Italian Serie A Roundup, Feb. 12
AC Milan warmed up for its Champions League match against Tottenham Hotspur with a 4-0 win over Parma in the Serie A on Saturday.
Napoli won 2-0 away to Roma to maintain the pressure on Milan in second place. Edinson Cavani scored twice to ensure Napoli stayed three points behind the Serie A leader.
"I score because we are a very united group and everyone performs their job," Cavani said. "We deserved to win this game tonight. It would have been wrong if we’d left without winning."
Antonio Cassano scored his first goal since joining Milan from Sampdoria in the transfer window and Robinho grabbed a brace after Clarence Seedorf opened the scoring.
Milan is on an unbeaten run of 10 games in all competitions and will welcome Spurs to the San Siro in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday.
"We played well and we had to play our game tonight," Robinho said. "It was important we got back to winning ways. Tottenham is a strong team, but we are confident in how we are playing and feel we can beat anybody."
Seedorf went close in the first minute when he fired in a long range shot that Parma ‘keeper Antonio Mirante pushed away for a corner.
The Dutchman found the net in the eighth though when Zlatan Ibrahimovic slipped the ball behind the Parma defense and he took it round Mirante and scrambled in.
Cassano then opened his account with Milan. Following a buildup involving Seedorf and Luca Antonini, he exchanged passes with Gennaro Gattuso, who flicked the ball over the defense and Cassano ran on and swept a low, first time shot under Mirante.
He nearly added a second in the 31st. Ibrahimovic headed the ball into his path and Cassano fired in a powerful shot on the volley that Mirante pushed over the bar.
On the hour mark Blerim Dzemaili forced Milan ‘keeper Christian Abbiati into an acrobatic save to stop his long range effort.
After clearing the corner Milan immediately scored its third. Cassano crossed low from the left and Robinho sidefooted the ball home.
"It was good cross and easy to score from," Robinho said.
The Brazilian added his second four minutes later. Cassano broke through Parma’s midfield, picked out Robinho and he finished in clinical fashion.
At Rome’s Olympic Stadium, the teams began at a frenetic pace. Morgan De Sanctis blocked Mirko Vucinic’s shot when the Montenegrin was through on goal and Roma’s Julio Sergio smothered a low cross from Napoli’s Ezequiel Lavezzi in the 26th.
Sergio came to Roma’s rescue two minutes later when he palmed away Walter Gargano’s dangerous free kick.
Soon after halftime Juan tripped Marek Hamsik in the box and Cavani fired in the penalty off the base of the post.
Roma fought back and De Sanctis blocked Jeremy Menez’s fierce shot in the 70th. A minute later Lavezzi led a Napoli counterattack, but wasted a chance to wrap up the match when he dithered and allowed Sergio to tackle him.
Cavani scored his second with seven minutes remaining when he got between Marco Cassetti and Aleandro Rosi to turn Paolo Cannavaro’s cross past Sergio.