BOLOGNA, ITALY - DECEMBER 12: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Milan in action during the Serie A match between Bologna and AC Milan at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on December 12, 2010 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Roberto Serra/Getty Images)

Italian Serie A Saturday: Milan's Lead Stays at Six Points After 1-0 Loss To Roma

It can't be called a full slate of games with two teams missing from the fixture list, but there are still plenty of tasty games this weekend in Serie A.

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Milan Vs. Roma: Marco Borriello Goal Hold Up, Gives Roma 1-0 Win

Marco Borriello has given the Serie A a chance to re-establish a title race before the winter break, scoring the only goal today at the San Siro, giving Roma a 1-0 victory. The win keeps Milan's lead on the league at six points ahead of Juventus and Lazio's Sunday matches. Roma climbs to within seven of the lead.

Borriello's goal was largely the work of Jeremy Ménez and Ignazio Abate. The Roma attacker set-up the goal by breaking down the left side of Milan's defense, getting to the byline before rolling a perfect cross into the six yard box. Abate contributed by banging an attempted clearance off Borriello, the redirection going into the Milan goal.

Roma temporarily moves into fifth place with 29 points, seven behind league leading Milan. The clubs now begin their winter break, returning to action on January 6th. When they do, Milan will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the striker seeing red in stoppage time after two acts of frustrated petulance: kicking the ball into goal after being called offside, then protesting the call.


Milan Vs. Roma: Marco Borriello Bites Milan, Puts Roma Up 1-0

Roma has taken the lead at the San Siro, with Milan loanee Marco Boriello converting the world of Jeremy Ménez, giving the Giallorossi a 1-0 lead in the 68th minute. The score caps off a half that saw the visitors slowly start to bend Milan's defense, with Ménez's cross from the right flank eventually breaking the Rossoneri.

The movement started with Ménez, who had played most of the half on the left side, beating Luca Antonini to the byline, sending a low cross to into the six. Ignazio Abate was there for an attempted clearance, though replays hinted his left footed attempt went off an oncoming Borriello and into Christan Abbiati's goal, giving the visitors the match's first goal.

Borriello left Milan at the beginning of the season, finding himself surplus to Massimilliano Allegri's requirements after the acquisition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The striker has settled in nicely at Roma, and just over an hour into a return engagement at the San Siro, the man whose registration is still owned by Milan put that club behind.

Now in the 78th minute, the match remains 1-0, Roma.


Italian Serie A Saturday: A.C. Milan Vs Roma, 0-0 At Halftime

It's all nil at the San Siro where the most interesting part of Roma's visit to AC Milan has been the clash of the hairstyles. Roma have Philippe Mexès's tremendous fail of a bleached blond surfer do, as well as Marco Borriello's call back to The New Kids on the Block. The Rossoneri are attempting to fight back but all they really have is Gennaro Gattuso's horrendous caveman beard.

Fortunately for AC Milan, hair-whether it's on the top of your head or sprouting out of your chin-counts for very little in football, unless you're Marek Hamsik and your hair is capable of functioning like a ship's rudder. Milan have been comfortably in front for most of the match, only allowing Roma more than a minute in their half after forty minutes had passed. Roma seem content to sit back and let the match play on around them, absorbing the oncoming waves of pressure from the home side.

An interesting tactical twist for Milan was aborted after about twenty minutes, when Andrea Pirlo, who had been playing on the left, was injured in a collision with Jérémy Menez. Clarence Seedorf came on to replace Pirlo, which probably is for the best, as Pirlo was almost anonymous for those first twenty minutes. Menez, for his part, has been the brightest spark for Roma, popping up almost everywhere when the team is attacking, and getting back to help defend when they are not.


A.C. Milan Vs. Roma: Pre-Match Primer

Both Milan and Roma have a lot to gain from today's match, and both have opted for interesting and slightly unorthodox lineups. Adriano gets a surprise start for Roma as Francesco Totti sits while Kevin-Prince Boateng will continue to play an advanced role as opposed to his previous box-to-box role with both Ronaldinho and Clarence Seedorf sitting on the bench. Here are your lineups.

A.C. Milan lineup (4-4-2 narrow diamond): Abbiati / Antonini, Bonera, Nesta, Abate / Pirlo, Ambrosini, Gattuso, Prince-Boateng / Robinho, Ibrahimovic

Roma lineup (4-4-2 narrow diamond): Doni / Riise, Mexes, Burdisso, Juan / De Rossi, Simplicio, Brighi, Menez / Adriano, Borriello

Kickoff is at 2:45 pm ET and the game can be seen on Fox Soccer Channel and


Italian Serie A, Round 17 Preview: Milan-Roma, Derby Della Lanterna Highlight Action

Serie A heads into its final week before it takes a winter break, thanks to a recently averted strike crisis. As a result, fans will get to enjoy plenty of Italian football, but there is a noticeable absence in this week's fixture list. Inter Milan is away on alternative business, participating in the Club World Cup.

Five of this week's fixtures will be covered live here on SBNation Soccer, for which you can thank both myself and the lovely miss Kirsten Schlewitz. She will do her best to stay objective while undoubtedly screaming at her computer monitor every time Morgan De Sanctis flaps around like a disoriented fish. 

The first match that we will be covering is the highly anticipated tie between traditional powers A.C. Milan and AS Roma. Milan currently top Serie A despite all of their injuries while Roma sit in sixth place after an extremely rocky start to their campaign. Injuries to Pippo Inzaghi and Pato have forced Massimiliano Allegri into playing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho together up top, and the pairing have been incredibly effective. Roma have had a little more trouble scoring, with Mirko Vucinic and Francesco Totti producing less than they have in previous seasons while Adriano has been a disaster. However, Jeremy Menez and former Milan player Marco Borriello have performed well. The biggest difference between the two sides early on might be their defensive record, with Milan being rock solid and Roma's back line leaking like a sieve. Based on their performances so far this season, it's very hard to believe that Roma will be able to get a result at the San Siro, but Milan might be hurt by their current lack of depth if either Robinho or Ibrahimovic proves to be ineffective.

Bright and early on Sunday morning in the United States, viewers can watch Lazio and Udinese duke it out as part of the new lunchtime kickoff that Serie A is experimenting with this season. Lazio have been one of Europe's pleasant surprises, shooting into not only European contention, but title contention after spending last season in a relegation race, despite only making a few intelligent value signings. Hernanes has been the signing of the season in Serie A and his brilliance led Lazio to a 2-1 victory over Inter Milan two weeks ago. Udinese has recovered from a bad start to climb to ninth place, but still have to be considered slightly disappointing. They rely too much on Antonio Di Natale, who has 10 goals, but they're very difficult to play against when he is on his game. More has to be expected of Göhkan Inler, Kwadwo Asamoah, Alexis Sanchez, Floro Flores, and the entire defense. Udinese arguably have as much raw talent as Lazio, Napoli, or Palermo, if not more, but they have not put it to good use over the last season and a half. Wins over Napoli and Fiorentina were a great start to fulfilling their potential, and maybe a good showing on the road against Lazio will be a sign that they have finally arrived.

The Chievo Verona-Juventus and Napoli-Lecce matches will be highlighted as part of the many games set for a 9 am ET kickoff on Sunday. Juventus snatched all three points in dramatic fashion last week with Milos Krasic going on one of his signature long runs in stoppage time, creating a last second winner for the Old Lady. Napoli are also in solid form, having won all three of their last three matches in all competitions, and winning all three of those matches by a score of 1-0. Both Juventus and Napoli are favorites, but Chievo has put in some very respectable performances at home and could make life difficult for Juve.

An interesting Derby della Lanterna rounds out this weekend's action in Serie A with both Sampdoria and Genoa needing all of the good results they can get to stay in contention for European places. Last season, the two teams split the derbies with the home sides winning both games. The hosts Sampdoria have been in the news for all of the wrong reasons recently with Antonio Cassano having a contract dispute with the club and rumors claiming that Juventus will stop at nothing to sign Giampaolo Pazzini. Despite the drama, they sit in eighth place. Genoa spent a lot of money this offseason, but their big acquisitions have yet to pay dividends. Luca Toni and Miguel Veloso have been very up and down, both turning in some good performances and some serious stinkers. Rafinha joined from Schalke with a lot of hype, but has yet to re-produce the form that he had when he helped guide Schalke to a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal appearance and a second place finish in the Bundesliga. If Genoa's pieces all get clicking, they're a serious threat for a European place. Sampdoria is in the same place if they can clear up the drama. If either team gets all three points on Sunday, it could go a long way towards deciding their fate at the end of the season.

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