Lessons Learned from Giornata 24
Objects in your mirror are closer than they appear
Inter’s 0-0 draw at Napoli was their second draw in as many matches. That coupled with AS Roma’s 4-1 result over Palermo means i Lupi are within seven points of the league leader. The match also extends Roma’s win streak to six matches; their last draw was at Cagliari on January 6 and their last loss was October 28 at Udinese. Roma is hot at the right time, and with the Totti/Toni tandem they have the talent to make a run at first.
Don’t you forget about Milan
The stars shined for AC Milan on Saturday in their 3-2 victory over Udinese. Big-name signing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar netted two goals and Ronaldinho assisted on all three goals. The attention this week will be focused on their Champions League match with Manchester United (which may be why Beckham was rested for this match?) but if this match is an indicator, they are beginning to harness their considerable talent at a good time. If their superstars can contribute consistently, then they certainly can overtake Roma, as well as make a long-shot chance at first.
Welcome back Juventus
Congratulations to Alberto Zaccheroni for his first victory as manager of Juventus. Instead of their usual late lead blown, the Old Lady scored the go-ahead goal on an Alessandro Del Piero penalty to notch their first win since December 5 over Inter Milan. Genoa fans would point out that the penalty was rather suspect, as Del Piero may have been victim to clumsy feet rather than a trip. Regardless, Juve for the first time in over a month are on the correct side of the ledger and only one point back of the final Champions League spot.
Welcome back also to Sampdoria
Four wins in a row have vaunted the Blucerchiati into a tie for the final Champions League spot. This weekend they vanquished a struggling Fiorentina club 2-0 with one of the goals scored by rising star and former Viola Giampaolo Pazzini. Currently Sampdoria are tied with Napoli but behind in goal differential. Next week’s match versus Inter will be one not to miss.
Lazio looks to have righted the ship
Zaccheroni was not the only manager to get his first win this weekend; congratulations to Edy Reja on winning his first match as manager of Lazio. They beat mid-table Parma 2-0 for their first win since January 6. Currently they are two points clear of relegation, so Reja has a job ahead of him to achieve his goal of keeping Lazio in Serie A.