Relegation and 4th Place

16th place - Chievo 37 points
17th place - Torino 34 points
18th place - Bologna 33 points
19th place - Reggina 30 points
20th place - Lecce 29 points

Round 37 :

Chievo vs Bologna - Chievo are safe with a draw. Bologna could be relegated if they lose and Torino win.

Lecce vs Fiorentina - Lecce could be relegated next week. A win guarantees a defensively solid Fiorentina side 4th place. A draw will be enough if Genoa fail to win.

Torino vs Genoa - Torino's destiny is in their own hands. Genoa's hopes of securing 4th place are hanging by a thread.

Lazio vs Reggina - Other results could see Reggina relegated next week. Cup winners Lazio don't have anything to play for but should at least try and give their fans a win in their last home game of the season.

17 May 2009

BOLOGNA 2 (Di Vaio 38, Volpi 94)
LECCE 1 (Tiribocchi 31)

This was a proverbial six pointer and things looked bleak for the visitors when Munari and Schiavi Went down with injuries inside the first 15 minutes. Tiribocchi smashed a right foot volley past Antonioli but Di Vaio soon levelled when he got in front of Benussi to delicately lift Mingazzini's centre into the net. Lecce's chances went down the shitter when Papadopoulos was harshly shown a straight red for hurling abuse at the ref. Nothing happened until the dying seconds of injury time. Di Vaio, with a possibly high foot, flicked a ball over three defenders, Volpi ran forward and as the Lecce defence pushed up he jumped in the air to volley a shot past the advancing Benussi.

Attendance : 30,000
Red Card : Papadopoulos 50 (Lecce)
Assists : Polenghi, Mingazzini, Di Vaio

FIORENTINA 1 (Gilardino 21)

Attendance : 38,000
Assist : Vargas

GENOA 2 (Milito 58 Pen, Olivera 71 fk)
CHIEVO 2 (Pinzi 35, Pellissier 85)

Pinzi snuck in between two defenders to slam Luciano's centre past Rubinho, a finish Milito would have been proud of. A ridiculous penalty decision allowed Milito to equalise. There's no mistaking he's Argentinean, they're still the biggest cheats in the game. It was a sensational week for goals in Serie A and Olivera scored another, a right footed free kick every bit as good as Rosina's strike against Napoli. Pellissier found space in a packed penalty area to head in a deserved equaliser.

The point guarantees Genoa UEFA Cup football next season though with Gasperini (Juve), Milito (Inter) and Motta (Inter) possibly leaving I don't fancy their chances of making an impact which is a shame but that's modern football, teams of this size don't get a chance to build on relative success.

Attendance : 26,000
Assists : Luciano, Milito (won pen), Motta (won fk), Bentivoglio

JUVENTUS 2 (Iaquinta 26, Zanetti 36)
ATALANTA 2 (Legrottaglie 2 og, Pellegrino 44)

Cigarini scored with a shot that deflected in off Legrottaglie. An absolutely superb Nedved cross left Iaquinta with a tap-in at the back post. Amauri, whose form during the second half of the season has gone down the toilet, thundered a header against the underside of the crossbar minutes before Zanetti scored a fantastic second. Running onto a poorly headed clearance he drove his right foot through the ball sending a volley dipping under Consigli's crossbar. Plasmati flicked on a corner and Pellegrino headed past Buffon as his marker, Grygera, fell.

Atalanta hit the woodwork twice in the second half and Plasmati missed a one vs one against Buffon. As most of your probably know Ranieri has been sacked and Juve legend Ciro Ferrara will take charge for Juve's remaining two games. Genoa's Gasperini has been touted as Ranieri's successor for some time but I wouldn't be surprised if Juve make a play for Laurent 'Blankety Blank' Blanc especially if he wins Ligue 1 with Bordeaux.

No spectators at this match (yes I know what you're thinking so what's new) as this was the ban Juve had to serve following the Balotelli abuse.

Attendance : 0,000
Assists : n/a, Nedved, n/a, Plasmati

NAPOLI 1 (Pia 42)
TORINO 2 (Bianchi 51, Rosina 72 fk)

Torino fell behind despite having much the better of the first half. Pia played a one-two with Denis, the Argentinean returned the ball to the Brazilian with a glorious reverse pass, Pia darted between two defenders and flicked the ball past Sereni before tapping into an empty net. Stellone headed on a longball, Bianchi shielded it from his marked and swept a low left foot shot past Navarro on the turn. Just as Napoli were threatening to take the game away from Torino, Rosina sent a left foot free kick up an over the Napoli wall and inside the left post. Brilliant goal. Sereni made a great save late on from Datalo, crossed himself and looked up to the heavens. God was with him this afternoon.

Attendance : 25,000
Assists : Denis, Stellone, Stellone (won fk)

PALERMO 2 (Miccoli 6 Pen, Migliaccio 87)

Miccoli went down far too easily under Kolarov's challenge to win a penalty. He stuttered on his run up, sending Carrizo the wrong way. Zarate was 'robbed' of a goal when he lobbed wide of Amelia and his shot bounced off the post and trickled across the line. On replays it appears as if the ball broke the whites of the goal-line but then having secured a UEFA Cup spot after their Coppa Italia win I doubt anyone at the club is too bothered. Carrizo hung himself out to dry when going for a Simplicio cross and Migliaccio headed into an empty net.

Mathematically at least Palermo are still in with a shot of finishing six and claiming the last UEFA Cup place but they're so inconsistently consistent it's hard to see them winning two games on the bounce to make up their two point deficit on Roma.

Attendance : 29,480
Assists : Miccoli (won pen), Simplicio

REGGINA 2 (Ceravolo 26, Brienza 49)
CAGLIARI 1 (Lazzari 18)

Scratch what I said about all the other goals scored in Serie A this week. This one was straight from the Bergkamp playbook. Lazzari was side on standing 35 yards from goal as he waited for a Fini cross, the instant he took the ball on his chest he took a quick glance to his left as Cirillo approached, he backed into the defender, volleyed the ball over his head, spun 180 degrees, jumped over a sliding tackle and toe poked in off the left post. An absolutely magnificent goal. Reggina's Icelandic midfielder Hallfredsson played in Ceravolo with a lovely reverse pass and he took advantage of slack marking to equalise. Reggina smelt blood and poured forward and having gone close several times finally took the lead early in the second half. Cozza ran through a feeble challenge to win possession and threaded a perfectly weighted pass through to Brienza and he angled his shot into the bottom corner.

Reggina always look dead and buried but in three of the last four seasons have pulled off a miraculous escape act. I've got a soft spot for them and hope they do it again but as they're already 4 points adrift with only 2 games left to play the odds are against them this time.

Attendance : 12,000
Assists : Fini, Hallfredsson, Cozza

INTER 3 (Cambiasso 44, Balotelli 52, Ibrahimovic 76)

There was nothing at stake for either side. Inter were confirmed as champions following Milan's defeat on Saturday and Siena were never in danger of relegation this season. Cambiasso tapped in a rebound after Curci had brilliantly saved from Stankovic. Figo did what he does best i.e. make goals, with a magnificent 50 yard first time pass to Balotelli and the youngster danced around Curci before tapping in his 8th goal of the season in his 20th game. Not bad, not bad at all. Imagine what he would be capable of if he wasn't such a prick? Ibrahimovic was criminally left unmarked in the box and collected a Mancini centre before nutmegging Curic to score.

I'm not sure if Ibrahimovic will leave at the end of the season. Inter have a ridiculous high valuation of him even though he does GUARANTEE a league title every season.

Figo, one of the best players of his generation and I believe the second highest active assist leader in the top leagues (behind Giggs) called time on a fantastic, trophy laden.

Attendance : 73,492
Assists : n/a, Figo, Mancini

16 May 2009

ROMA 4 (Perrotta 13, Vucinic 17, Perrotta 31, Panucci 92)
CATANIA 3 (Tedesco 15, Mascara 47 fk, Morimoto 72)

Perrotta met Vucinic's cross with a superb diving header. I'm not sure what happened to Roma's defence on the first equaliser because the director missed it. Tedesco finished with a nice lob over Artur. Perrotta took advantage of confusion in the box as De Rossi was standing in an offside position but apparently not 'interfering' with play to restore Roma's lead. Perrotta's deflected shot put Roma 3-1 up heading into the break. Cassetti tripped Tedesco on the edge of box and the human highlight reel Mascara scored another sensational goal, a stunning free kick which arrowed into the top right corner. Whoever edited this match for Rai should be shot because he/she missed the build-up to Catania's third, we saw Morimoto race clear of Roma's centre backs and score via a deflection off Artur who is proving to be just as inept as Doni. With Brazil producing a good standard of goalkeepers Roma have managed to sign two of the very worst. Catania's young goalkeeper was no better, he flapped at a Pizarro free kick as Panucci steamed in with a towering header.

Attendance : 40,000
Assists : Vucinic, Scaccia, Vucinic, n/a, Tedesco (won fk), Tedesco, Pizarro (fk)

UDINESE 2 (D'Agostino 31 Pen, Zapata 49)
MILAN 1 (Ambrosini 93)

Fittingly Maldini made his 900th appearance for Milan in this match, his first ever appearance was against Udinese in 1986. More tellingly for the Rossoneri was Beckham's absence through suspension. Maldini fouled Floro Flores to concede a penalty which D'Agostino converted to hit double figures for the season. Zapata, who is rebuilding his reputation after struggling with injuries over the past two seasons, lashed in a second from a deflected corner. Ambrosini launched himself off the back of a defender to head in Kaka' cross. I doubt this goal would have been allowed to stand had he scored it earlier.

If Lippi doesn't call-up D'Agostino for Italy's Confederations Cup squad he's an idiot. Van Basten was spotted in a Milan restaurant dining with Galliani, Tassotti and Galli, two of his former team-mates and Ancelotti's assistants. If you think any of that or Berlusconi's comments regarding Ancelotti and his infatuation with Van Basten, who he refers to as a son, is a coincidence think again. I love Marco almost as much as Berlusconi does but I'm not sure he's the right choice. Done deal and I expect that means Gourcuff will be back.

Attendance : 20,000
Assists : Floro Flores (won pen), Felipe, Kaka'