• Monday, 19 January 2009

    Serie A Round 19 Review

    Atalanta 3 Inter Milan 1
    Cagliari 2 Udinese 0
    Catania 1 Bologna 2
    Chievo 2 Napoli 1
    Lazio 1 Juventus 1
    Lecce 0 Genoa 2
    Sampdoria 0 Palermo 2
    Torino 0 Roma 1
    AC Milan 1 Fiorentina 0
    Siena 1 Reggina 0

    Bergamo is always a tricky place to visit and if Jose Mourinho didn’t know that about Italian football before the weekend, he certainly does now. His Nerazzuri team, who drew at home to lowly Cagliari last week in a misfiring start to 2009, have further undermined their own position by being beaten convincingly 3-1 by Gigi Del Neri’s Atalanta. Goals from Cristiano Doni (2) and Sergio Floccari pummeled the Champions, for whom a 90th minute Ibrahimovic goal flattered them. The visitors were dreadful, barely mustering a shot on goal and it says quite something that Julio Cesar in goal was their best player, producing a number of good saves to keep the scoreline down.

    That shock meant Juventus has the chance to close the gap on Sunday evening to just one point when they visited Lazio. Close it they did, but only to three points rather than one. Cristian Ledesma's goal was cancelled out by Olof Mellberg's 29th minute header and 1-1 it stayed, a frustrating night for the Gobbini but they still have plenty of time to overcome the Champions.

    On Saturday, Inter’s city rivals did their bit for the title race by beating Fiorentina in a tight game at the San Siro, with Alexandre Pato scoring the only goal – his sixth in six. Another shock was in store on Sunday afternoon when Napoli slipped up against bottom side Chievo. Edy Reja’s men were below par throughout, and Chievo took advantage through two goals from Michele Marcolini. Ezequiel Lavezzi’s equalizer proved a false dawn. Genoa took advantage of the Neapolitan slip-up by leapfrogging them into fourth thanks to a comfortable 2-0 win at Lecce. Second half strikes from Giandomenico Mesto and Giuseppe Sculli saw the Rossoblu home.

    A last minute Julio Baptista goal gave Roma a priceless win over Torino – The Brazilian providing the goal of the round with a flamboyant volley. It puts Roma up into 8th. Elsewhere two Mark Bresciano goals for Palermo condemned Sampdoria to a home defeat, Cagliari heaped further pressure on Udinese coach Pasquale Merino with a 2-0 win in Sardinia and Bologna continued their extra-ordinary run under new coach Sinisa Mihailovic with a 2-1 victory at Catania. Marco Di Vaio scored his 14th of the season and there was a goal for new Brazilian signing Adailton.

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