Stay connected with SB Nation Follow @sbnation
Like us to subscribe
Sebastian Frey was spectacular in goal for Genoa and kept things interesting for the duration of the match, but Roma's defense held firm and won on the back of an early goal on Monday. On his return from a team suspension, striker Pablo Osvaldo netted in the third minute for the Giallorossi. That goal would be all they needed in a 1-0 victory.
Osvaldo's goal was a brilliant one. Leandro Greco set him up with a pass, but he did most of the work himself, cutting in from the left onto his right foot and placing a great finish past Frey at the far post.
Roma was the better team throughout the match and created a number of other opportunities to score, but Frey was excellent and kept his team's chances of points alive. Alas, they were unable to score. Genoa didn't create much, but they did force Maarten Stekelenburg into a couple of very solid saves.
Napoli were poor in the first 55 minutes in Friuli, and allowed Udinese to jump out to a very well deserved 2-0 lead. They defended poorly and didn't have too many ideas going forward, but things changed in the final half hour. Diego Fabbrini was shown a questionable second yellow card in the 60th minute, and with Udinese down to 10 men, the Azzurri pounced. Edinson Cavani scored twice in the final minutes, snatching a point for Napoli in a 2-2 draw.
Giampiero Pinzi scored the opener 27 minutes in, and the goal showed off the problem that was the absence of Christian Maggio. Andrea Dossena was caught out on Udinese's right, as Antonio Di Natale drifted wide, then put a great ball across the box. Morgan De Sanctis couldn't get a hand to the low cross and Pinzi got forward with an intelligent run from deep, then applied the finish.
Di Natale scored his team's second in the 52nd minute, with Dossena falling asleep and allowing Di Natale to lose him, then apply the finish. It appeared at that time like Udinese were cruising to an easy win.
Then, the sending off happened and changed the game considerably. Napoli had a chance to get back into the game in the 73rd minute when Maurizio Domizzi was called for a handball in the box, but Cavani took a terrible penalty that was easily saved by Samir Handanovic. Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin was furious with the decision and was sent off for dissent.
Cavani would eventually atone for his error. He scored a fantastic unsaveable free kick in the 81st minute, then scored an equalizer from close range in the 85th minute, finishing off a pass from Blerim Dzemalli. Napoli continued to push forward in search of a winner, but Handanovic found skills inside of himself that he didn't appear to possess when he conceded the first two goals, making two excellent saves between the equalizer and the end of the game to deny Napoli all three points.
This draw keeps Lazio in third place, and the race for third between them and the two teams that played in Udine on Sunday is sure to be close until the final day.
Inter Milan and Lazio have both dropped points, leaving the door open for Napoli or Udinese to take over third place by themselves if one can beat the other on Sunday. Both Lazio and Inter had chances to grab better results, but failed to finish their chances. Elsewhere, Novara claimed another miracle win and Catania moved up to eighth, level with sixth placed Roma on 41 points.
Cesena are going to be mathematically relegated well before the season ends. They're in truly dire straits at the moment and they're going to need to win seven or eight of their last 10 games to stay up. This is more or less impossible. Mauricio Pinilla scored a hat trick and two of his goals came on penalties. Cesena had two men sent off. They truly are woeful.
Chievo involved in a fun game? Nonsense. The worst perpetuators of the 'Boring Serie A' myth, Chievo matched Bologna in a very entertaining game. Marco Andreolli scored the opener for the Flying Donkeys in the 26th minute on a free kick, following a bit of a scramble and a blocked Sergio Pellissier shot. Marco Di Vaio answered in the 59th minute, but Cyril Théréau found a surprise go-ahead goal in the 68th, assisted by Pellissier. Chievo couldn't hold on, though, as Alessandro Diamanti found an equalizer in the 81st minute, assisted by Di Vaio.
Lazio didn't create a lot in this match, but when they did, their finishing was poor. They gave up the winner with some poor marking on a corner, allowing Nicola Legrottagglie to score in the 81st minute. Francesco Lodi, the man who assisted the winner, almost gave away two points by scoring an own goal late, but his deflection of a Stefano Mauri cross towards the goal lucky bounced off the post.
Inter had a lot of the ball and a lot of shots, but couldn't find the net. They had the win gift-wrapped for them in the 22nd minute when Giampaolo Pazzini drew a penalty on a Gianpaolo Bellini foul, but Diego Milito's penalty was saved by Andrea Consigli. Claudio Ranieri still has a job, you guys.
Lecce would have liked all three points, but they're still one point closer to safety today than they were yesterday. They're now five points from 17th placed Parma. Palermo's Ezequiel Muñoz gave away an early penalty, which was converted by David Di Michele, but he atoned for his error by scoring the equalizer in the 15th minute. Then, Massimo Oddo and Nicolas Bertolo got sent off, and both teams somehow failed to score while 10-on-10.
Novara are probably still very doomed and unlikely to survive relegation, but this is their second straight win in Serie A, and they're now eight points from safety. Marco Rigoni and Filippo Procari scored the goals, with Rigoni's winner coming in the 72nd minute. Siena didn't get a single shot on target in this one. Novara host Lecce next week, and both teams will feel like they absolutely must take all three points from that game.
Udinese and Napoli are both looking to grab control of the race for a Champions League place on Sunday.
Fiorentina are in the middle of a bit of a rebuilding project, but for a team of their size and talent, that means that they should be a mid-table team, possibly competing for Europa League. Instead, they're in 15th place and not too far off the drop zone. They were an absolute mess at home against Juventus on Saturday, and Delio Rossi will be lucky if he has a job on Monday morning. Juventus destroyed them, winning 5-0.
Unfortunately for the Old Lady, they didn't make up any ground on AC Milan in the Scudetto race, but they'll be pleased with their performance. After a good spell of pressure to open the game, Mirko Vucinic opened the scoring for Juve in the 15th minute. Shortly afterwards, Fiorentina's Alessio Cerci was sent off for delivering a kick to Martin Caceres away from play, and the meltdown was on.
Arturo Vidal netted in the 28th minute, effectively ending the game. Juventus added three more goals for good measure. Claudio Marchisio extended his club scoring lead, Simone Padoin scored his first Serie A goal for Juventus, and Andrea Pirlo netted in his 400th Serie A match.
Parma played well enough to score three or four goals against AC Milan at Stadio Ennio Tardini on Saturday, but their finishing was downright woeful. They also gave Milan an early gift, allowing the Rossoneri to claim all three points and keep their lead at the top of the table with a 2-0 victory.
Milan hardly won, but more accurately fairly received a penalty in the 17th minute when Christian Zaccardo committed a handball in the penalty area, for which he was shown a yellow card. Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted, giving Milan a lead to defend. They were made to defended and didn't do it particularly well, but Parma was a lot worse at shooting than Milan was at defending.
Sergio Floccari and Sebastian Giovinco had a number of chances, while Milan had one scare in particular at the end of the first half when Thiago Silva hit his own crossbar with a clearance, but the ball never found the net for the Crusaders.
Urby Emmanuelson clinched the win for Milan in the 55th minute. Antonio Nocerino played him in with a great through ball and Emmanuelson rounded the keeper, then finished to assure his team of three points.
For more on the Rossoneri, head over to The Offside AC Milan.
Why? Why are we being subjected to this? Mr. Rossi, Mr. Conte, IN. MY. OFFICE. NOW.
Serie A clubs may have faced disappointment in European competition this past week, but they're still fighting for the coveted top five slots.