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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Serie A Sunday Review

Last season's runners-up Roma were held to a draw while AC Milan were dealt a shock home defeat at the San Siro.
Champions Inter began their quest for a fourth straight Scudetto with a 1-1 draw at Sampdoria on Saturday and would probably have expected to lose ground to both Roma and Milan on the first round of fixtures.
But Roma could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to 10-man Napoli while Milan's miserable form at the San Siro continued with a 2-1 loss to Bologna.
Not even Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko were able to reverse a trend of bad results at home which effectively condemned Milan to finishing only fifth last season.
Marco di Vaio put Bologna ahead in the 18th minute and, although Massimo Ambrosini got the Rossoneri back on level terms at the break, a wonder-goal from Francesco Valiani sealed the win for Bologna 10 minutes from time.
Roma, meanwhile, went ahead in the 29th minute through Alberto Aquilani as they dominated the first half against Napoli.
But it was a different story in the second period with Marek Hamsik netting a deserved equaliser in the 55th minute - shortly after Fabiano Santacroce was sent off for the visitors.
Roma's Eternal City rivals Lazio enjoyed a much more productive first afternoon, coming from behind to record a thumping 4-1 win at Cagliari.
Joaquin Larrivey put the hosts in the ascendancy but they were reduced to 10 men just after the hour mark when Diego Lopez was given his marching orders.
And Delio Rossi's men took full advantage of their numerical superiority with a brace from new signing Mauro Zarate (one penalty) and further strikes from substitute Pasquale Foggia and Goran Pandev.
The emphatic triumph sees Lazio take the early lead at the Serie A summit on goals scored from Torino - 3-0 winners at home to newly-promoted Lecce.
Alessandro Rosina's penalty in the 29th minute gave the hosts the ideal start, before Paolo Zanetti added a second four minutes later and debutant Rolando Bianchi headed home the third to complete the rout 16 minutes from time.
Other teams to enjoy winning starts on Sunday were Atalanta, Catania and Chievo.
Simone Padoin's 15th-minute goal was enough for Atalanta to register a 1-0 victory over Siena, who were not helped by the dismissal of Massimo Maccarone with four minutes remaining.
Walter Zenga's Catania edged past Genoa 1-0 thanks to a Giuseppe Mascara strike just after the hour.
Chievo made a triumphant return to the top flight with a late 2-1 home win over Reggina.
Having spent just one season in the second division, the Gialloblu made a fine start to the new campaign and came back from a goal down through Michele Marcolini's penalty in the 76th minute and Vincenzo Italiano's strike two minutes from time.
Bernard Corradi had briefly put the visitors ahead with a 72nd-minute spot-kick but Reggina could not find an equaliser despite Chievo new boy Antonio Langella's dismissal late on.
Sunday's action concludes with the evening kick-off between Fiorentina and Juventus.
In Saturday's Serie A curtain-raiser, Antonio di Natale scored twice as Udinese posted a convincing 3-1 victory over Palermo.
The Italy international put the home side in control with two first-half strikes and, although Palermo threatened a comeback when Mark Bresciano scored, highly-rated Switzerland midfielder Gokhan Inler settled the contest shortly after.

Monday 1st September 2008

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