The International Break is a Welcome One for Top Squads

The 1-1 Inter-Roma draw this weekend highlighted the risk for top flight Serie A clubs participating in international tournaments; Inter has played three matches this month already and eight in the past 22 days.  Both Inter and Roma looked a bit slower and play was chippy, especially the controversial Patrick Vieira elbow on Daniele De Rossi.  The hope for clubs like Inter, Juventus, and Milan is that their top players can get a little time on the bench in international friendlies and return somewhat rested for the last month of matches in 2009.

Tardini Stadium May Be the Toughest Place to Play in Serie A

Parma notched its fifth win in its last six home matches with a 2-0 victory over Chievo Verona on Sunday.  The match, which was also the first visit back by former Parma manager Domenico di Carlo, was evenly fought with Chievo having a couple of good chances.  But it was the home crowd and timely tactical moves that secured three points and the seventh spot in the table.

Sampdoria is Slumping

Already mired in a slump, Sampdoria had to play the second half against Cagliari with only ten men as Marius Stankevicius was shown a red card for an obvious foul on Jeda late in the first half.  Cagliari notched two goals after the eightieth minute for the 2-0 victory.  Sampdoria now stands fifth in the table and eight points behind Inter.

Milan is Still Rolling

AC Milan won their fourth match in the past five with a 2-1 victory over struggling Lazio.  Thiago Silva and Alexandre Pato goals put the Rossoneri ahead early and, unlike the Napoli match, Milan held on for the victory.  The win puts Milan in third and in the thick of the race for main challenger to Inter.

Genoa’s Palladino and Crespo Key Resurgence

Raffaele Palladino was given a one-year extension this summer after a disappointing 2008-2009 season; Hernan Crespo was signed after being released by Inter.  The two scored three goals against Siena on Sunday and have combined for six on the season, keying Genoa’s rise in the standings and putting them in position for European competition qualification.  Their three goals were scored in the first 35 minutes and, besides some tense moments when Siena pulled to 3-2 in the 82nd minute, Genoa continued its impressive season with a convincing victory.