This week started off with Internazionale taking on Chievo Verona at home. Recently Inter has come under a lot of flak from their last two games. Losses to rivals Milan and the mid-week loss to Schalke must have stirred the dormant spirits of last year’s Scudetto winners. Chievo restricted Inter as much as they could and held on to the ball for longer periods of the game. It was Inter left full-back Nagatomo, who started creating all sorts of problems for the Flying Donkeys as his pace and industry made life difficult for Chievo. His first moment came as early as the 15th minute, but Eto’o somehow missed the goal from 8 yards out. The deadlock was broken by Cambiasso in the 66th minute from Maicon’s cross. He was in action again in the 84th minute, when he snatched a loose ball from Milito and placed his shot into the bottom corner from close range.

Then the action headed to Friuli where Udinese took on AS Roma. The only scoring chance of the first half fell to German Gustavo Denis, who misplaced his header and it flew over the crossbar. Neither team came close to scoring and it seemed like the match was heading for a draw. Finally in the 57th minute, Pinzi committed a foul on Pizarro inside the box and up stepped Roma legend, Totti. A cheeky chip later, he was found celebrating his 202nd goal in Serie A. Udinese threw everything including the kitchen sink at Roma but was unable to find the equalizer. When Di Natale scored in the 87th minute, Udinese fans’ joy knew no bounds. But it was not the end of the game yet. It took another Totti goal in the 90th minute for Roma to earn all three points on the road, and put themselves just a point behind rivals Lazio. After this loss, there’s no chance for Udinese to win the Scudetto.

Luigi Delneri’s men were out to prove that they too can be a contender for Europe next season as they took on Genoa. An own goal from Bonucci put Genoa in the lead as early as in the 7th minute. The score-line remained the same till the break as Genoa enjoyed a rare lead. The game changed entirely in the second half as a rejuvenated Genoa threatened to take the game to Juventus. An own goal from Rossi pegged back Genoa in the 50th minute. Floro Flores put Genoa in the lead once more when he first controlled a pass from Antonelli and then shot from 10 yards out. Juventus needed a hero badly and in stepped Luca Toni. His first touch in the match was his backheel to Matri, who scored from 6 yards out. Eduardo then made a series of fine saves to deny Toni and keep Genoa in the match for as long as possible. But Toni had the last laugh as he lifted the ball over Eduardo and scored the all important winner in the 83rd minute.

Milan travelled to Fiorentina this weekend to consolidate their lead at the top after their dominating victory over rivals Inter last weekend. With Napoli breathing down their necks, a victory was required for the men in red and black. Seedorf donned the captain’s armband for this fixture and like a true leader, put Milan in front in the 8th minute with a fine volley into the top left-hand corner. The goal spurred Seedorf on and he soon became the focal point from where all Milan attacks emanated. Ibrahimovic and Boateng then joined forces to feed a ball to Pato, who doubled the lead in the 41st minute. Milan had ample opportunities to put the game beyond doubt and Ibrahimovic was the culprit on two successive occasions. On consecutive one-to-one occasions, he shot wide of the target. Vargas brought a faint ray of hope into the Fiorentina side with his goal in the 79th minute, but it was too little too late. The misery was complete for Ibrahimovic when he received his marching orders for saying something to the referee in the 87th minute.

Game of the week

Palermo 2-2 Cesena

Serse Cosmi was replaced by Rossi as Palermo looked to shrug off a series of losses in the league. Kurtic replaced Javier Pastore and that move paid off in the 5th minute itself. Balzaretti was the provider on this occasion. The same player was involved in Palermo’s second goal as his shot was deflected in by Pinilla. Two nil up and an entire half to go, Palermo must have thought they had put the game to rest. Von Bergen saw red in the 74th minute and it looked all over for Cesena. Marco Parolo scored the first Cesena goal in the 90th minute as tempers ran high both on and off the pitch. Giaccherini scored the dramatic equalizer in the sixth minute of stoppage time as Cesena snatched away a point from the jaws of defeat.

Serie A player of the week

Luca Toni (Juventus)

You give this player a stage and a ball and he will win you over with his magic. Luca Toni came on as a substitute in the 62nd minute and made his impact felt almost immediately. A neat backheel allowed Matri to score the equalizer in one of the best matches this weekend. From then onwards, he was a constant threat on goal and it took an inspired Eduardo to keep him at bay. He finally won his battle with the latter when he lifted the ball to score the winner and cap off a successful night for the Old Lady.

Goal of the week

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e6lI1xvSvc

Flop of the week

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Milan)

This was to be his return match but he failed to live up to the expectations once more. The big Swede did have a hand to play in Milan’s second goal, but couldn’t end his goal-drought. What was heart-breaking to see was that he even missed one-to-one opportunities on two successive occasions. His mind was definitely somewhere else as his body language clearly showed signs of lapse in concentration. His return was marred when he received his second red in as many matches. However, how far this goes to dent Milan’s Scudetto chances remains to be seen.

Team of the week


Race for the Capocannoniere

Antonio Di Natale – 26

Edinson Cavani – 25

Marco Di Vaio – 19

Samuel Eto’o – 19

Alessandro Matri – 17

Results

Inter 2-0 Chievo

Udinese 1-2 AS Roma

Juventus 3-2 Genoa

Sampdoria 1-2 Lecce

Bari 1-1 Catania

Palermo 2-2 Cesena

Bologna 0-2 Napoli

Lazio 2-0 Parma

Cagliari 1-1 Brescia

Fiorentina 1-2 Milan

League Standings

Milan – 68

Napoli – 65

Inter – 63

Lazio – 57

Udinese – 56