UDINE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 18: Mauricio Isla of Udinese in action during the Serie A match between Udinese Calcio and ACF Fiorentina at Stadio Friuli on September 18, 2011 in Udine, Italy. (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)

Italian Serie A 2011, Week 3: Siena Earn Point Against Roma At Stadio Olimpico

Roma's rough start to the season continues as a late equaliser dashes their hopes of earning a win against newly-promoted Siena.

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Roma Vs. Siena, 2011 Serie A: Minnows Earn Late Draw At The Stadio Olimpico

When AS Roma host a newly-promoted side, one would typically expect Roma to win, and win quite handily. Siena coming to town, then, was a good chance for Luis Enrique's side to cast off doubts raised by their slow start and score an emphatic victory.

The hosts got off to a good enough start, threatening throughout the early stages before Pablo Osvaldo steered home from close range in the 25th minute to give Roma a 1-0 lead. They were good value for it too, although Siena caused rather more problems than anyone would have liked (apart from Siena), mostly exploiting some lackadaisical play in the heart of the home team's defence - Simon Kjaer was particularly to blame for several mishaps.

The general pattern continued into the second half, but here Siena looked more potent and were unlucky not to equalise when the aforementioned Kjaer cleared off the line with his groin, which looked unpleasant. That said, Roma had plenty of chances to extend their lead, and bad luck and poor finishing mean the closing stages of the game were played at 1-0 rather than with a two or three goal lead.

They'd pay for it. Siena surged forward in the 87th minute, first striking the post through Franco Brienza and then getting their equaliser after Roberto Vitiello latched onto the rebound with Bogdan Lobont helpless. Roma still had chances to win, but failed to take them in four minutes of injury time, and it was Siena who went over to their fans to celebrate an important 1-1 draw. Another disappointing result for a Roma team that should be far better than this - how long until Enrique turns it around?


AC Milan Vs. Udinese Live, 2011 Serie A: Full Time, Zebrette And Rossoneri Draw

Both AC Milan and Udinese had plenty of chances and their own individual spells of being the much better side, so it's only fitting that their match at the San Siro ended in a 1-1 draw. AC Milan are still without a win in Serie A which is sure to get the Milanistas irked at Max Allegri, but the manager himself probably won't be too upset about pulling off a draw against a very good team while dealing with a serious injury crisis.

Udinese went into halftime up 1-0, thanks to a goal by Antonio Di Natale. Gabriel Torje, an absolute revelation behind the Udinese striker who has earned the nickname 'The Romanian Messi", was the man who set up the goal. It was Di Natale's third of the season, and he appears to be on pace to do exactly what he's been doing over the past few seasons.

Alexandre Pato came out of the game with a muscle injury in the first half, replaced by Stephan El Shaarawi. Though Milan won't be happy with their options if Pato is out for an extended period of time, the youngster came good with an equalizing goal in the second half, assisted by Antonio Cassano.

Udinese had chances to win the game near the end, with Di Natale just missing on a free kick and Giampiero Pinzi hitting the post, but they weren't able to find a second goal. Both teams will be satisfied with a point, but the Zebrette will likely be the happier of the two sides.

We'll have live coverage of Milan vs. Udinese and the rest of the Serie A mid-week matches in our Serie A Week 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, head over to SB Nation Soccer.


AC Milan Vs. Udinese Live, 2011 Serie A: Halftime, Zebrette Up 1-0

The first half of the Serie A match between AC Milan and Udinese at the San Siro has been a fairly predictable one. AC Milan have more of the possession and have created a couple of chances, but the pace and ability to get wide that Udinese possess have burned them, and the Zebrette have a 1-0 lead at halftime.

Though Milan have had much more of the ball, they can hardly say that they deserve more than they're getting at the moment. They've been slow in their build-up, and since Pato was forced off with an injury, they struggle to counter with speed. Predictably, Udinese's 3-5-1-1 matches up well with Milan's narrow 4-4-2 diamond.

The goal was created by Gabriel Torje, who has had absolutely no problem filling in for the departed Alexis Sanchez. He provided a great assist to Antonio Di Natale, who scored his third goal of the Serie A season with an equally impressive finish from inside of the penalty area.

We'll have live coverage of Milan vs. Udinese and the rest of the Serie A mid-week matches in our Serie A Week 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, head over to SB Nation Soccer.


Alexandre Pato Injury: AC Milan Striker Subbed Out Against Udinese

AC Milan's injury crisis appears to be getting even worse. The club has already lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho to injuries, as well as the legendary Filippo Inzaghi to what was previously believed to be a potential career ending issue, and it's about to get worse. Alexandre Pato has had to come out of Milan's Serie A match against Udinese after just 20 minutes with what appears to be some sort of muscle injury in his leg.

Unfortunately for Milan, the injury was suffered during a brilliant counter-attack. Clarence Seedorf and Antonio Cassano worked a couple of brilliant first touch passes to get Pato into space and running at the Udinese defense, but he pulled up lame in the process, then limped over to the sideline. He's been replaced by Stephan El Shaarawi.

We'll have live coverage of Milan vs. Udinese and the rest of the Serie A mid-week matches in our Serie A Week 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, head over to SB Nation Soccer.


Novara Vs. Inter Milan, 2011 Serie A: Full Time, Nerazzurri Embarrassed In Defeat

Gian Piero Gasperini can start updating his resume. He might want to omit this short, unsuccessful spell of employment. If the Inter Milan manager isn't going to be departing tomorrow, he's certainly at least on his last chance after losing 3-1 to recently promoted Novara. Not only did Novara beat the Nerazzurri, but they were genuinely the better side on the night and absolutely deserved their win.

The first goal was gifted to Novara on bad errors by Esteban Cambiasso and Lucio, finished off by Riccardo Meggiorini. Novara went into halftime with a deserved 1-0 lead and Gasperini made a couple of (panic?) changes to his side, bringing on Joel Obi and Giampaolo Pazzini for Luc Castaignos and Diego Forlan. The changes made little difference, and Inter continued to look poor. Novara defended and countered for the duration of the half and Inter had no answer.

Novara's second goal came late, in the 86th minute, on a penalty taken by Marco Rigoni. Japanese international striker Takayuki Morimoto created it, drawing a foul in the box from Andrea Ranocchia, who was shown a red card for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. Esteban Cambiasso put the game in doubt with an 89th minute goal to make it 2-1, but Rigoni restored Novara's two goal advantage in stoppage time with a brace, securing the win for his side.

Inter were poor on the night and there's no sugar coating the result or the performance. It was an embarrassing loss, and they weren't good enough. 


Novara Vs. Inter Milan Live, 2011 Serie A: Halftime, Nerazzurri Poor, Down 1-0

Novara Calcio, recently promoted from Serie B, were expected to struggle to avoid relegation in Serie A this season. If the first 45 minutes of Monday's match are any indication, they might want to set some higher goals. They're up 1-0 at halftime on Italian giants Inter Milan, and it's no more than their play deserves. Generally, when you see results like this you assume that the goal was lucky, but the Nerazzurri have been very poor on the night. Gian Piero Gasperini has not produced results early in his tenure as Inter's manager, and his seat is only getting hotter at the moment.

Riccardo Meggiorini, on loan from Genoa, was the man who scored the goal in the latter end of the first half after Novara failed to capitalize on a number of other solid opportunities. Esteban Cambiasso started the move for Novara with a giveaway and Meggiorini finished it, arriving into the box with a late run before burying his shot from 15 yards. Lucio could be seen lightly jogging 10 yards behind the play after letting Meggiorini go by him without a challenge.

There are absolutely no excuses for the way Inter are playing at the moment. It's absolutely atrocious, Gasperini seems clueless, and Cambaiasso and Lucio should both be embarrassed with their play. It's been a stunning first half and a simple substitution or two isn't necessarily going to make it better. Novara look like a decent side.

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