13 April 2008

INTER 2 (Cambiasso 55, Balotelli 62)

Frey ensured Fiorentina went in level at half time against his former club with World Class saves from Balotelli and Cruz. In a reversal of roles Maicon passed to Vieira who made a great run on the outside of Liverani in the box, his initial pass was charged down but he was first to the rebound and Cambiasso slammed in his centre. Cruz sent 'Super' Mario Balotelli clear of a Fiorentina defence that was keeping a high line, he angled his run onto the Argentinean's pass and as Frey advanced off his line he took one touch with the outside of his right foot before slotting the ball into the corner. A sensational finish for a player of such limited experience. He brought some sections of the Inter tifosi to their feet when he was substituted. He's one Italian that will be in Inter's starting XI for a long, long time.

Inter have taken maximum points from two of their three most potentially difficult remaining games (against Atalanta and Fiorentina) and with the exception of the Milan derby they're on easy street.

Attendance : 53,483
Assists : Vieira, Cruz

EMPOLI 1 (Giovinco 30)
PARMA 1 (Lucarelli 8)

Despite the presence of six Empoli players in the box Lucarelli got his head to Gasbarroni's cross and the ball took a deflection off a defender past Balli. Lucarelli almost made it 0-2 but his scissor kick rebounded off the base of a post. Giovinco, who has more than a passing resemblance to Joe Cole, gathered the ball 25 yards from goal and slalomed his way past two defenders before whipping a right foot shot inside the right post. Brilliant finish, brilliant prospect.

Attendance : 4,000
Assists : n/a, Abate

GENOA 3 (Di Vaio 52, Borriello 61, Sculli 69)

Di Vaio gave Genoa a deserved lead seven minutes after coming on as a sub. Borriello clipped a pass between two Torino defenders, Fontana ran off his line and threw himself at the strikers feet, fortunately for him Di Vaio didn't return the favour but instead pushed the ball past him and tapped into an empty net. Genoa double their lead on the break. Di Vaio swung a cross to the back post, Di Loreto headed the ball to Borriello and he took one touch to open the angle before placing the ball into the bottom right corner. Sculli headed in Genoa's third from a Milanetto free kick.

Attendance : 35,000
Assists : Borriello, n/a, Milanetto (fk)

LAZIO 1 (Mutarelli 46)
SIENA 1 (Loria 88)

At the end of the first half Mutarelli ran onto a loose ball and hit one of those sweet strikes when both feet leave the ground on impact, the ball catching a post on it's way past Manninger. Siena equalised on the break. The approach play was good but Muslera's poor handling allowed Loria's grass cutter to beat him at his near post.

Attendance : 20,000
Assists : n/a, Locatelli

LIVORNO 1 (Galante 2)
CAGLIARI 2 (Acquafresca 10, 54)

Storari fumbled a centre and Galante slid the ball in at the far post. It didn't take long for Cagliari to draw level. Cossu stung Amelia's palms with a punishing drive and Acquafresca tapped in the rebound. After both teams created and missed a succession of chances Italy U21 striker (and Football Manager 2008 star) Robert Acquafresca gave relegation threatened Cagliari the decisive breakthrough in this six pointer. He cut in from the right, past Galante and fired low into the corner to score his eighth goal of the season which is a very good return for a 20 year old.

Acquafresca was owned by Inter but they let him join Cagliari as part of the Suazo transfer. I know it's easy to say in hindsight but boy was that a dumb move. With Pazzini (23), Montolivo (23), Rosina (23), Rossi (21), Cigarini (21), Acquafresca (20), Giovinco (20), Balotelli (17) and Paloschi (17) the Italian national side have a very bright future. Now if only they could produce some defenders. Coda (22, Udinese) is the only youngster getting playing time for a top side.

Attendance : 14,000
Assists : n/a, n/a, Biondini

NAPOLI 2 (Hamsik 62, Lavezzi 65)

The Napoli squad have the worst collection of haircuts in Serie A and two of the main fashion criminals had a hand in their first goal. Sosa, who has a ridiculous mullet, back heeled a pass to Lavezzi as the Atalanta defence sprung their offside trap, Lavezzi's shot was saved and Hamsik (high spiked crest, like a parrot) tapped in the rebound. Lavezzi, who had been denied three times by Coppola, finally beat him by punching Sosa's cross in with his hand inevitably drawing comparisons with another famous Napoli cheat.

Attendance : 40,000
Assists : n/a, Sosa

REGGINA 1 (Brienza 35)

Attendance : 10,000
Assist : Cozza

UDINESE 1 (Di Natale 52)
ROMA 3 (Vucinic 64, Taddei 70, Giuly 90)

Doni and Panucci got into a heated exchange after Panucci lost midget Di Natale on a cross and he beat the Brazilian at his near post. Pizarro ran at the massed ranks of the Udinese defence and suddenly checked his run, turned direction and clipped a fabulous pass through to Vucinic, he took the ball on his chest and rifled a volley past Handanovic. Six minutes later Taddei got a huge slice of luck when his speculative shot took a deflection off Coda and flew in off the underside of the crossbar. Pizarro, the most under-rated player in this Roma team, sent a long pass upto Vucinic, he back heeled to Brighi, Totti hit a first time centre to Giuly, he controlled the ball with his right foot and shot past Handanovic with his left.

Great comeback victory for Roma but they're running out of games.

Attendance : 18,000
Assists : Dossena, Pizarro, n/a, Brighi

12 April 2008

PALERMO 1 (Miccoli 83 fk)

Attendance : 24,811
Assist : Miccoli (won fk)

JUVENTUS 3 (Del Piero 12, Salihamidzic 45, Salihamidzic 80)
MILAN 2 (Inzaghi 14, Inzaghi 30)

Juve took the lead with a wonderfully worked move. Salihamidzic hit a pass into Trezeguet and the Frenchman flicked the ball out wide to Camoranesi, he vaulted over Favalli's sliding tackle and angled a pass to Del Piero who ran between Maldini and Simic and from a poor angle slotted into the bottom left corner. Pirlo sent Kaka' clear down Juve's right flank, he ran into the box, teased Chiellini before accelerating away and centred for Inzaghi to tap-in. Juve blew two chances to clear a corner, Bonera played a one-two with Ambrosini on the edge of the box, running onto his vice-captain's delightful lobbed pass, Buffon advanced off his line to close him down but Bonera kept his composure and squared for an offside Inzaghi to put Milan 1-2 up. Del Piero caught Maldini napping on the left touchline, tackling him from behind, the ball broke to Camoranesi, he hung a cross upto the back post and Kalac could only parry Trezeguet's point blank header against Salihamidzic.

Grygera drew a great save from Kalac with a brilliant long range effort. Sissoko skipped over another despairing Favalli tackle and put in a great cross from the right but, with the goal at his mercy, Stendardo headed embarrassingly wide. Bonera was sent off for a criminal, leg breaking foul on Sissoko who miraculously wasn't hurt. An unmarked Salihamidzic headed in the winner from a Camoranesi free kick. Del Piero should have made it 4-2 but failed to punish a mistake by the wretched Simic, volleying straight at Kalac.

Dario bloody Simic epitomises everything wrong with the clubs transfer policy in recent years. This useless, injury prone 32 year old midget (for a centre back), rarely plays, is rubbish when he does yet had his contract extended in 2006 because like Cafu, Serginho, Favalli and Brocchi he's become part of the furniture. Galliani you are shit.

Attendance : 45,000
Assists : Camoranesi, Kaka', Bonera, n/a, Camoranesi (fk)