Hey look, another week of unimportant changes in the Serie A table. Sorry, but it's hard to get excited about shifting spots in midtable. A bit of a bummer for Lecce, though, as Catania push them back down into the relegation zone. So what have we learned this weekend? First, never, ever use my previews as an aid to placing bets on football matches. Second, when a club scores seven one week, that means absolutely nothing, and they'll require a penalty kick to get the win the next week. Third, it appears that one minor spitting incident can destroy the trajectory of a club that appeared to have scudetto stars and European cups in their eyes just two weeks ago.
Lecce 1-2 Roma
With Lecce looking much more dangerous in the attack in recent weeks (meaning they've scored in their last seven matches) it's probably time for Roma to stop being so generous in allowing other clubs to get back in the match.
Well, Roma sort of listened. Mirko Vučinić put the visitors ahead in the first half, but in typical Roma fashion, they rather gave up after the 60th minute. Sure enough, Lecce equalized in the 75th minute through a header by Guillermo Giacomazzi. This time, however, the fates were on Roma's side. Gianni Munari was spotted with a handball in the box, David Pizarro buried the penalty, and Roma managed to hang on through injury time to take all three points.
Juventus 0-1 AC Milan
Then again, Juventus's kits look like the zebrette. Maybe that will count for something.
Turns out no, Juventus could not capitalize on the fact that they look like Udinese. Couldn't even score one goal at home. It's now been 330 minutes without a goal for the Old Lady, and it sure seems that Gigi Delneri should be keeping his bags packed. The goal for Milan came from the dreaded Rino Gattuso, proving the man is more than a hairy figure that enjoys headbutting old men. Milan stay top, Serie A watchers clap their hands to their faces in mock surprise.
Sampdoria 2-3 Cesena
Do Sampdoria even know how to score anymore?
Hey, they do! Problem is, they can only score after going down 3-0, and when the scoring starts at the 83rd minute you know it's probably not going to happen for Sampdoria. The visitors' three goals came within five minutes, although to be fair there was a cappuccino break in between. Marco Parolo crashed in the first for the Seahorses, a shot from about 20 yards out. Then after the restart, Emanuele Giaccherini grabbed two goals in two minutes. Samp found what they thought would be a mere consolation goal in the 83rd when Cesena goalkeeper Francesco Antonioli fumbled the ball and Massimo Volta came flying in to send it through his legs and into the net. Then in the 92nd minute, Volta managed to draw a penalty, which Massimo Maccarone...put under Antonioli's arms. Samp must've been wishing they had another few minutes as Antonioli really wanted a nap.
Chievo Verona 0-0 Parma
Goal prediction: zero
Yay! I got one right! Oh, wait, that was my prediction for Samp-Cesena. Despite Chievo having a man advantage for the last fifteen minutes, nothing came of it in this yawn of a match.
Bologna 2-2 Cagliari
Marco Di Vaio will be this week's Toto and add to his impressive goal tally for Bologna.
This one I really did get right, with Di Vaio scoring the same number and same way as Udinese forward Antonio di Natale. Spooky! Di Vaio, in his 100th appearance for Bologna, drew a penalty and stepped up to the spot himself to put the home side ahead. Andrea Cossu equalized for Cagliari after an impressive run by Radja Nainggolan, while young Daniele Ragatzu put them ahead with less than ten minutes remaining. Bologna couldn't handle a loss, however, throwing everything they could at the opposing goal, including their own keeper Emiliano Viviano, whose cross was knocked away by his counterpart Michael Agazzi. Gaston Ramirez volleyed home to give Bologna a point.
Fiorentina 3-0 Catania
Do Fiorentina even know how to score anymore?
Sorry, Viola. Apparently you've remembered, or at least, Adrian Mutu fell, bumped his head, remembered that it's better to play for Fiorentina than to sit sulking on a tropical island, and grabbed two goals within three minutes. Later, he casually flicked aside a Catania defender to send the ball through to Riccardo Montolivo, who put it across goal for Alberto Gilardino to knock in the third. Mutu just stood by and smiled beatifically. Welcome back, you crazy Romanian.
Napoli 0-0 Brescia
The entire point of Napoli is to give Cavani the ball, and if his team don't start doing what they are supposed to do, Edinson's going to start throwing elbows, and it won't be at the opposition.
Well. This remains accurate. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Cavani had a few words with the likes of Walter Gargano and Michele Pazienza after the match against Brescia. Then again, Brescia brought a huge, orange-colored bus to the San Paolo and proceeded to park it in front of their goal all night, save for the last two minutes in which they got upset over Napoli being given Fergie time and attempted to score. However, the heavenly angels surrounded Morgan De Sanctis, keeping the holy man safe from trouble between the sticks. Thank goodness Ezequiel Lavezzi comes back from his spitting ban next week. You wouldn't think one man's bodily fluids could alter the course of history in such a manner...
Inter Milan 5-2 Genoa
Inter will win. There's no point trying to deny it anymore. Genoa will try, Inter will win, the sun will continue to rise in the east.
For the first half of the match, it appeared as though the sun might start rising from the west, with Genoa taking a 1-0 lead through Rodrigo Palacio and his rat tail of doom. But as the whistle blew to signal the start of the second half, Goran Pandev came on, disrupting the gentle balance and forcing the universe to right itself. Giampaolo Pazzini scored almost immediately and Inter didn't let up until the 90th minute, when they were kind enough to let Marco Boselli score his first Serie A goal. In between, Samuel Eto'o scored twice, Pandev himself put one in, and Yuto Nagatomo grabbed his first in an Inter kit.
Udinese 1-0 Bari
There's no way that Udinese can top their performance of last week, right?
Right. Alexis Sánchez was tripped to stop him going through on goal, Antonio Di Natale buried the penalty, the infinite Sánchez -- Toto loop continues in the most prosaic way imaginable.
Lazio 2-0 Palermo
The week ends with the most boring club in the European places taking on a club that's still licking their seven wounds. So this one should be a thriller.
I'm not even going to pretend I feel differently about this match. How Lazio can be in fourth and still be so mind numbingly dull is beyond me. Ok, I take that back, watching Fernando Muslera flub up again and again and yet manage to be saved via his pact with the devil (aka Luis Suarez) is mildly entertaining. Please note I am wearing a I <3 Uruguay Futbol tshirt right now. PS-- Giuseppe Sculli scored a brace by the 17th minute, then let Palermo attempt to score for the next 70.