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

beaten.

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

the goals.

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

61st minute.

Genoa leveled immediately, with Buffon fumbling Giandomenico

Mesto’s low cross to the near post and Rossi tapping in from close

range.

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.