SERIE A ROUND UP – 31ST MARCH

Serie AThis week both Inter and Roma stumbled at the top of the table, settling for away draws. Milan’s well below average season continued with a loss at home to Atalanta while Udinese hosted Fiorentina in a very entertaining match as things stayed interesting near the top of the table in the race for the last Champions League spot. In other news, the tragic death of a Parma fan on the way to the match against Juventus meant the game had to be called off.

Allan Oliveira reports

Cagliari vs Roma (1-1)

Cagliari are off the bottom after first winning back three docked points after a legal appeal and then holding the mighty Roma to a draw. They found themselves ahead after just three minutes through an own goal when a corner kick came off Ferrari and ended up in the back to the net. Roma had a good chance to equalise not long after but Mancini hit the post. Luckily for them, Totti was able to level the score just before halftime although the captain had to come off later with a suspected thigh injury. Not great news for the club ahead of their Champions League clash with Manchester United. Despite Roma pressure, Cagliari held on for a share of the spoils and in doing so, moved up to 17th.

Lazio vs Inter (1-1)

Inter travelled to visit Roma’s city rivals with much of the talk centering on Jose Mourinho who many belive will take over from current coach Roberto Mancini. Crespo put Inter ahead after 11 minutes when Maicon found him with a nice low pass near the 6 yard line allowing him a simple tap in. The sides continued to exchange blows with both keepers very active before, just around the hour mark, Rocchi completely beat the offside trap and then slotted past Julio Cesar. Lazio were very unlucky in the remaining minutes as the crossbar saved Inter not once but twice. The home side find themselves in 11th place in the table.

Milan vs Atalanta (1-2)

Milan hosted mid-table Atalanta on Sunday and were shocked in the first half, finding themselves two goals down thanks to Floccari and Langella. Although much stronger after the restart, they only managed to pull one goal back when Maldini nodded in on 85 minutes. Within seconds Nesta was sent off after the Milan players surrounded the ref following a foul by their goal scorer. Two minutes after that Milan were awarded a penalty and a chance to equalise following a tackle on Ambrosini. However Pirlo was thwarted by a great save from the visitor’s keeper. The Rossoneri’s hopes of Champions League football next season took another knock as Udinese went above them in the table. .

Catania vs Torino (1-2)

A great start to this encounter saw two goals in the space of five minutes. First Spinesi scored for the home side from a Vargas corner kick and then minutes later Diana equalised after combining with Recoba. Although Catania continued to play well before the break, they wasted several chances and were made to pay as just after the hour Di Michele put the visitors ahead and sealed all three points. Catania are now level on points with Cagliari and Parma, all just above the relegation zone while Torino are 5 points clear of all three.

Empoli vs Sampdoria (0-2)

Sampdoria made short work of their hosts and had the match effectively wrapped up in under 20 minutes. First Sammarco found the net with a long range effort on 7 minutes and then Marzoratti helped out with an own goal just ten minutes later. Sampdoria continued to play well and really should have scored more. The result draws them level with Milan and close to Udinese and Fiorentina meanwhile Empoli take over from Cagliari as the team propping up table.


Genoa vs Reggina (2-0)

The first half of this match produced no goals but it did produce some fine saves from Genoa’s Rubinho as well as a goal-line clearance from Tognozzi after Di Vaio lobbed the keeper. On the sixty minute mark Serie A top scorer Borriello put his side in front after Campagnolo parried a strike into his path and he punished the Reggina keeper for the mistake. Rossi wrapped things up in stoppage time with a powerful drive from just outside the box to make it 2 – 0. Genoa stay in eighth spot while Reggina slide down one to 19th.

Juventus vs Parma

Postponed.

Livorno vs Siena (0-0)

The Tuscan derby ended in a fairly lacklustre draw although Siena’s keeper, Manninger was kept fairly busy. Diamanti gave the former Arsenal keeper a couple of free kicks to deal with and also sent Tavano clear on one occasion but Manninger was on hand again to save the day and ensure a share of the spoils. Livorno drop into 18th position while Siena are still in 13th.

Udinese vs Fiorentina (3-1)

Both sides came out strong in this match with end to end attacking football but it was Udinese that found the opener when Inler smashed home a screamer from just outside the area. Pepe and Di Natale were keeping Frey busy while Osvaldo and Pazzini tested his counterpart in Handanovic at the other end. Vieri equalised for the visitors after coming off the bench only to see Di Natale restoring the home team’s advantage after a counter-attack on 72 minutes. Another goal on the break just five minutes later saw Quagliarella wrap things up for Udinese who leap-frog Milan into fifth and close the gap to three points between them and their visitors.

Napoli vs Palermo (1-0)

As has been the case lately, Napoli managed another win at home although they made their fans wait right until the death as Hamsik grabbed a winner in the third minute of injury time. Both sides started well with plenty of action early on and Fontana was called on several times to thwart Napoli’s efforts. Although it could have gone either way, the match seemed destined to end in a draw until Hamsik’s powerful header gave his side all three points. Napoli climb back to 10th this week while Palermo drop another spot to 13th.

The standings

1st Inter 69pts 31 played
2nd Roma 65pts 31 played
3rd Juventus 58pts 30 played
4th Fiorentina 53pts 31 played
5th Udinese 50pts 31 played
6th AC Milan 49pts 31 played


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