The Scudetto race was finally decided this week, as Milan eked out a 0-0 draw away at Roma. That result made them Serie A champions mathematically, the first time since 2003/04 season. Milan also broke city rival Inter’s stranglehold on the title, denying the Nerazzuri a record breaking sixth successive Scudetto. The post match celebrations covered up a largely drab encounter, where neither side showed enough drive or urgency to go for a win.

Elsewhere, Palermo heaped further embarrassment on relegated Bari by inflicting a 2-1 loss. Bologna and Parma played out a drab 0-0 draw – a result which wont do favours to either side. Catania eased their relegation worries by picking all three points away to Brescia; Roberto Baggio’s former club Brescia was relegated from Serie A. Cesena also earned an invaluable win against Cagliari, to climb out of the relegation zone. Defending champions Internazionale knew that their title hopes were gone when they took to field against Fiorentina. Nonetheless, Leonardo’s men improved their almost flawless home record under the new manager by thumping Viola 3-1. Edinson Cavani and Corvia were sent off, as relegation contenders Lecce grabbed a surprising 2-1 win over third placed Napoli.

Two of the most important games of this round were the clash between Udinese and Lazio and the “derby of lanterns” between Genoa and Sampdoria. At the Stadio Friuli, the home home team didn’t show any signs of their recent slump, as they raced to a 2-0 lead at half time. The ageless Antonio Di Natale scored a brace, as the Bianconeri looked to be cruising at that point. The Aquile came back strongly in second half, creating numerous goal scoring chances. Lazio looked well on their way back in the 66th minute when Angella was sent off and they were awarded a penalty. However, Mauro Zarate failed to convert his spot kick. Kozak’s goal in the 76th minute was not enough, as ten men Udinese hung on for a precious win. This victory makes Udinese firm favourites for a UCL spot.

Genoa and Smapdoria faced off in ‘Derby della Lanterna’ in Genova. Italy’s oldest club Genoa are guaranteed a mid-table finish, but Sampdoria, who were fourth last season, are running a serious risk of being relegated. Sampdoria’s woes were compounded further, as they slumped to a 2-1 loss. This result, coupled with results elsewhere means that Sampdoria have dropped into relegation zone. Currently they are third from bottom with 36 points; 17th placed Lecce have 38 points.

Toto Di Natale – On his way to another top scorer award

Juventus hosted Chievo Verona in a Monday kick-off, harbouring slim hopes of UCL qualification.The evergreen Alessandro Del Piero celebrated his one year extension when he gave the home side a lead from a spot kick. The penalty was awarded when Simon Pepe was fouled by Sardo inside penalty box. Del Piero’s delightful assist released Alessandro Matri, who scored his eighth Juventus goal by sliding the ball past Sorrentino. Just when it was looking like Juve had all but wrapped up the match, their infamous defensive frailty came to the forefront. In a space of three frantic minutes, Chievo clawed their way back to score two goals through Uribe and Sardo. The Flying Donkeys were helped by fortunate rebounds from the goal post on both occasions, but this was not an excuse for the disorganized Bianconeri defense. Luca Toni and Pellisier both came close to deciding the match in closing minutes, but it ended 2-2. With this result, Juve’s chances of qualifying for Champions’ League has all but evaporated, with even Europa League not assured. The modest team from Verona continue to defy odds as they extend their stay in top flight.

Match of the Week

Genoa 2-1 Sampdoria

The derby between Genoa and Sampdoria is known as “Derby della Lanterna” or the Derby of Lantern, refering to a lighthouse in Genova. There is a sharp contrast between two clubs. While Genoa is the oldest club in Italy, Sampdoria, established in 1943, is a relative new comer. The Blucerchiati, who played in Champions’ league qualifier last season, are now on verge of relegation. Their president has been coming under fire from fans on his decisions to sell key players Pazzini and Antonio Cassano. Sampdoria looked the sharper of two sides in first half. Genoa took the lead through Antonio Floro Flores just before the half time, against the run of play. Genoa’s goalkeeper Eduardo had a stellar season last year with Braga, but has struggled in Italy. His howler enabled Sampdoria to get into the match through Pozzi in the 66th minute. Both teams created numerous chances but failed to score more goals. As the match looked like heading for a draw, in came Mauro Boselli, who scored with the last kick of the game to heap more misery on Sampdoria.

Star of the Week

Antonio di Natale (Udinese)

Toto di Natale just cannot stop scoring goals this season. He came up trumps when Udinese faced Lazio in a crunch clash to decide the fourth UCL spot. For his first goal, he was helped by an inch perfect loop from partner in crime Alexis Sanchez. He controlled the ball perfectly with his first touch and slotted it past Muslera with his second touch. Minutes after the first goal, Sanchez released Isla with an expert through-ball. The Chilean midfielder unleashed a well directed cross towards unmarked Di Natale, who made no mistake to make it 2-0 for Udinese. With these two goals Di Natale has now leapfrogged Cavani to attain the top scorer award; he now has 28 goals as against Cavani’s 26. Di Natale also has a good chance to become the first striker since Luca Toni to score more than 30 goals in a single Serie A season.

Flop of the Week

Edinson Cavani (Napoli)

The Uruguyan’s form has been pretty shaky in recent times. He struggled to get past a strictly mediocre Lecce defence throughout the match. Eventually, his frustration boiled over, as he got his second yellow card of the match in the 74th minute and was given his marching orders. Cavani will Napoli’s next match, which can hurt the Azzuri’s chances for retaining third spot. If Udinese win their remaining two matches and Napoli lose theirs, then Udinese will take the third spot, which guarantees automatic UCL qualification.

Goal of the Week

Diamanti (Brescia) v Catania

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hRILFidMSw

Team of the Week

 
 

 

 

Race for the Capocannoniere

Antonio Di Natale – 28

Edinson Cavani – 26

Samuel Eto’o – 20

Marco Di Vaio – 19

Alessandro Matri – 19

Results of the Week

Palermo 2 – 1 Bari
AS Roma 0 – 0 AC Milan
Bologna 0 – 0 Parma
Brescia 1 – 2 Catania
Cagliari 0 – 2 Cesena
Inter Milan 3 – 1 Fiorentina
Lecce 2 – 1 Napoli
Udinese 2 – 1 Lazio
Genoa 2 – 1 Sampdoria
Juventus 2 – 2 Chievo