Cagliari and Piacenza are relegated with 4 games to spare. Despite the best
efforts of the referee Lazio are denied a victory due to Batistuta's injury
time free kick. Two dodgy penalties help Roma to their first win in 5 games
and Parma need late goals to keep up their challenge for a Champions League
spot. Verona continue their recent impressive form by fighting back from
two goals draw to earn a point against Udinese.

15 APRIL 2000

Batistuta 24, 92						Nedved 27
Chiesa 54						Boksic 30
							Mihajlovic 89 (Pen)

Boksic intercepted a ball on the edge of the box and brilliantly juggled it
off his chest but fired horribly wide. Tarozzi crossed straight onto
Batistuta's head 1-0. Salas let Negro's cross run through his legs and Nedved
waited for Toldo to come off his line before shooting the equaliser. Boksic
headed Lazio into the lead from a Mihajlovic free kick.

Mijatovic turned Couto inside out in the box, ok not exactly a difficult feat
but his cross to Chiesa was beautiful giving Ballotta no chance. Nedved won
a penalty but Toldo made a phenomenal save from Mihajlovic. He almost saved
the second once again won by Nedved with a shameful dive right in front of
the blind ref. Deep into injury time Batistuta smacked in a free kick to
score a deserved equaliser.

There were ugly scenes after the match, an old women suffered a head injury
and was shown being walked to an ambulance with her blood splattered over
the road and there were scuffles at the Florence train station. Some Lazio
fans are real animals. Serie A really need to address the growing levels of
violence plaguing the domestic game otherwise another tragedy, and there 
have been several in recent years which seem to be conveniently ignored by
the Italian authorities, is inevitable.

Apolloni 73						Fiore 48, 61
Cammarata 76

Fiore gave Udinese the lead with a powerful strike into the roof of the net.
Fiore looked miles offside when he grabbed his second from Van der Vegt's
cross. De Sanctis came on for the injured Turci and his first act was to pick
the ball out of his net, Appolloni with a tap in from Brocchi's center.
Cammarata equalised thanks to Gargo's hospital pass. Van der Vegt struck
the crossbar.

16 APRIL 2000

BARI				3-1			LECCE
Spinesi 3						Sesa 79 (Pen)
Osmanovski 12
Cassano 33

Cassano flicked on Neqrouz's monstrous 70yd free kick and Spinesi volleyed
past Chimenti. Osmanovski converted Madsen's cross and Cassano struck a 
sweet half volley past Chimenti from Spinesi's flick on. Chimenti made a
great save from Markic's volley. Sesa grabbed a consolation goal from the
penalty spot after Cipriani dived in the box.

I believe Spinesi is on loan from Inter or is a former Inter player. Inter
could certainly do with him right now, he's the ideal long term replacement
for Zamorano.

Attendance : 30,000

							Cozza 44

For some reason the commentator said 'offside' instead of 'fuori gioco',
weird. Scarpi palmed Bogdani's shot straight to Cozza who headed at goal,
Scarpi caught the ball but dropped it as he fell and Cozza gobbled up the
rebound. Taibi made two fine saves from Mboma to condemn Cagliari to Serie B.
O'Neill is on his way to Juve next season. Scarpi and Mboma deserve better.

Attendance : 25,000

Crespo 32, 89						Budan 19
Di Vaio 91

Walem fouled Maniero but the ref played the advantage as Pedone lifted the
ball into the box, Cannavaro attempted to clear the ball with an overhead
kick but missed and Budan slotted past Buffon. Great pressing by Stanic lead
to Parma's equaliser, he stripped Bettarini of the ball and crossed to
Amoroso who in turn crossed to Crespo and he swept the ball past 18 year
old Benussi.

Stanic headed and shot against the crossbar. Parma continued to waste chances
until Crespo scored with a brilliant overhead kick from Fuser's cross
although Benussi has to take some of the blame as the ball bounced before
hitting the net. Benussi's misery continued as he charged off his line only
to see Stanic chip the ball over him and with the ball seemingly going wide
Di Vaio made sure.

Venezia better stick with Casazza until Benussi gets more experience. Parma
are probably going to qualify for the Champions league largely based on
points won against the little clubs. In the Champions League they won't be
afforded that luxury.

Attendance : 18,000

Materazzi 16
Rapajc 74

Materazzi gave Perugia the lead with a towering header from Milanese aka
the Hulk's corner. Vierchowod was sent off for protesting over a blatant
handball by Milanese that went unpunished. The closest Piacenza got to scoring
was from Manighetti's free kick. Alenitchev split the Piacenza defence with a
perfect through ball and Rapajc beautifully lobbed Roma. Amoruso wasted a
great chance to score but by then the game was safe and Piacenza were damned
to Serie B.

Attendance : 10,000
Red Card : Vierchowod 37 (Piacenza)

Montella 20 (Pen)
Totti 60 (Pen)

Poggi failed to meet Cafu's cross so the ref blew for a penalty. Montella
scored in off the post. Cafu nearly snapped the post in half with a blistering
volley. The ref awarded another ridiculous penalty when Montella was fouled
outside the box, Totti arrogantly chipped the ball over Pagliuca.

Earlier in the season Roma whined about the favourable refereeing received by
other teams in Serie A, maybe they did something about it! :-)

Attendance : 49,522

Pinga 30, 69						Ambrosini 15
							Guly 77

Ambrosini fired Milan into the lead with a spectacular half volley, latching
onto the ball after Shevchenko hit a free kick into the wall. Pingu, star of
children's puppet show that's phenomenally popular in Europe, headed
Torino level with a fantastic diving header from Mendez's cross. Bierhoff
volleyed into the ground and Ambrosini headed wide from a Leonardo free kick.
Mendez headed onto the crossbar from Pinga's cross. Leonardo went close
with a free kick. 

Abbiati's feet came to the rescue to deny Ferrante a certain goal. Pinga
scored a spectacular second controlling a long pass from Pecchia on his chest
and then brilliantly lifted the ball over Abbiati. Bierhoff wasted a great
chance but fortunately for him Guly scored from the corner thanks to dodgy
handling by Bucci. Bierhoff should have been hung for treason for a
treacherous miss when put clean through by Leonardo and Aliyu made an
equally bad miss from Maldini's pass but given his age and lack of experience
that's forgivable. Abbiati spared Milan's blushes with a good save late in
the match from Pecchia.

Helveg and Bierhoff were absolutely bloody awful. 18 year old Pinga looks
like a real talent, hopefully he won't spend too long in Serie B if Torino
are relegated.

Attendance : 25,000

Seedorf 83						Kovacevic 54, 79

Inter's only tested Van der Sar twice in the entire match with shots from
outside the box and on both occasions Zamorano and Recoba respectively
couldn't profit from the rebounds. Peruzzi made a great save to deny Inzaghi.
Zamorano wasted a header following excellent work by Recoba and Serena.

Conte intercepted a slack pass from Simic, rode two tackle and passed to
Inzaghi who flicked the ball onto Kovacevic and he beat the advancing
Peruzzi with a delicate lob. Zamorano failed to meet a teasing Seedorf
cross but Kovacevic didn't have that problem at the other end of the field
as he climbed miles above midget Peruzzi to meet Pessotto's cross and headed
in his second. Iuliano deflected in Seedorf's shot but Inter never looked
like getting back in the match.