18 May 2008

ATALANTA 2 (Floccari 33, Marconi 93)

Guarante hit a long ball over the top of the Genoa defence, Floccari ran between two defenders and jumped to bring the ball under control and with his second touch lobbed over Scarpi. Atalanta's second was a carbon copy though this time Floccari centred for 19 year old Michele Marconi to score 13 minutes into his Serie A debut.

Attendance : 6,500
Red Card : Danilo 66 (Genoa), Milanetto 79 (Genoa)
Assists : Guarante, Floccari

CAGLIARI 2 (Larrivey 18, Bianco 81)
REGGINA 2 (Amoruso 55, Amoruso 86 Pen)

Cagliari's most high profile signing of the season Joaquin Larrivey, who has been a monumental flop, pounced on a defensive mistake to finally open his Serie A account. Amoruso juggled a cross before slamming a volley into Alvarez, Amoruso pounced on the rebound this time his volley hit the roof of the net. Bianco slammed in a loose ball but Amoruso ensured a share of the points from the penalty spot, his 12th goal of the season.

Attendance : 22,000
Assists : n/a, n/a, n/a, Amoruso (won pen)

CATANIA 1 (Martinez 85)
ROMA 1 (Vucinic 8)

Vucinic drew a tackle from Sabato as he pulled away from the right touchline and nutmegged another Catania defender on the edge of the box before rolling the ball into the bottom left corner of Bizzarri's net. The hosts dominated the second half, hitting the woodwork twice and had a goal disallowed shortly after Ibrahimovic made it 0-2 for Inter. Martinez scrambled in the equaliser from a deflected shot to earn Catania the point they needed to stay in Serie A.

For all of Roma's whining over how Inter got all the breaks from the officials conceding late goals and dropping points against teams at the wrong end of the table i.e. Catania, Livorno, Cagliari, Siena and Empoli are ultimately what cost them the scudetto.

2008-2009 : Roma's close season will be dominated by rumours of the (collapsed?) takeover by American billionaire George Soros. So far the Sensi family, deeply unpopular with the clubs fans, have failed to strike a deal and without significant investment Roma won't be in the title race next season - Francesco Totti can't carry the team forever. And Doni in goal? Seriously.

Attendance : 21,000
Assists : Perrotta, n/a

EMPOLI 2 (Busce 11, Saudati 56)
LIVORNO 1 (Diamanti 81)

I'm guessing Livorno were giving De Lucia a run out in goal in preparation for Amelia's inevitable departure. Not surprisingly the 24 year old showed his lack of experience by running out of his box to close down Antonini and the midfielder centred for Busce to tap into an empty net. Saudati missed an early second half penalty before doubling Empoli's lead with a deft volley. Diamanti, who scored a fantastic goal against Roma last month, hit another left foot cracker from 25 yards.

Both teams will meet in Serie B next season. Marzoratti will return to Milan and hopefully be given a chance in the first team instead of being sent out on loan again. Fellow Italy U21 fullback Andrea Raggi will be a good pick up for any of the teams chasing a UEFA Cup place. Sebastian Giovinco should return to Juventus unless they do something really stupid and sell him to Palermo in part-exchange for Amauri.

Attendance : 7,000
Assists : Antonini, Budel, Loviso

LAZIO 2 (Rocchi 15, Firmani 71)
NAPOLI 1 (Domizzi 83)

Rocchi made his case for a place in Donadoni's Euro 2008 squad with another well taken goal. Mauri split Napoli's poor offside trap with a pass between two defenders and the striker pulled off his marker before beating Navarro. Firmani came off the bench to score Lazio's second from a deflected free kick. Penalty specialist Maurizio Domizzi blasted in a loose ball to score his 8th goal of the season and only 3rd from open play.

2008-2009 : Napoli have an exciting blend of South American and Italian talent and in Marek Hamsik a player who has the potential to become one of the best attacking midfielders of his generation. Ambitious president Aurelio De Laurentiis looks set to spend over the summer and given the success of their scouting expect more new stars to emerge next season.

Attendance : 17,000
Assists : Mauri, n/a, n/a

MILAN 4 (Pato 48, Inzaghi 59, Cafu 79, Seedorf 88)
UDINESE 1 (Mesto 32)

Mesto cut inside Favalli onto his left foot before curling the ball inside Kalac's right post. Pato scored within two minutes of replacing the utterly pointless Brocchi. Pirlo found Kaka' with a glorious crossfield pass, Kaka' volleyed a centre across goal, Inzaghi missed, Pato didn't, 1-1. Inzaghi pounced on a deflection off Pato to put Milan in the lead. Kaka' missed a 70th minute penalty. Cafu marked his last appearance for Milan with a rare goal, beating Handanovic at his near post with a thumping drive. Seedorf helped Kaka' complete a hat-trick of assists to score Milan's fourth.

2008-2009 : Failure to qualify for the Champions League should prove to be a blessing in disguise as Milan will have to set their sights lower in the transfer market. Nice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will be the second Frenchman to arrive at the San Siro in the close season and the issue of Marco Borriello should be resolved within weeks. Other than Vargas the club's defensive targets remain a mystery and Ronaldinho seems determined to join though Barca are playing hardball over his transfer fee.

Attendance : 60,000
Assists : Di Natale, Kaka', Pato, Kaka', Kaka'

INTER 2 (Ibrahimovic 62, Ibrahimovic 79)

The torrential downpour which greeted this match evoked memories of Juve's infamous defeat at Perugia in 2000 which handed the scudetto to Lazio.

Morrone spurned what proved to be Parma's best chance from an 8thth minute corner, shooting straight at Julio Cesar. Parma quickly ran out of ideas as Inter began to take control following the second half introduction of Ibrahimovic, back after a nine game absence. Inter launched a counter attack after Gasbarroni went down looking for a free kick deep in the opposition half. Ibrahimovic turned away from donkey Couto as he steamed into a tackle, completely missing the ball, and from 20 yards he rifled a low shot past Pavarini. Pavarini denied the giant Swede a second goal on the break but Inter quickly recovered possession to launch another attack. Maicon ran unopposed into the box and hung a cross upto the back post which Ibrahimovic slammed into the back of the net.

Ibrahimovic has won 'five' successive league titles playing for three different club though of course the two titles he won with Juve were rescinded.

2008-2009 : Despite a hat-trick of scudettos given Inter's collapse following their Champions League elimination by Liverpool and the way they stumbled over the finishing line the tactically uninspiring Mancini is expected to make way for Jose Mourinho. Eto'o, Drogba and Diego appear to be Inter's main targets.

Attendance : 25,398
Assists : Stankovic, Maicon

SIENA 2 (Maccarone 2, Maccarone 58)
PALERMO 2 (Jankovic 24 Miccoli 30)

Maccarone timed a run between Palermo's centre backs to perfection and with an excellent first touch he took the ball away Agliardi before tapping into an empty net. Migliaccio took out three Siena's defenders with a perfectly weighted pass which Jankovic shot under Eleftheropoulos. Six minutes later midget Miccoli met Caserta's cross with a superb looping header. Under pressure from Maccarone, Zaccardo slipped when trying to shepard a ball out of play, Maccarone flicked the ball from the by-line into the box and vaulted over Rinaudo's red card tackle before beating Agliardi for a second time.

Attendance : 8,000
Assists : Rigano, Migliaccio, Caserta, Coppola

FIORENTINA 1 (Osvaldo 76)

22 year old Argentinean/Italian striker Pablo Osvaldo, dare I say the new Batistuta, scored a magnificent goal worthy of winning any match. Jorgensen lofted a cross towards the striker, he initially miss-controlled, heading the ball high in the air, but adjusted his body, took flight and crashed a right foot overhead kick into the bottom corner of Sereni's net.

2008-2009 : Fiorentina's UEFA Cup run will stand Cesare Prandelli's young side in good stead for their upcoming Champions League campaign. They have already signed 'the new Savicevic' Stefan Jovetic and Alberto Gilardino is expected to link up with his former coach to get his flagging career back on track. Spain bound Tomas Ujfalusi will be a big loss.

Attendance : 24,000
Assist : Jorgensen

17 May 2008

SAMPDORIA 3 (Cassano 22, Maggio 39, Montella 80)
JUVENTUS 3 (Del Piero 7, Trezeguet 16 Pen, Del Piero 60 Pen)

Past it Nedved, who has signed a one year contract with Juve, found an unmarked Del Piero in the centre of the box and he shot between Mirante's legs to go top of the Serie A goalscorers charts where he was joined 9 minutes later by Trezeguet. Cassano cut in from the left and turned two Juve defenders inside out before firing the ball between Belardi's legs. Maggio equalised with an amazing shot. Running onto a loose ball with the outside of his right foot he sent a 30 yard volley screaming into the bottom corner. Cassano missed a penalty, shooting at Belardi and fresh air kicking the rebound. Del Piero was more accurate from 12 yards and equalled his best ever Serie A tally of 21 goals which he originally set a decade ago. Cassano used his ridiculous dribbling skills to serve up the equaliser for Montella. I thought he'd retired.

2008-2009 : As expected the disgraced former champions achieved their main objective of claiming a Champions League place on their return to Italy's top flight. Juve's attempts to strengthen what is a weak squad, especially in defence, are proving to be difficult. The club lost long term target Flamini to Milan and the transfer of Amauri is proving to be a farce. Over the past few weeks the Brazilian hit-man's agent has claimed his client was 99% Juve, 33% Juve and 91% Juve.

Attendance : 27,000
Red Card : Sissoko 59 (Juventus)
Assists : Nedved, Del Piero (won pen), Palombo, n/a, Del Piero (won pen), Cassano