Serie A: Week 25 Round-Up

The bottom three remains the same while AC Milan, Fiorentina and Cagliari all hit four respectively.


AC Milan showed no sign of complacency this weekend as they brushed Parma aside, beating The Crusaders 4-0 at the San Siro. Two early goals from Clarence Seedorf and Antonio Cassano gave Milan the lead at half-time, while Brazilian striker Robinho scored two in the space of three minutes in the second half to give The Rossoneri their 15th win of the season. Former-Manchester City striker Robinho has scored eight goals this campaign after his 18 million move from Eastlands.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side are now three points clear at the top of Serie A after Napoli beat Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. Two goals from in-form Edinson Cavani, who has scored twenty in the league so far this season, helped to keep the pressure on Milan, although one of his goals was rather controversial. After Ezequiel Lavezzi was brought down by Roma centre-back Juan, Cavani stepped up to take the penalty and, after the ball had hit both posts, the Uruguayan forward tapped in from a yard out. Roma ‘keeper Julio Sergio, though, was furious, arguing that, for Cavani to be able to connect with the rebound, another player had to touch the ball first. The assistant referee, however, deemed that the original shot from the penalty had actually crossed the line.
That result meant that Palermo and Udinese could pull away from Roma in their quests for Europa League spots. Palermo, though, were victim of a ferocious Fiorentina comeback, as The Viola came from behind twice to win 4-2 at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. Palermo had taken an early lead through Agentine Javier Pastore and, after Alberto Gilardino had levelled for Fiorentina, Antonio Nocerino put Delio Rossi’s side back in front just after half-time. But with twenty minutes to go, the fight back began. Michele Camporese equalised before an own goal from Cesare Bovo put Fiorentina in front for the first time in the game. Riccardo Montolivo then sealed the victory two minutes from the end, sending Siniša Mihajlović’s team 10th in the table.
That result meant that Udinese could leap above Palermo in to 5th place and, thanks to two goals from Antonio Di Natale, Francesco Guidolin now finds his side just one point below a Champions League spot. Di Natale scored his 15th and 16th goals either side of Gökhan İnler scoring his first of the season as Udinese beat Cesena 3-0 away from home.
Cesena haven’t won since 6th January (against Brescia) and it is that sort of form that has kept the Seahorses in the relegation zone. The only side below them, Bari, did mange to get a point at the weekend, drawing 0-0 with Genoa, who now sit 13th. Bortolo Mutti didn’t have a winning start to his reign as Bari manager, which isn’t a surprise considering that Bari have only won three games all season. Fellow relegation candidates Brescia also had a tough weekend, losing 2-0 to Lazio at home, with goals from Álvaro Rafael González and Libor Kozák sending the Biancocelesti 3rd in the table after Inter Milan put in a poor showing away at Juventus. A Alessandro Matri goal gave Luigi Del Neri’s side victory over Leonardo’s team; 1-0 the final score. Juventus are now 6th.
Perhaps the most surprising scoreline of the weekend was that of Cagliari beating Chievo 4-1. Cagliari had only scored twenty-eight goals all season and Chievo had conceded just twenty-three, so the fact that five goals were scored in this mid-table clash came as quite a shock. Goals from Daniele Conti, Michele Canini and Nene had given Cagliari a 3-0 lead at half-time and, when Nene scored his second of the match, the game was over as a contest with twenty minutes to go. Cyril Théréau did score a late goal but it was a mere consolation, as Cagliari gained ground on seventh placed Roma.
Another clash involving clubs close together in league positions, Catania and Lecce, also finished with five goals. Two late goals from Francesco Lodi meant that Catania overcame Lecce 3-2 in a relegation battle. Catania are just two points above the drop with Lecce two points below them. The game was a thrilling encounter with both sides going in front at points in the match. Matías Silvestre had given the home side the lead on the stroke of half-time but, after the break, Jeda and Gianni Munari scored within five minutes of each other to put Lecce in the driving seat. Lodi, though, gave Catania their sixth win of the season with two goals inside the last ten minutes to leave the Rossazzurri in 16th position, three points away from 13th.
Bologna, who sit in 14th currently, have a game in hand on Catania but they weren’t able to take advantage of some good recent form as they crashed to a 3-1 loss away at Sampdoria. Goals from Angelo Palombo, Daniele Gastaldello and Massimo Maccarone all came in the first fifteen minutes, and it wasn’t until the 65th minute that Bologna replied. Daniele Paponi’s strike was a mere consolation, though, as Sampdoria claimed just their seventh victory all season.
Fixtures: Game week 26 (Current league table)
Sat
19/02/11
Bologna
17 : 00
Palermo
Internazionale
19 : 45
Cagliari
Sun
20/02/11
Lecce
11 : 30
Juventus
Lazio
14 : 00
Bari
Udinese
14 : 00
Brescia
Parma
14 : 00
Cesena
Chievo
14 : 00
Milan
Genoa
14 : 00
Roma
Fiorentina
14 : 00
Sampdoria
Napoli
19 : 45
Catania
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