Ezequiel Lavezzi of SSC Napoli during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and SSC Napoli at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Italian Serie A 2011, Week 8: Napoli, AC Milan Clinch Wins

The full Wednesday slate of fixtures is underway in Serie A, with Napoli leading Udinese 1-0 in a massive match. Ezequiel Lavezzi was the goal-scorer, assisted by Edinson Cavani.

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AC Milan Vs. Parma, 2011 Serie A: Full Time, Milan Back In Title Hunt With Big Win

AC Milan got off to a terrible start in Serie A, but with some of their injury problems clearing up, the Rossoneri are hitting their stride and appear to be coming into some fine form. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Nocerino were at their best on Wednesday afternoon, tearing apart Parma to the tune of four goals, defeating them 4-1.

Nocerino scored the opener in the 30th minute, technically assisted by Ibrahimovic, but in reality assisted by the Parma defense. A sea of defenders completely failed to pick up Nocerino and clear the ball when Ibrahimovic laid the ball across the box to him, then goalkeeper Antonio Mirante - perhaps stunned at his teammates' incompetence - stood still when Nocerino got through one-on-one, allowing him to score easily.

That was a bit of a garbage goal, but Nocerino's second goal was anything but. The former Palermo midfielder completed his brace with an absolute screamer into the top corner, and it seemed like the game was over from there.

Ibrahimovic added a goal of his own in the 73rd minute, which was quickly answered by a Sebastian Giovinco strike in the 78th minute. Nocerino would finish off the game and put the icing on the cake for Milan, though, completing a hat trick with a headed goal in stoppage time.


Napoli Vs. Udinese, 2011 Serie A: Full Time, Azzurri Score Twice To Snap Zebrette's Undefeated Run

Without star striker and leading scorer Antonio Di Natale healthy, Udinese found it difficult to find the back of the net on Wednesday night, as they were shut out by Napoli. Ezequiel Lavezzi and Christian Maggio scored the goals, both coming in the first half, then held strong defensively for the rest of the match to clinch a 2-0 win.

The first goal was an absolute stunner, more than worthy of being a match winner. Edinson Cavani might not of scored in this match, but his assist on Lavezzi's goal was just as impressive. The Napoli center forward flipped a fantastic ball over his head from the penalty area right into the path of Lavezzi, who hit an equally impressive first-time shot into the back of the net, giving his side the lead in the 20th minute.

Napoli's second came in the 44th minute, off of a cheeky set piece. From just outside of the penalty area, the Azzurri set up as if they were going to play an in-swinging ball into the penalty area, but the free kick was taken short to Blerim Dzemaili. He put a cross into the box from the byline to the back post, and right back Christian Maggio met it with his head to give his team a cushion that they wouldn't ultimately need.

Udinese were previously undefeated and will now concede the top spot in the table to Juventus. With their win, Napoli now sit on 14 points, two off the lead.


Napoli Vs. Udinese, 2011 Italian Serie A Week 8: A Potential Scudetto Decider...Seriously

Napoli and Udinese are both serious Scudetto contenders in the 2011-12 Serie A season, and they meet on Wednesday night in Naples.


Juventus Vs. Fiorentina, 2011 Serie A: Hosts Earn 2-1 Win

Juventus beat Fiorentina 2-1 in Turin, although the game was far closer than it should have been after the hosts dominated the first half but failed to take their chances, leading to an interesting and very tight second half. It almost looked as though we were in for a rout after Leonardo Bonucci knocked in a rebound in the 13th minute to put Juventus 1-0 up, but  some extraordinarily wasteful play (mostly by Mirko Vucinic) meant that despite the dominant display from the hosts, the game remained 1-0 at halftime.

Fiorentina had been something approximating 'disastrous' in the opening period, but after the restart, when Alberto Gilardino entered the fray, they were the better team, putting a huge amount of pressure on Marco Storari's goal and eventually earning the equaliser when Stevan Jovetic rescued a broken-down counterattack by sweeping a long-range effort into the top corner. The match didn't stay level for long, however - even by the time the visitors had their goal, Juventus were beginning to come back into the match and Alessandro Matri restored the lead with a neat finish after being played through by Simone Pepe.

A stirring finish from Fiorentina failed to overly trouble Storari (aside from him bizarrely departing the net to play left back in the middle of injury time), and the match would finish 2-1. It shouldn't have been that close, but Juventus brought the stress upon themselves - had they been anything like clinical the match would have been over before the first half had finished.


Juventus Vs. Fiorentina, 2011 Serie A: Juventus Hold 1-0 Lead At Halftime

It didn't take long for pink-shirted (why?) Juventus to take the lead against Fiorentina in Turin, and the Old Lady have kept that lead through halftime. However, they've wasted a slew of chances to add to it, and considering how well they've played, that's a huge shame. It was Leonardo Bonucci who got the goal, smashing in the rebound after Artur Boruc spilled Arturo Vidal's shot thirteen minutes in.

Since then, Juventus have had a ludicrous number of chances, finishing the half with eight shots on goal and 63% possession. Mirko Vucinic has been laughably wasteful for the hosts - he might have scored a hat-trick had he been more clinical - and you'd have to imagine that Juventus could easily regret not taking advantage of the opportunity to kill off their opposition here. Fiorentina have been abject, but they could well sneak a goal in the second half. If Juventus start taking their chances, they'll score six.

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