Mario Balotelli’s sumptuous free kick and an early assist ensured AC Milan would surge past high flying Fiorentina in the Serie A on Wednesday night. It was a much needed win for the Rossoneri, their first in five games and a kind of result that would lift some of the pressure on manager Clarence Seedorf. Milan, courtesy of the win over the Violas now stand twelfth in the Serie A table as Seedorf hopes that his side can finally build on the result and start climbing up the standings.
Talking to acmilan.com Seedorf was heard saying, “We all showed the desire necessary to help the other guys on the team and that was the best thing we showed today. I’m very happy for the group of players for what they did against Lazio (a 1-1 draw) and Fiorentina, two teams that are tough to face. Let’s hope that this result will be the start of some continuity in terms of results. Both teams had chances this evening but we deserved the win for the substance we showed.”
Elsewhere I Turin, leaders Juventus ensured they restored their 14 point advantage of second placed Roma at the zenith of the table thanks to a nervy 2-1 win over ten man Parma. Carlos Tevez’s brace was enough for the Old Lady on hold on for the win as Antonio Conte’s side kept on track for their third consecutive Serie A title. It was the 26th win for Juventus this season as Conte’s side, a hard fought one over Parma, the latter who had come to Turin unbeaten in their last seventeen games.
Tevez, with his brace, is now atop the goal scoring charts with 18 strikes but thanks to the booking he received from the referee, the Argentine will now miss Sunday’s blockbuster clash against third placed Napoli. Tevez’s teammate and French International Paul Pogba warned his team mates when they travel to the daunting Sao Paolo to take on the Parteponei.
The Bianconeri youngster said, “We will have to play like we did in the first half against Parma,” Pogba remarked. We are very happy for the win – once again we were able to bring home a very important result. We’re not talking about anything, we must continue to think only of this way, to have the same approach and always play well. In the second half, especially when we had numerical superiority, we let go,” he opined. “Instead we must always be clinical. Sunday against Napoli will be a very important match, we cannot go wrong.”
Napoli too grabbed a sumptuous win of their own, a 4-2 thrashing of bottom placed Catania. Rafa Benitez’s side were well out of sight with four goals in the first half in what was an exquisite display of attacking football. Duvan Zapata, the Columbian who started in place of Gonzalo Higuain grabbed a brace while Jose Maria Callejon and defender Henrique were on the score sheet too.
Manager Rafa Benitez however sounded cautious ahead of the clash with Juventus on Sunday. “Our objective continues to be targeting Roma in second,” he told Sky Sport Italia. We have to do our work, continue winning and see where we end up. After the Juve game this weekend we’ll have only one match per week and it’ll be easier for us”.