16 January 2012

NAPOLI 1 (Cavani 71 Pen)
BOLOGNA 1 (Acquafresca 14)

Acquafresca punished a Campagnaro slip to give Bologna the lead. Napoli huffed and puffed and did little else. Cavani equalised from the spot after a cross struck Perez.

Attendance : 30,000
Assists : Pulzetti, n/a

15 January 2012

INTER 1 (Milito 54)

Pato ballooned over the bar from a lucky deflection off Emanuelson. A clutch of Milan players were drawn to Milito as Nagatomo swung over a cross leaving Alvarez free but Abbiati saved brilliantly with his feet. At the other end Pato, who was horrifically poor, pulled back a centre which Van Bommel crashed against the crossba and Julio Cesar denied Emanuelson on the follow-up. Pato lost the ball (again) after trying to juggle it in the Inter box and Zanetti lead a counter attack, Abate should have cleared his cross but sliced the ball and Milito ran clear before squeezing the ball into the corner. Nagatomo could have made the game safe but shot straight at Abbiati. Milan came to life once Seedorf replaced Zambrotta and Pato made way for El Shaarawy. Seedorf stung Julio Cesar's palms with a terrific shot from distance. Nocerino couldn't get enough on an Ibrahimovic center, the ball rolled to Pato and he predictably failed to make contact. With his back to play El Shaarawy trapped a Robinho pass and played him in with a great ball inside two defenders but Julio Cesar saved. A minute or so late Robinho kicked free air following a goalmouth scramble.

This was a case of Ranieri doing what he does best - playing spoiler. Inter are not back in the title race despite what idiots in the media say. They have to chase down four teams not one. One bad week and their 'title' chances in tatters. As for Milan Allegri got it spectacularly wrong. Playing Pato was a case of letting sentiment get the better of him - rewarding the Brazilian for his 'loyalty' after turning down a move to PSG. Allegri was right to bench the lazy bastard last season and he was right to do it again this season. This performance epitomised the glaring holes in the Brazilians game. A poor touch, running into traffic, not tracking back and not combining with team-mates. Robinho is a much better option and combines brilliantly with Ibrahimovic and helps link the midfield but his finishing has been even more wayward than usual which is why Milan are chasing Tevez. The Emanuelson experiment is one experiment too far. He has pace and lungs but he has no finesse and certainly no eye for a pass. Seedorf should have started. Maicon had his way with Zambrotta which is why Mesbah is expected to complete his move from Catania this week. If Milan don't make the right moves in the transfer market they could blow the scudetto. It's still theirs for the taking.

Attendance : 79,952
Assist : n/a

LAZIO 2 (Hernanes 20 Pen, Klose 91)

Masiello gave away the penalty with a needless foul on Radu. After Hernanes converted the penalty he did a cartwheel into a somersault! Never would have believed he was capable of that if I didn't see it myself. An unmarked Klose turned onto a pass switched the ball between his feet then tapped in the second. He gave his post match interview in Italian.

Attendance : 18,000
Red Card : Lucchini 53 (Atalanta)
Assists : Radu (won pen), Lulic

CESENA 3 (Mutu 19, Mutu 39 Pen, Rinaudo 46 og)
NOVARA 1 (Morimoto 89)

Parolo met a corner with a spectacular scissor kick, Ujkani saved and Mutu tapped in the rebound. Candreva ran into Morganella and went over in the box to win an extremely soft penalty. Rinaudo scored the third when Mutu's centre hit Eder before bouncing in off the Cesena defender. Mutu could have had a hat-trick but was injured when Rinaudo chopped him down in the box. Candreva took over penalty duties and missed. Morimoto scrambled in a consolation goal from a corner.

Attendance : 22,413
Assists : n/a, Candreva, n/a, n/a

CHIEVO 1 (Sammarco 50)

Attendance : 6,000
Assist : Luciano

LECCE 1 (Di Michele 66 Pen)

Attendance : 18,474
Assist : Muriel (won pen)

GENOA 3 (Granqvist 49, Jankovic 50, Palacio 71)
UDINESE 2 (Ferronetti 13, Di Natale 75 Pen)

Both 'keepers made unbelievable saves before the first goal arrived from an Armero corner. Jankovic tried his luck from the edge of the box, Handanovic spilled the ball and Granqvist tapped Genoa level. Less than a minute later Genoa were back in the Udinese half, Constant swung in a cross from the left and Jankovic thundered a low volley past Handanovic. Palacio pounced on a mistake by Ekstrand to put Genoa 3-1 up. Genoa lost their captain to a ridiculous red card when he tackled Di Natale in the box. Frey, who made several fantastic saves throughout, pulled off a stunning one handed save at the death to deny Pinzi.

Benatia and Asamoah, away on African Nations Cup duty, will be a huge loss. It makes a good story for the neutral but Udinese's success is damaging to Serie A. It would be a disaster if Udinese claimed a Champions League place. They've got no ambition and will inevitably sell off more stars and tank in Europe.

Attendance : 20,000
Red Card : Rossi 74 (Genoa)
Assists : Armero (ck), n/a, Constant, n/a, Di Natale (won pen)

JUVENTUS 1 (Vucinic 7)
CAGLIARI 1 (Cossu 47)

Juve scored a beautiful opening goal. Lichtsteiner shaped to cross but ran inside Merkel and passed into Pepe who back healed the ball to Marchisio, Marchisio poked the ball through to Lichtsteiner who had continued his run and he unselfishly centred to Vucinic, 1-0. Ibarbo made a storming run into the Juventus half before laying the ball off to a team-mate, Bonucci should have cleared but sliced the ball and Cossu hammered the rebound past Buffon.

Attendance : 30,874
Assists : Lichtsteiner, n/a

PARMA 3 (Biabiany 24, Valiani 66, Giovinco 94)
SIENA 1 (Grossi 79)

Pegolo made a point blank save from a Biabiany header and he beat team-mate Morrone to the rebound. Valiani headed in an absolutely brilliant Giovinco cross. Grossi turned onto a pass and fired Siena back into the match with a 20 yard drive but with Siena chasing Parma hit them on the break, Palladino seized on a mistake and cantered for Giovinco to tap in at the back post.

Attendance : 11,628
Assists : n/a, Giovinco, Vergassola, Palladino

14 January 2012

CATANIA 1 (Legrottaglie 24)
ROMA 1 (De Rossi 28)

Match abandoned on 65 minutes due to waterlogged pitch.