Chievo 0-2 Roma

Serie A Week 38 – 16/5/10 – Stadio Bentegodi – Ref: Tagliavento
Strikers: Vucinic 39′ (Roma), De Rossi 45′ (Roma)

Despite their best efforts and this comfortable victory, it is Inter who take the Serie A title thanks to their win in Siena.

For the second time in three years, Roma went into the last day needing a win and an Inter slip-up at Siena to lift the Scudetto. Due to their superior head-to-head record, a tie at the top of the table would make the Giallorossi champions of Italy.

The Flying Donkeys were already mathematically safe, but proved with last week’s hard-fought 4-3 loss to Jose Mourinho’s men that they wouldn’t give anyone an easy ride. John Arne Riise was in the stands due to suspension, while Chievo missed Bianchi, Mandelli, Morero and Pinzi.

Around 20,000 Roma fans travelled to the Bentegodi for an extraordinary atmosphere. Francesco Totti’s free kick was charged down and Marco Cassetti drilled off target.

Marco Motta did very well to close down Luca Ariatti for a corner after his marvellous first touch at the byline.

Roma were very unlucky not to take the lead on 21 minutes, as Totti smashed a powerful rising right-foot strike on the bounce that cracked against the outside of the upright!

Lorenzo Squizzi only parried a Totti cross-shot for his defence to desperately clear before Simone Perrotta could pounce. Another Totti lob whistled wide and Squizzi had a Mirko Vucinic low drive under control.

Totti had penalty appeals on 34 minutes, as he just failed to touch a Taddei ball across the face of goal, but he seemed to over-stretch and lose his balance from six yards.

Totti did put the ball in the net, but was clearly offside, then Vucinic hit the effort too meekly on the counter so it was charged down by Sardo.

Roma finally made their domination count six minutes before the break. Vucinic was released on the counter by a ball over the top, let it bounce and picked his spot, smashing the right-foot shot in at the near post from just inside the area.

Inter were still 0-0 at Siena, so at this stage Roma were top of the table thanks to their superior head-to-head record.

The Giallorossi doubled their advantage in first half stoppages. Daniele De Rossi unleashed an unstoppable blockbuster with the outside of his right foot. The poor clearance seemed to be going nowhere, but he hit it so sweetly from 25 metres to stun Sorrentino.

Chievo poured forward at the dawn of the second half, as Sergio Pellissier and Luciano had a series of efforts charged down. News also filtered through that Inter had taken the lead in Siena, meaning any result here would be meaningless.

Roma decided to play on the counter, but both Vucinic and Totti were charged down by Squizzi.

Matteo Brighi’s shot was deflected wide of the near post. From the resulting corner, a Philippe Mexes header skimmed the woodwork.

Squads:
Chievo: Squizzi; Sardo, Scardina, Yepes, Jokic; Luciano, Iori (Moro 78), Ariatti (De Paula 58), Bentivoglio; Granoche (Bogdani 68), Pellissier
Roma: Julio Sergio; Motta (Mexes 75), Juan, Burdisso, Cassetti (Tonetto 69); De Rossi (Brighi 70), Pizarro; Taddei, Perrotta, Vucinic; Totti

Livorno 1-2 Lazio

Serie A Week 37 – 9/5/10 – Stadio Picchi – Ref: Gava
Strikers: Rocchi 13 (La), Lucarelli 33 (Li), Brocchi 44 (La)

Lazio secure their safety with a comfortable away victory thanks to Tommaso Rocchi and Cristian Brocchi.

The conflicting political ideology of the fanbases makes this a very tense fixture indeed, but this time around it was also between a side that was already relegated and another needing a point to avoid the same fate. Livorno had won only one of their previous 18 games, while Lazio were fresh from a controversial 2-0 home defeat to Inter. In that match, their own fans cheered on the Nerazzurri, thus ruining the Scudetto hopes of rivals Roma.

Mauro Zarate was suspended with Mourad Meghni, Cristian Manfredini, Albano Bizzarri and Francelino Matuzalem sidelined. Livorno’s treatment table was crowded with Leonardo Miglionico, Nelson Rivas, Francesco Tavano, Antonio Filippini, Dario Knezevic, Pablo Diniz, Nico Pulzetti, Pieri and Andrea Esposito.

Lazio took the lead when Tommaso Rocchi went between the defenders to tap in a smart low Aleksandar Kolarov cross from the left flank. The move had been started by Stefano Mauri’s through ball.

The visitors lost Stephan Lichtsteiner to an injury, as he was left dazed by getting his head in the way of a powerful shot.

Livorno equalised with their most representative player, Cristiano Lucarelli. He was marginally offside when shaking off his marker to volley in Cristian Raimondi’s cross from six yards.

Rocchi nearly completed his brace with a strike that clipped the outside of the upright on 36 minutes, while Alfonso De Lucia had to beat away a typically fierce Kolarov free kick.

Lazio restored their advantage just shy of half-time, as Cristian Brocchi hit a powerful low shot from the edge of the box that bounced its way into the near bottom corner.

Neither side did much in the second half, as tiredness set in and Lucarelli limped off with a knee injury.

Claudio Bellucci had the best opportunity to equalise in the final minutes, but fired it straight at Nando Muslera.

Fiorentina 1-1 Siena

Serie A Week 37 – 9/5/10 – Stadio Franchi – Ref: Tozzi
Strikers: Vergassola 3 (S), Marchionni 16 (F)

Fiorentina fought back for a draw in this timid derby that ended the campaign on a low note.

This was a Tuscan derby, but one shorn of a competitive nature, as Fiorentina were already out of the running for Europe and Siena’s relegation was sealed last weekend. Both Coaches took the opportunity to test out some new faces.

In part this was forced upon them, as Mario Alberto Santana, Juan Manuel Vargas, Alessandro Gamberini, Gianluca Comotto and Babacar were sidelined. The vistors missed Francesco Pratali and Francesco Parravicini.

Siena took the lead almost immediately. Massimo Maccarone’s cross from the left was knocked down by Albin Ekdal for Simone Vergassola to volley in from seven yards.

Fiorentina equalised when Stevan Jovetic went on a slalom through the Siena defence and the ball eventually found its way to the on-rushing Marco Marchionni to tap in undisturbed at the back post.

Cesare Natali nodded an Adem Ljajic free kick just over, though it was Jovetic who was taking control with a series of solo efforts.

Alberto Gilardino replaced Keirrison for the second half, but Sebastien Frey had to beat away a Maccarone snapshot and Emanuele Calaio’ left-foot strike. Gianluca Curci palmed Massimo Gobbi’s angled drive round the post and had his palms stung by Riccardo Montolivo’s missile.

Siena nearly won it on 86 minutes when substitute Larrondo received from Jajalo to turn in the box, but he thumped the upright when one-on-one with Frey.

Bologna 1-1 Catania

Serie A Week 37 – 9/5/10 – Stadio Dall’Ara – Ref: Giannoccaro
Strikers: Di Vaio 15 (B), Maxi Lopez 51 (C)

Both teams are now safe from the drop with a share of the spoils at the Dall’Ara.

Barring a minor miracle, both teams were safe for another season in Serie A. Bologna did just about enough with their last-gasp draw against 10-man Atalanta last week, while the Elefantini were looking to beat the club record of 43 points.

Gaby Mudingayi and Mingazzini were sidelined along with the suspended Daniele Portanova. Catania had to do without Cristian Llama and Blazej Augustyn, but Jorge Martinez was off the treatment table and on the bench.

Mariano Andujar beat away a Marco Di Vaio free kick that burst the defensive wall, then did the same to deny a Casarini left-foot shot on the bounce.

Di Vaio did break the deadlock when he ran on to an Antonio Busce’ through ball to roll a snooker shot into the near corner.

Casarini went off with an injury to make way for Francesco Modesto.

Catania equalised after the restart when Biagianti threaded through the middle to release Maxi Lopez, who kept his cool to place a daisy-cutter into the far corner.

Napoli 2-0 Atalanta

Serie A Week 37 – 9/5/10 – Stadio San Paolo – Ref: Orsato
Striker: Quagliarella 42′, 83′ (Napoli)

Fabio Quagliarella’s brace has mathematically secured Napoli’s place in the Europa League – sending Juventus to the preliminary round – and relegated Atalanta to Serie B.

The Orobici conceded their hopes had been “reduced to their last embers” after the unlucky 1-1 draw with Bologna last week. Max Pellegrino’s red card proved crucial and here he sat out the first in a two-match ban, joining the injured Cristiano Doni, Jose Leonardo Talamonti, Paolo Zanetti and Edgar Barreto.

Napoli were in the Europa League, but faced a battle with Juventus to avoid the preliminary round. Gianluca Grava and Juan Zuniga were suspended, with Hugo Campagnaro out for the rest of the season, but Walter Mazzarri tested out the trident attack.

German Denis had a goal disallowed after six minutes for his foul on Bianco, then ‘El Tanque’ nodded another chance just wide.

Andrea Consigli kept his cool in a on-on-one against Ezequiel Lavezzi to close down the striker. At the other end Morgan De Sanctis was attentive to palm away a Tiberio Guarente lob.

Fabio Quagliarella made his comeback from a ban and scored on the stroke of half-time. He charged down the right flank and flashed a snooker-shot of an angled drive across the face of goal into the far bottom corner.

Simone Tiribocchi went so close to an equaliser 30 seconds later, but after skipping round De Sanctis he had narrowed the angle too much and hit the side-netting.

Fabio Caserta wasted the chance to equalise with a header off target, but it was Napoli who doubled their lead.

Quagliarella got the second in the final stages, soaring at the back post for a towering header on Mariano Bogliacino’s cross from the left.