Lessons Learned From Giornata 15
The goals were impressive. The fans were incredibly creative with their chanting and thankfully not offensive. The players were obviously emotional invested in the match, as it was stopped briefly late in the second half for a scuffle among the players. This was the type of match you watch with a person new to Serie A, and they will be hooked for life. I recommend Rami’spost for an in-depth summary.
Mario Balotelli Needs a Change of Scenery
Look for a longer post on this topic later in the week, but the Juventus fans beat Super Mario this weekend. His night can be summarized by his free kick where he slipped and slowly got up, despondent. He could not do anything correctly in a match where his squad needed him to provide a spark, and the fans visibly had an impact on his play. January may be a good chance for him to relocate and refocus on his game.
Parma Claims Champions League Spot (For Now)
Parma moved up to fourth in the table and into the final Champions League place with a 2-2 draw with Genoa. They stand only a point ahead of four clubs tied with 24 points, so their lead is tenuous. However, with matches against Roma and Juventus before the end of December, the club has an opportunity to strengthen their position against clubs around them.
Rome Derby Was A Weekend Highlight
For AS Roma, the 1-0 win was their statement match that returned them to Champions League competition. For Lazio, it was a gut wrenching loss that further endangered their coach (he got the dreaded vote of confidence yesterday). It was a game Lazio could have had, and needed to have, but the 79th minute goal by Cassetti continued to send both sides in their respective direction in the standings.
Fans Need to Stop Throwing Firecrackers
The great Paul Visca on Fox Sports had a hard time calling the first ten minutes of the Inter-Juve match because of the wind blowing firecracker smoke onto the field, obscuring the action. The Roma-Lazio match was delayed in the first half for six minutes due to firecrackers being thrown on the field. I am the first person to admit I am impressed by firecrackers in the stands, but the obstruction of play this weekend was silly (especially in light of this story).