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Monday November 5 2012
Scudetto battle blown wide open

Juventus had to be beaten eventually and it was Inter who did the damage. Giancarlo Rinaldi wraps up a weekend when the Nerazzurri underlined their title credentials.

The ends, perhaps, justified the means. Amid all the officiating errors and inconsistencies, the better side on the night emerged victorious. And in the process Italian football’s answer to the Berlin Wall – Juve’s unbeaten record – came tumbling to the ground.

It was maybe inevitable that it would be Inter who would demolish that impressive edifice. The vitriol between their two sets of fans has carried the explosive power of gelignite in recent years. On Saturday night, it blew up in the Bianconeri’s faces.

It was the kind of game which had more talking points than a month of back-to-back chat shows. A controversial goal in the opening 20 seconds can do that to a match. By the end it was hard to work out just how much the match officials had influenced the final outcome of the game.

Let’s try to tackle all those issues in order. Juve’s opener through Arturo Vidal should have been ruled out for an offside earlier in the move, although it was possible to see how it could be missed. What was harder to excuse was the failure to send off Stephan Lichtsteiner for a pretty evident yellow-card foul after he had already been booked. His swift substitution by Martin Caceres had the air of an admission of guilt. No wonder the Nerazzurri felt miffed at half time.

But the second half had the feeling that the match officials were desperately trying to right those wrongs. Inter’s penalty was clear cut, but there were a string of free-kicks and bookings against Juventus players which had a hint of compensation about them. All it did was compound the sensation that the match officials had lost their grip on the game.

None of that, however, should diminish the Nerazzurri’s achievements. They seized the initiative after they slipped behind and managed to take a win away from the Juventus Stadium. In the process, to the delight of Interisti and neutrals, they ensured Serie A remained a contest for some time to come.

Angelo Alessio was right to point out that although a battle had been lost there was still the war to win. Only a fool would hit the panic button after one defeat in half a century of League matches. Nonetheless, the words “top player”, which haunted the club’s summer, were quick to resurface.

The loss of Mirko Vucinic to injury and his replacement by Nicklas Bendtner combined with an ineffectual performance by Sebastian Giovinco only made the queries more insistent. What could this Juve side achieve with a 20-goal a season striker? Although that question in itself ignores all that the club has managed to do so far without that kind of scoring machine.

As for Inter, they came out of the game in fully-fledged revival mode. Andrea Stramaccioni saw his bold move to pitch three forwards into the match – Antonio Cassano, Diego Milito and Rodrigo Palacio – pay off in style. He was not slow to voice his feelings of vindication after the final whistle.

The result should have allowed Napoli to breathe new life back into their title challenge but it proved beyond them. Even the goalscoring return of Edinson Cavani was not enough for them to get past a Torino side still undefeated away from home. Walter Mazzarri has been cursing his luck, but his team has struggled to find its old scintillating form of late and had to settle for a draw.

Lazio were also unable to narrow the gap at the top as their miserable run of results continued away to an impressive Catania side. Instead, it was up to Fiorentina to come out of the pack and stride past the Biancocelesti into fourth place. Just a couple of points off the Champions League places, the Viola sparkled against in-form Cagliari.

At one point during that game, the Tuscan side had just one player on the pitch – Romulo – who was in their squad last year. That underlines the scale of the revolution which has been undertaken at the Artemio Franchi. It will undergo a further test next weekend against Milan in the San Siro.

Fans of the Rossoneri will be hoping that game can continue the mini-revival enjoyed with a 5-1 thumping of Chievo. The result gave some credence to Max Allegri’s belief that his team has not enjoyed the results its play has deserved of late. Although that must be tempered by the fact that the boys from the Bentegodi are the worst travellers in the Division with five defeats out of five away from home so far this season.

Another side without a victory outside their own ground this year are Palermo and they took a thumping from Roma in Sunday’s night game. Zdenek Zeman’s side were almost on course for a clean sheet until Josip Ilicic got his first Serie A goal in nearly a year to deliver a late consolation. The impressive nature of the Giallorossi’s win – apart from a foolish red card earned by Mattia Destro for his goal celebrations – sets up a Rome derby which could actually see them overhaul Lazio in the table.

The final word probably has to go to Giovanni Stroppa who saved his Pescara job – for the time being at least – with a win over Parma. The irony, lost on nobody, was that while the Adriatico boss was fighting to keep his post, his opposite number Roberto Donadoni was celebrating signing a new contract. What odds on that getting ripped up if he racks up a few more results like this weekend’s in the months to come?

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Have your say...
DO ANY OF YOU JUVENTUS HATER ACTUALLY KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT THE CALCIOPOLI TRAILS AND THAT A INDEPENDANT INVESTIGATION BY FIGC FOUND THAT IF JUVENTUS WAS INDEED GUILTY THE WORST PUNISHMENT WAS TO BE PENALISED A FEW POINT BUT THE INVISTIGATION WENT ON TO SAY THAT IN HIS OPINION THERE WAS NO WRONG DOING AS ALL TEAMS HAD ACCESS TO THE REFREES THAT SEASON

SO SERIOUSLY GUYS READ UP ON SUBJECTS BEFORE SHOOTING YOUR MOUTHS OFF
on the 7th November, 2012 at 12:11pm
@gianni strama has never coached at top level until now he,s a young manager as 4 him not winning anything he won the youth champions league with inter 2yrs ago....and rember all u rubentini i n t e r mai in serie B...forza internazionale.!!!
on the 7th November, 2012 at 10:45am
If Juventus had Daid Villa and Fernando Torres this blog would never had been written. Total cost somewhere between 30-45 mill. Bendtner is slow and useless. By the way I would love to see two row of seats above the VIP seats instead of pictres and if Juventus could find a way to remove the cables in the four cornes, streching from the roof to the ground, it would improve the view and architecture in an already impressive stadium. Lloriente might begood too.
on the 7th November, 2012 at 10:26am
@Dante Juventus deserved to be send to SerieB because they were found guilty 100% and now it is clear they are bribing the refrees despite luck of evidence to find the link between them and refrees. Look how many matches they won under refrees. The nicknames of Juvetus is the following
1- Ladri
2-Thiefentus
3-Ladroventus
4-Briberyventus
on the 7th November, 2012 at 12:20am
Inter have no class. Someone should remind Stramaccioni that he has won NOTHING in his career and should stop trying so hard to be a Little Mourinho and look at the Serie A table, who's top? Juve! All Juve fans look forward to seeing Stramaccioni stamble and fail. Serie A is a marathon not a race, remember that Interista. See you at the finish line.
on the 7th November, 2012 at 12:04am
history says inter is the only team to win a treble and juve went to serie b for cheating
on the 6th November, 2012 at 11:31pm
Calcopoli was the reason for Inter's success, when they should have been playing in C2. No Calcopoli would have meant no Ibra, which would have meant no Scudetto, which would have meant no Mourinho, which would have meant no Champions League, which would have meant no Intercontinental title. Wearing the Scudetto shield after finishing 3rd in 2006 was an act of how desperate and pathetic you really are. You are morally bankrupt, anti-Italian, bad losers and worst of all classless winners.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 10:43pm
History will also show that even with Moratti and help from Telecom Italia to send Juve to Serie B, Juventus still have more Scudetto then Inter. History also shows all those titles won under Herrera in the 60's were obtained by awful refering help in Inter's favour.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 10:18pm
To all you Inter fans, sitting in your Ivory Towers, preaching how perfect and whiter than white you are...you are badly in need of a reality check. The new Calcopoli wiretape evidence proved that Juventus were guilty of nothing more the ungentlemanly behaviour, whilst Inter were guilty of sporting fraud. This evidence was obviously buried until the statue of limitations made it inadmissable. Not only were Inter the true criminals of Calcopoli, but they were the ones who benefited the most.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 9:56pm
History will also show calciopoli and that juve were relegated for cheating dosnt really matter whether they have one trophy or 100 and history will also show inter the only serie team never to have been relegated.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 8:14pm
@ Juve all Juve. If you are saying Juve won more cups in Italy i say because it is through bribing the refrees but Inter was more succesfull than Juventus in oversead. Inter won more European cups than Juventus. Inter also won world club cup and inter continental which Juventus will not dream of it. Inter is the first side in Italy which won trible and with in one year they won serie A, copa Italia and the Champion league and that is not what Juventus is able to do. In the overseas no bribery.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 8:00pm
what sort of history corruption history juve have,guys no diserspect but juve are corrupted full stop..............................god bless inter
on the 6th November, 2012 at 7:39pm
History will remember JUVENTUS have more Scudetto's, more Coppa Italia's and more overall trophy's then Inter. History will show Juve are the most sucessful Club in Italy, Juve are more sucessful then Inter and Milan. History will show Moratti spy's on his own players. History shows, Inter 1-2 Juventus on 29.10.11 & Juventus 2-0 Inter 25.3.12. History shows Juve unbeaten in an ENITRE League season! CAMPIONE D'ITALIA
on the 6th November, 2012 at 5:35pm
history will also show that juventus had in this match scored a goal and finished with 12 i mean 11 players on th pitch...this is exactly how credible juve history is
on the 6th November, 2012 at 3:15pm
South Africa has a point juventus was punished by far the most for something every team was doing, how can inter fans cry foul that's hypocritical when you gave been found guilty of sporting fraud and thus far gone unpunished are you serious, ppl who live in glass Houses should not throw stones
on the 6th November, 2012 at 2:46pm
unbeaten in 49 games and the first team to beat you in your mediocre stadium even thuough you had referee paid for AS USUAL, is your arch enemy INTER MILAN! come on juve fans that has to hurt. WHAT A HISTORIC MOMMENT.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 2:39pm
INTER WERE THE BETTER SIDE AND DESERVED THE WIN I DONT SEE WHY IT GET CALLED WHINNING WHEN A JUVENTUS SUPPORT GIVES HIS A OPINION!!!
YOU ALL SOUND LIKE ENGLISH SUPPORTS LOOKING FOR ANY REASON TO PROVE YOU TEAM IS BETTER WHEN THE STATS AND HISTORY JUST DONT SHOW IT!
FACT..JUVE HAS WON MORE THEN ANY OTHER ITALIAN SIDE
FACT.. JUVE HAS HAD MORE AZZURRI THE ANY OTHER ITALIAN SIDE
FACT.. WHEN JUVE IS GOOD ITALY IS GOOD HENCE MORE ITALIAN WORLD CHAMPIONS ARE FROM JUVE
on the 6th November, 2012 at 12:16pm
WE WILL SEE AT THE END WHO WIN THIS SCUDETTO.... I LOVE THE FACT THAT WE STEAL EVERYTHING BUT YET ARE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL SIDE IN ITALY WOW WE MUST BE BRILLIANT TO ALWAYS GET AWAY WITH IT AND THE ONLY TIME WE GET "CAUGHT" WAS FOR SOMETHING EVERY TEAM IN THE LEAGUE WAS DOING AT THE SAME TIME YET JUVE GET BLAME.... STATUE OF LIMITATION IN ITALY IS THE ONLY THING THAT SAVE FIGC AND INTER THE EMBRASSEMENT OF HAVING TO ADMIT THEY WERE WRONG AND WHAT HAPPENED IN 2006 WAS A JUVENTUS WITCH HUNT!
on the 6th November, 2012 at 12:09pm
@Juventus Fan S.Africa. Are you complaining about the clear penalty when the refree allowed you the offside goal. Man you should be realistic. Someone who is intelligent can not talk the way you are talking.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 12:09pm
@ Mustafa : You are indeed a joker....hehehehe....If I knew where you are based, I would've helped you find a good shrink.

On another note, I would want the Italian teams in CL and EL to do well cos we need the coefficient points and not drop further down and end up with only one or two teams in the CL.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 11:24am
I,ve never heard so much whinging an moaning from all u rubentini fans,its allesio,s fault its tom +jerrys fault etc...just face it u were well an truly beaten i repeat beaten by the better side...and internazionale will win scudetto...forza inter
on the 6th November, 2012 at 11:17am
@JUVENTUS FAN S. AFRICA
It wasnt the same shirt pulling that you see after every corner of FK.
1 out of 100 was that penalty Barsa got against Milan in CL last year (Nesta "foul" i think).
This was clear shirt pulling from behind, and big difference is that ball was in play and it went to Milito so Marcisio pull made big difference.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 10:54am
@ Saj


"You are hilarious. Do you make an effort to be a joker or does it come naturally to you?"

Thanks for the compliment !

To answer your questions: I was serious.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 10:44am
@ Ben

"Mustafa, are you serious? That was the most stone cold penalty I have ever seen, penalry never been so clear. "

With all do respect, I think you were the one who had his eyes poked. Or, you just playing a funny guy.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 10:42am
I see some anonymities hitting about the "mediocre" unbeaten run.

Yeah, how mediocre !

Hey, congratulations to you because Inter won their title by beating Juve. Soon, you will get back to the places you used to, I mean Europa League spots.

Good luck
on the 6th November, 2012 at 10:39am
I think everybody sees and feels it. Yes, Juve haven't been performing well since Alessio took over from Carrera. I have been saying it since day one. And he is to blame for Inter defeat and the shock performance against that Danish club.

I Can't wait for Conte to be back on the bench.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 10:34am
The shirt tug on Milito was done inside the box and just when he was about to pull the trigger which indeed unbalanced the striker. The problem is that the Juventinos don't see a clear cut penalty or a Muntari goal if it is against them.
on the 6th November, 2012 at 10:29am
Juventus played badly since Alessio in charge. he should've been fired!
on the 6th November, 2012 at 9:47am
No way Lichtsteine should have seen red. Conspiracy? LOL. Moratti is paranoid and full of double standard.ever heard of fingerspitzengefühl? Forza Juventusssssssssssssssssssssssss
on the 6th November, 2012 at 9:25am
I TOTALLY AGREE IT WAS A CLEAR CUT PENALTY ACCORDING TO THE RULES OF THE GAME...... PROBLEM IS THAT THEY GIVE IT 1 OUT OF 100 TIMES!!!! IF THEY GAVE A PENALTY FOR SHIRT PULLING THERE WOULD BE A PENALTY AT EVER CORNER KICK!!! THE LAST TIME I REMEBER SUCH A SOFT PENALTY BEING GIVEN WAS ITALY VS HOLLAND IN EURO 2000! REFS NEED TO BECOME CONSISTANT WHICH WE ALL KNOW WILL NEVER HAPPEN. ONLY SOLUTION USE A TV REF LIKE IN CRICKET AND RUGBY
on the 6th November, 2012 at 8:53am

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