29 May 2005


Bologna needed the points to stay up, Samp needed the points to have any chance
of making the champions league.

Samp should have won by a landslide. Bologna face Parma in a play-off for Serie A
survival, Sampdoria are in the UEFA Cup, where they belong. Samp are very similar
to Everton in the way they play and in the level of their personnel, Flachi and 'dirty'
Diana aside.

Attendance : 36,000
Assists : n/a


Miccoli 43 (Pen)    
Jorgensen 59    
Rigano 67    
Surprisingly Fiorentina played with plenty of confidence and created several chances
before Domizzi gave away a penalty when he kicked Pazzini after the striker closed
him down while he tried to clear Wome's back pass. Miccoli put the ball on the spot
and ran as if he was constipated before smashing past Castelazzi. Maresca couldn't
find the finish to match a great solo run but Castelazzi made a complete hash of his
shot and Jorgensen tapped in. Another mistake by an extremely nervous Castelazzi
gifted Fiorentina a third.

Full credit to Fiorentina for staying up. They've been screwed over by officials all
season. They should never have been involved in a relegation battle - this squad
was good enough to challenge for a UEFA cup place. I don't expect Zoff will be
coach next season.

The Brescia miracle ended with Baggio's retirement. Despite his performance in this
match Castellazzi would be a good acquisition for most teams. I'm sure Stankevicius
will be picked up by another club, he's great.

Attendance : 44,000
Assists : Pazzini (won pen), n/a, n/a


Inter rested players ahead of the Coppa Italia final against Roma. Reggina got the
point they needed to ensure another season in Serie A.

With Juventus and Milan expected to concentrate all their efforts on winning the
European Cup Inter won't get a better chance to end their title drought next season.
The team needs a lot of work but Mancini seems to have settled on his tactics and
found the consistency lacking in the first half of the campaign - had they won today
Inter would have taken more points than any other team during the second half of
the campaign.

Attendance : 50,000
Assists : n/a


Del Piero 44  

Zola 61, 87

Trezeguet 51, 73  


Appiah 60    
Del Piero got the championship party rolling with a nice goal just before the break.
Trezeguet tapped in the second after Iezzo spilled a shot from Ibrahimovic. Appiah
scored a brilliant goal, he received the ball on the left and beat two defenders on
the edge of the box before blasting inside the top corner. Chimenti parried Bianchi's
shot against Zola to make it 3-1. Trezeguet headed in the fourth from Pessotto's
cross. Zola ended his career with a beautifully struck volley.

Capello is determined to win the European Cup next season. Despite Moggi pleading
poverty (again) I expect some major reinforcements over the summer.

Attendance : 40,000
Assists : Ibrahimovic, n/a, Mutu?, n/a, Pessotto, Gobbi


Pinardi 30  

Morfeo 22

Vucinic 41  

Bresciano 43

Dalla Bona 47  

Gilardino 56

Bresciano touched a free kick back to Morfeo and he curled the ball inside a post,
great goal. Pinardi equalised with a stunning drive from 30 yards then passed for
Vucinic to score the latest of his great goals. As he watched Pinardi's cross for some
reason he decided to spin onto the ball i.e. he turned away from it then controlled
with his chest (or arm), flicked it past Cardone, held off the defender, skipped past
a lunge from Frey and lifted the ball into the corner. Bresciano got Parma back on
level terms with a great volley after a Morfeo free kick was charged down. Giacomazzi
made an overlapping run on Valdez pass and lifted a low cross into the box for Dalla
Bona to volley past Frey. Morfeo headed on Simplicio's cross Gilardino controlled the
ball on his chest before sending an overhead kick flying into the net, fabulous goal.
Contini was sent off for no reason whatsoever and Morfeo talked himself into a
second yellow card.

Parma's suspensions could cost them dearly in the Serie A play-off against Bologna.
As for Lecce they're in trouble as their director of sport (responsible for finding talent)
is off to Fiorentina. Vucinic and Cassetti have been linked with Milan, everyone has
been linked with Gilardino. Parma are loaded with talent.

Attendance : 40,000
Red Cards : Contini 84 (Parma), Morfeo 94 (Parma)
Assists : Bresciano, Giacomazzi, Pinardi, n/a, Giacomazzi, Morfeo


Zampagna 71  

C Lucarelli 84

Both teams were safe leading into the match so the only thing at stake was the
Capocannoniere title. This was wide open with shots flying all over the place.
Zampagna gave Messina the lead with a splendid overhead kick. Livorno were gifted
a penalty which Lucarelli promptly missed but he made amends with a close range
finish from Paulinho's centre.

Attendance : 30,500
Assists : Zanchi, Paulinho


Toni 3, 65  

Rocchi 43

Brienza 61  

Bazzani 71


Muzzi 88

A flowing team move ended with Toni toe poking Palermo into a third minute lead.
Lazio were getting through the Palermo defence with alarming ease and Rocchi
finally drew them level just before half time. Brienza put Palermo back into the lead
after Casazza, who replaced Peruzzi at half tine, saved from Santana. Toni made it
3-1 with a brilliant, brilliant header. After laying siege to the Palermo goal Bazzani
finally scored with a diving header and Muzzi hit a fluke equaliser when Santoni
made a complete mess of what should have been a routine save. Palermo coach
Francesco Guidolin announced his resignation after the match :

"This has been a great day of festivities for the team, the club and the city. I spoke
with President Maurizio Zamparini in a relaxed manner and we found some common
ground. I told him that it is perhaps the right time for me to take a break. Aside from
anything else, I can't really do much better than what I've achieved here. I do worry
that I'll never encounter such a wonderful fanbase again."

Guidolin is a good coach, despite accusations of being defensive. He would be a good
choice to rebuild Roma.

Attendance : 33,000
Assists : Santana, Cesar, n/a , Gonzalez, A Filippini, Bazzani
ROMA 0-0


Chievo got the point they needed to survive. Totti was back after his five match ban.

Attendance : 55,000
Assists : n/a


Chiesa 8  

Budan 62

Argilli 81    
Atalanta were already down but made Siena work for the victory they needed to stay
in Serie A. Chiesa gave them the lead with a typically brilliant strike. He dribbled
round a defender before crashing the ball inside a post. Budan threatened to take
Siena down into Serie B with a tap in after Siena made a complete mess of playing
offside. Alberto headed on a cross, Argilli took the ball on his chest and as Calderoni
came off his line to clear Argilli fired the ball into the bottom corner.

Makinwa looks to be joining either Inter or Palermo. It would be a shame if Montolivo,
potentially the next Baggio, wasn't picked up.

Attendance : 11,000
Assists : Falsini, Lazzari, Alberto


Di Michele 56  

Serginho 86

Di Michele scored a fine individual goal before Serginho equalised when his cross
looped over Handanovic.

Attendance : 23,000
Assists : n/a, Nesta
Final Thoughts

At the end of last season I wrote :

I'm not looking forward to a 20 team league, I've always felt 20 teams just increases
the level of mediocrity in the lower half of the table. On the positive side, the financial
crisis will leave clubs with no choice but to blood youngsters and continue to work
with the players they have at their disposal. That's exactly what has happened at
both Parma and Roma this season and there's certainly no shortage of promising
talent in the Italian game anymore.

I would like to think I was right on both counts. The football doesn't really look any
different to the football played in the Premiership and that's certainly not a
compliment. Until Serie A clubs have collective instead of individual TV rights the
chances of any team seriously challenging Milan, Inter or Juventus for the scudetto
are slim, barring an influx of billionaire owners. In Italy because of the awful
attendances TV revenue is vital.

I leave the last words to Capello as he's coach of the champions even if it's something
that I absolutely do not agree with :

"Winning gets people talking and remains in the record books. Entertaining play is
forgotten and only relative."
R Mehdi