A Wrap:

Lazio, Juventus, Inter and Roma reduced the difference at the front of the pack over Napoli and Milan significantly on a weekend, which was governed by late winners. The 20th round of Serie A kicked off with the clash between a goalless class between Napoli and Fiorentina. The second-placed side from Naples failing to close-in on the league leaders AC Milan. In the last match of the day, Inter continued on with their winning ways with a 4-1 victory over Bologna at the San Siro. Although the Nerazzurri won their third successive match under Leonardo, they should thank their stars and the linesman who allowed both their first half goals to stand after both were scored by their strikers in the offside position. Lazio moved up to second place along with Napoli courtesy a late strike by their Czech striker Kozak whose late strike stunned the visiting team.

Meanwhile, Aquilani’s late winner handed a 2-1 victory to the side from Turin and A.S. Roma were fortunate to walk away with three points from Dino Manuzzi after an own goal from Cesena’s defender Maximiliano Pellegrino in the 89th minute proved to be disastrous for the home team, who had defended brilliantly up to that point . Later on Sunday, leaders Milan with the best goal difference record in the league; failed to score a win over Lecce – the team with the worst goal difference record in the league. After being put in-front by the sheer brilliance of Ibrahimovic, the Rossoneri couldn’t quite kill the match after they conceded to Olivera with just eight minutes remaining on the referee’s watch.

This means that Milan’s lead at the top has been cut short to just four points over the rest of the pack and with couple of games in Inter’s hand, one can expect Inter to join in the battle for the Scudetto very soon.

Game of the Week: Juventus v Bari

Olimpico Grande Torino witnessed a mouth-watering clash on Sunday as Juventus overcame the shock of a 3-0 thumping received by hands of Napoli last week to by securing a late win over Bari at home. Legendary forward Alessandro Del Piero put the hosts in the lead after scoring through a scorching free kick just two minutes before the half-time whistle. Mad celebrations erupted as Del Piero went over to the fans to celebrate the lead.

Juventus v Bari

Juventus kept the pressure on the visiting team but it was Rudolf who scored the equalizer for Bari against the run of play just before the hour mark. Del Neri’s men again went on the offensive and this time it was Aquilani – the midfielder who is on-loan from Liverpool – who hammered a goal past the Bari keeper from just outside the box to score a deserved winner for the home side.

Serie A Player of the week: Samuel Eto’o against Bologna

Eto’o has been on song more often than not this season and he put up another wonderful display this weekend. Whereas, on the one hand, his fellow striker Milito’s season is going from bad to worse, Eto’o has been quietly and quickly notching up strikes one after another. His brace against Bologna puts him in third place in the race for the ‘Golden Boot’. The first of his goals was a result of a neat 1-2 between him and Milito, which finished with the ball in the far corner. His second came by virtue of a free-kick with eighteen minutes to go, putting the match beyond Bologna and also securing Leonardo’s fourth successive win in as many matches. Inter are only 9 points behind leaders AC Milan with a couple of games in hand. The chase is well, and truly, on!

Goal of the week: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (against Lecce)

Only a player of Ibrahimovic’s caliber can think of scoring a goal like the one he scored against Lecce last week. He does it with some ease and arrogance, as well. A clearance from Bonera landed at the feet of the Swede with two defenders to give him company. Ibrahimovic somehow managed to not only register a shot but lob the ball over the goalkeeper from well outside the penalty area. A super goal from, at times, a super striker.

Stunning, stunning goal!

Flop of the week: Edinson Cavani (against Fiorentina)

After scoring a hat-trick against Juventus last week, much was expected out of a high-flying Cavani. However, he failed to come to the party against the Viola over the weekend. With the likes of Hamsik suspended, Cavani was expected to raise his game as three points here would have taken them to just one point off the league leaders. He was named our Serie A player of the week last week, but this week he failed to land a single shot on goal.

Team of the Week: 4-3-3


Football Fans Know Better

Race for the Golden Boot:

Antonio Di Natale 14

Edinson Cavani 13

Marco Di Vaio 11

Zlatan Ibrahimovic 11

Samuel Eto’o 11

Results:

Napoli 0-0 Fiorentina

Inter 4-1 Bologna

Cagliari 3-1 Palermo

Catania 1-1 Chievo

Lazio 1-0 Sampdoria

Juventus 2-1 Bari

Brescia 2-0 Parma

Genoa 2-4 Udinese

Cesena 0-1 AS Roma

Lecce 1-1 Milan

39 Responses to “The Italian Weekend Review: Episode 20”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Parth Pandya says:

    Ibrahimovic’s kick was sheer brilliance. Sad that we could not find all three points even after that screamer. Fail to understand Seedorf and Rino’s presence in the starting XI. I have been long advocatinh all the three – Seedorf, Rino and Ambrosini should be picked only in select few games or as subs to draw the team home in case of a situation where a lead is to be defended. Allegri starts them week in week out, benching players like Strasser, Merkel and Boetang. This may well haunt our campaign. Seeing the United-Spurs match in the weekend, it scares me even more how Rino and Ambrosini would manage to deal with Bale and Lennon. We need a formation change and if it is not to be changed, we definitely need an overhaul in the midfield personnel.

  2. Arvind says:

    Looks like this was written after watching the Inter game/highlights wearing a Milan/Juve glasses

    One – the second goal was NOT offside, in fact not even the Bologna players complained. The first one was a marginal call, and I as an Inter fan wouldn’t have complained if it was called so.

    Second point on Milito’s season going from bad to worse – I am willing to bet the money in my wallet that you haven’t been watching Inter in 2011. For heaven’s sake Milito in 2011 is a far better player than the shambles he was under Benitez. Yes he is still quite some distance from his the peak form he achieved last season, but then calling it as going from bad to worse is ignorance at best.

    Finally another point – Inter are 9 Points off Milan not 8 as posted, and Inter have two games in hand not one (unless the results of the game against Cessena are already known :-) )

  3. @ Arvind – Thanks for pointing out the mistakes; corrections have been made.

  4. redNblack_blood says:

    @ Arvind -1st one was a marginal off side and second one was not even offside!!!! really?? well i don’t know about milan and juve glasses but man-O-man if you couldn’t make those out one thing is for sure that you were wearing a pair of black and blue glasses with a blue serpent drawn on it.

    P.S. get the number of your fancy black and blue glasses changed. :)

  5. Arvind says:

    Yup… it was so much offside that Bologna coach who protested against Stankovic goal didnt open his mouth for the second one. Not even the players protested. That is the difference in watching the game and reading I suppose. BTW the highlights are available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhTqTvKv_90 Take a look between 55 and 57 seconds and tell me if Milito is offside or not. It might help if you check the rules of offside too :)

    As regards the first goal the reason why it was marginal offside is simply because a moment before Eto’o played the final ball to Stank, Milito was being held by two Cessena players and were playing him on side. Yes as I said it was marginal at best.

  6. redNblack_blood says:

    @ Arvind– WoW someone mentions an offside as an offiside and you get all defensive about it just because it was the team who you support which is in question… brilliant….

    Tell you what.. i’ll take a lesson on offsides as u rightly suggested (just send me a VHS/CD/DVD of all the goals which inter has scored in past few years, cause most of the goals which you guys score are offsides… that will help me in learning the rules of offside for sure.. mail me at [email protected] ) and since i have agreed to take an offiside lesson from ur champion side can you also take my advice and get the number of your black and blue glasses corrected.. or better take em off .. one sounds really weird when one speaks after watching the game through these pair of glasses….

    oh and ya i did watch the match but maybe i was not sitting in an inter friendly position while watching it.. i’ll keep it in mind next time i watch Inter and rest assured I will turn a blind eye to all the offsides and headbutts which your side obviously is not known for doing… just to please biased supporters like you…

  7. Arvind says:

    oh oh… looks like I hit a raw nerve somewhere…. point out that a goal is not offside as evidenced by video, it not being claimed by offside by anyone outside this article, nor by Bologna coach or even their players.

    Oh wait… I forgot all of them WATCHED the game.

    Finally even after watching the game you claim the second goal was offside… now that would be what I call selective blindness 😛

  8. Parth Pandya says:

    Without a doubt, first goal was offside. Without a doubt, second was not.