Italian Serie A Roundup, Dec. 20
Samuel Eto’o scored an early goal to give Inter Milan a 1-0 win at
home to Lazio on Sunday and extend its Serie A lead to eight points
going into the winter break.
Eto’o struck in the 14th minute after meeting Dejan
Stankovic’s cross from the right. The Cameroon striker’s header was
stopped by Muslera, but Eto’o reacted quickest to score his eighth
goal of the season.
Inter leads the standings with 39 points, while AC Milan is
second on 31 and Juventus third with 30. Milan has a game in hand
following the postponement of its match with Fiorentina on
“Psychologically I would say these are an important three
points for us,” Inter defender Ivan Cordoba said. “It is a
difference of eight and nine points and even though Milan has a
game in hand, finding time to play it could make things difficult
Juventus continued its recent struggles with a 2-1 loss at
home to Catania for its third defeat in a row, missing out on the
chance to move into second place in Serie A.
Also, Nicolas Burdisso and Matteo Brighi scored second-half
goals to give AS Roma a 2-0 win at home to Parma. The result moves
Roma into the fourth Champions League place on 28 points.
Also Sunday it was; Livorno 3, Sampdoria 1; Napoli 2, Chievo
Verona 0; and Palermo 1, Siena 0.
Two matches were called off because of the heavy snow, with
Genoa vs. Bari and Udinese vs. Cagliari to be played later.
Inter came out attacking, and Thiago Motto fired in a low
shot in the fourth minute that Lazio goalkeeper Fernando Muslera
did well to stop in icy conditions.
Esteban Cambiasso went close with a free kick after halftime
and Diego Milito fired wide from the edge of the area.
“It would have been better if we could have been able to
score a second,” Cordoba said. “It would have made things more
comfortable as they are a team that is struggling and was likely
they would make life difficult for us.”
Lazio struggled to create chances and even the introduction
of former Inter striker Julio Cruz failed to spark the attack.
In Turin, Mariano Izco scored the winner in the 87th minute
to secure Catania’s second victory of the season, although the club
remained next to last and in the relegation zone.
Hasan Salihamidzic had equalized for Juventus in the 66th.
Jorge Martinez had given Catania the lead with a first-half
Juventus lost 3-1 to Bari in the previous round, and was
eliminated from the Champions League after losing 4-1 to Bayern
Munich in the last group match.
“We are in the middle of a bad period,” Juventus coach Ciro
Ferrara said. “If we stay together we can get through it. I’m not
going to give up.
Martinez converted the penalty in the 23rd after Tiago fouled
Nicolas Spolli, despite being ordered to retake it for a second
Diego had a good chance to equalize in the 52nd after Martin
Carceres picked him out on the edge of the area, but the Brazilian
fired over the bar.
Salihamidzic brought Juventus level in the 66th, reaching a
loose ball in the area first to fire home the equalizer.
Nicola Legrottaglie headed over from Diego’s free kick in the
82nd, before Izco clipped the ball over Juventus goalkeeper Alex
Manninger for the win.
A group of Juventus fans protested on the touchline after the
match over the string of poor results.
“We are as disappointed as the fans,” Ferrara said. “We are
all going through a difficult period and the recent results are not
at the level we expect at Juventus.”
In Rome, neither Roma nor Parma were able to create many
chances in the first half. The best went to Roma striker Mirko
Vucinic, who shot wide in the 37th.
Roma then took the lead three minutes into the second half
after Parma’s defense failed to clear the ball from a corner and
Burdisso pounced to shoot low into the net.
The Argentine also set up Marco Motta with a good chance in
the 77th, but the defender poked his shot wide.
Julio Baptista came of the bench in the 84th and immediately
forced Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante into a save with a long
In injury time, Vucinic slipped the ball into the path of
Matteo Brighi and the midfielder fired home his second of the