Udinese 0 – 0 Cagliari
Palermo 5 – 1 Lazio
Novara 0 – 0 Atalanta
Cesena 1 – 3 Milan
Genoa 0 – 1 Chievo
Roma 1 – 0 Parma
Lecce 4 – 1 Siena
Juventus 3 – 1 Catania
Inter 0 – 3 Bologna
Fiorentina 0 – 3 Napoli
Catania is always a difficult team to play, whether home or away, and up until Marco Motta’s silly challenge that earned him an early shower, I really thought the Elephants could nick one at the end. To all my young readers, the reason why it was a silly challenge was because the tackle occurred right on the sideline. Yes, while Motta was a step behind all he needed to do was place him self in a manner where the sideline would become an extra defender. Defending is not just winning possession. In certain situations, it’s also applying the right amount of pressure to force the dribbler away from goal. In the time it takes for the forward to slow up, cut back and look for a pass you should have received defensive help and an advantage in numbers.
However, to Juventus’ credit, they saw their game plan through and weakened Catania as the game wore on. Even with two similar players up front like Marco Borriello and Alessandro Matri, they managed to play nice in the 18-yard sand box. For all of Marco’s clumsiness, he still manages to give defenders a hard time with his size and cleverly-disguised ball skills. Andrea Pirlo was at his usual best orchestrating the attack from his deep midfield lion’s chair. Simone Pepe and Fabio Quagliarella should be gifting Rolexes and Alfa Romeo’s because he has single-handledly raised each player’s transfer value. Actually, the only troubling thing about Juventus’ performance is the horrible pink uniforms with the star on it that looks like it was drawn by a fifth-grader. I don’t understand how the Bianconeri’s front office tolerates its away jersey being worn at home. Unless, it is symbolic of Juventus’ fans who come from everywhere but Turin since all Torinesi support Torino FC 1906. Or no?
And now for our Marco DiVaio/ Fabrizio Miccoli tribute…(Wikipedia version)…
Marco Di Vaio (born July 15, 1976) is an Italian football striker, who currently plays for Bologna FC. In his long career, Di Vaio has played for the likes of Lazio, Hellas Verona, Bari, Salernitana, Parma, Juventus, Valencia and Monaco. His nickname is the “The Stoat.” As of January 2012 he has scored 138 goals in 326 Serie A games (thirty-second of all time).
On 21 August 2008 it was confirmed that Di Vaio had signed for Serie A side Bologna FC, recently promoted from Serie B. Di Vaio was a surprise star in the 2008–09 season, scoring an impressive 24 goals for a mediocre Bologna side. He finished the season as joint second top-scorer alongside Genoa C.F.C. striker Diego Milito. At the end of season Bologna signed him on free transfer.
In his period at Bologna, Di Vaio regained reputation as a key prolific striker, rapidly becoming a fan favorite, as well as team captain and one of the reference players during the two club takeovers in the 2010–11 season, ensuring himself a contract extension until June 2013.
After playing at youth level with Milan, Fabrizio Miccoli returned to his native Apulia in 1995 to join Serie C1 team Casarano, where he made his professional debut at the age of 17. He then agreed for a move to Serie B side Ternana in 1998, where he scored a total 32 goals in four season, 15 of which in his final year at the club. His performances at Ternana had Miccoli dubbed the “new Del Piero” by many sections of the Italian media.
On 5 July 2007, Palermo announced on their official website to have signed Miccoli with a 3-year agreement, costing Palermo €4.3. He scored a total eight goals in his first season with the Sicilian club, including the winning goal in the Sicilian derby against Catania, despite a number of injuries which prevented him from playing continuously in the season.
In 2008–09, Miccoli, enjoyed a remarkable seasonal start, creating a prolific striking partnership with Uruguayan Edinson Cavani, scoring 14 goals each. He renewed his contract on 30 May.
During the 2009–10 season, Miccoli scored 19 goals, tying him for third in the Serie A goal-scoring race. He scored a hat-trick on 27 March 2010 against Bologna, and in a home draw against Sampdoria on the 9 May 2010, Miccoli scored his 41st goal in Serie A for Palermo on a penalty which he had earned, making him the all-time Serie A leading goal scorer for Palermo.
Miccoli’s strong 2009–10 season played a big part in Palermo’s campaign, which saw the club finish 5th in Serie A, tied for the best league finish in club history, and narrowly missing out on Champions League football. This also brought transfer interest from English Premier League side, Birmingham City, whom despite his injury at the time and the prospect of Miccoli missing most of the first half of the next season, still bid a reported £5 million for the 31 year old striker.
Miccoli made a strong start to the Serie A 2011-12 season, scoring twice in a 4-3 win against Inter and helping Palermo to 4th place in Serie A after 5 games, recording 3 goals and 3 assists along the way. He maintained his good form despite a lacklustre season from Palermo, with three different managers serving as head coach from August to January, and on 1 February 2012 he became the top goalscorer in the whole club history thanks to a hat-trick in a 4–4 draw against Inter at San Siro.
Ok back to me, so the Italian media claims La Nazionale has attacking problems with Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi out to injury. What is wrong with these two well-experienced all-Italian gems? Three weeks ago Di Vaio scorched Roma’s best defender, Juan and this week made Inter’s Andrea Ranocchia look like Hamburger Helper, while Miccoli bagged a hat-trick against Inter in a mid-week goalfest. Ok, maybe they shouldn’t play alongside each other against Spain, but they should definitely have a go against Croatia and Ireland. One of these attackers, paired with a certain two-time and on his way to his third straight Capocannoniere title, Mr Toto DiNatale, should fare just well in Poland/ Ukraine. Who is with me?
On the Michael Bradley watch, the General has accumulated 1,966 minutes, only second to shot stopper Stefano Sorrentino and slightly ahead of team captain, Sergio Pellissier.
Am I happy for Roma’s win against Parma? Obviously, yes. Is it fun to watch? Sometimes. Is it frustrating to watch? Most of the time. Call me crazy, but I expect more. For all the passing and ball possession, Roma still do not create enough quality opportunities in front of goal. Francesco Totti took down a beautiful chip from Rodrigo Taddei but couldn’t chip it past Parma’s keeper for what was Roma’s best chance to finish the game. I’ll take the three points but I am still ruing the 5 dropped points to Siena this season and I am not sure what to expect from a team like Atalanta this weekend. The shining light right now for the Giallorossi is the exquisite play of Fabio Borini. This kid does it all and doesn’t complain a bit about it. His best quality (besides his right foot) is his tracking ability. He leaves his winger position several times to rob the ball from unsuspecting midfielders, thus creating countless counterattacks. Thank you Chelsea FC.
Before we finish with Lazio’s thrashing, let’s sum of the rest of round 24 in 75 words or less. Lecce 4- Siena 1 – Luis Enrique are you kidding me! Milan makes it look way too easy against Cesena with a goal to boot from on-loan Inter midfielder Sully Muntari. Bologna punishes Inter at home for their complacency. Does Mr. Ranieri still have a job pending next week’s match away at Napoli. Napoli put the brakes on a revived Fiorentina squad with a 3-nil drubbing thanks to two goals by Edinson Cavani. Good luck to the Partenopei in their match today against Chelsea. Do the business and make all of southern Italy proud.
Palermo destroyed Lazio, who was still recovering from Thursday evening loss at home to Atletico Madrid. In Lazio’s defense, Cristian Ledesma was at centerback due to injuries but Andre Dias was a disaster made matters worse with his second-half ejection. The Rosanero’s trequartista, Josip Ilicic is one to watch and will have many suitors in the next transfer window. The Slovene made mincemeat of the Lazio’s weakened backline. All clubs should be put on alert as this is not same Palermo side from the first half of the season.
Genoa – Parma FS+ 12:00 pm est
Milan – Juventus FSC 2:45pm est
Atalanta – Roma FS+ 9:00am est
Siena – Palermo
Catania – Novara
Chievo – Cesena
Cagliari – Lecce
Bologna – Udinese
Napoli – Inter FSC 245pm est
Lazio – Fiorentina
Antonio Di Natale
For shits and giggles related to our first and second generation Italian-American, Italian-Canadian backgrounds, please visit www.nonnamaria.tv and make sure you click on the ”Shit Nonna Says” video. You’ll laugh your ass off.
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