Parma 4-1 Livorno

Francesco Guidolin waved goodye to Parma with a crushing 4-1 victory over sorry Livorno.

The Coach made his final appearance on the Tardini bench, while Livorno waved goodbye to Serie A. Cristiano Lucarelli’s loan spell is over, but he was unable to play against his former club due to an injury. Livorno’s treatment room was packed with Leonardo Miglionico, Nelson Rivas, Francesco Tavano, Dario Knezevic, Antonio Filippini, Moro, Andrea Esposito and Nico Pulzetti. Parma were without Damiano Zenoni and Massimo Paci, but welcomed back Blerim Dzemaili and Luis Jimenez from suspension.

Debutant goalkeeper Bardi palmed away a Jonathan Biabiany curler, which Valiani was unable to make the most of. Zaccardo knocked the ball down for Davide Lanzafame, but again Parma were not quick enough to react.

Livorno lost Fabio Galante to a calf problem early on, giving Ossou his debut. Alessandro Lucarelli’s volley was off target and Antonio Mirante had his palms stung by Prutsch.

Mirante was a little less impressive when batting Raimondi’s header off the line, while Biabiany then burst forward and wasted a counter-attack.

Parma finally found a way through in first half stoppages. Davide Lanzafame’s shot with the outside of his right foot took a decisive deflection off Ossou to beat Bardi into the far bottom corner.

Lanzafame completed his brace 38 seconds after the restart. He rushed forward through the middle and unleashed a sudden blockbuster that whizzed past Bardi’s outstretched hand at the far post.

Ex-Livorno midfielder Stefano Morrone made it 3-0 moments later, as he exchanged passes outside the box to drive low at the base of the near upright.

It was almost four, as Hernan Crespo just failed to get the final touch to a free kick and Zaccardo nodded it wide.

The Amaranto got a consolation goal when a corner kick was not cleared effectively for Tomas Danilevicius to bundle over the line from six yards.

Crespo got his goal in stoppages and was visibly moved at the farewell to the Tardini. Valeri Bojinov rolled across and he had all the time to pick his spot low at the near post.

Cagliari 1-1 Bologna

Cagliari end the campaign still without a victory since February, but at least Daniele Ragatzu – and their goalkeeper – prevented another defeat.

Mid-table security was already assured going into the final round, but caretaker manager Giorgio Melis at least hoped to end his Cagliari career with a victory. The Sardinians were without a win since February and Nene’ sat out a ban, while Federico Marchetti, Francesco Pisano and Michael Agazzi were injured, so Vigorito got his debut in goal. Bologna ensured their safety last weekend and were struck down by a flu virus sweeping the team. It took out Zenoni, Gimenez and Marcelo Zalayeta. Also absent were Casarini, Mudingayi, Mingazzini and Moras.

Bologna took the lead with their first opportunity after three minutes. Martins Adailton gathered an Antonio Busce’ pullback from eight yards and his rising strike cannoned off the underside of the bar, bouncing over the line before it went out.

Debutant goalkeeper Vigorito was certainly kept busy, as he needed a series of first half saves to keep the scoreline down from Adailton’s half-volleys.

Cagliari wasted a great chance to equalise after the restart, as Davide Biondini’s pass was wayward with Alessandro Matri totally unmarked waiting to tap in.

The Sardinians drew level when youth team product Daniele Ragatzu pounced on a poor clearance outside the box to pick his spot and smash in.

Atalanta 1-2 Palermo

Palermo scraped a stoppage-time victory, but it didn’t matter, as Sampdoria go into the Champions League.

The Orobici already knew they were relegated, but for the Sicilians it was all to play for. They needed a victory and for Napoli to trip up Sampdoria in order to qualify for the Champions League.

Giulio Migliaccio was suspended with Fabrizio Miccoli, Mark Bresciano and Fabio Simplicio sidelined. The home team had the trio of Maximiliano Pellegrino, Nicola Amoruso and Jaime Valdes on a ban, plus Edgar Barreto, Javier Chevanton, Tiberio Guarente, Leonardo Talamonti and Paolo Zanetti injured.

Atalanta had a strong start, threatening in the opening minutes with both Cristiano Doni firing over and Simone Tiribocchi hitting it straight at Salvatore Sirigu.

However, it was Palermo who broke through against the run of play. The South Americans combined, as Javier Pastore sprung the offside trap from an Abel Hernandez ball over the top to prod with the outside of his right foot for Edinson Cavani to tap in.

Fabio Ceravolo’s header was straight at the goalkeeper and Sirigu flew to palm away a Radovanovic right-foot screamer. Just before the break, Pastore set up Abel Hernandez only for the Uruguayan to drill wide from the edge of the area.

Cristiano Doni’s free kick skimmed the upright, but play was repeatedly halted in the first half due to fireworks thrown by the Atalanta fans.

The Orobici ruined Palermo’s Champions League hopes straight after the restart with a wonderful Ceravolo solo effort. He burst down the left flank and smashed the curling right-foot finish in at the near post.

News also came through that Sampdoria were winning at Marassi, so Palermo had that double blow. Nonetheless, the Sicilians kept pushing and Cavani’s angled drive was only denied by Bianco’s goalline clearance.

Sirigu was at full stretch to palm a Doni snapshot off the line, while Andrea Consigli had to keep out both Bertolo and Pastore.

Atalanta were right in the thick of this game and arguably had the better chances, as Simone Padoin’s effort from point-blank range brought a desperate reaction save from Sirigu.

Cavani controlled from a set play only to half-volley on to the side-netting from six yards.

Consigli prevented Igor Budan from turning the game around with a great save as the Croatian flicked with the outside of his right boot from close range.

Budan horribly wasted on the counter when one-on-one, firing straight at the grateful goalkeeper with a weak finish.

The referee awarded a harsh penalty in stoppages, as Bianco blocked an overhead kick with his hand, but he could not have got out of the way. Nonetheless, Cavani stepped up to convert the penalty and give Palermo a futile victory.

Catania 1-0 Genoa

Italian football news – Serie A Week 38 – 16/5/10 – Stadium Massimino
Catania 1-0 Genoa – Maxi Lopez 65 (C)
Ref: Candussio – Sent off: Juric 63 (G)

Catania set the new club record for points in the top flight thanks to crucial January signing Maxi Lopez.

Sinisa Mihajlovic had already achieved safety against all odds and was now targeting the all-time club points record in Serie A, earned under Walter Zenga. Genoa failed to qualify for Europe and had struggled in recent weeks, although last Sunday’s win over Milan boosted confidence.

Cristian Llama, Augustyn and Gianvito Plasmati were sidelined, while the Rossoblu missed Jankovic, Kharja and the suspended Bocchetti.

Giuseppe Mascara’s daisy-cutter tested Marco Amelia and Maxi Lopez drilled inches wide with his left foot from the edge of the box.

Andrea Campagnolo smothered a Domenico Criscito snapshot at the near post following good work from Raffaele Palladino. Jorge Martinez put the ball in the back of the net, but was in an offside position.

Genoa wasted a golden opportunity to take the lead on the half-hour mark. David Suazo surged forward on the counter and went past Campagnolo to set up Palladino, but the finish flashed across a totally open goal from a tight angle!

Amelia needed two touches to parry a Maxi Lopez right-foot strike from distance on the strong of half-time.

Robert Acquafresca came very close to an opener for Genoa, as he shook off his marker to fire straight at the on-rushing Mariano Andujar from point-blank range.

However, Genoa were reduced to 10 men moments later when Ivan Juric received a foolish second yellow card in the space of five minutes.

Catania took advantage immediately. Ciro Capuano’s cross from the left found Maxi Lopez sliding in at the near post, getting in front of his marker for the 11th goal in 17 games.

Pablo Ledesma’s backheel flick created another chance for Adrian Ricchiuti, who failed to make the most of it.

Catania: Andujar; Alvarez, Silvestre, Terlizzi, Capuano; Biagianti; Ledesma, Ricchiuti (Marchese 79), Mascara, Martinez (Barrientos 59); Maxi Lopez (Russo 85)
Genoa: Amelia; Mesto, Criscito, Papastathopoulos, Tomovic; Milanetto (Zapater 67), Juric, Sculli, Palladino (Fatic 42); Suazo (Boakye 52), Acquafresca

Sampdoria 1-0 Napoli

Italian football news – Serie A Week 38 – 16/5/10 – Stadium Ferraris –
Ref: Rizzoli
Sampdoria 1-0 Napoli
Pazzini 51 (S)

Sampdoria: Storari; Zauri, Lucchini, Gastaldello, Ziegler (Cacciatori 64); Semioli (Guberti 63), Palombo, Tissone, Mannini; Cassano (Pozzi 87), Pazzini
Napoli: De Sanctis; Santacroce, Cannavaro, Grava; Maggio (Hoffer 63), Cigarini (Maiello 86), Pazienza, Dossena, Zuniga (Bogliacino 69); Denis, Quagliarella

Giampaolo Pazzini’s lone header proved enough to send Sampdoria into the Champions League, but they had quite a few scares.

There were mixed emotions at Marassi, as the Blucerchiati knew a victory would secure fourth place, but also realised Gigi Del Neri was likely to join Juventus next season. Samp had lost just once in over two months and hoped to maintain their unbeaten home record. Napoli were already sure of sixth position and missed Marek Hamsik, Hugo Campagnaro and the suspended Ezequiel Lavezzi, but it was a return for ex-Blucerchiati men Fabio Quagliarella, Christian Maggio and Walter Mazzarri.

In the opening minute there was an interruption, as a fan rushed on to the pitch wearing a t-shirt that read ‘Cassano for the Nazionale.’ Daniele Mannini wore a protective mask with the message: ‘They broke my nose.’

Gianluca Grava used his chest to stop a dangerous Antonio Cassano cross making its way into the six-yard box, while Morgan De Sanctis smothered a fierce Tissone snapshot from outside the box.

News filtered through that Palermo were winning in Bergamo, so Samp needed a victory to recapture fourth place. However, Napoli had some great chances, as Luciano Zauri effectively needed a goalline clearance to keep out a German Denis cross-shot that beat the goalkeeper and Paolo Cannavaro volleyed off target.

Quagliarella nearly ruined the party for his former club, as a towering header from a corner forced Marco Storari into a fantastic reaction save!

Cassano was the only one giving Samp some inspiration and dribbled between four Napoli shirts before he was eventually held back.

Sampdoria took the lead six minutes after the restart with Giampaolo Pazzini. It was a Reto Ziegler free kick from near the corner flag that found ‘Pazzo’ for a towering header from five yards, as he got away from Fabiano Santacroce. A win here would guarantee Champions League qualification.

Quagliarella went so close to an equaliser, as he dribbled between two defenders for an angled drive that Storari beat away with his outstretched foot.

Napoli so nearly made it 1-1 on 67 minutes, as a free kick found Dossena at the back post for a volley that Storari turned on to the upright from six yards.

There was panic at the 87th minute, as a Santacroce hopeful ball forward was flicked on and almost resulted in an own goal, Storari scrambling back with Hoffer to see it whistle wide.