19 October 2008

BOLOGNA 3 (Volpi 5 fk, Di Vaio 12, Di Vaio 26)
LAZIO 1 (Rocchi 51)

Volpi gave struggling Bologna the lead with a great free kick and bizarre celebrations followed as the Bologna players rushed over to the bench and violently shook their coach Daniele Arrigoni who remained seated. Carrizo was slow to react to a Di Vaio header and beaten at his near post on a corner. Marchini lofted a pass from outside the centre circle upto the former Lazio striker and a great first touch took him away from a defender and his second ended with the ball hitting the back of the net. An out of shape Tommaso Rocchi made his first appearance of the season after recovering from an injury he picked up during the Olympics and got a lucky bounce off Antonioli to score a consolation goal.

Delio Rossi has had this coming. He has been talking up his teams title chances after their great start, putting needless pressure on the players. Most coaches would have done the exact opposite.

Attendance : 23,000
Assists : n/a, Volpi (ck), Marchini, n/a

CATANIA 2 (Martinez 69, Mascara 87 Pen)

The undoubted highlight of the first half was an amazing shot by Palermo's young Uruguayan striker Edison Cavani. Nocerino chipped a ball over the top of the Catania defence but it fell short so Cavani dived forward and hooked his right leg under the ball, volleying it towards goal but Bizarri saved.

For the third time this weekend the red card proved to be the games turning point. At the start of the second half Carrozzieri was dismissed for a late, studs up foul on Giacomo Tedesco. His older brother, Giovanni, came on as a second half sub for Robbie Williams (Miccoli) and Giacomo welcomed him a nice brotherly whack in the back, sending his sprawling. Martinez gave Catania the lead with a superb header and Mascara blasted home a cheap penalty to send Catania top of Serie A, for a few hours at least.

Attendance : 19,061
Red Card : Carrozzieri 45 (Catania)
Assists : Llama, n/a

CHIEVO 1 (Mantovani 49)
ATALANTA 1 (Adriano 62)

Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino took a boot to the back of his head from a team-mate as he dived to clear a cross. After some treatment he returned with heavy strapping and made one of the saves of the season to deny Doni from point blank range. Nicholas Frey, younger brother of Fiorentina goalkeeper Sebastien, swung a deep, high teasing cross into the box and Coppola, who was standing a couple of yards off his line, could only watch as Mantovani's header sailed over his head and dropped into the net. Adriano chased down a long ball checked inside Mantovani, sending his crashing to the turf, then sliced a shot into the top right corner to equalise.

Attendance : 10,000
Assists : Frey, Guarante

GENOA 1 (Biava 20)

Attendance : 25,000
Assist : Juric (ck)

LECCE 2 (Tiribocchi 32, Domizzi 52 og)
UDINESE 2 (Sanchez 58, D'Agostino 71)

Coda sold Handanovic short on a back pass, Tiribocchi pounced and ran past the goalkeeper as he threw himself at the ball in vain before tapping into an empty net. Giacomazzi flicked on a corner and the ball ricocheted in off Domizzi. D'Agostino hit a great longball out of defence, sending Floro Flores in space down the left and he drew out goalkeeper Benussi before rolled the ball to the back post for Sanchez to score with his first touch, a minute or so after replacing Pepe. D'Agostino completed the victory with a rubbish free kick from way out on the left which the Lecce defence ball watched bounce into the bottom left corner.

D'Agostino was once a great prospect at Roma but failed to make a mark on loan at Bari then Messina before finding his feet at Udinese. His range of passing is as good as any in the Italian game and he would make an ideal alternative to Pirlo at international level, more so than Montolivo who struggles to consistently impose himself on games.

Attendance : 9,500
Assists : n/a, n/a, Floro Flores, Sanchez (won fk)

MILAN 3 (Ronaldinho 55 Pen, Ronaldinho 66, Inzaghi 90)

The ref was poor throughout and having booked Flamini in the first half for an unintentional handball he did the same to Lucchini when the defender turned his back to a shot, earning a second yellow and Milan a penalty. Ronaldinho converted to rapturous applause before combining with second half substitute Kaka' for the second on a counter attack. Inzaghi finished off an excellent thirteen pass which culminated with a quick exchange of passes between Brazilian's Emerson, Ronaldinho and Kaka', Ambrosini touched on Kaka's pass and Inzaghi rounded Castelazzi before scoring.

Antonini was given a rare start at right back and was the pick of the defenders. Flamini had a good second half and even better news for Milan was that the appearance of Nesta on the bench.

Attendance : 60,000
Red Card : Lucchini 54 (Sampdoria)
Assists : n/a, Kaka', n/a

CAGLIARI 1 (Acquafresca 86)

Attendance : 17,000
Assist : Fini

INTER 4 (Ibrahimovic 5, Ibrahimovic 47, Stankovic 54, Obinna 56)

Cordoba hit a glorious 60 yard pass out of his own half, sending Ibrahimovic clear of a Roma defence keeping a ridiculous high line and as Doni rushed out of his box the Swede dropped a half volley over his head and into an empty net. A slip by Loria, the worst defender in Serie A this season, left Ibrahimovic with only Juan between him and goal, he slowed down before suddenly accelerating away and angling a drive past Doni. Stankovic returned a half cleared corner with interest, blasting the ball in off a post. Obinna went one better. Quaresma hit a crossfield pass out wide to striker, who flanked Ibrahimovic on the right of a three man attack. Obbina cut inside, dropped a shoulder, throwing off Juan, took the ball onto his left then unleashed a rocket into the top left corner. Brilliant goal.

Spalletti is one of the most tactically naive coaches in Serie A.

Attendance : 60,000
Assists : Cordoba, Muntari, n/a, Quaresma

18 October 2008

FIORENTINA 3 (Pazzini 40 Pen, Gilardino 75, Gilardino 81)

Reggina goalkeeper Campagnolo was sent off for kicking Santana as he chased down Kuzmanovic's ball over the top. In truth he didn't make a great deal of contact. Pazzini converted to open his account for the season. Gilardino turned onto a Montolivo pass before squeezing the ball into the bottom corner and grabbed a second six minutes later. He headed Gobbi's longball out of defence over sub goalkeeper Puggioni then tapped into an empty net. These type of scruffy goals were his trademark.

Attendance : 28,931
Red Card : Campagnolo 38 (Atalanta)
Assists : Santana (won), Montolivo, Gobbi

NAPOLI 2 (Hamsik 65, Lavezzi 80)
JUVENTUS 1 (Amauri 61)

Amauri broke the deadlock with a super goal. Poulsen made an overlapping run down the right onto a Grygera pass before whipping a low cross into the box, the Brazilian hit man ran across his marker and drove a volley into the bottom right corner. Napoli hit back almost immediately. An unmarked Hamsik headed Lavezzi's cross past a helpless Manninger. Worse was to follow when, under pressure from Denis, Knezevic kicked Hamsik's attempted through ball straight to Lavezzi who bounced the ball off his left thigh, hurdled a defender then fired wide of Manninger.

The press are calling for Ranieri's head and despite some highly questionable selections and his lack of faith in Giovinco he is not to blame for the fact that Del Piero and Nedved are past it. On the plus side who can tire of seeing Juve struggle? Not me.

Attendance : 36,000
Assists : Poulsen, Lavezzi, n/a