BLOG ITALIA
Monday January 20 2014
Serie A Week 20: Did You Know?

Clarence Seedorf's debut, another Juventus record, Genoa end their Inter taboo after 20 years, Alessandro Matri breaks his drought and 10-man Lazio comeback in Susy Campanale's stats.

Mario Balotelli scored the first goal of the Clarence Seedorf era at Milan, his eighth of the campaign and 40th overall in Serie A. He converted a penalty after seeing the last two saved against Napoli and Genoa. Verona have never conquered San Siro with nine draws and 16 defeats between Serie A and B. Hellas lost four of their last six away games. The Rossoneri have won all three of their home ties in 2014 between League and Coppa Italia.

Seedorf is the first Dutch tactician in Italy’s top flight. He notched up 300 Serie A games in a Milan jersey and won two Scudetti, two Champions League titles, two Italian Super Cups, two European Super Cups, a Club World Cup and a Coppa Italia with this side.

Milan finally beat one of the newly-promoted sides after just one draw against Livorno and defeats to Verona and Sassuolo. Of Balotelli’s 40 Serie A goals, 10 were against newly-promoted teams. Robinho celebrated his 100th Serie A appearance. The Diavolo netted 11 goals in the final 15 minutes this season, more than any other club.

Juventus set a new record in the era of three points for a win, amassing 55 points after 20 rounds. No Serie A side had ever previously won 18 of the opening 20 games and in the top five European Leagues only Barcelona (in 2010-11 and 2012-13) and Chelsea (2005-06) had achieved that feat. The 12 consecutive victories were also notched up by Juve in 1928-29, before Serie A became a single championship, but the record remains 17 in a row set by Inter in 2006-07.

Arturo Vidal equals his personal best of 10 Serie A goals thanks to his fourth brace. Fernando Llorente netted eight Serie A goals this season, half of them headers, while Paul Pogba got his sixth of the campaign. Andrea Barzagli has four Serie A own goals on his record.

For the first time since May 1960, Juventus scored at least three goals in five consecutive top flight games. They have 50 goals after 20 games (one more than Milan in 1961-62) and are the third most prolific Juventus side of all time at this stage, having netted 60 in 1950-51 and 57 in 1959-60.

Sinisa Mihajlovic celebrated his 100th Serie A match as a Coach, registering 31 wins, 38 draws and 31 defeats. The Blucerchiati hadn’t lost in Turin since a 5-1 drubbing in 2009, followed by a draw and a victory. Manolo Gabbiadini’s fifth goal of the season was his 12th in the top flight, while Lorenzo De Silvestri marked his 200th Serie A appearance.

Alessandro Matri bagged a brace on his Fiorentina debut, having scored just one goal in 18 games for Milan (15 in Serie A, three in the Champions League). He hadn’t found the net since Parma 3-2 Milan on October 27 and his last Serie A brace was in Cagliari 1-3 Juventus on December 21 2012. Mati Fernandez has scored three career Serie A goals, two of them this season.

Fiorentina kept five consecutive clean sheets, something the club had not achieved in the top flight since 1981-82. The Viola are unbeaten in seven in all competition, winning six and drawing one. Rolando Maran returned to the Catania bench, but could not avoid a third consecutive defeat, nor the end of their 213-minute home clean sheet. The Sicilians have 16 fewer points than at this stage last season.

With 47 points after 20 rounds, Roma had only ever done better in the Scudetto-winning campaign 2000-01 on 48. Mattia Destro has scored four goals in six Serie A games, while Kevin Strootman is on five for the season. Adem Ljajic hadn’t found the net since a 5-0 victory over Bologna on September 29. For the second consecutive game, the Lupi emerged without conceding a single shot on target.

Livorno made their debut under new Coach Attilio Perotti, but suffered seven consecutive away defeats, failing to score in the last six. The Tuscans are without a victory since beating Atalanta 1-0 on November 3, earning one point (a 2-2 draw with Milan) and eight defeats. The Amaranto haven’t scored for over 11 hours of football on their travels.

Bologna-Napoli hadn’t ended in a stalemate since a 1-1 result in 1989, followed by six home wins and five for the visitors between Serie A and B. The Rossoblu are unbeaten under Davide Ballardini with two draws, but ended their goal drought after 249 minutes of football.

Rolando Bianchi had already put two goals past Napoli and now with four they are his joint-favourite victims. He has 48 career Serie A goals, three in the current campaign.

Jose Callejon has not lost any of the League games in which he scored over the last six campaigns for Real Madrid and Napoli, earning 23 wins and three draws. The Partenopei have found the net with eight counter-attacks this season, more than any other side. Rafa Benitez’s men are unbeaten in seven, but won just one of their last three away fixtures.

Genoa hadn’t beaten Inter in Serie A since a 2-1 result in November 1994 with goals from Johnny Van’t Schip and Gennaro Ruotolo, earning only five draws and nine defeats between home and away. They hadn’t even scored in this fixture since a 1-1 draw in March 2008, going five encounters without finding the net. The Grifone have amassed five victories and two draws in their last seven home games.

Inter have won just one of their last eight Serie A away games, a 3-0 in Udine interrupting four draws and three losses. The Nerazzurri suffered a third consecutive away defeat between Serie A and Coppa Italia, all of them 1-0 against Lazio, Udinese and Genoa. In all competition, they picked up one point from four outings.

Gian Piero Gasperini celebrated his 200th official game as Genoa Coach, earning 88 wins, 46 draws and 66 defeats in all competition. His first was a 3-2 Coppa Italia victory over Spezia on August 19 2006. Gasperini had never previously beaten Inter, managing just three draws from nine attempts and failing to score since Genoa’s 3-1 Coppa defeat in January 2009. Gasp now has the upper hand over Walter Mazzarri with seven victories, two draws and six defeats. Luca Antonelli got his fourth Serie A goal, his first since Fiorentina 3-2 Genoa on March 17 2013.

Lazio are the first side to fight back for a victory from a trailing situation with 10 men since Juventus 1-2 Sampdoria on January 6 2013. However, Inter also scored three goals after receiving a red card this season in their 3-3 thriller with Torino in October.

It is the Biancocelesti’s first away win of the season after five draws and five defeats, meaning only Cagliari and Catania still have 0 in that column. Their last success was 3-1 at Inter on May 8. Eddy Onazi received his first Serie A red card, though he was sent off last season in the Europa League.

Udinese hadn’t lost at home to Lazio since a 4-2 result in 2007, earning three draws and three consecutive victories. Hernanes has put four Serie A goals past the Friulani, making them his favourite targets along with Chievo. Edy Reja is still unbeaten since replacing Vladimir Petkovic, securing three wins and a draw between League and Coppa Italia.

Antonio Di Natale hadn’t found the net in the League since October 30 against Sassuolo, but is now on 181 career Serie A strikes. Lazio and Roma are Di Natale’s joint favourite targets, putting 13 goals past each club. Emmanuel Badu had only ever scored once before in Serie A, against Parma in September 2013. Dusan Basta marked his 100th Serie A game.

Udinese have lost 12 of their 20 games this season, more than any other club, and for the first time since September 2010 suffered three consecutive top flight defeats. A 1-0 win over Fiorentina was the only high point in their last six Stadio Friuli outings.

Excluding play-offs, this was Parma’s 800th Serie A match. The Ducali have won 313, drawn 239 and lost 248. Amauri marked his 300th Serie A appearance.

Antonio Cassano has already matched his total tally of seven Serie A goals from the entire 2012-13 campaign at Inter and is now on 101 in his career. Alessandro Lucarelli equalled his personal best of four goals set with Livorno in 2004-05. Parma stretched their unbeaten run to nine rounds, including four victories. Chievo managed just two draws from their last six competitive games, but ended their goal drought after 275 minutes between League and Coppa Italia. Alberto Paloschi scored for the second round in a row and now has 25 in the top flight. The Flying Donkeys haven’t beaten Parma since 2007, managing five draws and five defeats, home and away.

Cagliari have not won away to Atalanta in all competition since a 1-0 result in 1991, scraping four draws from 15 visits. Giacomo Bonaventura got his second goal of the season, the 12th in Serie A overall, while Cristian Raimondi had his 100th top flight appearance. The Sardinians are without an away victory since 2-0 at Pescara on February 17 2013, earning only nine draws and seven losses, failing to score in six hours of football.

Sassuolo boast the worst defensive record in the Division, shipping 43 goals in 20 games. Torino have never lost a trip to Sassuolo, earning four wins and a draw between Serie A and B. Ciro Immobile is now on 10 for the season, 15 in his top flight career, while Matteo Brighi has two in the current campaign and 24 overall. 

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.

Have your say...
@Pado

I believe he is granted permission due to having played at a world cup tournament. This is the same reason that allowed Milan to appoint Leonardo a few years ago.
on the 20th January, 2014 at 10:55pm
How can Seedorf be allowed to coach Milan when he does not possess his coaching license. Many of the provincial clubs in recent years have been barred from hiring coached without licenses, or had to also employ a licensed figurehead to sit on the bench beside their unlicensed coach. Any information?
on the 20th January, 2014 at 8:44am
Milan win again with a penalty.... at the san siro hurray for Seedorf! How many penalties is that in the last 12 months for Milan........and how many awarded to Inter....something rotten in the state of Denmark, as Shakespere would say.
on the 20th January, 2014 at 6:11am

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.