On paper it looked as though week fourteen of the Serie A season would be a comfortable one for the sides at the top of the table, but it turned out to be a week of shock, passion and high drama on the peninsula . Maybe, just maybe, this was the week that will define the rest of the campaign.
The result of the weekend came on the island of Sardinia, where Cagliari staged the shock of the season so far by completely outplaying Juventus to record a famous 2-0 victory. Again it was Cagliari’s prolific forward pairing of Nene and Alessandro Matri that did the damage, each getting on the score sheet – Nene with a particularly spectacular drive to beat Gigi Buffon – to consign the Bianconeri to a crippling defeat. The loss sees Ciro Ferrara’s side lose ground on Inter, the Turin side now a full eight points behind the league leaders having also slipped behind Milan who move into second spot. Is Ferrara close to losing his job? With in-fighting and Some pundits think he just might be.
At the San Siro Internazionale and Fiorentina produced an intriguing spectacle which eventually resulted in a dramatic late 1-0 victory for the reigning league champions. Despite La Viola having several chances to take the lead, Jose Mourinho’s side played the better football throughout and were eventually rewarded in the 85th minute when Gianluca Comotto brought down Diego Milito to give away a late penalty. Milito got up to take the penalty himself, sending Sebastien Frey the wrong way to give his side a valuable win and a commanding seven-point lead over their Milanese rivals at the top of the table.
Like Juventus, Leonardo’s Milan were almost subject to a shock defeat themselves, but rallied late on to win what had been a poor game against nineteenth-placed Catania. The Rossoneri had Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to thank for sparing their blushes, his two late goals – his first in Milan colours – seeing his team capitalise on Juve’s defeat to spring into second place. Despite the win, Leonardo’s team will have to improve the standard of their performances if they hope to mount a sustained challenge for the title and catch Inter at the top.
An impressive comeback from Claudio Ranieri’s Roma against Atalanta on Sunday saw the Giallorossi extend their unbeaten run to four games and continue their surge up the table. Having gone behind to a goal from Fabio Ceravolo early on, Roma struggled to assert themselves at the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia but managed to level just before half-time through Mirko Vucinic. Ranieri’s side, despite missing Danielle De Rossi, upped their game after the break and took the lead in the 64th minute when Simone Perrotta headed beyond Andrea Consigli. After a poor start to the season Roma now sit in ninth place and, with the Rome derby this weekend, are hitting form at just the right time.
The weekend’s other games produced plenty of excitement, the Genoese derby was a particular highlight as it lived up to its fiery reputation with three red cards being shown during Genoa’s emphatic 3-0 win over Sampdoria. Elsewhere, Lazio’s woes persist as they could only manage a 0-0 draw with Bologna; Bari continued their good form with a 2-1 win over Siena; Chievo leapfrogged Palermo in the table with a 1-0 victory over the Sardinians; Udinese comfortable beat struggling Livorno 2-0 and Parma and Napoli drew 1-1 at Stadio Tardini.