Inter bounced back from successive defeats to launch what it seems to be their own march for the Scudetto. League leaders Milan and second placed Lazio drew their matches this weekend, which also saw the Bologna-Chievo match being postponed due to heavy snow fall.
Sampdoria 1-1 AC Milan
Milan were unable to capitalize on their lead at the top of the table, as they drew away to Sampdoria. This week’s draw saw their lead being reduced to just 3 points.
The game began on a high tempo as Milan looked to attack from the very onset and they were lucky to have their first shot on goal as early as the 50th second. The intent was to score first and thereby take the game to the home team. Kevin Prince Boateng’s long range effort was the first of many such attempts on Milan’s part. Seedorf was next as he saw his goal-bound shot saved by Curci, who also kept Robinho at bay for much of the first period.
But Milan were not to be kept at bay for too long and at the stroke of half-time, Robinho scored with an excellent volley after being released by Ibrahimovich. It was Robinho’s 4th goal in Serie A for the Rossoneri. The hosts finally came alive in the second half and last week’s hat-trick hero Pazzini equalized from a close range. Abbiati made some superb saves at the wee end to keep out Sampdoria and ensure that Milan return with a point.
Juventus 1-1 Fiorentina
Juventus took hold of the 3rd place in the League for the time being with a draw against Fiorentina at the Stadio Olympico.
The Viola drew the first blood as early as in the 4th minute , when Vargas’s powerful cross took a wicked deflection off Motta to divert inside Marco Storari’s near post. Stung by this unexpected turn of events, Juve fought back valiantly and even came close to equalize several times in the first time. Marchisio’s shot was brilliantly saved by Boruc, who was hell bent on keeping a clean sheet.
Bianconeri veteran Alessandro Del Piero volleyed over the crossbar after Felipe Melo’s deflected shot fell on to him. Boruc again kept out Del Piero from a free-kick and also blocked out Ianquinta and Chiellini’s efforts at scoring. But as fate would have it, one single folly on his part allowed Simone Pepe to score the equalizer via a curling free-kick. Fiorentina had to finish the match with only 10 men, after Felipe was given marching orders for this reckless foul on Milos Krasic.
Inter Milan 5-2 Parma
Lady Luck finally smiled on Inter Milan as they thrashed Parma 5-2 this week. Inter was coming off two successive defeats and the pressure was on Rafa Benitez to deliver, and Rafa’s men did that in some fashion.
The goal-fest started in the 4th minute when Hernan Crespo scored with a fine back heel to put Parma in front. Inter rallied back to hit the visitors hard and twin strikes in the 18th and 19th minute by Dejan Stankovic put the Nerazzurri ahead. Esteban Cambiasso made it 3-1 in favour of Inter with a simple tap in at the far post after Jonathan Biabiany flicked a corner on. But Crespo was not finished yet. He reduced the scoreline again in the 36th minute with a shot in the bottom corner via a botched clearance job by Marco Materazzi.
He could have had his hat-trick as well, but Castellazzi had other ideas when he tipped his header over the crossbar. Thiago Motta eased Inter’s nerves when he scored what appeared to the decisive goal with a thumping volley in the 72nd minute. Crespo roared back once again, searching for that elusive hat trick, but this time was denied by the crossbar. Stankovic completed the rout in the 75th minute.
With this win, Inter moved back into the top five.
Palermo 3-1 AS Roma
Roma needed to win this encounter which would have taken them to the 3rd position in the league table, but their failure to do so left them languishing in the 7th position.
Spectators came into this game expecting to see a lots of goals, as has been the recent trend when these two clubs has met. Roma didn’t disappoint and John Arne Riise led the seize on the Palermo goal in the 3rd minute with a stinging shot which was parried away by Salvatore Sirigu. The first half ended 1-0 in favour of the hosts when Miccoli scored with their first real attack of the game. Josip Ilicic doubled Palermo’s lead in the 61st minute when his shot smashed into the top corner from close range. Antonio Nocerino heaped further misery on Roma with a finely taken strike after exchanging couple of passes with Javier Pastore. Roma managed to draw a consolation goal when veteran striker Francesco Totti scored in the 90th minute.
Antonio di Natale scored a hat-trick for Udinese, who won 3-1 against Napoli; Marek Hamsik scored the solitary goal for Napoli but he missed a penalty in the 65th minute as well. A brace from Alessandro Matri and a strike from Canini earned Cagliari a 3-2 win over Lecce, who, with this loss, remain in the relegation zone.
Elsewhere, Lazio failed to capitalize on Milan’s draw when their match against Catania, ended in a 1-1 stalemate. The two goals of the game came in a space of just a minute. Francesco Caputo salvaged a point for Bari against Cessena in a lackluster game at the San Nicola stadium. Brescia and Genoa shared possession as well as a point when they played out a goalless draw amid wintry conditions. Bologna-Chievo match was postponed due to heavy snow fall.
Match of the Week
Inter Milan 5-2 Parma
Stankovic’s hat-trick enabled Inter to overcome a spirited display from a former Nerazzuri, Crespo, who scored a brace in this game for Parma.
Player of the Week
This goes to both Stankovic and Crespo. While the former managed to bag a hat trick, Crespo rolled back the years with a fine performance in the same match.