Seria A round up

by Mystical Mike

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Inter back to winning ways

By Glezos Alberganti, La Settimana Sportiva

After Josè Mourinho’s accusations last Tuesday, everything was set up to make Serie A leaders trip to Genoa a very difficult one. After accusing the Italian press of ‘intellectual prostitution’ it wasn’t exactly the best way to prepare for Inter’s biggest week of the season.

After last Wednesdays embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Sampdoria in the Italian cup semi final expectations for another shock result were high. Mourinho had other ideas: he repeated he wasn’t surprised by the cup defeat, as he played a lot of subs. The facts proved him right: Inter came out of the very difficult Marassi Stadium with three points with an all-important (and unexpected by some) 2-0 win, courtesy of another wonder goal by genius striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich, and a second by Wonder kid Mario Balotelli. Genoa, still on the wings of their recent Champions League form, played a brave and intense game, but couldn’t avoid their first home defeat of the season. Inter will go to Old Trafford with more confidence then after the cup defeat.

Juventus kept up the pace, with a narrow 1-0 win over city rivals Torino. Juve’s manager Claudio Ranieri decided to play a weakened side in view of Tuesday’s clash with Chelsea. The Bianconeri supporters expected an easy win, but struggled until defender Chiellini’s 81st minute header was enough to seal the victory in a very poor game. Juventus are still seven points behind Ibra’s cannibals, but the chances of mounting a title charge look slim.

AC Milan’s quest for third place in a very bleak season received a boost with the Rossoneris’ 3-0 win over Atalanta. Pippo Inzaghi was the hero of the day with a hat trick. At 36, Inzaghi’s claim for a permanent place might look a little redundant, if it wasn’t for the poor form of the AC Milan forwards (Ronaldinho, Borriello, Shevchenko and even Kaka who are all having very bad seasons). David Beckham’s choice to stay at Milan until next June sounds reasonable, even if his game is uninspired and over-valued by the media. One only has to look at his performances, and it’s clear his personal quest for and England shirt is the only reason behind his stay in the Fashion Capital of Italy.

The rest is business as usual. Behind AC Milan, Fiorentina failed to push their ambitions for a Champions League place, surprisingly losing 2-0 at
home to struggling Palermo.

Roma, still riding high after last week’s 3-3 draw with Inter, drew at home against a brilliant Udinese side, who were robbed a penalty with an unbelievable case of handball which went un-noticed, courtesy of Roma’s French central back Mexes). The Giallorossi were very uninspired as Udinese played some superb football. With Pizarro, Totti and other players unfit, it looks like Arsenal are in for a quiet second leg next Wednesday.

City rivals Lazio took home three valuable points from Naples with two goals from rejuvenated striker Rocchi, while Sampdoria unexpectedly lost at Bologna, where top scorer Di Vaio sealed the game with an outstanding hat trick.

The battle for relegation is entering its final phase, with Torino, Reggina, Lecce and Chievo desperately looking for a swift change of pace. Next week we’ll take a closer look at these teams. In the meantime, let’s keep our fingers crossed and join together for an exquisite Anglo-Italian orgy of football this week.

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