24 January 2010

BOLOGNA 2 (Gimenez 54, Gimenez 72)
BARI 1 (Barreto 39)

Barreto got hold of a hospital pass in the Bologna box and hit a venomous shot in off the underside of the crossbar. Uruguayan striker Gimenez came off the bench and immediately equalised, heading in Adailton's corner. He bundled in his second goal also from a corner. In six games for Bologna he's scored five goals. You'd think he would start next week.

Attendance : 17,969
Assists : n/a, Adailton, n/a

GENOA 2 (Palacio 18, Crespo 42)

Zapater dropped a first time ball between two defenders to Palacio and he lobbed over Coppola, who was too slow off his line. Palacio flicked on a Milaneto free kick and Crespo vaulted off a defender to score with a spectacular acrobatic header.

Genoa managed to keep a third successive home clean sheet. I guess Gandalf Gasperini has had enough of five goal thrillers.

Attendance : 26,000
Assists : Zapater, Palacio

LAZIO 1 (Stendardo 18)
CHIEVO 1 (Pellissier 77)

Stendardo blasted Lazio into the lead after Cruz flicked on Baronio's corner. Chievo's equaliser was a carbon copy.

Lazio fans protested against management at the start of the match, entering the stands 15 minutes in.

Attendance : 20,000
Assists : Cruz, Sardo (ck)

NAPOLI 2 (Maggio 46, Cigarini 91)

Maggio gave Napoli the lead on the stroke of half time with a magnificent Van Basten-esque volley. From wide left on goal, though not as wide as MVB in 1988, he caught the ball on the volley, with both feet leaving the air as the ball arched into the top left corner. Lucarelli missed a 57th minute penalty. De Lucia was sent off for handling outside his box and Marchini had to go in goal as Cosmi had used all his subs. When play resumed Cigarini sent his free kick inside the left post.

At full time Cosmi announced his resignation, citing disagreements with club President Spinelli.

Attendance : 10,000
Red Card : De Lucia 89 (Livorno)
Assists : Aronica, n/a

PALERMO 3 (Hernandez 28, Hernandez 37, Budan 58)

Palermo's teenage Uruguayan striker scored two goals that put a massive dent in Fiorentina's chances of a top four finish. He looked menacing in the opening minutes before heading in a rebound after Miccoli hammered a shot against the underside of the crossbar. Pastore sent him clear of the Fiorentina defence with a lovely pass and he nutmegged Frey to score a cheeky second. He was substituted to a standing ovation and five minutes later his replacement turned onto Liverani's header and hooked a volley past Frey.

Attendance : 21,585
Assists : n/a, Pastore, Liverani

SIENA 1 (Calaio 78)
CAGLIARI 1 (Matri 81 Pen)

Larrivey was sent off for a two footed forward's tackle. Siena should have been out of sight an eternity before Calaio finally gave them the lead when he beat Cagliari's offside trap, cut inside a defender and hammered the ball into the top left corner. Seconds later a Cagliari defender hoofed a longball into the Siena box, Cossu ran clear and Cribari KICKED him from behind to concede as blatant a penalty as you'll ever see and earn a red card. Playboy Matri made no mistake to score his 10th goal of the season.

Attendance : 9,500
Red Card : Cribari 79 (Siena), Larrivey 67 (Cagliari)
Assists : Rosi, Cossu (won pen)

UDINESE 2 (Di Natale 7 Pen, Isla 44)
SAMPDORIA 3 (Pazzini 27 Pen, Pozzi 57, Semioli 66)

Gastaldello floored Di Natale to concede a penalty which, as usual (apart from in Euro 2008) he converted. Gastaldello was lucky not to be shown a second yellow for kicking Di Natale and Samp's good fortune continued when Pozzi's massive dive earned him the equalising penalty. Isla restored the home side's lead with a brilliant goal. The Sampdoria defence appealed for offside as he collected a pass, as Stankevicius was about to make a challenge he lifted a low curling shot inside the left post. Pozzi re-directed Pazzini's miss-hit shot, drawing a save from Handanovic and he gobbled up the rebound as the Udinese defence appealed for offside. Less than 10 minutes later Semioli punished more shit defending to end a wretched five game winless run and they did this without Cassano.

Attendance : 16,167
Assists : Di Natale (won pen), Pozzi (won pen), Lukovic, n/a, Tissone

INTER 2 (Milito 10, Pandev 65)

The big news heading into the match was the absence of Nesta and Sneijder's sudden recovery from a virus.

In a frantic start Sneijder hit the woodwork with a brilliant half volley. Antonini played a one-two with Ronaldinho and ran clear of Zanetti before pulling back a centre which Borriello shinned into the stands. Pandev ran at the Milan defence and had his shot charged down, it fell to Sneijder who took a touch before blasting at goal, Dida flew across and kicked clear, phenomenal save. Inter's early pressure told. In trying to clear Pandev's reverse pass Abate headed against Milito who drilled a first time shot into the bottom left corner. Pandev played in Milito, who had switched flanks, and Dida saved at his near post. Lucio was booked for diving. Sneijder applauded the referee and fired a volley of expletives at him, earning a red card.

Leonardo's half time team talk fired up his team and they should have scored an equaliser. Julio Cesar made a sensational point blank save from his own defender on a deflected Ambrosini header and second later Milan recovered the ball, Borriello chested down a Beckham cross and Ronaldinho flashed a volley wide of a post. Borriello got in front of Santon but wasted a great Beckham cross, heading high over the bar. Unforgivable miss which proved to be another turning point. Milito played in Pandev with a through pass and as Dida advanced he sent a lob over his head and against the outside of the left post. Minutes later Maicon dived to win a free kick and this time Pandev was on target, curling the ball up and over the wall and inside the right post. Milan heads noticeably dropped until the closing minutes. Borriello forced another save from Julio Cesar and in injury time Lucio was sent off for charging down a Huntelaar shot (on as a way too late substitute) with his hands. Ronaldinho had a chance to set up a grandstand finish but saw his penalty brilliant saved by Julio Cesar who had his best game in an Inter shirt for many, many months. Inter could, should have scored a third but Balotelli failed to punish Antonini's hospital pass.

I repeat what I said about Borriello. Technically he's not good enough to be starting forward for Milan. I fear Huntelaar will be sacrificed and that's a big mistake. Without Nesta Milan are an average team. Inter will be without Lucio and Sneijder away at Parma three days after a Coppa Italia match against Juventus. If they come through the Parma game with three points then it's done.

Attendance : 80,000
Red Cards : Sneijder 25 (Inter), Lucio 91 (Inter)
Assists : n/a, Maicon (won fk)

23 January 2010

CATANIA 3 (Mascara 15, Martinez 71, Morimoto 77)

Mascara headed Catania into a 15th minute lead from Llama's corner. He wasted a chance to make it 2-0 with a horrific penalty but it didn't matter as Parma, winless in 2010, never threatened to get back in the match. Catania's second was a work of art. Izco had the ball at his feet on the left edge of the penalty area and two defenders swarmed around him, he shaped to check inside but inside thread a pass between them to Martinez who spun round onto the ball and curled over Mirante as he dived at his feet. Absolutely brilliant. Substitute Morimoto finished of a well worked move to score his 4th goal of the season.

Attendance : 15,000
Assists : Llama (ck), Izco, Capuano

JUVENTUS 1 (Del Piero 50)
ROMA 2 (Totti 68 Pen, Riise 93)

Roma lost Toni to a knee injury in the opening minutes. Amauri had the best chance of an awful first half but headed Grosso's cross wide of a post. Juan sliced a Diego pass high in the air and Del Piero patiently watched it fall before catching it on the volley, expertly placing it inside the right corner of Julio Sergio's goal. In the post Moggi days penalties against Juve are no longer a rarity and Grosso fouled Taddei to concede one and Totti shot low past Buffon. Buffon scythed down Riise as he chased down a ball over the top of Juve's fragile offside trap and was promptly sent off. Juve looked to have hung on for a point by deep into injury time Pizarro found Riise unmarked at the back post with a fabulous crossfield pass and the Liverpool reject expertly directed his header wide of Manninger.

Sweet, sweet revenge for Ranieri whose team now put some distance between his old team in the race for a Champions League place. Let's be honest Ranieri is far too much of a nice guy to coach a team like Juventus. Roma's first victory in Turin for nine years.

Attendance : 25,000
Red Card : Buffon 83 (Juventus)
Assists : n/a, Taddei (won pen), Pizarro

20 January 2010

BOLOGNA 2 (Di Vaio 19 fk, Di Vaio 34)
ATALANTA 2 (Manfredini 37, Chevanton 60)

Attendance : 14,000
Assists : Di Vaio (won fk), Zalayeta, Guarante (ck), Doni

GENOA 1 (Milanetto 52 fk)
BARI 1 (Barreto 4)

Attendance : 24,863
Assists : n/a, Suazo (won fk)