16 December 2012

FIORENTINA 4 (Toni 15, Pizarro 19 Pen, Aquilani 45, Toni 79)
SIENA 1 (Reginaldo 70)

Toni towered above the Siena defence to head in an excellent Pasquale cross. Toni was pulled down for the penalty. Aquilani was the first of three Fiorentina players in the Siena penalty area to connect with a Romulo centre. Reginaldo pulled a goal back with a fierce strike from Rosina's excellent reverse pass. Valero went clear of Hamsik at the top of the Serie A assist charts with his 7th, a cross to Toni. Paci was sent off for pulling down super sub El Hamdaoui but Aquilani shanked the penalty.

This is the old Luca Toni and not the Bayern Luca Toni, this is the Luca Toni that doesn't miss.

Attendance : 23,347
Red Card : Paci 87 (Siena)
Assists : Pasquale, Toni (won pen), Romulo, Rosina, Valero

CATANIA 3 (Paglialunga 55, Bergessio 65, Castro 90)
SAMPDORIA 1 (Maresca 29 Pen)

Three Catania defenders took turns to kick Icardi, the third managed to bring him down for the penalty. Paglialunga (what a strange name) equalised with a thumping half volley from the edge of the box. Bergessio headed Catania in front ten minutes later and Castro completed a dominant second half for the hosts when he ran through and punished woeful defending.

Attendance : 12,000
Assists : Icardi (won pen), Bergessio, Marchese, n/a

CHIEVO 1 (Pellissier 87)

This match should have been called off as the pitch was enveloped in thick fog. Pellissier scored, no idea about the build up play.

Attendance : 9,000
Assist : Rigoni

GENOA 1 (Granqvist 29)
TORINO 1 (Bianchi 19)

Bianchi headed in a deep cross and Granqvist headed in the equaliser from a corner.

Attendance : 16,000
Assists : Birsa, n/a

JUVENTUS 3 (Vucinic 2, Pirlo 14 fk, Marchisio 27)

Giovinco sent a pass through a gaping hold down Atalanta's left and Vucinic curled a shot inside the right post. Pirlo scored what I believe was his 20th direct goal from a free kick (Mihajlovic leads on 27) and it was an absolute beauty. Marchisio whacked in the third from 25 yards and fortunately for Atalanta Juve weren't interested in putting them to the sword even after Manfredini was sent off.

Attendance : 38,625
Red Card : Manfredini 32 (Atalanta)
Assists : Giovinco, Giovinco (won fk), Chiellini

MILAN 4 (Nocerino 0.35, Abbruscato 51 og, Jonathas 79 og, El Shaarawy 81)
PESCARA 1 (Terlizzi 56)

Nocerino scored after 35 seconds. Montolivo pushed a Robinho pass out wide to El Shaarawy, defences should know by now he operates wide, and he centred for Nocerino as Perrin dived at his feet. El Shaarawy and Robinho worked a short corner which Elvis headed into his own net. Terlizzi punished slack marking to give Pescara hope and Milan were rocking until Jonathas became the second Pescara player to head into his own net, from an El Shaarawy corner. The youngster bagged his customary goal on a counter attack, Pazzini turning provider.

Next week's Roma v Milan should be a goal fest. Neither of these teams can defence and they're both excellent going forward.

Attendance : 42,520
Assists : El Shaarawy, n/a, Togni (fk), n/a, Pazzini

PARMA 4 (Belfodil 21, Biabiany 54, Valdes 65 Pen, Belfodil 86)
CAGLIARI 1 (Sau 20)

Sau beat Parma's offside trap before lobbing over Pavarini from a tight angle. Great goal. Cagliari's lead lasted barely a minute, giant French youngster Belfodil headed in Valdes' cross to equalise. Belfodil almost scored an incredible second, an outrageous lob from a tight angle was tipped against the post and Biabiany tapped in the rebound. Parolo dived to win the penalty. Belfodil used his strength to dragback a ball and ran between two defenders before curling a shot into the bottom right corner. Brilliant goal. The boy is an absolute beast. 6ft 3in and 190lbs.

Belfodil is potentially the best forward France has produced since Trezeguet (I don't rate Henry or Benzema).

Attendance : 11,066
Assists : Nene, Valdes, n/a, Parolo (won pen), n/a

NAPOLI 2 (Gamberini 50, Cavani 70)
BOLOGNA 3 (Gabbiadini 10, Kone 86, Portanova 88)

Cannavaro and Gamberini balled watched Cherubin's cross then ball watched Gabbiadini, on loan from Juventus, tap in at the back post. Gamberini tapped in the equaliser after Agliardi parried an Insigne cross. Cavani put Napoli in front with a bullet header. Bologna worked the ball forward from a goalkick to Garics, out wide right, he swung a deep cross into the penalty area, Kone burst into the box, leapt in the air and sent a scissor kick rocketing over De Sanctis. Goal of the season. Two minutes later Diamanti whipped a free kick into a packed penalty area and Portanova got between Cannavaro and Gamberini to head in the shock winner and kill Napoli's lingering title hopes.

Attendance : 25,000
Assists : Cherubin, n/a, Insigne, Garics, Diamanti (fk)

15 December 2012

UDINESE 1 (Di Natale 89)
PALERMO 1 (Ilicic 33)

A mistake by Brkic, who has been excellent for Udinese this season, gifted Palermo the lead. Ilicic tried his luck from distance and Brkic failed to hold a shot that was straight at him. Heurtaux was sent off for barely catching Garcia with his trailing leg after tackling him, the referee perhaps taken in by Garcia screaming like a big girl - more noticeable in an empty stadium. Palermo took advantage of their numerical superiority to boss the remainder of the game, Brkic denied them on three occasions. Ujkani threw away three points when he jumped to catch a cross and as he landed the ball popped out of his hands and Di Natale pounced.

Attendance : 12,000
Red Card : Heurtaux 61 (Udinese)
Assists : Miccoli, n/a

LAZIO 1 (Klose 82)

Awful game with Hernanes once again going missing in a big match and that's probably why he's still at Lazio. Inter hit the woodwork twice, Marchetti denying Milito with a stunning point blank save on the second occasion after Cassano's shot came back off a post. Klose miss controlled when unmarked in front of goal but made no mistake minutes later when firing Mauri's pass wide of Handanovic.

Only one point separates these teams now and as I said last week Inter and Napoli are in a false position and not superior in any way to the teams directly below them. Roma and Milan, in 6th and 7th place respectively, have some catching up to do but I wouldn't rule either out of finishing 2nd or 3rd at this stage. Juve down Serie A is wide open.

Attendance : 45,500
Assists : Mauri