ITALY: SERIE A WEEK FOUR – ROUND-UP

It was a game of penalties on Saturday when Parma hosted Fiorentina. La Viola raced into an early lead when defender Facundo Roncaglia scored an absolute brilliant goal, from over 30 yards out; his first goal in Italian football. After their poor start Parma grew back into the game and were awarded a penalty, which midfielder Jaime Valdes stepped up to take. Valdes saw his tame penalty saved by Viviano in the Fiorentina goal, but Valdes would have chance to redeem himself still. Gobbi had numerous chances to equalise, yet it was Fiorentina who had the best chance to score again. Just 3 minutes before the end of the game they were awarded a penalty when Rosi cynically fouled Mattia Cassani, but star striker Jovetic was unable to convert his penalty. Then, in the 3rd minute of stoppage time, the 3rd penalty of the game was awarded to Parma. Valdes made no mistake this time when he rifled the ball home from the spot to rescue a point for Parma.

It was the Fabio Quagliarella show on Saturday, as the midfielder capped a marvellous week for himself with a brace in Juventus’ routine win over Chievo. His first goal, in the 63rd minute, came from a set piece, but it wasn’t your ordinary goal. A corner fell to the Italian 12 yards out, and he struck a ferocious bicycle kick to give Juve the lead. He doubled his goal tally, and Juventus’ lead just 4 minutes later. A delightful touch took him past the last Chievo defender to leave him with only the keeper to beat. He had no trouble beating him however, as Quagliarella curled the ball home delightfully from 6 yards out.

Sampdoria’s 100% record in Serie A came to an end on Sunday as a penalty filled weekend continued there. Striker Roland Bianchi gave away side Torino the lead 20 minutes from time when he coolly converted his penalty. The home side equalised, in wet conditions, when Pozzi’s penalty crept in under Torino keeper Gillet.

A late, late Cristian Raimondi goal gave Atalanta their second win of the season, and consigned Palermo to yet another loss. The midfielder’s header had just enough on it to give Atalanta a dramatic 88th minute winner in a game they had dominated for long periods of time.

Newly promoted Pescara were still left searching for their first win of the season after their match away at Bologna this weekend, but a 1-1 draw was still a great result for them as they saw their keeper sent off 30 minutes from time. Alberto Gilardino gave Bologna the lead just 9 minutes in, when he guided in Diamanti’s cross from close range. Pescara equalised in some style just before the break when Juan Quintero fired home a delightful free kick from 35 yards out. Pescara keeper Perin hauled down Gilardino in the box about an hour in, and was duly sent off, with a penalty awarded to Bologna. Diamanti missed his spot kick, though, and Pescara held on for a valuable point.

9 man AC Milan’s woes continued this weekend when they were beaten 2-1 at Udinese. Mathias Ranegie gave Udinese the lead just before the break with a looped header. Milan hit back just after time when the highly rated Stephan El Shaarawy scored a 25 yard screamer, but their joy was short lived. A calm Di Natale penalty gave Udinese what turned out to be the eventual winner on the 67 minute mark after Zapata had been sent off for the foul that the penalty was awarded for. Kevin Prince-Boateng’s sending off, after a second yellow card, late on, left Milan with no hope of getting anything from the game.

Inter Milan suffered a surprising 0-2 defeat to Siena at San Siro. Despite this win Siena still remain on minus points, yet this could give them the momentum they need to drag themselves out of trouble. Simon e Vergassola gave the away team the lead with just 15 minutes left, shooting across goal into the bottom corner of the net. Francesco Valiani sealed a famous win for Siena in stoppage time when nodded the ball into an empty net.

Genoa epitomised the phrase “smash and grab” at Lazio on Sunday with a 0-1 win. Lazio had various chances in both halves to win the game, but Genoa’s clinical counterattack 10 minutes before the end gave them the win. Luca Antonelli lofted the ball over the top for Marco Borriello to latch onto, and the striker made no mistake with his strike on the run from the edge of the box.

Despite having defender Pablo Alvarez sent off just 2 minutes in, Catania were able to hold on for a goalless draw at home to Napoli. The result ended Napoli’s 100% record but left them 2nd in the league.

Meanwhile Roma were awarded a 3-0 win for the game that was postponed at Cagliari on Sunday. 

ALLY POOLE

@Ally_Poole

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