A thriller in Florence was the surprise highlight of the round, as Fiorentina overcame on-form Palermo 4-3 at the Artemio Franchi. The result means La Viola draw level on points with Genoa, but are still three points off Sampdoria after the Blucerchiati’s 1-0 win against Empoli. Gianfranco Zola managed to turn things around after his debut embarrassment, leading Cagliari to a 2-1 win over Cesena in a potentially decisive relegation battle.
Although the Giallorossi defence has been one of their strongest assets this season, conceding only 13 goals in 18 matches, the Frenchman may be concerned that nine of those goals have come in some of the matches that matter most – against Juventus, Napoli, Inter and Lazio.
Elsewhere, Juve’s 3-1 win against Napoli was matched by Inter, who beat Genoa by the same scoreline at San Siro in their most convincing performance yet under Roberto Mancini. While the Nerazzurri look on the road to recovery, the same can’t be said for rivals Milan, who followed up their defeat to Sassuolo last week with a 1-1 draw against Torino in which they were under intense pressure after Mattia De Scigilio’s sending off.
The Biancocelesti were excellent in the first half, with captain Stefano Mauri putting them ahead before the on-fire Felipe Anderson added another, the Brazilian incredibly pushing his tally up to five goals and five assists in as many games now.
However, Pioli should be encouraged by his first derby and if the form of Felipe Anderson, Stefano Mauri et al can continue and the Coach sort out his team’s second half conundrum, they should be well on course to finishing third.
But the team spirit and togetherness is evidently there and there are few sides capable of flying out of the blocks with the pace and ferocity Roma did at the start of the second half, for which they were soon rewarded.
A point for Lazio, coupled with Napoli’s defeat, ensures the Aquile stand alone in third place and continue their quest for Champions League football. While on paper their form has been encouraging – three wins and three draws in their last six games – the tifosi will be more than aware that all three of those draws against Chievo, Inter and Roma could have seen them take home three points.
The intensity of Stefano Pioli’s pressing game has meant that Lazio have visibly tired in the second half of matches all season long, but t永利官网o collapse so spectacularly in a derby was a particularly bitter disappointment.
As Napoli succumbed to a fiery 3-1 defeat to Juventus, their first loss at home to the Old Lady in 14 years, Roma lamented a missed chance. The match at the San Paolo in which goals from Paul Pogba, Martin Caceres and Arturo Vidal gave the Bianconeri a win sparked more suggestions of favourable refereeing from Rafa Benitez. However, the result did mean that Lazio came off better from the derby draw.
In the end a draw, whilst probably a fair result, left both sets of fans and players frustrated and rueing a missed opportunity.
But the second half collapse was an all too familiar sight that left laziali frustrated. You do not have to go back long to find a similar situation, as the Aquile squandered a comfortable-looking two goal lead away to Inter before the winter break as the Nerazzurri fought back for a draw.
Rudi Garcia praised his side’s reaction in coming back from two goals down and particulbbin真人糖果派对arly the performance of his skipper Francesco Totti. But the fact that they were left in such a precarious position after a Lazio-dominant first half will be a worry for the Coach.
Roma’s title charge was again stalled in perhaps its most significant week yet. A win against their neighbours would not only extend the gap between the two capital clubs, but it would momentarily put the Giallorossi two points clear at the top of Serie A and heap pressure on Juventus ahead of their trip to Napoli.
It was always going to be a feisty edition of the Rome derby, with more importance riding on Sunday’s result than has done for a long time, possibly even since Roma’s 大发赌球Scudetto-winning season of 2000-01.