23 November 2008

BOLOGNA 1 (Di Vaio 20)
PALERMO 1 (Succi 92)

Zenoni sent Valiani clear of Palermo's offside trap and Di Vaio got between two defenders to convert the winger's centre.
Di Vaio missed further chances to bury Palermo and the home side were hanging on from grim death at the end. Succi rattled the underside of the crossbar from a yard out, Antonioli denied Miccoli on the rebound and Simplicio's header was hacked off the line. Antonioli made a sensational save from a Miccoli free kick before Succi earned the visitors a deserved point with a scissor kick following a goalmouth scramble.

Attendance : 17,837
Assists : Valiani, n/a

SIENA 2 (Galloppa 83 Pen, Maccarone 88 Pen)

Malago pulled back Portanova as he tried to attack a corner to concede the first penalty. The second was bullshit, Frick threw himself over Sorrentino and Maccarone converted to score his first goal of the season.

Attendance : 9,243
Assists : Portanova (won pen), Frick (won pen)

LAZIO 1 (Dabo 80)
GENOA 1 (Milito 69)

Milito sent a soft penalty into outer space. Carrizo went up for a cross but missed the ball, Motta's pass took a deflection off Lichtsteiner and Milito fired the rebound into the bottom right corner. Dabo ran onto a deep headed clearance and caught the ball on the volley with a fierce drive from about 35 yards but straight at Rubinho however having caught the ball the Brazilian fumbled it into his own net.

Attendance : 27,000
Assists : n/a, n/a

ROMA 3 (Vucinic 11, Juan 33, Totti 49)

Roma's revival following a switch to a two man attack continued. Vucinic took advantage of the space left by Lecce's centrebacks to open the scoring against his former club. Brighi hammered a loose ball towards goal, it bounced off Baptista leaving Juan with a tap-in. Brighi broke up an attack deep in his own half and ran 60 yards before passing to Totti who lobbed over the advancing Benussi.

Attendance : 11,000
Assists : Totti, Baptista, Brighi

NAPOLI 2 (Hamsik 9, Lavezzi 84 fk)
CAGLIARI 2 (Lopez 55, Conti 95)

Denis miss controlled Mannini's centre, Lavezzi got the jump on a defender and touched back for Hamsik to slot into the corner. Napoli should have been at least four goals to the good before Cagliari scored from a corner. Iezzo made a fantastic point blank save from Conti's header but Lopez poked in the rebound. Denis missed an open goal then Lavezzi restored Napoli's lead with a magnificent free kick. In the fifth minute of injury time a feeble challenge allowed Jeda to run onto a throw in as four defenders tracked him back they failed to pick up the unmarked Conti who turned in the Brazilian's centre at the back post.

Attendance : 40,000
Assists : Lavezzi, n/a, Maggio (won fk), Jeda

REGGINA 3 (Cozza 10 fk, Corradi 21, Corradi 80)
ATALANTA 1 (Doni 94)

In this match-up between two thirty something playmakers Reggina's Cozza stole the show. He opened the scoring with a superb free kick and Corradi headed in his corner to make it 2-0. Atalanta hit the woodwork twice at the end of the first half. Corradi ran onto a loose ball and as a defender dived at his feet he appeared to score with a fantastic lob but the replays show a deflection off his shoulder took the ball into the bottom corner. Seconds after Reggina should have made it 4-0 on the break Doni headed in a corner.

Attendance : 10,000
Assists : Brienza (won fk), Cozza (ck), Brienza, Valdes (ck)

SAMPDORIA 3 (Bellucci 6, Cassano 62, Cassano 91)

Having discovered their goalscoring touch against Lecce Samp hit three goals for a second successive week. Cassano pulled a crossfield pass out of the air with trademark ease and angled a ball out wide to the overlapping Stankevicius and Bellucci tapped his centre over Bizarri. Stankevicius launched a throw-in into the box, Del Vecchio flicked the ball to the back post and Cassano gently tapped into the bottom right corner, through a defenders legs. Samp tore Catania apart in the remaining half hour but had to wait until the 91st minute before confirming their superiority when Cassano beat Bizarri at his near post on a counter attack.

Attendance : 22,000
Assists : Stankevicius, Del Vecchio, Dessena

TORINO 2 (Stellone 24, Rosina 78 Pen)
MILAN 2 (Pato 28, Ronaldinho 34 fk)

Gattuso gave away possession with a sloppy pass out of defence and Stellone got in front of the useless Kaladze to head Torino into the lead. Seedorf, Kaka' and Gattuso were involved in the build-up to the equaliser, Pato turned onto the Italian's pass before ending his goal drought with an emphatic finish. Ronaldinho, Milan's player of the season, put the Rossoneri in front with another brilliant free kick.

Torino were on top in the second half and deservedly drew level from the penalty spot. Rosina crossed from the left, the ball bounced off Kaladze's knee and his was slow to pull his arm out of the way. Rosina kept his nerve to beat Abbiati with ease. The Milan goalkeeper hasn't made a single noteworthy save all season. Ronaldinho blazed a free kick high into the stands and Kaka' capped off a miserable performance by earning a booking for diving. RUBBISH.

Once again with Milan leading away from home by a single goal Ancelotti brought on Emerson to shut up shop and it backfired.

Attendance : 20,000
Assists : Rosina, Gattuso, Kaka' (won fk), n/a

22 November 2008

FIORENTINA 4 (Mutu 52 Pen, Montolivo 63, Montolivo 78, Gilardino 79)
UDINESE 2 (Floro Flores 29, Di Natale 83 Pen)

Floro Flores found a gap between three defenders to fire a shot up and over Frey. He almost scored an even better second but Frey flew across his box to make a spectacular two handed save from the striker's rasping right foot volley.

The ref pointed to spot after Gilardino fell all too easily when challenging a defender for a cross. Mutu converted with a Panenka style penalty. Frey made an amazing point blank save to deny the luckless Floro Flores and Fiorentina went downfield to score a second on the break, Montolivo side footing Mutu's pass into the corner. Montolivo ran onto a clearance and thumped Fiorentina into the lead and a minute later Gilardino finished off another fast counter attack, Mutu's cutback leaving him with the easiest of finishes. Floro Flores stepped away from Dainelli's desperate sliding tackle and left Frey grounded but as he lobbed the ball towards an empty net Comotto dived across goal and punched clear earning an inevitable red card. Di Natale who like Mutu also missed a penalty at Euro 2008 made no mistake.

Game of the season, apparently.

Attendance : 35,000
Red Card : Comotto 82 (Fiorentina)
Assists : Sanchez, Gilardino (won pen), Mutu, n/a, Mutu, n/a

INTER 1 (Muntari 72)

Chiellini made an excellent recovery tackle to deny Stankovic as he bore down on goal and Muntari headed a Adriano free kick against the crossbar. Juve were keeping a high line and Legrottaglie's poor control gifted Ibrahimovic possession on the centre circle but he failed to make the most of a clear run on goal and shot wide. Manninger made a fantastic save from a deflected Muntari effort. Materazzi and Samuel were booked in quick succession for fouls on Del Piero and Amauri.

Nedved went sprawling after running into Cambiasso, Stankovic took possession and found Ibrahimovic with a glorious crossfield pass and the Swede's first touch was just as good but once again he was let down by a poor finish. Ibrahimovic and Chiellini challenged for a Julio Cesar goalkick, both missed, two defenders stopped Adriano as he tried to run through and Ibrahimovic pulled the ball to the back post for Muntari to tap in the winner. Julio Cesar made a fantastic save from a Del Piero header, the only noteworthy effort Juve managed.

The most eagerly anticipated match of the season was more one sided than the scoreline suggests. Inter literally bullied Juve and Ranieri's side had no answer to Mourinho's primitive longball tactics. He didn't help matters by playing a high line which is the single most useless tactic in football today. A bad result for Serie A and a bad result for football in general.
Jose Mourinho - tactically setting back Serie A 10 years.

Attendance : 76,437
Assist : Ibrahimovic