Serie A Roundup, Feb. 14
Serie A leader Inter Milan dropped two points in a 0-0 away draw
against a spirited Napoli side on Sunday.
Napoli had the better of the match but was unable to find a
breakthrough despite hitting the woodwork twice.
Midfielder Sulley Muntari went closest for Inter, crashing a
shot against the bar with Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis well
The draw leaves Inter top with 54 points, seven clear of
Roma, which beat Palermo 4-1 on Saturday, and nine ahead of AC
Milan, which edged Udinese 3-2 on Friday. Napoli and Sampdoria have
39 points, while Juventus follows in sixth place with 38.
Juventus earned its first victory under new coach Alberto
Zaccheroni on Sunday after Alessandro Del Piero scored twice in a
3-2 win over Genoa.
Genoa’s Marco Rossi opened the scoring, but Amauri brought
Juventus level before halftime. Del Piero gave Juventus the lead in
the 61st minute, but Rossi scored his second two minutes later.
However, Del Piero won a penalty and took it himself to give
Juventus its first win in six games.
At the bottom of the table, Lazio moved out of the relegation
places with a 2-0 away win over Parma in Edy Reja’s first match
since becoming coach. Guglielmo Stendardo and Mauro Zarate scored
Napoli ended up with only a point to show from a game which
it could well have won.
“Toward the end it was tough,” Napoli striker German Denis
said. “The important thing today was that we gave it our all. With
a bit of luck, especially in my case, we could have scored.”
Napoli began well and went close to scoring on three
occasions. In the 10th minute, Marek Hamsik hit the bar from the
edge of the area and two minutes later Fabio Quagliarella shot into
the side netting from close range.
Denis then forced Inter keeper Julio Cesar into a full length
save with a diving header from Hamsik’s cross in the 19th minute.
Inter came closest in the 30th when Muntari’s shot struck the
bar after Napoli failed to clear a corner.
Inter’s Goran Pandev then wasted an excellent chance by
shooting straight at De Sanctis in the 62nd minute.
Three minutes later, Napoli squandered an even better
opportunity. Quagliarella hit the post and Denis fired the rebound
over the bar when presented with an open goal.
In Turin, Juventus began its match tentatively and Genoa was
soon able to take control, with Rossi opening the scoring in the
16th minute. Alberto Zapater slid the ball behind Juventus’ defense
to Robert Acquafresca and he pulled it back to Rossi, who shot low
past keeper Gianluigi Buffon.
The home side equalized in the 42nd minute when fullback
Martin Caceres reached the byline and crossed to the far post,
where Amauri headed home.
Juventus took the lead when Del Piero ran at the Genoa
defense, played a slick one-two and poked the ball past Amelia the
Genoa leveled immediately, with Buffon fumbling Giandomenico
Mesto’s low cross to the near post and Rossi tapping in from close
Del Piero scored his second in the 72nd minute from the
penalty spot, firing low into the corner, after the Juventus
captain had been brought down by Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
“We still seem fragile,” Zaccheroni said. “The players are
nervous and that is the reason for dropping down the league and for
our recent performances. We should have done better.
“We have to try to improve in the next few games, even if it
will be hard to win every one.”
Lazio scored both its goals in the second half. Stendardo
headed in a corner in the 68th minute and five minutes later Parma
went down to 10 men when Luis Jimenez took his protests too far.
In the last minute, Zarate latched on to Sergio Floccari’s
cross at the near post to wrap up the win.
Also Sunday, it was; Cagliari 3, Bari 1; Catania 0, Atalanta
0; Chievo Verona 0, Siena 1; Livorno 0, Bologna 1.