Monday January 6 2014
Serie A Week 18: Did You Know?

Juventus terminated Roma's unbeaten record, Edy Reja picked up where he left off and Ricky Kaka marked his Milan Century as Susy Campanale has the week's curios.

Juventus are Winter Champions for the 27th time and in 20 of the previous 26 instances went on to take the Scudetto.

The Old Lady matched their club record of 10 consecutive top flight victories, first set in 1932. A run of nine straight home wins is their best since 12 in 2005-06, while they hadn’t kept six clean sheets in Turin since January to April 2003. Fabio Capello also had 49 points in Week 18 back in 2005-06.

Roma suffered their first defeat under Rudi Garcia after 12 wins and five draws and hadn’t lost in 19 League games, including last season. The last time the Giallorossi shipped three goals was 3-1 at Sampdoria on February 10 2013, which was 31 rounds ago. The Lupi won just one of their last 11 Serie A trips to Juventus, 2-1 on January 23 2010, losing seven and scoring only five times. They’ve conceded 11 goals in their three visits.

Arturo Vidal’s joint favourite targets are Roma and Lazio with four Serie A goals each. He netted seven of his eight League goals this season from inside the penalty area. Leonardo Bonucci scored his eighth and Mirko Vucinic the 96th on the day Giorgio Chiellini played his 300th game in a Juve jersey. The Bianconeri have netted in each of their last 31 League ties for a total 63.

The last time Roma had two red cards in a League match a 4-1 defeat away to Atalanta on February 26 2012, when Dani Osvaldo and Marco Cassetti went off. Daniele De Rossi was dismissed for the eighth time in his Serie A career, but it was the first for Leandro Castan.

Edy Reja returned on the Lazio bench and picked up where he left off, as his last game was a 3-1 victory over Inter at the Stadio Olimpico on May 13 2012. Walter Mazzarri has only beaten Reja twice along with three stalemates and six losses, while he never won away to Lazio, managing four draws from 10 attempts.

For the first time in their history, Inter lost four consecutive Serie A encounters with Lazio, home and away. They have also been beaten in each of their last four visits to the Olimpico, another new record, since a 2-0 victory on May 2 2010. Miroslav Klose’s other career goal against the Nerazzurri also made it 1-0 in Rome at the 82nd minute on December 15 2012, precisely mirroring this result.

Lazio earned only their second win from the last nine rounds along with three draws and four defeats. Inter fired blanks after scoring 24 goals in 11 official matches, last failing in a 3-0 defeat to Roma on October 5. Erick Thohir’s club won just one of their last seven away games, drawing four.

Ricky Kaka netted his 100th and 101st goals in a Milan jersey in all competition, 75 of them in Serie A and 11 top flight braces. The opener was against Inter on October 5 2003. Bryan Cristante scored his first, as the 18-year-old had previously played only five minutes of Serie A football. The Rossoneri hadn’t won since a 3-1 in Catania, followed by two draws and a defeat.

Milan have not lost their first game of the year since a 3-0 at Lazio in 1997, beginning the calendar with 14 victories and three stalemates. Atalanta are without a victory since their 2-1 over Bologna on November 10, managing only two points from six rounds.

Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score four goals in a Serie A season since Luis Oliveira for Cagliari in 1999-00 and it’s his first brace. Sampdoria have lost five of their last six San Paolo games, drawing the other, without scoring a single goal and haven’t won here since a 2-0 result in 1998. Sinisa Mihajlovic had been unbeaten since taking over the Blucerchiati with three wins and as many stalemates between Serie A and Coppa Italia, always finding the net.

Luca Toni hadn’t scored from outside the box in Serie A since March 2010, but curiously that was also against Udinese. The veteran hadn’t reached nine League goals in a single campaign since his 14 for Bayern Munich in 2008-09. With 118 Serie A goals, Toni leapfrogged Abel Balbo in the all-time charts and bagged a brace for the second game in a row.

Udinese have lost four of their last five home fixtures, scoring only two goals. Roberto Pereyra went up to seven Serie A goals, his first since a 1-0 away to Cagliari on April 27 2013. Verona amassed 10 points from the last four games and celebrated only their second victory in Udine. Aside from the 5-3 triumph in 1985, Hellas had lost six and drawn four here in the top flight.

Vincenzo Montella had never previously won a January fixture, scraping only two points from seven games. For the first time since March 2013, Fiorentina won four League home ties in a row. Gonzalo Rodriguez netted his second of the campaign, eight in Serie A overall, while Alberto Aquilani made his 200th appearance in the Italian top Division. Livorno have one point from seven rounds and last won in Florence 2-1 in 1937, followed by four draws and 10 defeats between Serie A and B.

Amauri’s last League goal was in Parma 3-0 Pescara on March 30, ending a 22-round drought and taking his career tally to 77. Marco Marchionni’s 25th Serie A strike was his first since November 2012, but Alessandro Lucarelli found the net for the second game running. Ciro Immobile scored his fourth goal in three games, 14 overall in Serie A.

Torino have fumbled 15 points from leading situations this season, more than any other club, but this result ends their streak of 13 points from an available 15. Parma extended their unbeaten streak to seven rounds, albeit only two wins, and Antonio Mirante made his 200th Serie A appearance. The Granata have lost their last five trips to the Tardini and earned only two points from nine meetings, home and away. Toro never won their first game of the new year under President Urbano Cairo, managing five draws in 10 attempts.

Gianluca Pegolo parried his third penalty in the last two top flight campaigns. Alberto Gilardino scored his 167th Serie A goal, while Andrea Bertolacci went up to 12. Genoa celebrated their first victory since beating Verona 2-0 on November 10, having amassed only three draws and two defeats. Sassuolo fell to a fifth consecutive loss between Serie A and Coppa Italia without finding the net. Francesco Magnanelli made his 300th appearance in a Sassuolo shirt.

Cagliari have received only two penalties this season and missed both of them with Victor Ibarbo and Mauricio Pinilla. The Chilean had failed to convert another of his 19 Serie A and B penalties, in a 4-2 victory over Siena in October 2012. Chievo ended a run of two consecutive defeats and gave away their first spot-kick in 18 rounds, since May 12 against Torino. The Sardinians are unbeaten in seven, albeit with only two successes. Cagliari never managed to win away to the Flying Donkeys thanks to six draws and five losses between Serie A and B, failing to even score here in 399 minutes of football.

Catania ended their 370-minute goal drought and a run of one point from five rounds. Gonzalo Bergessio got his 27th Serie A goal, the 22nd for Francesco Lodi on his Elefantini comeback. Bologna picked up one point from their last five away fixtures and also lost at the Massimino last season.

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Have your say...
Milan were no worse or better than they were in other games this season and miraculously won. Great to see Cristante start and score. Great to see Kaka reach 100. You never know Milan might pick things up in the second half of the season. Allegri's sides tend to do this. Maybe he should move to a country where the season starts in January since he's pretty terrible and getting his sides to start a season properly. Nocerino was awful and needs to be sold.
on the 7th January, 2014 at 9:18am

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