Napoli slip up as Roma maintain 100% start to the season
A scintillating weekend of Serie A action saw tears at the Rome derby and tears for Milito but do not fear as there was still much to smile about. Goals galore for Inter, Roma avenged the Coppa Final and Napoli won in Milan without a Maradona in sight. There was hardly time to breath before it was all happening again as Serie A showcased some more exciting action.
It kicked off in Udine on Tuesday as the Zebrette welcomed Genoa at the Stadio Friuli. Antonio Di Natale once again dragged Udinese to their only their second of the season. The home side dominated possession but failed to put their chances away. It was Di Natale’s free kick that was, unfortunately for Emanuele Calaiò, turned into his own net. Udinese’s season seems back on track whilst for Genoa the derby win seems a long time ago.
Napoli have had a perfect start to the season and were coming off the back of beating Milan whilst visiting Sassuolo had just been thumped 0-7 by Inter at home. The San Paolo smelt blood and when Blerim Dzemaili scored early on it only looked like getting worse. When Simone Zaza equalised almost straight away it seemed like it was just a blip. The game then slowed done and Napoli looked tired, the game ended 1-1 much to the dismay of the Neapolitans.
Roma were another team with a 100% start and this continued on Wednesday after Medhi Benatia and Gervinho netted to dispatch a beleaguered Sampdoria. The Roman side are looking an attractive proposition under Rudi Garcia whilst Sampdoria look lost already. The other team from the capital thanked Ederson, Senad Lulic and Hernanes as Lazio pushed aside Catania 3-1, a goal from Pablo Barrientos was merely a consolation.
A close eye should be kept on Livorno as they continue to look like outside contenders to stay in the division. A 1-1 draw with Cagliari saw Andrea Luci give the home side the lead before Victor Ibarbo equalised for the Sardinians. The draw did neither any harm as Livorno move up to seventh whilst Cagliari are eleventh. Another draw between two teams who are arguably overachieving saw four goals shared. Hellas Verona had to reply to Torino twice in an extremely entertaining game that saw Alessio Cerci claim man of the match by scoring twice. Hellas now sit in 10th whilst Toro move to eighth.
The shock of the season was on the cards as Milan trailed Bologna 3-1 in the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara with very little time on the clock. Robinho then scored to give the Rossoneri hope before Ignazio Abate netted to break Bolognas hearts. Milans poor week continues but it could have been much, much worse.
Juventus won in controversial circumstances as an own-goal from Alessandro Bernardini saw the away side beat Chievo 2-1 at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi. The offside decision in this match is certainly the new hot topic of debate.
Game of the day was played out in the Stadio Ennio Tardini where Parma hosted Atalanta. Seven goals and a red card saw the home side edge out the side from Bergamo despite going down to ten men. The game unbelievably stood at 4-2 at half time and when Amauri was sent off Atalanta saw their opportunity; however, despite pulling one back the end of the game saw Parma finish the stronger nearly netted the third.
Inter and Fiorentina played last night in a game that Inter came from behind to win 2-1. Inter leap-frogged Napoli into second (albeit on goal difference) after their impressive away victory.
Article by Richard Hall, Follow me on Twitter at @Gentleman_Ultra
Or on Tumblr at http://thegentlemanultra.tumblr.com/
Christian Vieri is still one of the most iconic strikers ever to have graced the world game. Over 18 years he played for 12 clubs making 374 appearances and scoring 194 goals. Add to this his national record of 29 goals in 43 games and it is clear to see why he is in the FIFA 100 best players of all time list.
At 6ft 1inch Vieri was the complete predator, strong and instinctive when it came to finishing he had rapid reactions. This was at its most apparent when he was plying his trade with Inter where injuries prevented him fulfilling what could have been one of the most dangerous partnerships of all time with Ronaldo.
Vieri’s career is littered with silverware won at his clubs and personally as well. When Calcio ruled the world, nobody could stop Vieri scoring.
Diego Fuser was the complete winger in the early 1990’s. These were the glory years for Serie A and the flanks were dominated by Fuser whether playing for Torino, Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, Parma or Roma.
It is testament to his abilities that he managed to play for such a distinguished list of clubs in a career that spreads from 1986 at Torino to the unbelievably the present day where he still plys his trade for Colline Alfieri Don Bosco (an amateur side in Piedmont.)
Strong, athletic, quick and incredibly skillfull Fuser shone as one of the most dangerous wingers in the divison. Most noted for his time at Lazio where he played from 1992-1998 featuring 188 times and scoring 35 goals.
When Calcio ruled the world, Fuser was just getting started!
Even now, the memory still hurts. We were winning 6-0 and it did not matter a jot. Results elsewhere were sending us to Serie B and there was nothing we could do. Radios around the Stadio Artemio Franchi confirmed the dreadful news.
The first cut was definitely the deepest. I have seen Fiorentina relegated twice but that demotion in 1993 was certainly the more painful experience. We had been in second place at Christmas with a side which included the likes of Brian Laudrup, Stefan Effenberg and Gabriel Batistuta. It made no difference to our final fate.
Things had started excitingly under Gigi Radice with a 7-1 win over Ancona and a 7-3 home hammering by Milan in the opening weeks of the campaign. He masterminded a triumph over Juventus in December but it was not enough to keep him in a job for long. A home reverse at the hands of Atalanta in January had volatile film-producer president Vittorio Cecchi Gori sending him packing. And then our world caved in.
The opinionated TV pundit Aldo Agroppi was brought in and produced a series of results which should serve as a warning to so-called experts everywhere. His first game was a 4-0 defeat by Udinese. It would be more than two months before the boys in purple would record a win. By that point, panic had set in.
Agroppi was shown the door too, with a last-gasp effort to avoid the drop coming from Luciano Chiarugi. It failed to provide sufficient points and when Foggia came to Florence on the final day of the season the writing was on the wall. We needed other sides to do us a favour and, in Italy, that just does not happen.
And yet, for a while, we had hope. Four goals up by half-time, our relegation rivals Brescia were only managing a draw with Sampdoria. And things got better early in the second period when news filtered through that Roma had taken the lead against Udinese - the other side involved in the three-way fight to avoid the last two relegation spots.
The Curva Fiesole crackled with the sound of match updates coming from around the country. Every cry of “Attenzione! Attenzione!” by the Tutto Il Calcio commentators brought a frisson of fear. The match being played out on the pitch seemed like a sideshow.
Fiorentina went 6-0 up but the news from elsewhere took a turn for the worse. Brescia pulled 2-1 ahead and then, with 10 minutes remaining, came the double hammer-blow. The Bresciani put their result beyond doubt with another goal while Udinese grabbed an equaliser. The sombre silence of the Franchi left no room for dubiety, we were going down.
Everybody sleepwalked through those closing moments. Foggia waltzed around zombie-like defenders to make the score 6-2. It was a resounding victory which nobody celebrated.
The jokes at the Viola’s expense were not long in coming. Some suggested that their new sponsors should be toothbrush makers Oral B (it translates as “Now in B” in Italian). It would certainly be a while before Fiorentina fans could smile again.
Giancarlo is an amazing writer and I persnally thank him for this superb article. I hope he joins us again soon
Follow Giancarlo Rinaldi on Twitter @ginkers and his own amazing blog http://giancarlorinaldi.tumblr.com/
“I spoke with the owners and they told me that the player is not on the market. But there is a gentlemen’s agreement and if someone makes an offer for him close to 30 million euro without some players in exchange, we can sit at a table and discuss. But we want to keep Jovetic.”
Daniele Prade (Fiorentina’s Sporting director) had spoken to Sky Sports Italia and in one paragraph he unleashed more confusion on the matter than Balotelli creates when putting on a training bib. The rough translation is that Jovetic is not for sale but if someone coughs up 30 million Euros then he might be, in other words, he would like Juventus to bid again without offering them Matri in exchange, but really they don’t want to sell him. Quite simple really?
Montella also has his thoughts on the matter and in his press conference declared that “Football today is like this, we must be prepared for these instances. For our part we have expressed our will to keep him, now it falls to Stevan to assess the situation, if he hasn’t already done so, Then, there must be a team willing to invest in him. He’s an extraordinary player who any Coach would want to work with. I have spoken with him first, with the promise that I would not then speak publicly. I know his intentions, he has been training well but it is understandable that at this moment he is thinking about things.
Montella in an attempt to make life much more simple for everyone decided to speak out letting people know that Fiorentina want to keep him, however, if Jovetic wants to go he can, but Montella does not know whether he does and even if he does it depends if anyone will pay the fee. To further clarify matters Montella then claims he does know about Jovetic’s intentions all of a sudden but he certainly is not telling anyone. Well, at least that clears that up, doesn’t it?
With the situation surrounding the little Serbs future a clear as a mug full of water from the Thames, Prado decided to talk of his perspective targets “Elm? He’s an important player but he has several offers. Viviano? The situation is on stand-by. We’ll talk with Inter and Palermo (co-owners of the player), we have good relations with them and we’ll find a solution. We will do something in the market. It will be a good Fiorentina but it needs the fans to be patient.”
Fiorentina fans will need to be more than patient it seems. If Prado and Montella make this much of a debacle over Jovetic’s future, imagine the conference call between the Viola, Palermo and Inter all trying to agree over Viviano. The conclusion could be that all three clubs end up coming out of the meeting with no idea who he plays for anymore.
The Italian Football Federation postponed all games on Sunday after the death of Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini in a match on Saturday. Inter who were due to play Morosini’s parent club Udinese paid their respects this week.
With all the weeks’ fixtures having to be moved to another date, it was hoped that the decision would be an easy process due to the circumstances. However, even under the back drop of immense tragedy clubs still squabbled over the dates to which the fixtures were to be replayed. The clubs were to meet on Monday night to discuss this situation and prior to this Inter President Massimo Moratti urged for calm. He told www.inter.it : “We have to do what is right. I don’t think it is the case to create any controversy at this time. I think it was obvious not to play the game. It was the only choice that could be taken because it was a serious episode, which sent the right message. It was normal and understandable. For Udinese players, it was a case of losing a team-mate, a team player, who everybody knew well. Hence, it was a very serious situation, a horrible episode and the football world understood it.”
Moratti’s sentiments were also echoed by Inter Captain Javier Zanetti who said he was ‘shocked’ at the death and that it was only right to call off the weekends games, he said: “ We are truly shocked by what happened to Morosini. We are all struck deeply. Something incredible happened and it was clearly the right decision to call off the games. On behalf of all my teammates, our thoughts and embraces go to his loved ones.”
As with the rest of Serie A, it is under this overhanging cloud of grief Inter have had to prepare for their next game this weekend. The trip to Florence will certainly not be easy as both of these under performing clubs look to finish on an ironic high this season. Fiorentina approached this year with hopes of a Europa League spot whilst Inter would have hoped a title challenge would have been possible. As it happened the Nerazzurri find themselves only with a distant chance of Champions League football in their grasp whilst the Viola are trying hard distance themselves from the drop.
Andrea Stramaccioni has overseen the Nerazzurri’s training this week and will be happy to see that Wesley Sneijder and Maicon have completed full training sessions. The pair had been side lined and their inclusion in the coming weeks will be a much needed boost. Julio Cesar and Dejan Stankovic had personalised workouts are on the road to recovery whilst Luc Castaignos and Walter Samuel continued with their rehabilitation progress. These injuries may make Stramaccioni blood some of Primavera squad, he notably promoted Raffaele Di Gennaro, Ibrahima Mbaye, Joseph Alfred and Jakub Vojtus to train with the first team this week.
Respects will be paid all around Italy again this weekend and rightly so. The whole of the country has felt the loss of Morosini. It will be a hard task for all teams to approach the matches with thoughts of him not in their minds, never mind with the mentality that the game is a matter of life and death. Is it really more important than that? You tell me?
Follow me on Twitter @RichardHall_TGU