New Football FanCast columnist Scot Monroe reflects on the weekend action in Serie A.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar pays back Leonardo with two very crucial goals in Sicilly with both of the goals coming in stoppage time. Leonardo changed the formation to a 4-2-3-1 from the attacking 4-2-1-3 which has served them very well in recent weeks. Only catching brief highlights of the game is was not the best of games in Italy this week. The 1st of Huntelaar’s goals came in the 93rd minute from a Seedorf long ball to Huntelaar who won the header, flicked it to Pippo Inzaghi who then volleyed the ball back to Huntelaar who hit a left footed volley. Catania’s Argentinean keeper Andujar made a bit of a meal of it and let it through his grasp to hand the Dutch striker his 1st goal for Milan and his 1st for 8 months. His 2nd goal came moments later, which was an absolute stunner of a goal with “the Hunter” spinning around the edge of the box and chipped it over Andujar from around 20 yards out. He was only on the pitch for around 12 minutes after coming on for Ambrosini to support the offside merchant Pippo Inzaghi. This result now puts AC Milan into 2nd place behind local rivals Inter.
Looks like things are not going all that smoothly at the moment in Turin with Juventus collapsing to the 2nd defeat in 4 days after the defeat to Bordeaux on Wednesday night in the champions league now going down to battling Cagliari. Ciro Ferrara going with the system that he used since the Atalanta 5-2 win, with the 4-2-3-1 chucking out the diamond which he used in the early part of the season. Amuari starting up front with club legend Alessandro Del Piero sitting on the bench along with a player in my opinion who should be starting every game this season in Sebastian Giovinco. Nene scored the opening goal of the game with a wonder strike from around 20-25 yards with Gigi Buffon having no chance of stopping. Diego was having a poor game and looked out of sorts something is not going right with the Brazilian playmaker at the moment. A rest or even some time on the bench could do him some good, the same with another Brazilian Felipe Melo who I saw play against Roma and in the Confederations Cup back in the summer and this guy was a man mountain. This Juve team not linking together, as Ferrara had hoped. The 2nd half started better for Juventus with Amauri thinking he had equalised from a Martin Caceres cross but was marginally offside. Again Amauri was not happy with the Referee or the Linesman as he was denied a penalty after being nudged in the back from Pisano from a Diego cross. With Juventus pushing players forward the ball broke to Matri and skinning Fabio Cannavaro and slotting the ball past Buffon and giving Cagliari the 3 points against one of the big boys.
How Inter Milan keep playing poorly and getting away with 1-0 wins I don’t know but winning ugly as you say is a sign of champions on which Manchester United used to do in the late 90’s. It seems like Inter are now coming up to be the most hated team in Italy by rivals fans – it used to be Juventus, now it is Inter. Ricardo Quaresma was handed a very rare start due to Wesley Sneijder knee injury and Maicon was suspended for two games for saying some not nice stuff to a linesman a week before. For Fiorentina there was no Donadel was suspended and Mutu, Gamberini and Natali were sidelined while Jovetic was only on the bench. Inter started brightly with Eto’o missed a great chance scuffing his the shot on the edge of the box and Quaresma putting the ball into the net but the whistle had gone for a foul on the great named Fiorentina player Massimo Gobbi. A bit of controversy in the 49th minute when Inter thought they have taken the lead with Walter Samuel header was disallowed for a shirt tug on Dario Dainelli. Alberto Gilardino pulled off a masterstroke of a skill and in my eyes it deserved a goal where he received a long ball from the back he flicked the ball over the two centre backs and surged to the goal on a one on one with keeper Julio Cesar and he hit the posts. Inter Milan then took the lead from a penalty from Milito after he was fouled by Gianluca Comotto. Milito then dispatched the penalty sending Frey the wrong way. Moments later Eto’o missed a golden chance with a one-on one with Frey but the French keeper held his nerve and saved from the former Barca player.
Saturday night’s game was the Derby Della Lanterna between Genoa and Sampdoria at the Stadio Ferraris on which the ground reminds me of Preston North end. It adds a British flavour to the ground. This game was a nightmare for former Spurs left back Reto Ziegler and Referee Roberto Rossetti. Genoa starting with the very attacking 3-4-3 and Sampdoria with the 4-4-2 formation, on which Del Nieri has used since he ditched the 3-5-2 on which the Samp boys have been using for a while now. Andrea Poli was able to play in midfield with a protective mask on just a couple days after fracturing nose in training. Mesto was suspended for Genoa and Bosko Jankovic and Houssine Kharja were injured. For Mr Ziegler he did not have the best of games handing two penalties to bitter rivals to Genoa, the 1st one was for a foul on Rodrigo Palacio the one with the dodgy ponytail. Omar Milanetto took the penalty and coolly slotted it away sending Luca Castellazzi the wrong way. Antonio Cassano lost his temper a few times through the game after niggling fouls but was not booked by Rossetti, the man who gave Milan a very dodgy penalty against Roma which still gripes me. Just before half time Biava for Genoa was sent off for a 2nd bookable offence for an interception on a quickly taking free-kick from Cassano. Rodrigo Palacio took a knock and was rightly subbed off for the highly rated Greek Defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos. I only managed to watch the 2nd half of the game and was an enjoyable game. Seven minutes into the 2nd half Genoa took a 2-0 lead from a wonderful worked goal from Marco Rossi who was unmarked inside the area and slotted by the Samp keeper from 8 yards out leaving the Genoa fans going wild in the stands. Gigi Del Nieri throwing on three subs with Tissone, Accardi and Pozzi coming on for Padalino, Poli and Mannini. Samp were then down to 10 men as Rossi was sent of for a 2nd bookable offence. Genoa made it 3-0 in the 76th minute as Reto Ziegler decided to gave away another penalty bringing down Papastathopoulos. Palladino tucked the penalty away and stupidly celebrated infront of the Sampdoria fans and a few of the Samp players were unhappy with Palladino with the way he celebrated. There was a stop in the play deep into the 2nd half when a firework was thrown on to the pitch. Sadly Rossetti day was not over as he sent off another Sampdoria player Cacciatore, who was sent off for a late challenge on Ivan Juric. Gasperini hold over Sampdoria is on again after a 3rd win a row over local rivals.
In other games in Italy. Roma picked up an Important 2-1 win over Atalanta ahead of the derby next week. Coming from behind as Atalanta took the lead from Fabio Ceravolo goal. But before half-time Mirko Vucinic equalised with and with 25 mins left of the game Simone Perrotta handed the game to Roma with a header from a Vucinic chipped pass. Bari beaten Siena 2-1 in the San Nicola with goals from Vergassola in the 3rd minute for Siena and a comeback as Masiello equalised for the home side with 12 mins to go and it had been coming and with moments to go in the game and Greco with the winner for the home side turning in a Antonelli cross to flick it past the Siena keeper Curci. Chievo picked up an important win over Palermo with an Elvis Abbruscato goal in the 54th minute. It was Delio Rossi 1st game in charge after the sacking of Walter Zenga. Palermo ended the game with Fabio Liverani sent off for arguing with the referee and the Chievo team manager as the Palermo midfielder was walking off the pitch. Lazio and Bologna played out a 0-0 draw extending Lazio winless streak to 12 games in Serie A. Parma drew 1-1 at the Stadio Tardini against Napoli, both goals were penalties with Denis scoring 1st for Napoli and Nicola Amoruso for Parma. The 1st game of the weekend was Udinese 2-0 win over bottom side Livorno with top goalscorer Antonio Di Natale and Antonio Floro Flores with goals in the 1st half. Marino using a 3-5-2 formation on which seemed to work against lowly Livorno
There is Coppa Italia games and Europa games in the middle of the week.
Coppa Italia fixtures
Sampdoria v Livorno which is live on ESPN on Tuesday night.
Triestina v Sassuolo
Catania v Empoli
The Europa league games for the Italian sides are
Roma v Basel
Slavia Prague v Genoa
Salzburg v Lazio
The latter of the games are on Wednesday night and the Roma-Basel game is on Thursday night
Week 15 fixtures
Saturday, 5 December 2009
AC Milan v Sampdoria, 17:00
Juventus v Inter Milan, 19:45
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Bologna v Udinese, 14:00
Fiorentina v Atalanta, 14:00
Genoa v Parma, 14:00
Livorno v Chievo, 14:00
Napoli v Bari, 14:00
Palermo v Cagliari, 14:00
Roma v Lazio, 19:45
Siena v Catania, 14:00
Two very big games happening in week 15 as you got Juventus v Inter Milan on Saturday night a must win game for Juventus and to stop Inter crusade in the league. On Sunday is the biggest Derby in Italy, in my opinion, in Rome as Roma face Lazio on which both sides picked up a victory in the meeting last season.