Five Things To Note From Serie A This Weekend
It had been a long time that the Serie A wasn’t as interesting as it is now. The vacuum left by Inter’s downfall was filled with a tempestuous AC Milan which is now beginning to slow down. Along with AC Milan, Juventus have also begun to lose their knack of outscoring their opponents, especially noticeable in their 3-0 loss to Napoli. Roma were also unable to win, and now there are rifts beginning to form between Francesco Totti and Claudio Ranieri. How will it all finish?
1. Di Vaio Never Stops Scoring
Talk about consistency. Marco Di Vaio has had a lengthy career around Europe, and at the age of 34 he still bangs in goals which keep Bologna alive in the Serie A. With his latest goal against Bari he has now reached eleven goals this season, making up about 57% of Bologna’s goals in the Serie A! At the beginning of the season I wondered whether Di Vaio would continue to score so many goals, and he hasn’t slowed down a bit. With Bologna all the way up in 10th place, they shouldn’t have much trouble escaping relegation. Now the question springs into my mind, can Di Vaio continue this record for the rest of the season?
2. AC Milan trudge on after 4-4 draw
This was the most exciting match so far of this season in my opinion. An exciting 4-4 draw at the San Siro, with two goals coming in the final minutes of the match. While AC Milan started well and created opportunities, Udinese scored the first goal with Antonio Di Natale. As the first half drew to a close, Pato equalized with a simple tap-in delivered to him by Ibrahimovic. The second half saw Udinese go 3-1 up with a diving header by Sanchez and a fantastic run with a curling finish by Di Natale. With 12 minutes to go, AC Milan get lucky when Benatia heads a cross past Handanovic and into his own goal. Cassano replaces Seedorf and Denis replaces Di Natale, and both of the substitutes light up the match. Cassano serves Pato a great assist for the equalizer at 3-3, and then Denis scores a tap-in in the 89th minute to make it 4-3. As AC Milan fans filed out of the stadium in disgust, Cassano conjures up another sublime assist, filtering a pass through the Udinese defence for Ibrahimovic to score.
At 4-4, Allegri is happy to escape without a humiliating loss. The late equalizer will help hide the fact that this AC Milan side is unbalanced and concedes goals. If AC Milan concede this many to Udinese at the San Siro, how many will they concede to Tottenham at White Hart Lane? Hopefully Massimiliano Allegri will find a way to balance the side, or else AC Milan could be facing humiliation in the Champions League.
3. Edinson Cavani the hat-trick hero against Juventus
When Cavani joined Napoli from Palermo, I was slightly skeptical about his ability. While I thought that he wouldn’t be able to score as much without the brilliant Javier Pastore providing assists, I was completely wrong. Edinson Cavani has now scored 13 goals in the Serie A, with three in Napoli’s latest game against Juventus. All three goals were headers, showing that although Cavani can dance around defences and score with both feet, he can also use his tall frame to find the back of the net.
After this win, Napoli is now just four points from first placed AC Milan. If AC Milan continue to concede goals like they did against Udinese, and Napoli continue to provide Cavani assists, the title race could be between these two clubs.
4. Leonardo wins again as Inter return to form
Inter Milan’s second victory under Leonardo was a tough one. The nerazurri travelled to Catania where they went a goal down after 70 minutes of suffering. But in just ten minutes Leonardo’s side had turned the result around with two quick goals by Cambiasso. The first was a good finish after being served a sublime assist, and the second was a header which was served on a silver platter by Maicon’s outside of the foot cross. It’s a positive result for Inter who will now have to make up two of their matches which were postponed due to the FIFA Club World Cup. If they do win both of their games in hand, they’ll be just six points from their rossoneri cousins at the top of the table.
5. Both Roman sides lose
Lazio and Roma were unable to take advantage of AC Milan’s slip against Udinese. Lazio were defeated at home 2-1 by Lecce, and Roma lost by the same scoreline to Sampdoria. While Roma started well, with Vucinic skimming through Sampdoria’s defence and pounding the ball into the goal, the game changed when Julio Sergio was sent off ten minutes into the second half. The Brazilian goalkeeper’s rough challenge also gave Sampdoria a penalty which Pozzi smashed into the roof of the net. The winner was Juan’s mistake, he knocked the ball back towards substitute keeper Doni, and Guberti pounced striking the ball into the back of the net for the winner.
Lazio on the other hand were unable to function when their mastermind Hernanes had a bad day. Lecce went ahead first with a shot hitting the post and bouncing off of Muslera’s back and into the goal. An unlucky own goal which was equalized when Mauri awkwardly pushed the ball into the back of Lecce’s goal. But it was not to be for Lazio, Lecce showed great spirit and Grossmuller tapped in the winner, his first goal for Lecce.
What are your thoughts regarding the weekend of action? Will AC Milan pick themselves back up after their draw? Can Napoli continue to win and fight for the title? Share your comments below!