Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Milan leave it late….

With the Scudetto and the relegation places already taken care of, the final weekend of the Serie A season saw the race for the much coveted final Champions League spot

It was a straight fight between AC Milan and Fiorentina.  Milan were away at relegated Siena, whilst Fiorentina also faced relegated opposition in Pescara. 

Milan came out victorious in dramatic fashion to pip Il Viola to third place.  With five minutes left, Milan were trailing Siena 1-0 until Mario Balotelli and Phillipe Mexes scored to send I Rossoneri into dreamland.

Balotelli against Siena.  Image courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk

The Milan result was very harsh on Fiorentina who did everything they could by beating Pescara 5-1 with a hat-trick from Adem Ljajic and goals from Matias Fernandez and Arsenal target, Stevan Jovetic competing the rout.

In Serie B the final weekend was just as exciting and frantic as three teams all had a chance of promotion, and also the league title.  Sassuolo, Hellas Verona and Livorno went into the final games with Serie A the carrot dangling in front of their noses.

It all went down to literally the last kick of the season as Sassuolo scored a 95th minute winner against Livorno to earn promotion, and also clinch the league.  They ended game with nine men in a nailbiting end to the season.  Verona will join them in Serie A after drawing 0-0 at home to Empoli, in front of 40,000 fans at Stadio Bentigodi.

Sassuolo promoted.  Image courtesy of www.sbnation.com

So that brings the 2012/13 Serie A season to a close.  In the end the usual suspects finished where many predicted they would.  Next season will see new faces in charge of some of the top clubs.  Napoli are after a new manager as Walter Mazzari has stepped down.  His likely destination is Inter, who are looking to sack Andrea Stramaccioni and Milan are, according to Silvio Berlusconi at least, looking to replace Massimiliano Allegri.  A busy summer awaits, and I will keep you upto date with all the comings and goings right here.







Juventus, Napoli, Milan


Fiorentina, Udinese, Roma/Lazio (Winners of Coppa Italia)


Palermo, Siena, Pescara



Sassuolo, Hellas Verona


Livorno, Empoli, Novara, Brescia (Play off winners promoted to Serie A)


Vicenza, Ascoli, Pro Vercelli, Grosseto

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Down to the wire...

Juve have one hand on a 29th Scudetto after a late victory in the Derby della Mole against Torino.  Goals from Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio sealed the points but Napoli’s victory over doomed Pescara meant Juve will have to wait until this week’s game at home to Palermo to be crowned champions.

Action from Derby della Mole.  Picture courtesy of www.football-italia.net

In prolonging Juve’s wait for the title, Napoli also virtually secured second place in Serie A.  Seven points clear of Milan should be enough to secure the runners up place.

The race for the final Champions League place is hotting up as Milan and Fiorentina battle it out.  Just one point separates these two but Il Viola may well sneak into third as, on paper at least, they have an easier run-in with games against the teams at the bottom, including the Tuscan derby with Siena.

One of the Europa League places will be taken by one of the teams mentioned above, but the final spot is a battle between four teams.  Separated by only three points Roma, Udinese, Inter and Lazio are all in contention.  Inter v Udinese on the final day will not be for the faint hearted.

At the bottom Pescara are adrift and will be relegated if they lose away at fellow strugglers Genoa.  The other two places will go down to the wire as Siena, Genoa and Palermo are all within two points of each other.  Palermo and Genoa both earned vital wins last week with victories over Inter and Chievo respectively.  Siena were thumped 4-0 by Roma.  This will be too close to call.

Marco Borriello, Genoa  Picture courtesy of www.tempi.it

The race to replace these teams is just as close.  Sassuolo are three games away from the promised land, with Livorno looking likely to join them.  Verona have a lot to do to snatch automatic promotion and may have to try their luck through the play offs.

Who said Italian football was dull?

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