40.
Palermo vs Atalanta (0-0)
Another goal less match although there was plenty of chances for both sides during this encounter. Miccoli clipped the crossbar after a good run and Cavani wasted a couple of chances too. Meanwhile Pinto and Doni caused some trouble at the other end for their hosts but couldn’t find the net either. The result keeps the two side’s just one point from each other in 10th and 11th respectively.
Reggina vs Parma (2-1)
Cuper’s Parma were in serious trouble following bans to Couto, Gasbarroni, Falcone, Castellini and Mariga compounding their injury woes. And the defeat sends them straight into the relegation zone as Reggina climb out. Although the visitors managed to open the scoring following a clumsy challenge on Reginaldo that Cigarini converted from the resulting spot-kick, the home side fought back for the win. The penalty on 25 minutes was the only goal for the first half but Parma were reduced to ten men soon after the restart as Paci picked up his second yellow. Two minutes later, Cozza took full advantage of the situation with shot on the turn following a goalline clearance. Not long after that he completed a brace as his powerful strike took a deflection to leave Bucci stranded as Reggina clinched an important victory.
Udinese vs Catania (2-1)
Within six minutes the home side were ahead as Di Natale beat the offside trap and he made no mistake in front of goal. However, soon after the half-hour mark, the visitors equalised in style as Vargas struck a beautiful volley. It only took four minutes for Quagliarella to put Udinese back in front and outshine the other goals with a brilliant turn and powerful shot which flew in to the net after clipping the underside of the crossbar. Although Catania desperately tried to get back into the game the home side held on for all three points. They remain seventh but closed the gap to just two points between themselves and Sampdoria, still battling for the last UEFA spot. Catania hold on to 14th position.
1st Inter 81pts 35 played
2nd Roma 75pts 35 played
3rd Juventus 70pts 35 played
4th Fiorentina 60pts 35 played
5th AC Milan 58pts 35 played
6th Sampdoria 56pts 35 played