This was the week where Inter could’ve won the Scudetto for the third consecutive season but it was never going to be easy as it was also the week where they had to face their city rivals, AC Milan in the local derby. Fiorentina and Juventus stumbled again though the repercussions were more serious for the former as Milan are now fourth and are now in pole position for a Champions League place. Allan Oliveira reports.
Milan vs Inter (2-1)
Inter blew the chance to win the Scudetto and defeat their bitter rivals and now need to win at least once over the last two games to prevent Roma from taking the title. Milan however have accomplished what they set out to do in the last period of the season, secure the final Champion’s League spot. The first half was all Milan as they pinned back Inter and caused no end of problems for the shaky Nerazzuri defense. Shortly after the restart Kaka crossed from the right for Inzaghi and the veteran nodded in to open up the scoring. Then on 56 minutes Kaka doubled their advantage with a low shot into the far corner after a defensive mistake. This finally woke Inter up and they turned the tables on their opponents, pinning them into their half instead. With just 15 minutes remaining, Cruz curled in a free kick to reduce the deficit but try as they might, the league leaders couldn’t find an equalizer.
Atalanta vs Livorno (3-2)
Livorno are in real trouble after this defeat and will almost certainly be playing in Serie B next season. Few opportunities were created in the first half but there was plenty of action after the restart. Doni opened the scoring for the home side with a wonderful lob in the 56th minute and a few minutes later Pinto added another as his shot squirmed past the outstretched keeper. The visitors refused to go down without a fight as Rossini reduced the deficit by putting away the rebound from Filippini’s blocked shot only five minutes later. On 81 minutes Pavan levelled the score with a glancing header from Diamanti’s cross and gave his team some real hope. Unfortunately Padoin restored the home side’s lead in the last minute with an excellent chip and left the visitors bottom of the table with just 30 points. Atalanta remain in 11th with 45 points.
Cagliari vs Fiorentina (2-1)
After such a good season, the pressures of competing in the final stages of the UEFA cup as well as the league have taken their toll on Fiorentina. The Voila drop to fifth as Milan leap-frog them while Cagliari can almost rest easy after pulling themselves from the bottom of the table. As always the Sardinians are a force to be reckoned with at home and they went ahead early on, Jeda nodding in from a corner kick on 20 minutes. Not long after the restart, Conti tapped in from close range after good work by Cossu and Matri. Santana was able to pull a goal back just three minutes later but they couldn’t find another and Mutu saw red at the death after complaining too much after being booked. Cagliari move up a spot to 14th.
Catania vs Reggina (1-2)
In what was an important relegation battle the home side started stronger with Mascara doing well but Reggina were first to score through Amoruso’s diving header just before the break. Campagnolo kept the visitors in the game in the second half with some good saves and in the last minute Amoruso completed a brace as he converted a penalty following a Sardo tackle on Barreto. Catania got a goal back in stoppage time as Martinez tapped in but they ran out of time to stage a full comeback. Reggina jump out of the relegation zone and above their hosts into 16th place while Catania drop three places to 17th, only just above the relegation places.
Empoli vs Udinese (0-1)
Empoli went into this match on the verge of relegation and are now second from the bottom as Reggina and Parma went above them. Meanwhile Udinese took full advantage of Sampdoria’s loss to Roma to move into sixth place. The only goal of the match came on 17 minutes as Quagliarella unleashed a long-range shot that Balli made a complete mess of. Empoli began to apply a lot of pressure and finally had a chance through a penalty when Pepe tripped Giovinco but the latter had his spot-kick saved by Handanovic.
Lazio vs Palermo (1-2)
The home side threw away a 1-0 lead as Palermo fought back with a late Amauri brace to take all three points. Pandev placed a penalty kick into the top right corner on 25 minutes after a Migliaccio handball in the area. They should’ve extended their lead but ended up giving Palermo a penalty in a similar fashion, though luckily for the home side Muslera was on hand with a great save. Finally Amauri equalised with a header from Miccoli’s free kick and then in stoppage time Amauri again nodded in another Miccoli free kick to win the match. Lazio’s bad run continues as they slide down to 13th while Palermo close in on Napoli but remain in 10th.
Parma vs Genoa (1-0)
Hector Cuper should breathe a slight sigh of relief as his team finally registered a win and considering the injury and suspension list it’ll go down as a great result. Unfortunately they’re still in the relegation zone in 18th spot and will need a couple more wins and some luck. It was a game of few chances and Parma made the best of one of theirs on the hour mark as Lucarelli put away a header on the rebound after his first attempt hit the crossbar. Despite the defeat, Genoa remain in 8th.
Sampdoria vs Roma (0-3)
Roma have not given up on the Scudetto yet and closed in on the league leaders and are now just 3 points behind them. They left it late but won this difficult encounter in style with three goals in ten minutes. Cassano faced his old team for the first time since his return to Italy and almost scored against them early on but for a great save from Doni. In fact the Brazilian was keeping Roma in the game as they were mostly unmotivated until news started to come through that Inter were losing the derby. Panucci nodded in the first from a Pizarro corner on 75 minutes, then the provider powered a low shot in from just outside the area to make it two. They completed the win as Cicinho converted a pass from Vucinic.
Siena vs Juventus (1-0)
The visitors fell to Siena in a shock defeat although they will finish third no matter what happens now. Siena were looking for complete safety and are now certain to play in the top flight next year, moving one spot above Lazio into 12th. With the first chance of the match, Kharja made the most of a defensive error and looped a shot into the far corner beyond Buffon’s reach on seven minutes. In the remaining time there were several chances for both sides but the respective keepers held the score for the remainder of the match.
Torino vs Napoli (2-1)
The home side made a good start as the ref awarded a controversial penalty on 25 minutes for a Domizzi challenge on Di Michele. The visitors alleged that the striker had tripped himself. Nonetheless, Rosina converted the spot-kick, sending the keeper the wrong way for the only goal of the first half. Soon after the second half began a Bogliacino free kick ended up in his path of Contini and lashed it into the top of the net. But just three minutes later, Di Michele restored Torino’s lead as he beat the offside, controlled and calmly slotted past Navarro. Torino move up to 15th while Napoli remain in 9th
1st Inter 81pts 36 played
2nd Roma 78pts 36 played
3rd Juventus 70pts 36 played
4th AC Milan 61pts 36 played
5th Fiorentina 60pts 36 played
6th Udinese 57pts 36 played