Serie A Round Up: 150 Years of Italy, 25 Years of Silvio Berlusconi and a Miss of Epic Proportions

With Italy celebrating 150 years as a unified nation there’s a historical theme to the round-up.

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Inter hold the record for most consecutive wins of all-time, 17, and Leonardo must have expected their fifth against Brescia. Eto’o got the first goal with some typically fine poaching on the line but crucially the Nerazzurri failed to find the second. A bizarre assist from Cordoba allowed Caracciolo to steal a late equalizer and with only seconds before the final whistle the Colombian got Inter’s first RC of the season, an admirable record itself, when he brought down Eder in the box. Caracciolo, aiming for his 10th goal of the campaign hit straight at Cesar and collected a second YC moments before the end.

Gianluca Signorini was smiling down on Genoa as they took all 3 points against Palermo who are still waiting for the Serse Cosmi effect. Floro Flores tucked in the winner on 77’ after the ball ricocheted around the Palermo box. Il Rosanero suffered their fifth straight defeat and are conceding 3 a match on average. €70 Million rated Javier Pastore had shorn his rat-tails and seemingly his Samson-esque influence as the Sicilians failed to score for a fourth game. Amazingly they’re down to 9th.

Cagliari could have done with the combined powers of Adriano Reginato and Gigi Riva to stop Udinese as I Friuli inflicted Donadoni’s and Il Rossoblu’s worst defeat. Benatia got the first, and a minute later Sanchez sprinted 50 metres for a goal commentators exuberantly likened to Maradona’s vs England. Di Natale took his customary bounty to wrap up a 4-0 win which kept his side fourth. Di Natale is on course to become the first player since Beppe Signori (92-94) to win the Capocannoniere in successive years.

Alberto Cavasin took charge of Sampdoria as the Ligurian’s travelled to Catania and he must have wished he had a Vialli or Mancini to control his beleaguered side. Appalling rain and surface water marred a contest that promised to be marginally better in fine conditions. Maccarone had the best chance for La Doria in the 8’ but shot wide, then Fernando Tissone was sent off for a 2nd YC on 22’. A lot of sliding around later, Cristian Llama walloped a Lodi corner into the net from 15yds despite Koman’s attempts to handle on the line. Catania leap-frogged Samp into 14th.

Gigi Del Neri needs someone with the experience of Giuseppe Furino after Juve spectacularly squandered a 2 goal lead. Matri scored either side of Giaccherini’s miss of the season, but a Jimenez penalty and a Marco Motta RC in 2 minutes boosted Cesena. I Cavallucci Marini pressed hard in the 2nd half and Parolo scored to take a point. Del Neri is drunk on his own fortitude but will do well to finish the season.

Parma was shredded by Napoli in Sunday’s late kick-off despite Palladino smashed a deserved lead. However, the holy trinity of Lavezzi, Hamsik and Cavani had reformed in attack after Lavezzi’s ban. In 8 action-packed minutes, Hamsik and Lavezzi helped each other to goals then Galloppa was sent-off for a Motta style high-footed scythe. Maggio wrapped it up and the only concern is Cavani’s month long drought in front of goal. Napoli stepped back over Udinese into 3rd and gained 2 points on Inter.

Gino Pivatelli would have approved of his former Bologna side as they recorded a battling 1-0 win over Lecce. Gaston Ramirez was the difference with a smart left-footed finish though Corvia belted a shot off the under-side of the bar that looked to cross the line. Lecce remains in 18th.

Bari almost spoiled the “25 YEARS OF BERLUSCONI+150 years of italy” party at the Giuseppe Meazza. What looked on paper a certain 3 points instead kept Inter’s title hopes alive. Coach Allegri went with Pato and Ibra upfront but it was bottom-of-the-table Bari who took the lead. In all his 647 appearances Paolo Maldini can never have been as red faced as the Milan defence on 39’. Rudolf scored with Igor Protti-precision from the simplest FK, and it got worse when Ibra was sent off for hitting Marco Rossi. The Milan sides have it in for the defender, remember Chivu? Cassano saved the day for the Berlusconi brigade on 82 minutes, Milan stay 5 points clear.

Fiorentina got successive wins for the first time this season thanks to a Juan Manual Vargas Free Kick. Wide on the right the Peruvian curled the ball to Sorrentino’s near post but the keeper couldn’t keep it out. It was La Viola’s second away win and moves them above Palermo into 8th.

There had been an inkling of an upset in the Derby della Capitale with Lazio, high-flyers for most of the season, losing their last 4 games vs Roma. The deluge which embraced North and South also smothered the Stadio Olimpico and the slippery conditions were at fault for Roma’s first goal. Totti fired a free kick low and hard past the wall toward keeper Muslera, but the Uruguayan allowed it to skid under him to the delight of the Roma fans. Frustrated, Lazio lost their discipline with Radu seeing red for trying to kiss Fabio Simplicio with his forehead. Simplicio won a penalty in stoppage time which Ledesma disagreed with so vehemently he also took an early bath. Totti, the highest scorer in Italian football playing today got the 2nd with a missile into the roof of the goal and a much needed ego boost as Roma closed the gap on L’Aquila.

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