Catania 2-2 Siena (Serie A)

Catania 2-2 Siena
Maxi Lopez 11 (C), Maccarone 49 (S), Biagianti 50 (C), Vergassola 69 (S)
Stadio Massimino

Siena earned a surprise 2-2 draw at the Massimino in which Maxi Lopez saw his penalty saved.

This was a relegation dogfight, but one that looked very unbalanced. The Elefantini were practically safe after beating Palermo and holding Milan in recent weeks, while Siena’s chances of avoiding the drop were very slim.

Giuseppe Mascara sat out a ban with Jorge Martinez, Cristian Llama, Augustyn and Gianvito Plasmati. Siena made the trip without Francesco Parravicini, Michele Fini and the suspended Pratali.

Catania took the lead just 11 minutes in. Marco Biagianti won back the ball in midfield and Maxi Lopez shrugged off his marker to smash into the near top corner with his right foot.

Siena could’ve equalised on 20 minutes, but Vergassola’s header cracked against the crossbar from a corner.

Taka Morimoto was correctly booked for simulation in the box, but Siena hit the woodwork for the second time with a splendid Aleandro Rosi free kick that dipped on to the bar.

An Alvarez bullet of a free kick was pushed off the line with some difficulty.

Siena equalised at the dawn of the second half, as Massimo Maccarone was given far too much room to steer a free header in from eight yards.

However, it lasted all of 30 seconds before Siena’s defence was torn to shreds. Biagianti combined with Maxi Lopez on the edge of the box to burst in and place an angled drive across Curci.

Abdel Ghezzal mistimed his tackle on Morimoto just inside the area for a penalty. However, the Maxi Lopez spot-kick was saved and Ciro Capuano’s follow-up cleared off the line, as Siena held on.

The visitors managed to claw their way back to 2-2, as a corner came out to the D for Simone Vergassola’s shot on the bounce, which took a decisive deflection off Silvestre.

Siena almost won it at the death, but Maccarone’s half-volley was deflected out for a corner. Mariano Andujar also flew to fingertip a Del Grosso screamer over the bar.
Catania: Andujar; Alvarez, Terlizzi, Silvestre, Capuano, Carboni, Izco (Sciacca 81), Ricchiuti (Delvecchio 63), Biagianti, Morimoto (Ledesma 93), Maxi Lopez

Siena: Curci; Rosi (Reginaldo 51), Malagò, Cribari, Del Grosso, Vergassola, Ekdal (Jarolim 78), Tziolis, Maccarrone, Ghezzal, Larrondo (Calaio’ 51)

Ref: Gava

Missed penalty: Maxi Lopez 60 (C)

Udinese 1-1 Bologna (Serie A)

Udinese 1-1 Bologna
Zapata og 3 (B), Di Natale 91 (U)
Stadio Friuli

Antonio Di Natale only grabbed a last-gasp equaliser in stoppages, as Bologna remain in the danger zone.

Neither side was safe from the drop, but while the Friulani were climbing after their crisis, Bologna had lost five on the trot. The treatment room contained the usual suspects Gaetano D’Agostino, Christian Obodo, Dusan Basta and Andrea Coda. The visitors missed Roberto Guana and Mingazzini.

Udinese shot themselves in the foot just theee minutes into the match. A corner kick looked harmless enough, but Cristian Zapata clumsily prodded it into his own net from eight yards, startling the goalkeeper and teammates.

It was almost 2-0, but Martins Adailton just failed to get the ball under control after springing the offside trap.

Marco Di Vaio led the fightback for Bologna, seeing two shots charged down by defensive bodies.

Antonio Di Natale nearly added to his Capocannoniere haul with a free kick that Emiliano Viviano pushed out from the near top corner.

Gaby Mudingayi intercepted a dangerous Alexis Sanchez free kick before Di Natale could tap in from close range.

Mudingayi also proved useful for Bologna at the other end, as his blockbuster skimmed the crossbar from distance.

On the stroke of half-time, Antonio Floro Flores flashed a right-foot strike inches wide of the upright.

Marcelo Zalayeta wanted a penalty when he fell under Pasquale’s pressure on the counter, but appeared to simply stumble.

Samir Handanovic punched away a fierce Adailton attempt, but Viviano required a fantastic save on 54 minutes to fingertip Simone Pepe’s screamer on to the crossbar.

Daniele Portanova did well to intercept Mauricio Isla’s cross before Di Natale could get the decisive touch.

Udinese were unlucky and rattled the frame of the goal yet again, as on 80 minutes Di Natale nodded a Pepe free kick on to the base of the far post and on the follow-up Viviano flapped a Sanchez flick round the other upright.

The Friulani finally got their equaliser in stoppages. Asamoah rolled across from the counter for Di Natale to side-foot home from six yards.

Udinese could even have won it moments later, as Viviano flew to parry a Pepe screamer from 25 metres.
Udinese: Handanovic; Ferronetti (Inler 74), Zapata, Lukovic, Pasquale; Sammarco (Pepe 50), Isla, Asamoah; Sanchez, Di Natale, Floro Flores (Corradi 85)

Bologna: Viviano; Raggi, Portanova, Moras, Lanna; Buscè, Casarini, Mudingayi; Adailton (Modesto 56); Di Vaio (Gimenez 78), Zalayeta (Succi 87)

Ref: Morganti

Palermo 3-1 Chievo (Serie A)

Lega Calcio news: Palermo 3-1 Chievo
De Paula 18 (C), Pastore 28 (P), Miccoli pen 39, 53 (P)
Stadio Barbera

Palermo fought back from a surprise De Paula opener to consolidate fourth position.

The Rosanero’s confidence was hit by the derby defeat to Catania and the fact Sampdoria caught them in fourth place. However, they welcomed a decimated Chievo side that missed suspended trio Sergio Pellissier, Luca Rigoni and Santiago Morero, not to mention the injured Luciano, Michele Marcolini and Lorenzo Squizzi. Palermo were without Fabio Simplicio, Mark Bresciano and Cesare Bovo.

Antonio Nocerino volleyed off target from an inspired Fabrizio Miccoli ball over the top. Stefano Sorrentino performed a desperate save on Simon Kjaer’s header from point-blank range.

However, the Flying Donkeys took a shock lead at the Barbera. Nocerino’s defensive header was poor, so De Paula pounced to hold off Goian and nutmeg the goalkeeper from nine yards.

Miccoli stung Sorrentino’s palms with a snapshot, but it was Javier Pastore who equalised. Fabio Liverani’s free kick landed right on the Argentine’s head for a looping finish into the far top corner, although Mandelli’s marking left something to be desired.

The referee pointed to the spot for Manuel Iori’s clumsy challenge on Liverani. Miccoli stepped up and converted the penalty after a stuttering run-up, beating Sorrentino low at the near post.

Chievo nearly got back on level terms again soon after, as a Bentivoglio free kick squirmed through a sea of legs before it was palmed off the line at the back post.

Luca Ariatti needed a desperate goalline clearance to stop Pastore’s shot going into an empty net with the goalkeeper already beaten.

An unsightly brawl broke out just before half-time, sparked by Miccoli and Mario Yepes that then involved a series of players.

Straight after the restart Miccoli made it 3-1, as a corner was rolled across to the unmarked ‘Pocket Striker’ for a fantastic curler from distance.

Sorrentino prevented Pastore getting another after he dispossessed defenders.
Palermo: Sirigu; Cassano, Kjaer, Goian, Balzaretti; Migliaccio, Liverani, Nocerino; Pastore (Budan 90); Cavani (Bertolo 82), Miccoli (Hernandez 68)

Chievo: Sorrentino; Frey, Mandelli, Yepes, Mantovani (Jokic 65); Pinzi, Iori (Granoche 58), Ariatti (Sbaffo 74); Bentivoglio; Abbruscato, De Paula

Ref: Gervasoni

Livorno 0-2 Udinese (Serie A)

Italian football news: Livorno 0-2 Udinese
Sanchez 8 (U), Di Natale 35 (U)
Stadio Picchi

Livorno are practically relegated after this home defeat on Gennaro Ruotolo’s comeback.

This was the Amaranto’s last chance saloon, as Serse Cosmi was sacked and replaced by the Coach who started the campaign, Gennaro Ruotolo. They had amassed just five points from the last 13 rounds and needed a result against Udinese, who were hovering on the edge of the drop zone despite thrashing Juventus 3-0 last week.

Leonardo Miglionico, Alessandro Bernardini, Antonio Filippini, Diniz and Andrea Esposito were sidelined, while the Friulani missed Andrea Coda, Gaetano D’Agostino, Christian Obodo and Dusan Basta. Surprisingly, Cristiano Lucarelli was left on the bench.

It was Udinese who got off to the stronger start, as within 120 seconds Antonio Di Natale’s snapshot was fingertipped out from under the crossbar.

The Friulani broke through thanks to Chilean youngster Alexis Sanchez. He got in front of Pieri and with a great first touch went round the goalkeeper to slot home.

Rubinho struggled to deny a deflected Simone Pepe effort, while Di Natale drilled just wide. Samir Handanovic comfortably dealt with a Nico Pulzetti header.

Di Natale added to his seasonal tally with a classic counter-attack, sweeping in relatively undisturbed from a Simone Pepe assist down the left channel.

Handanovic flew across the face of goal to deny a Mozart snapshot, but Livorno fans protested and play was temporarily halted for flares thrown on to the pitch.

Ruotolo made a double substitution at the break, introucing Claudio Bellucci and Vitale, but still no sign of captain Lucarelli. Moments later Livorno also lost goalkeeper Rubinho, who seemed to catch a chill in the freezing rain and was visibly shivering as he was led away wrapped in a blanket.

Handanovic parried a Francesco Tavano strike and prevented Tomas Danilevicius from getting on to the rebound.

But those were brief respites from an Udinese monologue at the Stadio Picchi. Substitute goalkeeper Alfonso De Lucia was kept busy by a Giovanni Pasquale snapshot and Sanchez strike.
Livorno: Rubinho (De Lucia 49); Raimondi, Peticone, Knezevic, Pieri (Vitale 46); Pulzetti, Prutsch (Bellucci 46), Mozart, Moro; Danivelicius, Tavano

Udinese: Handanovic; Ferronetti, Zapata, Lukovic, Pasquale; Isla, Sammarco (Badu 82), Asamoah; Pepe, Di Natale, Sanchez (Lodi 91)

Ref: Brighi

Bologna 2-3 Lazio (Serie A)

Italian football news: Bologna 2-3 Lazio
Guana 12 (B), Portanova 16 (B), Mauri 44 (L), Dias 63 (L), Rocchi 67 (L)
Stadio Dall’Ara

Lazio completed an extraordinary comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at the Dall’Ara.

Neither side was entirely assured of Serie A safety yet, so it was a tense six-pointer. Lazio were in better shape with one defeat in five, while Bologna had lost four on the trot. Vangelis Moras and Nicola Mingazzini were sidelined for the hosts. Stephan Lichtsteiner was suspended along with the injured Francelino Matuzalem, Pasquale Foggia and Mourad Meghni.

Bologna pounced on a defensive error to take the lead, as Giuseppe Biava lost the ball in his own box and Modesto rolled it back across for Roberto Guana to hit an absolute missile from the edge of the box.

Moments later it was 2-0 and again defending was unimpressive from Lazio. A corner kick found Daniele Portanova’s free header at the near post with very little competition.

Lazio got their first shot on goal after 40 minutes at the Stadio Dall’Ara. Mauro Zarate skipped past his marker and the powerful daisy-cutter cracked against the base of the upright.

Tommaso Rocchi replaced the disappointing Biava and it sparked a reaction from the Biancocelesti. Bologna also threatened with a Santos header from Martins Adailton’s free kick skimming the post.

Just before half-time, an Aleksandar Kolarov cross from the left found Stefano Mauri to trap and smash a powerful screamer from outside the box.

Emiliano Viviano plucked a deflected Zarate cross-shot off the line straight after the restart.

Zarate then aimed a daisy-cutter at the base of the near post, forcing Viviano into another tricky save, as Lazio were now in control. The goalkeeper also had his palms stung by a Rocchi turn in the area.

The goal was in the air and finally arrived with Andre Dias scoring his first Serie A strike. It was a chaotic move with several shots that ricocheted around the box and Rocchi’s attempt came off the crossbar until Dias got the final touch.

Bologna quite simply disappeared from the pitch and Lazio went 3-2 up moments later. Brocchi’s backheel flick carried on a cross for Rocchi to scuff in from six yards.

Busce’ trapped a long free kick from close range on to fire over with only the only the goalkeeper to beat.

Zarate also wasted, as he went on the counter and fired straight at the goalkeeper.
Bologna: Viviano; Raggi, Portanova, Santos, Lanna; Buscè, Guana (Casarini 71), Mudingayi, Modesto (Gimenez 74); Adailton; Di Vaio (Succi 82)

Lazio: Muslera; Dias, Stendardo, Radu; Biava (Rocchi 38) (Firmani 89), Brocchi, Ledesma, Kolarov; Zarate, Mauri; Floccari (Cruz 78)

Ref: Rosetti