2 February 2009

All Serie A and Serie B games kicked off 15 minutes late this weekend in protest of the one year bans handed to Napoli midfielder Daniele Mannini and Brescia striker Davide Possanzini for turning up 15 minutes late to a drug test, despite the fact neither played failed.

BOLOGNA 1 (Mingazzini 52)
FIORENTINA 3 (Mutu 6, Mutu 16, Gilardino 93)

Mutu marked his return from injury with an early goal, poking Montolivo's high ball past Antonioli. It was the Romanian's 100th goal in Italian football. Goal 101 was almost identical, Montolivo with another ball over the top of the Bologna defence. Mingazzini plundered a rebound to get the hosts back in the match. Gilardino ended a five game goal drought with an injury time tap-in.

Attendance : 10,000
Assists : Montolivo, Montolivo, n/a, Semioli

1 February 2009

ATALANTA 1 (Guarante 24)

Attendance : 14,000
Assist : n/a

CHIEVO 1 (Rigoni 72)
SAMPDORIA 1 (Pazzini 70)

Fiorentina flop Pazzini scored his first goal for Samp since his January move. He appeared to use his hand to control a high ball then on the turn volleyed over Sorrentino. Yepes rescued an overhit corner and Rigoni's flick header gave struggling Chievo a share of the points.

Attendance : 10,500
Assists : Palombo, Yepes

GENOA 1 (Criscito 88)

Attendance : 25,000
Assist : n/a

INTER 1 (Burdisso 58)
TORINO 1 (Bianchi 47)

Bianchi headed Torino into an early second half lead from an Abate cross. Sereni made a superb save from Cordoba before reverting to type and dropping a bollock on a corner, he ran off his line and go nowhere near Figo's cross, Burdisso headed into an empty net. Flop of the decade Quaresma missed a sitter and both Maicon and Ibrahimovic hit a post.

Attendance : 43,040
Assists : Abate, Figo (ck)

REGGINA 2 (Corradi 43 Pen, Cozza 81)
ROMA 2 (Pizarro 46, Pizarro 57)

This match was played in scandalous conditions. Mexes sacked Corradi to concede a penalty which the Man City flop smashed down the middle of Doni's goal. Pizarro ensured both teams went in level on half time with an absolute crackerjack of a shot from way out wide left. Cirillo fouled Okaka to concede a penalty and in the absence of both Totti and Vucinic Pizarro converted albeit on the rebound after his initial effort was saved. The poor man's Totti, Cozza, tapped in the equaliser following a mistake from the error prone Loria.

Attendance : 9,926
Assists : Corradi (won pen), Menez, n/a, n/a

SIENA 1 (Ghezzal 79)
LECCE 2 (Tiribocchi 15, Castillo 54)

Giacomazzi lobbed a ball over the Siena defence, to a man they ran out trying to play offside leaving Tiribocchi with a simple finish against his former club. Giacomazzi was shown two yellow cards in the space of five minutes. The first for a mistimed sliding tackle on Vergassola and the second, which could have been a straight red, for leading with his elbow when challenging Jarolim. Siena failed to take advantage of their extra man and Curci's error allowed Castillo to double Lecce's lead from a corner. Ghezzal headed in a corner to reduce the arrears and the home side may have walked away with a point had Calaio not missed a point blank header late on.

Attendance : 9,000
Red Card : Giacomazzi 41 (Lecce)
Assists : Giacomazzi, Giuliatto (ck), Codrea (ck)

MILAN 3 (Pato 42, Ambrosini 48, Kaka' 83)

Zarate wreaked havoc down Milan's right side, dribbling his way through five players before rolling a centre into Pandev and despite being crowded out he managed to flick up the ball and fire off a shot on the turn, clipping Abbiati's crossbar. Zarate got through again on the opposite minutes later, Abbiati made an excellent save at his feet but couldn't hold onto the ball, Senderos made an excellent recovery to force Pandev's shot wide. Bonera started the move that lead to Milan taking the lead. Kaka' turned onto the defenders pass and sent Beckham down the right, Pato slammed his first time centre past Muslera. Zarate forced a good save from Abbiati to bring an excellent first half of football to a close.

Ambrosini headed in a Beckham free kick just after the restart and Lazio, who had conceded seven goals in their previous two games, crumbled. Pato should have scored a second but a heavy first touch allowed Muslera to gather the ball. Kaka' raced clear after a one-two with Beckham but shot against the base of a post. The 100 million man intercepted a clearance with a fantastic volleyed pass into Seedorf, Seedorf played in Kaka' with a lovely ball inside a defender, Kaka' adjusted his body to turn onto the ball and shoot into the bottom corner. Absolutely superb goal.

Beckham was utterly, utterly brilliant. The only person at Milan who will be happy to see him return to LA, IF he goes, is Ronaldinho.

Attendance : 50,000
Assists : Beckham, Beckham (fk), Seedorf

31 January 2009

NAPOLI 2 (Lukovic 24 og, Hamsik 27)
UDINESE 2 (Di Natale 32 Pen, Quagliarella 45)

Napoli seemed to have put their poor recent form behind them when they raced into a two goal lead. Denis broke from the half way line and passed infield to Lavezzi, his first time shot deflected in off Lukovic. Hamsik headed in Napoli's second from a Gargano free kick. Udinese began the comeback with a bullshit penalty. As Zapata challenged Cannavaro for a high ball he kicked the defender in the chest, went down and the ref pointed to the spot. Di Natale sent Navarro the wrong way. To add insult to injury Lavezzi went down under Isla's challenge at the other end of the field and was booked for diving. On the stroke of half time Quagliarella scored one of the goals of the season. Isla floated a low cross towards the striker who was standing on the edge of the D, as the ball arrived he torqued his body, almost at a 45 degree angle and connected with a right foot volley which ripped into the bottom right corner.

Quagliarella is the most spectacular goalscorer this country has seen since Van Basten graced the league.

Attendance : 40,000
Assists : n/a, Gargano (ck), Zapata (won pen), Isla

JUVENTUS 2 (Sissoko 31, Nedved 38)
CAGLIARI 3 (Biondini 16, Jeda 54, Matri 78)

Cossu swung over a high cross from the right, Biondini got above Marchionni to smack a header in off Buffon's right post. Sissoko made up for missing an absolute sitter in the opening minutes by heading in the equaliser from a Del Piero corner. Normal service appeared to resume when seven minutes later Nedved punished Conti's dreadful error with a rasping drive to put Juve 2-1 up.

Cagliari survived a penalty appeal before scoring the equaliser. Canini tried to tackle Marchionni in the box but missed the ball completely and just about pulled out of the challenge, making only the slightest of contact with Marchionni who threw himself down in vain. A longball sent Cossu clear of Juve's defence who for the second game were holding a stupidly high line on the centre circle, in form Jeda touch one touch to control Cossu's centre before calmly lobbed over the advancing Buffon. Second half substitute Matri completed an extraordinary victory on the break. He gave a pass out wide to Lazzari, ran 50 yards onto the midfielders return pass and shot first time wide of Buffon.

Cagliari's first victory over Juve in Turin in 41 years, or 40 years and 2 months to be more precise. Juve have lost two consecutive games since Buffon's return. Understandably he's a long way off his best form but the real culprit for Juve's recent form is Ranieri and his sudden switch to playing a high line in defence. Losing Zanetti and Chiellini to injury didn't help.

Attendance : 20,373
Assists : Cossu, Del Piero (ck), n/a, Cossu, Lazzari