Serie A Recap, Week 27: Inter Continues to Surge, Juve Continues to Struggle

Week 27 in the Serie A started with Milan clinging to a slim three point lead over Napoli at the top of the table, with those teams set to face off in the San Siro on Monday.  A resurgent Inter, just 5 points behind their city rivals and sitting in the third spot, stood ready to cut the distance on Sunday as they were set to play Sampdoria in Genoa.

The weekend’s action kicked off on Saturday with Bologna, led by the evergreen Marco Di Vaio, defeating Juventus 2-0 in Turin.  Di Vaio, a former Juventus player, scored both goals as Gigi Del Neri and Juventus continue to search for answers.  Di Vaio has now found the back of the net 16 times this season.  The home defeat means Juventus continues to lie beyond the final European spot, while Bologna continues to creep up the table.

The action on Sunday started with Catania slipping past Genoa 2-1.  Catania’s keeper Mariano Andujar made sure the Sicilians came away with all three points by dramatically saving a late Miguel Veloso penalty.

In Palermo, Udinese, led by the attack of Antonio Di Natale and Alexis Sanchez, absolutely hammered the home side, winning by a score of 7-0.  Di Natale scored a hat trick, and Sanchez, one better, putting the ball in the back of the Palermo net four times on the day.  Di Natale currently sits atop the Serie A goalscoring chart, and an unlikely Udinese now sit comfortably in 5th place, just a point off the final Champions League spot.

Lazio, clinging desperately to the last Champions League place, continued their run of poor form and lost 1-0 on the road to Cagliari in an otherwise uneventful match.

Cesena left it late, prevailing 1-0 over Chievo thanks to a Luis Jimenez 90th minute penalty.  Despite securing three points and their sixth victory this season, Cesena still lies in the relegation zone.

In the Italian capital, Roma faced off against Parma.  Francesco Totti celebrated his 600th appearance for the Giallorossi by scoring his 197th Serie A goal.  Totti is now just 8 goals behind Italian legend Roberto Baggio on the Serie A all-time scoring chart.  Totti’s goal was not enough for Vincenzo Montella’s Roma, however, as Parma fought hard to a 2-2 draw.  Having surged to a 2-0 first half lead, Roma once again found a way to throw it all away late in the second half.

Relegation contender Bari drew 1-1 with Fiorentina.  A 21st minute Alberto Gilardino goal was not enough for La Viola, as Bari equalized late with a 90th minute strike by Abdelkader Ghezzal.

In a true relegation battle, Brescia and Lecce drew 2-2, with goals by Andrew Caracciolo and Davide Zoboli for Brescia, and Daniele Corvia and Gianni Muntari finding the back of the net for Lecce.

Finally, in the late game on Sunday, Inter continued its ascendency by defeating a resilient Sampdoria in Genoa.  Samp started the game well, creating a number of chances throughout the first half.  It was a lively first 45 minutes, and Inter was forced to absorb persistent pressure from the home side.  It was 0-0 at the half, but following the break, a Wesley Sneijder free kick from twenty yards out, and a late Samuel Eto’o strike were enough to see Inter take all three points from the Genoa club.  The 2-0 win meant Inter ended the weekend by sliding into the second spot on the table, just two points behind league leaders Milan.

All eyes will be on the San Siro tomorrow as Milan and Napoli face off in a battle for the top spot.

Alla prossima . . .

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