18 October 2009

MILAN 2 (Ronaldinho 56 Pen, Pato 67)
ROMA 1 (Menez 3)

Thiago Silva underhit a backpass to Dida and Menez ran through to give Roma the lead. The Frenchman could have scored a first half hat-trick. He skinned Nesta and was in on goal but his shot lacked power and direction. Minutes later he was hauled down in the in the box by Thiago Silva and should have been awarded a penalty. Vucinic flicked a Menez centre past Nesta, who looks considerably slower since his return from injury, but with only Dida to beat dithered and shot straight at the goalkeeper. Doni tipped a Seedorf effort against the post, the only chance Milan fashioned in a shocking first half.

Inzaghi came on as a second half sub for Abate and had an immediate impact, forcing a goal-line clearance from Pizarro. Nesta made a meal of Burdisso's clumsy challenge to win a penalty which Ronaldinho slammed into the bottom left corner. 10 minutes later he showed a bit of the old magic to dribble away from two Roma players on the left flank before dropping a fantastic 50 yard pass over the Roma defence to Pato who controlled the ball on his chest before rounding Doni and tapping into an empty net. Ambrosini was sent off for an apparent elbow on Burdisso. Ronaldinho shredded the Roma defence with another superb pass but Pato's Sunday league first touch allowed Doni to gather the ball.

A good open game of football between two poor sides. Pato isn't going to reach Ballon D'or level until he improves his heavy first touch. Ronaldinho could re-invent himself by playing in the Pirlo role. While he lacks the pace and mental strength that once made him the best player in the World he still has an eye for a pass.

Attendance : 40,000
Red Card : Ambrosini 81 (Milan)
Assists : n/a, Nesta (won pen), Ronaldinho

CATANIA 2 (Ricchiuti 37, Martinez 88)
CAGLIARI 1 (Dessena 45)

Ricchiuti's goal was the culmination of fantastically worked free kick that was so good it's a crying shame it was wasted in a humdrum lead match that no one will see. Llama played a free kick into Potenza who broke from the wall chipped a first time cross out wide to Mascara, Mascara headed the ball down and Ricchiuti volleyed past Marchetti. Dessena's strike even better. Marzoratti crossed from the left and the former Sampdoria midfielder ran forward, leapt in the air and hammered and overhead kick past Andujar. Martinez headed in the winner two minutes from time from a Morimoto cross.

There may not have been many goals in Serie A this season but the quality of strikes and approach play is as good as it has ever been.

Attendance : 12,000
Assists : Mascara, Marzoratti, Morimoto

CHIEVO 1 (Bogdani 82)
BARI 2 (Almiron 3, Ranocchia 65)

Juve reject Almiron ran across the box to get on the end of Masiello free kick, sending a header looping over Sorrentino into the top left corner. Bari's giant 21 year old centre back Andrea Ranocchia, who is having a great season, headed in his first Serie A goal to double Bari's advantage. Another header, from second half substitute Bogdani, setup a tense finish with chances at both ends.

Attendance : 9,268
Assists : Masiello (fk), Kutuzov

LAZIO 1 (Matuzalem 42)
SAMPDORIA 1 (Pazzini 40)

Pazzini overhit a centre to Padalino, he chased down the ball, turned and hung up a cross which Pazzini headed low past Muslera. Rocchi flicked on a longball that the Samp defence failed to clear, Matuzalem got between two defenders and hooked the ball into the corner. In an ill tempered match Padalino's late foul on Kolarov earned him a second yellow and Cassano's theatrics got Baronio an early bath.

Attendance : 40,000
Red Cards : Padalino 55 (Sampdoria), Baronio 73 (Lazio)
Assists : Padalino, Rocchi

LIVORNO 1 (Danilevicius 54)
PALERMO 2 (Miccoli 56, Balzaretti 81)

The only noteworthy incident of the first half was unfortunately an injured that left Livorno defender Nelson Rivas being carried out on a stretcher. The Colombian smashed his head into the back of Bovo's when attempting to clear a cross and landed heavily, back first.

Danilevicius lost his markers to get the faintest of a touches to Pulzetti's speculative shot. Palermo scored an equally fortuitous equaliser. Simplicio's attempted through pass deflected off De Lucia landing perfect fir Miccoli. Livorno were looking the more likely to score the winner and had a goal disallowed but Balzaretti blasted in a loose ball to snatch the three points.

Attendance : 9,206
Assists : Pulzetti, n/a, Cassani

NAPOLI 2 (Quagliarella 72, Maggio 91)
BOLOGNA 1 (Adailton 15 fk)

Both teams were separated by a point heading into this relegation dogfight. Adailton opened the scoring with a tremendous free kick. Mazzari's half-time team talk saw his new side come out fighting. Viviano made saves in quick succession from Lavezzi and Cannavaro before Quagliarella equalised from a corner. Di Vaio missed a great chance to put his side back in the lead. In the last minute Lavezzi recovered a free kick, did a Cryuff turn to beat his marker and fired a centre across goal and Maggio, who made his name under Mazzarri at Sampdoria, stabbed in from close range. Mazzarri is a brilliant coach. He's got an excellent squad at his disposal and a chairman with deep pockets.

Attendance : 25,000
Red Card : Papadopulo 85 (Bologna)
Assists : Adailton (fk), Contini, Lavezzi

PARMA 1 (Bojinov 7)

Attendance : 15,261
Red Card : Fini 34 (Siena), Giampaolo 93 (Siena)
Assist : Dzemaili

UDINESE 1 (Lodi 8)
ATALANTA 3 (Tiribocchi 4, Valdes 70, De Ascentis 73)

Tiribocchi chased down De Ascentis' superb volleyed pass, cut inside Domizzi and shot wide of Handanovic to give struggling Atalanta a surprise lead. Lodi played a one-two with Sanchez on the edge of the box, the Chilean's return pass was absolutely sublime, taking out two defenders, and Lodi side footed past Consigli. Di Natale picked up an injury during the warm up and with Udinese struggling came on after 67 minutes but he may as well have stayed on the bench. Valdes dribbled past D'Agostino and sent a right foot missile tearing into the top left corner. Three minutes later Doni back heeled Valdes' pass for the onrushing De Ascentis to blast a first time shot in off the right post. Fabulous goal. Atalanta and Conte's first win of the season.

Attendance : 14,000
Assists : De Ascentis, Sanchez, De Ascentis, Doni

17 October 2009

JUVENTUS 1 (Amauri 19)
FIORENTINA 1 (Vargas 5)

Jovetic slipped a ball outside a Juve defender and Vargas rode a strong tackle from Poulsen before beating Buffon. Fiorentina's lead didn't last long. Having missed two absolute sitters Iaquinta centred Poulsen's excellent through pass just as Frey dived at his feet leaving Amauri with a tap-in. Iaquinta had a second half goal disallowed. Normally I wouldn't comment but Juve seem to have had an abnormally high number of goals disallowed this season.

Juve are struggling. Diego has been very disappointing after lighting up Roma in week 2.

Attendance : 25,779
Assists : Jovetic, Iaquinta

INTER 5 (Modesto 6 og, Balotelli 31, Stankovic 49, Vieira 66, Maicon 71)

Cambiasso made poor contact on a Balotelli header but Modesto helped him out by turning the ball past his own goalkeeper. Zanetti caught a nervy Zapater with a tackle as he hesitated in possession, Sneijder turned onto the ball and passed to Balotelli who beat Amelia with a powerful first time shot. Stankovic scored a sensational third. Amelia took a back pass, strode forward out of his box and punted a ball down Inter's left flank, the alert Stankovic took a couple of steps forward and as the ball dropped from the skies met it with a measured right foot volley which bounced into Amelia's net as he backtracked in vain. Fantastic goal. Vieira muscled his was through a challenge before lashing a left foot shot into the net. Four defenders swarmed on Balotelli on the edge of the Genoa penalty area and Maicon took advantage to burst through and score Inter's fifth. A result that is all the more remarkable given the fact Inter were missing both Eto'o and Milito.

Sneijder was off the charts. If he can put his injury problems behind him Inter will walk to a fifth successive title.

Attendance : 34,000
Assists : n/a, Sneijder, n/a, Sneijder, n/a