Serie A, Week 34: Juventus Back On Top After A Strange Serie A Weekend

Juventus are still top of the Serie A table after a 4-0 win over Roma, while Milan could manage just a draw against Bologna. Lazio, Udinese and Inter also all drew this weekend, keeping Napoli, who beat Novara, in the race for third.

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Juventus Vs. Roma, 2012 Serie A: Juve Demolish Roma To Retake Top Of Serie A

Juventus made clear their scudetto intentions with an emphatic 4-0 win over AS Roma on Sunday night. Before ten minutes had passed, Arturo Vidal already had a brace, which was followed by goals by Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio. The win moves Juve back to the top of the table, where they sit alone after AC Milan's draw against Bologna earlier in the day.

It took less than five minutes for Juve to open the scoring, pouring plenty of pressure on the visitors right from the start. Paolo De Ceglie easily shook off Simon Kjær, and a cheeky little flick from Mirko Vucinic sent the ball right on to Vidal. A touch with his left foot and the ball was in the back of the net.

Vidal's second was even more impressive. A lay off from Vucinic set up the Chilean, who took it on his right foot this time, sending a rocket past the diving Maarten Stekelenburg. Not even ten minutes had passed, and Roma looked ready to give up the ghost already.

But, in typical Roma fashion, the visitors couldn't simply go quietly into that good night. Nope, they had to up the drama by getting their goalkeeper sent off in the 27th minute. Claudio Marchisio, charging up the left, flicked the ball past Stekelenburg, but got caught by the keeper and went to ground. Despite the fact that the ball was heading out for a goal kick, the referee showed red anyway, bringing Roma down to ten men. Substitute keeper Gianluca Curci managed to save the fairly weak penalty from Pirlo, but the rebound went straight back to the midfielder, who buried it for Juve's third.

The home side was at least kind enough to wait until after the break to grab another goal. Curci had no chance on this one, a beauty from Marchisio. The midfielder took his shot from about twenty yards out, slotting it into the bottom corner and looking quite sexy while doing so. After the fourth goal, though, Juventus slowed down a bit, content to simply toy with the giallorossi.

Remember the mercy rule from Little League? I bet Roma spent the majority of that match wishing it applied to calcio.

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Supporters Riot In Genoa As Ultras Demand Players Remove Their Jerseys

All hell has broke loose at the Marassi during Genoa's match against Siena. During the second half, the chaos began in the stands, but soon enough it was clear that the Genoa Ultras wanted more than a simple disruption in play. They blocked the entrance to the players' tunnel and allowed the Siena players, along with the officiating team, to leave the pitch.

But when captain Marco Rossi tried to negotiate with the Ultras, their demands were clear: you're not fit to wear the shirt. Yes, the small band of supporters leading the fracas were insisting that the Genoa players remove their kits and give them to the fans.

And it appeared that the players were set to do just that. Led by Rossi, they began to strip off their shirts, collecting them in a big pile to hand over to the Ultras. But Giuseppe Sculli, ironically a player on loan from Lazio, refused to do so. Cameras showed him heading to the hot spot to speak directly with the supporters' leader. Sculli's anger was apparent, and he was able to do what no one else had managed: get the Ultras to back down. The shirts were returned and the Siena players re-emerged from the tunnel.

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Serie A 2012, Week 34: Saturday Keeps Hope Alive For Napoli, Catania

In a league that's usually light on Saturday fixtures, having four matches on Saturday in Serie A is a bit unusual. And with the end of the season just a few weeks away, being forced to wait for Sunday's results is a particularly cruel torture for clubs struggling to gain ground.

Results

Parma 3 - 0 Cagliari

One of the few matches that meant nothing this weekend. Oh, sure, Cagliari could still go down (and if they do, it's certain they'll blame it on not being allowed to play at the Stadio Sant'Elia), but it's more likely both clubs will end up secure in lower mid-table mediocrity. If it weren't for Sebastian Giovinco, no one would give two ticks about this match.

Chievo Verona 0 - 0 Udinese

The Flying Donkeys have managed to worm their way into 9th place with a -10 goal difference. Results like these are the cause -- and also the reason that even Serie A editors decide to devote more attention to Dortmund - Gladbach than this match. Samir Handanović managed to earn a point for Udinese with his heroic penalty saving skills, but the friulani just keep slipping further and further away from a Champions League position.

Catania 2 - 0 Atalanta

Catania put on their usual fun and frenetic display against Atalanta, ending their recent run of disappointing form. Atalanta turned out to be just not quite as threatening without a suspended German Denis -- surprise, surprise -- giving goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano a fairly easy time for his Serie A debut. But this match is really all about the first goal, an absolutely sexy screamer from distance, driven in by Alejandro Gomez.

Napoli 2 - 0 Novara

Speaking of clubs getting themselves back on track, Napoli stepped up to drive yet another nail in Serie B bound Novara's coffin. The partenopei ended their three match losing streak with goals from Edinson Cavani and Paolo Cannavaro, although the hosts really should have scored more. Perhaps they're saving up for next week's visit to Lecce?

And so now it's time to wait, and for these clubs, to hope. Everyone will be wanting a Lecce win over Lazio. Catania, Udinese and Napoli are all in the odd position of hoping Juventus will triumph, giving Roma less opportunity to reach the European positions. And eyes will be on Fiorentina, too, wanting the Viola to pull of another of those magical wins, this time against Inter Milan.

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