Roma go five points clear at the top of the table. Verona are in the running for a place in Europe. Fiorentina canceled out a two goal lead to beat Juventus 4-2. Sassuolo won. Antonio Floro Flores scored. Ten-man Inter managed a 3-3 draw against Torino. All in all, a weekend of surprises in Serie A. Except that Roma-being-top thing. That came as a surprise to no one but Roma fans.
Perhaps it should've been a closer match, the meeting of the two sides at the top of the table. But a depleted Napoli featuring a makeshift back four could do nothing to contain the perfect Roma. It was a brace from Miralem Pjanic that finished them off, but really, the match could have been called in the hosts' favor once Goran Pandev took his place up front and Giandomenico Mesto was used as a makeshift left back.
Cagliari celebrated their first home appearance with a win on Saturday. Gonzalo Bergessio kicked things off for Catania in the fifth minute, but Segundo Ibarbo found an equalizer before the half hour mark. Mauricio Pinilla put in a late game winner, lifting the hosts and sending Catania down near the relegation zone. It was the last gasp for Rolando Maran, who's out in favor of Gigi De Canio.
Milan remain ravaged by injuries -- star striker Mario Balotelli and first-choice goalkeeper Christian Abbiati were added to that list just prior to the match -- yet they somehow still manage to pull off results. It helps that Udinese still aren't playing like a team, of course. The hero of the match was once again Valter Birsa, who once again clinched victory for the rossoneri with the game's only goal.
It's dark days for Vladmir Pekovic. Sure, ninth place isn't that bad, but it's not so good when Milan have moved ahead of you in the table. It's even worse that Lazio just simply didn't look up for it in Bergamo on Sunday. Atalanta didn't play wonderfully, but they took advantage of a disorganized biancocelesti side to move up into seventh.
Fiorentina 4-2 Juventus
What a day for Fiorentina! They went into the half down 2-0 thanks to back to back goals from Carlos Tévez and Paul Pogba. Juventus kept their lead until the 65th minute, when Kwadwo Asamoah brought down Matías Fernández inside the area. Giuseppe Rossi dutifully converted the penalty...and then kept scoring. In the space of five minutes, Pepito scored two more, with a goal from Joaquín sandwiched in between.
Hellas Verona 3-2 Parma
Are Verona the real deal? It's hard to imagine that many thought they'd be in the European places. Yeah, it's only been eight matches, but they've yet to drop a point at home, on Sunday coming back from 2-1 down against Parma to preserve that record. Fabrizio Cacciatore scored the first before 10 minutes were up, then Jorginho added a brace of penalty conversions to cancel out goals from Marco Parolo and Antonio Cassano.
Genoa 2-1 Chievo Verona
Alberto Gilardino scored a brace on either side of a goal from Simone Bentivoglio, in what surely must be classified as a thriller for these two sides. The win is Genoa's second and the first for Gian Piero Gasperini -- this time around, anyway. It's trouble for Chievo, though, who are second from bottom with just four points.
Livorno's shiny start is fading fast, with the amaranto winless in five and having lost three straight. The hosts nearly nicked a point when an injury time goal from Luca Siligardi canceled out an early penalty from Éder, but Livorno lost their cool minutes later, with Andrea Luci hacking down Vasco Regini inside the area. With Éder off for Nicola Pozzi, it was Pozzi who stepped up to bury the winner. And give Delio Rossi a bit of breathing space.
What a birthday present for Stefano Pioli: his Bologna are now dead last, with no wins and only three draws to mark the season. Alessandro Diamanti did manage to convert a penalty, but that wasn't enough, what with Domenico Berardi scoring his own penalty and Antonio Floro Flores putting in another five minutes later. If Pioli is going to go, it should be because his side let Floro Flores score. Who does that?
Torino 3-3 Inter Milan
It certainly seemed as though Toro had all three points in the bag after Samir Handanovic was sent off after a crunching collision with Alessio Cerci. With 85 minutes left to play, the name of the game should've been survival for Inter. Cerci missed the resulting penalty, but a goal from Alexander Farerud (off a ball from Cerci, of course) put the hosts up 1-0 after twenty minutes. Yet somehow Fredy Guarín grabbed an equalizer just before the break. Torino were back on track with a goal from Ciro Immobile -- til two minutes later, when Rodrigo Palacio canceled it out. Then Palacio grabbed another, but the granata salvaged their pride with a late equalizer from Nicola Bellamo.