Lazio 2-0 Siena (Serie A)

Lichtsteiner 6 (L), Cruz 72 (L)
Stadio Olimpico

Lazio have put the crisis behind them with a second consecutive victory, including Julio Cruz scoring the moment he came off the bench.

This had become a relegation dogfight and a six-pointer for both sides. Lazio needed to get away from the drop zone and were boosted by Sunday’s 2-0 victory in Cagliari, while Siena’s recent good form had lifted them off the foot of the table. The Tuscans were unbeaten in six, but had never managed to conquer the Olimpico before with four draws and as many defeats.

Mauro Zarate’s two-match ban had expired, so he returned although Sergio Floccari, Ousmane Dabo, Mourad Meghni, Pasquale Foggia, Christian Manfredini, Francelino Matuzalem, Sebastiano Siviglia and the suspended Giuseppe Biava missed out.

Lazio took the lead with Stefan Lichtsteiner, a rare goalscorer for the club. A long Stefano Mauri cross from the left went over Tommaso Rocchi to find Lichtsteiner ready to prod home from six yards with his weaker left foot.

Soon after Stefano Mauri came sliding in to a Cristian Brocchi through ball, forcing a point-blank save out of Gianluca Curci.

Zarate stung Curci’s palms after Emilson Sanchez Cribari’s error released the Argentine and Rocchi’s daisy-cutter shaved a coat of paint off the base of the far post 60 seconds later.

A scuffle broke out on 23 minutes, as the tension got to these teams, earning bookings for Aleandro Rosi and Aleksandar Kolarov.

Lazio should’ve scored with a classic counter-attack sparked by Brocchi, but Rocchi fired straight at the goalkeeper one-on-one.

Siena did precious little in the first half and introduced Reginaldo for a more attacking line-up and immediately went close with Marcelo Larrondo.

Rocchi’s snapshot and an Emanuele Calaio’ failed to really trouble the goalkeepers, but Larrondo pounced on a Gugliemo Stendardo error only for the defender to make up for it with a crucial block.

Julio Ricardo Cruz replaced Zarate and scored with his first touch! He had been on the field for only around 10 seconds when he turned a fantastic overhead kick from a corner in from seven yards.

Mauri could’ve made it 3-0, but his delightful lob was palmed out from under the crossbar by Curci.
Lazio: Muslera; Dias, Stendardo, Radu; Lichtsteiner, Brocchi, Ledesma (Baronio 91), Mauri, Kolarov; Zarate (Cruz 72), Rocchi (Foggia 84)

Siena: Curci; Odibe, Cribari, Pratali (Reginaldo 46); Del Grosso (Calaio’ 54), Rosi, Vergassola, Tziolis; Ghezzal; Maccarone, Larrondo (Fini 80)

Ref: Bergonzi

Cavani extending his contract with Palermo

Football transfer news – Calcio news (notizie): The 23-year-old Uruguayan centre-forward looked as if he might leave Sicily in January after Palermo fans attacked his car.

Inter, Lazio and Juventus were all interested, but Cavani has settled down again and now looks set to commit to a long-term deal with the Rosanero.

“There are no difficulties,” Palermo director of sport Walter Sabatini explained. “Cavani is a very serious lad and he will respect the agreement made with us.”

When asked about reports suggesting that Inter are lining up an €18m bid that would include Rene Krhin, Sabatini replied: “I haven’t heard anything about it.”

Cavani has built on the progress he made last season, scoring 10 goals in 24 starting appearances for the Rosanero in 2009-10.

His goals have been instrumental in helping Palermo rise to fourth place in Serie A.

Bari 1-1 Parma (Serie A)

Defender Andrea Masiello’s extraordinary solo effort snatched a late point for Bari.

Reborn Bari were looking for a third consecutive victory, with Parma just one point behind. Star Paulo Vitor Barreto was still sidelined along with Mariano Donda, Vitali Kutuzov, Andrea Ranocchia, Antonio Langella and Daniele De Vezze. Stefano Morrone was suspended for the visitors.

Curiously, the San Nicola match was officiated by two female assistant referees.

Parma got off to an aggressive start and Jean-Francois Gillet flew to palm Alessandro Lucarelli’s header off the line.

Moments later Riccardo Meggiorini skipped past his marker at the byline to clip the outside of the upright.

Hernan Crespo’s angled drive was smothered and Davide Lanzafame had a soft penalty appeal. Gillet flew to punch away a Luis Antonio Jimenez snapshot from the edge of the box.

Parma continued to dominate, as Lanzafame’s trap and half-volley from distance was palmed round the base of the upright by Gillet at full stretch.

The Bari goalkeeper had his palms stung again by a Jimenez screamer and Crespo’s header was just wide from Francesco Valiani’s free kick.

Eventually Gillet was beaten, but it was practically an own goal. Damiano Zenoni got to the byline down the right channel and his low cross was deflected into the net off Belmonte from point-blank range.

Bari so nearly equalised with an absolute blockbuster from Meggiorini. He smashed it from a good 30 metres and the crossbar may well still be wobbling right now.

Meggiorini again threatened with a touched-on free kick that grazed the near post, while substitute Sforzini’s header was smothered.

Bari finally drew level with five minutes left on the clock. Defender Andrea Masiello surged forward and exchanged passes with Kamata in the box to thump it in with the outside of his right foot from six yards.

Atalanta 3-0 Livorno (Serie A)

Bottom of the table Atalanta secured a crushing victory that plunges Livorno down to last place.

This was a relegation six-pointer between two of the hot favourites to go down. Atalanta dropped to joint bottom last weekend and missed stars Cristiano Doni, Simone Tiribocchi and Daniele Capelli due to suspension. Livorno ended their run of four straight defeats thanks to a spectacular 3-3 draw with Roma, but were without Martin Bergvold, Bernardini, Miglionico and Esposito.

Simone Padoin gave Atalanta the lead after 13 minutes. Nicola Amoruso created it when he turned round his marker to roll into the box, Ernesto Chevanton’s shot was parried from eight yards and into the path of Padoin’s running volley.

Jaime Valdes blasted over and Mirko Pieri closed down Ferreira Pinto in the penalty area. Rubinho parried a Chevanton free kick and at the other end Consigli pushed Di Gennaro’s corner off the head of Perticone.

On the stroke of half-time Chevanton should’ve scored for Atalanta, but horribly wasted when he somehow prodded wide from six yards completely unmarked.

Straight after the restart Atalanta had another great opportunity, but once more Tomas Manfredini turned the header off target from the Valdes corner.

The Orobici finally doubled their advantage when Tiberio Guarente threaded through for Chevanton to strike from just inside the penalty area.

Ferreira Pinto quickly made it 3-0 for Atalanta. Ferreira Pinto was left unmarked at the back post to come sliding in on a long Guarente free kick.

Dinho: Inter still favourite

“Inter remain the favourites for the Scudetto, as they have been winning for a long time and are still at the moment in front,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“What do they have more than us? They are at the top of the table. Perhaps Milan have greater motivation, though.

“It has been a long time since we won the title. We want it, chase it, desire it.”

The fact that Inter are the only remaining Serie A side in the Champions League could well affect their fitness in the final stages of the campaign.

“They still have Europe to focus on and many games to be played. It is possible they’ll run out of energy.”

The Nerazzurri have already slowed down considerably with just one win from their last six Serie A games.

Last night they were held to a 1-1 draw at Palermo’s Stadio Barbera.