Monday November 12 2012
A feast of goals as Juve move on

Goals poured down on Serie A this weekend as Juventus extended their lead at the top of the table, while Roma and Milan lost yet again. Giancarlo Rinaldi wraps up Week 12.

There was a time when you could have guaranteed that Italy’s key games would produce drama and controversy, but probably not a lot of goals. Trepidation, tactics and tension often meant that the chances to find the net were few and far between. But that rule was rewritten over a weekend where five fundamental fixtures produced a phenomenal 27 goals.

Juve showed on Saturday night that a midweek trouncing of Nordsjaelland had not got rid of the bitter taste of Derby d’Italia defeat and took out the remainder of their bad mood on Pescara. The last time the two sides met at the Stadio Adriatico in Serie A nearly 20 years ago it ended in a 5-1 home victory but this time the Bianconeri went one better for ample revenge. Fabio Quagliarella capped a hat-trick with a wonderful overhead kick that was the kind of spectacular strike he has made his trademark over the years.

The writing was on the wall early for Giovanni Stroppa and company against a side which must have had Antonio Conte grinning in his TV commentary booth viewing post. Leaving Andrea Pirlo and Sebastian Giovinco free to weave their magic was a recipe for a disaster which duly arrived. In the end, it was a blessing for the home team that they only lost half a dozen goals. 

That game served as a one-sided appetiser for Sunday afternoon’s Rome derby in a soggy Stadio Olimpico. Both teams desperately needed a win to give greater sense to their season. It would be the Giallorossi who would fizzle out like a Zdenek Zeman cigarette tossed carelessly into a puddle.

Roma are fast becoming a betting man’s favourite team. You can be sure Erik Lamela will score – he has done it six League games in a row. You can be almost certain both teams will find the net – the only time it hasn’t happened was against Atalanta and in the Cagliari match awarded 3-0 by the authorities. And, unfortunately for them, they are also getting expert at throwing away a lead.

All three happened in a derby which had more sub-plots than the most intricate Scandinavian thriller. There was Antonio Candreva – once maligned by his own fans for his supposed Roma sympathies – belting home the goal which got Lazio back into the match. Then Daniele De Rossi, clearly not fancying a midweek call-up from Cesare Prandelli, got himself sent off to become a victim of the Azzurri’s ethical code. Finally, there was a dose of redemption for Stefano Mauri, grabbing a vital goal after being arrested and then freed as part of the Calcioscommesse match-rigging investigation earlier this year.

Vlad Petkovic, who donned a baseball cap in the Roman downpour, also saw his team adapt best to the testing conditions. “This was a tough game but we had a good feeling about it,” he said. “I had to keep the players calm before the match as losing 4-0 to Catania and playing the derby were motivation enough. Even when we went 1-0 down the boys did well to keep cool and wait their moment.”

His opposite number played the same cards he has been showing all season. The trouble is, it is starting to feel more and more like he might be bluffing. “We played for as long as there was a pitch you could play football on, but with so much water the team stopped,” said Zeman. “We can’t play a long ball game like our opponents. But our championship is not over, you said that about Inter after two games and now they are right up there. We have lost games through stupid mistakes or bad luck, I am waiting for luck to turn our way.”

Max Allegri is another man waiting for a change of fortunes but it did not happen against four-wins-in-a-row Fiorentina. Alberto Aquilani opened the scoring for the Viola in their 3-1 victory and, in the process, surely won the award for the most outrageously respectful non-celebration of a goal in history. A season on loan at the San Siro – where he featured in little more than half their games – was enough to see him put a lid on his delight. At this rate, even being a non-playing substitute at a club will soon be enough to stop a player showing his joy when he finds the net.

There was no such restraint from Borja Valero and Mounir El Hamdaoui over their first Serie A goals which helped down the Rossoneri. In the process, they forced the Viola into the open as a genuine contender for a top three finish along with Napoli and Lazio. The jeers of the home side’s support underlined what they think of this Milan team at the moment.

Vincenzo Montella said afterwards he admired the maturity shown by a side almost completely overhauled in the summer. “Maybe we are less spectacular than we were at the start of the season but we are a lot more clinical,” he commented. The drab days under Sinisa Mihajlovic seem a distant memory.

Milan’s gloom shows no sign of lifting, however. An Alexandre Pato penalty sent flying into his own supporters was a symbol of their situation. Their quality and confidence is falling faster than Felix Baumgartner tumbling to earth.

Showing the importance of keeping your stars were Napoli, as two of their three tenors of recent years – Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik – helped them turn around a tricky tie away to Genoa. That the heir to Ezequiel Lavezzi’s third slot in that trio, Lorenzo Insigne, also pinched a goal should be lost on nobody. It provoked the first tongue-out goal celebration seen since Alex Del Piero caught the plane to Sydney.

Finishing the goal-crazy weekend were Inter. They went to Bergamo needing a win to keep up the pressure on Juve and came away empty handed. There were recriminations over a penalty which ultimately sealed a 3-2 triumph for the home side, but the makeshift Milanese did not perform as they had when they downed the Bianconeri. But in this season where defences seem to be in disarray, they should get more than enough chances to make up for it.

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Have your say...
Inter fans should hope and pray the statue of limitations law is never changed. If this happens then you can look forward to life in C2. I refuse to acknowledge any title they won from 2006, simply because without Calcopoli it would now be 23 years without a Scudetto and Juventus would have been on the way to 4 stars. 
on the 16th November, 2012 at 10:23pm
@Richard, so what do you want from Juventus exactly? are those our problems or the refs?
on the 15th November, 2012 at 5:01am
@ Richard
I told you not to turn the subject around. I proved my point which was 'it's NOT just Juve'

So, don't come around whining about Juve getting away with referees errors.

But I know, it hurts to see Juve winning.

"Pandev's dismissal in Supercoppa Italia"

If you're trying to be funny here, I'm not in the mood.

"Not awarding penalty for Vidal's handball last week
versus Pescara"

So, 6-2 assuming penalty was scored.

Go play PS3 buddy.
on the 14th November, 2012 at 11:14am
Dont forget, pescara when it was 0 0 weiss was brought done by zanetti. Nog, penalty and in The counter attack inter made 1 0
on the 14th November, 2012 at 7:12am
@ Here is my answer for Mustafa the babblers :
1. Pandev's dismissal in Supercoppa Italia
2. Not awarding penalty for Vidal's handball last week
versus Pescara
3. Catania goal OBVIOUSLY clear
4. Remember Lichsteiner??LOL
5. Should Vidal's vs Inter goal stood?
6. Brkic's dismissal was a harsh one (see the incident by yourself)
7. Vidal's offside goal versus Catania

Note : The Catania game was decided by the referee.
on the 14th November, 2012 at 5:53am
@mustafa:and for the decision that went for juventus this season?? Please tell me my friend..
on the 13th November, 2012 at 11:49pm
@ Richard

Ha, don't you try to turn it around because it's an old trick. Here's your list:

1- Milito Penalty against Juve.
2- Not awarded penalty for Robinho's Milan.
3- Not awarded goal for Montolivo's Milan.
4- Not awarded penalty for Gomez in Catania match.
5- Gifted penalty (+ Red card !) for Milito against Samp.
6- Offside goal scored by Perreira against Chievo.

Note: Derby della Madonnina was decided by the referee.

Now, will you please shut up ?
on the 13th November, 2012 at 6:25pm
@mustafa : Please give me a list of decision that went to Inter way this year..But also give me a list of decision that went to Juventus this year..We can make a comparison! Don't tell me you won't!
on the 13th November, 2012 at 1:51pm
In July 2011 Inter leaders are alleged to have committed sporting fraud during Calciopoli by FIGC Chief investigator, Stefano Palazzi, claiming "Inter violated the article relative to sporting fraud and is directly responsible for having secured an advantage in the league standings by conditioning the regular function of the referee sector, but no court could confirm this allegations since all facts are covered by statute of limitation.

there you go interisti now please shut up!!!
on the 13th November, 2012 at 12:15pm

Foolish like milan fans last season? Muuuuntari son, muntari.
on the 13th November, 2012 at 11:12am
@ Saj & Unknown & Richard

Ooooh Yeah!,

what a shock !?

Do you want me to list decisions that went Inter way this year, ha ?

Or just because it's Juve you just wanna take your dirty talk on it.

"Give me an instance when Juve have behaved so gracefully"

Ha, to mention one, last season Coppa Italia Finale. A stonewall penalty and a straight red card to Aronica, but guess what, nothing awarded !

So, you need to shut up. That's my answer to you.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 10:04pm
As a neutral I really enjoyed this weekend. Many goals, fascinating results, and some fine individual performances: Quags returning to his Samp days, and Brienza-what a gem of a player, probably Serie A's most underrated player. What a pity he is 33, & not 23! On a separate note, I would like to have seen the Juve contingent given a break from the France game. We know what they can do, & Juve have some important games coming up, esp the CL games, which are important for Italian football.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 8:42pm

Are you sure no one could stop inter ?? wasn't last year juve beat inter home and away? wasn't that also full team?, Juve played bad that's why inter win.

All juve need is a killer striker like Cavani, once they have, juve will dominate serie A for sure.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 7:54pm
Froza juve, I dnt care about inter beating juve. We just need a hot inform striker. And also I need juve to beat Chelsea nextweek. By this, I would be very happy.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 5:29pm
@anonymous: For all the questionable decisions that went Inter's way during their post-Calciopoli domination years, you're not really in a position to question the intergrity of referees. Besides, like someone mentioned, Inter's penalty against Juve was a very soft one, it was a shirt tug but Milito's theatrics made it look like he was shot.
Also, I was referring to their loss at Atalanta. Squad depth is the reason Conte's brough in Isla and Caceres despite having Lichtsteiner on the right!
on the 12th November, 2012 at 5:17pm
lol Inter fans with their foolish comments, ref's look in Juventus favor? How about the offside goal against Sampdoria,the not given pelanties against Catania and Bologna? Do I need even to mention the non existent penalty against Juventus? Tbh if he didn't awarded you would never score and win. . Milan lol they needed goal from offside against Genoa to win and Genoa is the weakest team currently in serie a so that explains a lot. If Juve and Inter would play tomorrow, Inter woudl lose 5-2.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 4:07pm
Now we saw how Suzy proclaimed Inter Milan`s win over Juventus as " A Stramaccioni Masterpiece " So was the loss to Atalanta another "Masterpiece" or was the game against Juventus a fluke...Inter have a long way to go before they can catch up with Juventus..anyway not this season for sure.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 3:55pm
@Anonymous, are you trying to say that Inter has little to no squad depth? coz your argument sounds like an excuse than an assertion on Inter's strength.

@Saj, Juve got favors alright, but the main question is, how exactly does that become our problem? Because you still think that you can throw dirt on us again, without any single proof, right? no problem... go on ahead and be the losers like you lot always be.

on the 12th November, 2012 at 3:42pm
"You know, being the best team means having the necessary depth to continue moving forward even when the best players aren't playing. Inter have hit a rich vein of form but once their squad wasn't complete they were bound to have their run end."

Yeah, also having goals just placed on the opponents score every game is something of an obstacle as well...

Still waiting for Milan and Juventus to have one single goal allowed against them that was a "ref error" like Inter has twice on the bounce
on the 12th November, 2012 at 3:30pm
Saj, here is an example: the non-existent pk awarded to Inter against Juve week. We have not even mentioned it. It was Inter's first goal and turned the match around. it was given for the slightest shirt tug, but clearly OUTSIDE of the area. That was too easy. Need more examples?
on the 12th November, 2012 at 3:22pm
Inter is just not ready for prime time yet. Stramma should just keep his head down and mouth shut, keep on coaching his team. His decision to talk junk after the Juve match now looks stupid. But, never as stupid as Zeman.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 3:18pm
@Anonymous: You know, being the best team means having the necessary depth to continue moving forward even when the best players aren't playing. Inter have hit a rich vein of form but once their squad wasn't complete they were bound to have their run end. Having the capacity to replace Sneijder is more a tactical capability from Strama than anything else but their defeat of Juve proved more or less to be a wake up call for Juve than anything else.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 2:46pm
I want to see more of Insigne in Napoli! Everytime he is playing he is one of the best players on the pitch. I don't know why Mazzari still prefers Pandev.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 2:26pm
Are you joking about rano he had a night mare against juventus in the first 30 minutes hes positional sense is nothing short of shocking. Can't defend can't mark even the commentator on espn made the point of how bad he is.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 2:20pm
Still babbling about last week Mustafa? Do you know what happened to Tagliavento after that match?And you still say Inter lucky last week? You're such a pathetic guy.For me,Atalanta deserved to win last night because Inter made some elementary error in DF. Silvestre was a joke!I hope Strama ask for new DF in winter transfer.Cassano's game has already declined so I think Inter need to re-introduce Sneijder to their set-up.Anyway,this week really produced some great games to watch.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 2:18pm
OMG! Only a blind or totally brain washed person would say that Inter are in any way superior to Juventus (citing injuries or referees as excuses)

If I was an Interista, I would wait till the end of the season before making any such claims, otherwise you'll end up looking foolish like Milan fans of last year.

Secondly, I wouldn't say that Inter outplayed Juventus in their recent encounter. Juve ran riot around Inter's defence in the first half and could have been easily leading 4-0 half time.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 2:17pm

Atalanta were awarded a penalty which was non-existent. Instead of moaning and complaining like you guys. we have gracefully accepted it and given the credit to Atalanta for winning the game.

Give me an instance when Juve have behaved so gracefully....oh wait, you can't give an instance cos you usually get all the dodgy calls in your favours!
on the 12th November, 2012 at 2:12pm
Whoever judge Inter based on this game is a fool. Samuel and Rano are their best defender and they are both injured. When Inter is in full team no one can stop them... Juve included.

Mustafa, Juve allowed Inter to win? It's more like referee allow Juve to have 1 goal lol.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 1:22pm
actually Giovinco celebrated in that style after his goal against Roma..
on the 12th November, 2012 at 1:04pm

Stramaccioni masterpiece Vs Stramaccioni luck

I told you not to get all hyped up because he got lucky in Torino and Juve allowed him to win.
on the 12th November, 2012 at 12:20pm

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