Serie A Round-Up: Comebacks, Resignations and 25 Years of Silvio Berlusconi

The action and analysis from Italy’s top tier.

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Kapooow!! Bologna got match-day 26 underway with a 1-0 win over Palermo that moved the Rossoblu up to 12th. The game was delayed by 5 minutes because of faulty floodlights, but substitute Daniele Paponi brightened things up with a 90th minute header to take all 3 points. Bologna coach Alberto Malesani said Palermo “struggled to contain us” after the win, though they did play against 10 men for 40 minutes after Santiago Garcia was red-carded.

Zok!! Inter closed the gap on leaders Milan with a narrow 1-0 at home against Cagliari. The goal was awarded to Kharja then Ranocchia, then Kharja, though there was a chance it was an own-goal, plus suggestions of offside. Officials have as of 19.17 GMT given it to Kharja which conveniently quashes off-side dissension, though the Moroccan wants to give to Ranocchia, how sweet. Everyone can rest easy however, because Roberto Donadoni, who does have something of Jesus about him, forgives the referee.

Splooosh!! Lecce almost caused the shock of the round, bringing Juve crashing back to earth after beating Inter last weekend. Gigi Buffon saw red for handling outside the box after 12 minutes, so Milos Krasic made way for sub keeper Storari. Some dreadful defending allowed Djamel ‘rock the’ Mesbah in for his first goal of the season and Bertolacci made it 2 after the break. Giuseppe Vives also seeing red, but Gigi Del Neri’s “arrogant” side could find no way back.

Oooff!! Fiorentina and Sampdoria played out a bore draw. Udinese and Brescia had the same score but the Friulani wasted an opportunity to move further away from Palermo and Roma. German Denis (amazingly Argentinean) had a shot cleared off the line, but 18th placed Brescia had the best early chance. However, Antonio Fillipini couldn’t get his tiny little feet around the ball with only the keeper to beat. Francesco Bega got the blog’s inaugural ‘Hero’ award for blocking a Di Natale shot with his face, and despite more appeals for a penalty Bresica hung on for a valuable point.

Kayoo!! Brazilian Hernanes scored his 7th goal of the season and could’ve had a hat-trick against bottom club Bari, as Lazio cemented 4th spot with a 1-0 win. Parma snatched a late 2-2 draw with Cesena thanks to Raffaele Palladino’s second goal for the Parmagiani. The result was a big blow for Cesena in 19th, they desperately need points to avoid relegation.

Glipp!! The biggest result was Genoa’s unbelievable come-back against Roma that ended Claudio Ranieri’s term in charge of I Lupi. After a dreadful week that saw Roma lose 3-2 to Shakhtar Donetsk at home in the Champions League Ranieri knew it was must win. 3-0 up after 51 minutes all was well, and the ‘Tinkerman’s’ declaration he wouldn’t “abandon the ship” seemed true. But as the old saying goes, two P’s are better than one, and Rodrigo Palacio and Alberto Paloschi grabbed a brace each to condemn Roma to their 3rd straight league defeat. After the game Ranieri resigned and former player Vincenzo Montella is in line to the throne. “But, didn’t’ he say he’d never abandon the ship? Hmm, tricky these managers.”

Zloopp?! Almost the last word of the week goes to Milan. It was the 25th anniversary of Silvio Berlusconi taking power at Milan. Robinho scored a very dubious first, perhaps it was a present from the ref to the president, and his Brazilian teammate Pato saved the benevolent leaders’ blushes, with a super solo strike to sink Chievo, 2-1. How long can Long John Silvio keep going, is he immortal?
A final thought. With Chelsea struggling and Ranieri leaving the ship he’d never leave, what are the chances of Carlo making a quick return to Serie-A.

Post Script

In Sunday’s late match Napoli beat Catania thanks to Colombian forward Juan Zuniga but Serie-A top scorer Edison Cavani missed a first-half penality. The 1-0 victory moved the Partenopei back over Inter into 2nd.

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