LAZIO'S THREE SEASON NIGHTMARE
Milan deal Lazio's title challenge a potentially fatal blow with victory
in the San Siro. Roma and Juventus put four goals past their opponents.
Parma's defeat at Verona ends their prospects of a Champions League place.
Lots of red cards and awesome saves.
19 FEBRUARY 2000
REGGINA 1-1 PERUGIA
Baronio 51 Esposito 45
Esposito gave Perugia the lead on the stroke of half time with an excellent
overhead kick from Alenichev's cross.
Mazzantini made an absolutely fantastic save from a point blank Kallon shot
but was helpless as Baronio blasted in the rebound. He earned Perugia a point
with a string of fine saves most notably a genuine contender for save of the
season from Possanzini's fierce shot. It's a shame they never have save of
the month competitions. Serie A 'keepers rule.
ROMA 4-0 FIORENTINA
Montella 7, 80, 90
Toldo punched out Nakata's shot, Candela turned the ball back across goal
for Montella. Nakata made it 2-0 with a deflected shot off Firicano.
Delvecchio and Candela went close.
Repka pathetically tried to clear a cross in the box by chesting the ball
down and passing to Firicano but Montella beat him to the ball to score his
second and completed his hat-trick when converting Nakata's cross.
This wasn't a question of Roma playing stellar football rather pathetic
defending by Fiorentina who were long overdue a good thrashing because they
Red Card(s) : Falcone 88 (Bologna)
Attendance : 36,000
20 FEBRUARY 2000
LECCE 1-1 BOLOGNA
Lucarelli 67 Signori 55
Signori got ridiculous bend on a free kick to send Bologna in front.
Lucarelli headed wide and Balleri came even closer, smashing his header
off the underside of the crossbar. Lecce scored with a long ball special,
Chimenti launched the ball upfield, Lima headed it on and Lucarelli
punished a nervous attempt at a save by Pagliuca. You can understand why
Pagliuca was tentative as he ended up getting strechered off! Piacentini
was sent off for taking out Balleri.
Red Card(s) : Piacentini 81 (Bologna)
Attendance : 13,179
PIACENZA 1-3 INTER
Delli Carri 69 Blanc 20, 78
Blanc headed in Baggio's corner. Peruzzi made a great save from Rizzitelli
and was then cynically flattened by Gautieri as he 'followed in'. Vieri
had a goal harshly disallowed for offside.
Peruzzi came out an missed a cross but Gautieri blazed over the bar. He again
showed his vulnerability in the air as Delli Carri beat him to Marrone's
corner. Delli Carri was sent off for a cynical foul on Zamorano. Blanc headed
in a corner off Vieri and Vieri was left with a tap in following great work by
Red Card(s) : Delli Carri 77
Attendance : 16,000
TORINO 1-1 CAGLIARI
Ferrante 44 O'Neill 20 (Pen)
Mayele went down in the box under a non challenge from Grandoni.
O'Neill converted. Ferrante volleyed in Torino's equaliser from Sommese's
Jurcic was sent off for an innocuous challenge. Mayele almost snapped the
crossbar in half with an nuclear header. Oliveira headed wide Cagliari's best
Red Card(s) : Jurcic 56 (Torino)
Attendance : 20,000
UDINESE 5-1 BARI
Giannichedda 2 Marcolini 8
Locatelli headed down Sosa's cross, Muzzi attempted an overhead kick but
missed and Giannichedda sent the clearance past Mancini. Marcolini equalised
with a fantastic first time strike thanks to an equally fantastic dummy by
Spinesi. Fiore picked up a loose ball in midfield and ran unchallenged towards
goal before unleashing a shot into the top corner. Sosa made the most of a
fortunate rebound to score his first goal of the season. Sottil blasted in
Jorgensen's centre to score his 5th goal of the season, not bad for a
defender. Sottil was absolutely awesome in an early version (about 7-8 years
ago) of Championship manager. Jorgensen completed the rout with a 'slalom'
run and shot, not quite in the same league as his goal against Venezia last
month. Mancini made a fantastic save from Margiotta, like it mattered.
Attendance : 16,000
VENEZIA 0-4 JUVENTUS
Del Piero 35 (Pen)
Inzaghi 79, 92, 96
The two thieves were at it again, Inzaghi dived in the box, Del Piero
converted the penalty. In the second half Del Piero and Inzaghi
continually went for the same ball, Del Piero took the ball off Inzaghi's
feet but Casazza (and the post) brilliantly saved his effort. Casazza then made
an even better save, Del Piero finding Inzaghi with an awesome back heel
flick but Inzaghi's volley was somehow tipped wide. Inzaghi intercepted a
hospital pass from Bilica with his arm, went round Casazza and tapped into
an empty net. Bilica's misery continued as Esnaider (remember him!)
stole the ball and fed Inzaghi, he raced clear and his initial shot was saved
but Inzaghi put in the rebound with Del Piero waiting for a tap-in unmarked
in front of goal. Esnaider's cross deflected off N'Gotty and Inzaghi once
again beat Del Piero to the ball for a tap-in. As he wheeled away to celebrate
his hat-trick, Del Piero pathetically walked away in a sulk.
Attendance : 11,965
VERONA 4-3 PARMA
Brocchi 2 Stanic 7
Morfeo 48 Fuser 21
Colucci 53 Crespo 24
Brocchi fired Verona into the lead after being teed up by Morfeo. Baggio
sent a cross into the box, Crespo headed it back and Stanic volleyed past
Frey. Awesome goal. Fuser scored his first of the season following a surging
run by Thuram. Fuser then stuck one over the top for Crespo, he ran over
Franceschetti and poked the ball past Frey.
Lassissi fouled Morfeo outside the box. He chipped in a free kick and Buffon
punched it in off the post. Dino Baggio was sent off for a disgraceful elbow
on Brocchi. Dirty bastard. Colucci launched himself at Morfeo's free kick
to head in the equaliser and treacherous defending by Lassissi and Thuram
gifted Verona the points, Lassissi passed back across his own goal to Thuram,
he misscontrolled the ball and Melis whacked it past Buffon. Buffon had an
awful match. Parma are back to square one, it's a case of try again next
Red Card(s) : Baggio 51 (Parma)
Attendance : 15,905
MILAN 2-1 LAZIO
Boban 37, 46 (Pens) S Inzaghi 82
Ambrosini wasted an early chance, firing wide when clear on the edge of the
box. Albertini(!) picked out Shevchenko with a brilliant ball over the top
but Marchegiani made a fantastic tackle to deny him a shot on goal. Boban
rode a tackle from Veron and then humiliated Sensini with a brilliant drag
back but no one managed to get on the end of his cross. Negro handled in the
box, Boban converted. Salas then tried to win a penalty by bouncing off Boban
but the ref didn't buy it. He should have booked the little shit. Bierhoff
flicked on a long ball to Shevchenko who once again was denied by a fantastic
tackle by Marchegiani but Ambrosini ran into him to win another penalty.
Boban again made no mistake.
Professional moaners Mancini and Ravanelli got into an argument with Galliani
in the tunnel at half time. Albertini stole the ball off Sensini (yes Albertini)
and fed Shevchenko, his shot rebounded off the inside of the post and
Boban's goal bound follow-up was superbly headed over the bar by Nesta.
Mancini picked out Inzaghi with an excellent first time pass and he punished
awful positioning from Abbiati with a well placed strike from 20yds.
Marchegiani made two awesome reaction saves, he clawed out Shevchenko's
header with his right hand and then he flung out his left to prevent Bierhoff
heading in the rebound. Ambrosini was sent off for a murder attempt on Salas
but Milan held on for a deserved victory.
Milan stepped off the gas in the second half but were rarely troubled by
Lazio's air game. I never thought I'd say this but Chamot was absolutely
magnificent in defence, Milan are a completely different prospect with him in
the team. Incredibly Albertini almost matched Ambrosini in terms of workrate
and he definitely made more telling tackles! However Gattuso stole the show,
he gave a Davids/Keane level of performance. I expect Lazio's title challenge
will start haemorrhaging. Eriksson is history.
Red Card(s) : Ambrosini 93 (Milan)
Attendance : 68,943