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Sunday March 10 2013
Serie A Week 28: Did You Know?

Javier Zanetti's 600th game, Mario Balotelli's Marassi moment and Napoli's Chievo curse as Susy Campanale rounds up some curious Serie A Week 28 stats.

Javier Zanetti marked his 600th Serie A appearance, all of them wearing the Inter jersey, on the weekend the club turned 105. He made his debut in a 1-0 home win over Vicenza on August 27 1995, taking part in 600 of his team’s next 634 League games. The Nerazzurri were unbeaten in 16 official home games, including 11 victories, since Siena emerged 2-0 winners in September. In that period, Inter had always found the net for a total 31 goals.

Alberto Gilardino has now put seven Serie A goals past Inter for five different clubs, a total 157 in his career. Bologna hadn’t notched up three consecutive victories since May 2012. They also conquered San Siro last season, so this is their first double since 1998.

Adem Ljajic and Stevan Jovetic have been responsible for eight of Fiorentina’s last 10 goals, bagging four each. Jovetic took his career tally up to 34, while it was Ljajic’s ninth. Ljajic equalled his personal best of five goals for the season set in 2008-09 with Partizan Belgrade and has now put three past Lazio, who become his favourite victims. The Viola ended a run of four consecutive away defeats and hadn’t won in Rome since a 1-0 result in 2007, followed by a draw and three defeats.

Lazio have managed only five points from the last eight rounds, including five defeats. Bologna and Chievo had also won at the Olimpico this season, but the Biancocelesti hadn’t conceded here in all competition for 279 minutes of football.

Napoli have serious problems at the Bentegodi, losing their last three consecutive visits without scoring a goal. For the first time in 11 rounds, Chievo managed to score more than one goal in a single game and ended a run of one point from five rounds. The Flying Donkeys have lost just once in Verona since September 26, as Juventus emerged 2-1 winners. Boukary Drame’s only other Serie A goal was against Juventus on March 3 2012. Cyril Thereau’s sixth of the season matches his personal best set last year.

Edinson Cavani’s goal drought is now eight official games in all competition. He failed to convert a penalty for the seventh time in 22 Serie A attempts, having also faltered against Lazio this season. Napoli hadn’t lost in the League since a 3-2 to Bologna on December 16, managing five wins and as many draws.

Emanuele Giaccherini got his 10th Serie A goal, but it was the fourth Juventus have scored in stoppages this season. Catania’s last victory in Turin was 2-1 in December 2009, but home and away they’ve managed only three draws and nine defeats in all competition against the Old Lady. Between Serie A and the Champions League, Juve have kept a clean sheet for 382 minutes in Turin. This represented the 1,400th win for Juventus in their Serie A history.

Milan also conquered Marassi 2-0 last season, though Kakha Kaladze was sent off for the hosts. Home and away, the Rossoneri have won their last four encounters with Genoa without conceding. Davide Ballardini has only beaten Massimiliano Allegri once along with a draw and seven defeats in all competition.

For the first time this season, Milan kept two consecutive League clean sheets. In 2013 the Diavolo have amassed seven wins and three stalemates in Serie A, scoring 16 goals and conceding just six. Giampaolo Pazzini took his tally to 93 Serie A goals, his third in two games. Mario Balotelli now has five goals in as many matches with a Milan jersey and has found the net in all three of his visits to Genoa.

Udinese-Roma ends in a draw for the first time since a 3-3 result in 2005, which was followed by four away wins and three for the hosts. Since October 2006, only once have both teams not found the net in this fixture. In total both sides have won 14 times each and drawn 11 here.

Erik Lamela has put three goals past the Friulani this season, making them his favourite targets. Luis Muriel has scored three goals against Roma in three meetings, the other when he was at Lecce in April 2012, so they are his favourite victims. The Giallorossi have fumbled 20 points from leading situations this season, more than anyone else. The Friulani hadn’t conceded on home turf for 359 minutes of football.

Atalanta had not won in Bergamo since beating Parma 2-1 on December 8, managing two points from four games. Pescara have lost all their last eight visits to the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia in all competition, scoring three goals and conceding 21. Their one and only victory between Serie A and B was 2-0 in 1981, along with 11 losses and four draws. Gaetano D’Agostino’s 28th Serie A goal was his first since April 2012, Inter 2-1 Siena. German Denis celebrated his fourth top flight brace, going up to 44 goals, and converted the seventh out of eight penalties.

Not only had Victor Ibarbo never scored a Serie A hat-trick, he’d never even managed a brace before his 62nd appearance and now has a total of seven goals. The last Cagliari player to net a treble was Mauricio Pinilla on March 18 2012 against Genoa. Cagliari are unbeaten on home turf in 2013, picking up 11 points from five games.

Sampdoria had been unbeaten in six, conceding just once during that period and amassing 14 points. The Blucerchiati haven’t beaten the Sardinians since a 3-0 result in November 2007, followed by five defeats and four draws in all competition. Maxi Lopez netted his first goal since September 16 against Pescara.

Parma ended their eight-round winless streak, in which they had picked up only three points. They’ve won eight of the last nine editions of this fixture, interrupted only by a 1-0 defeat in February 2002. Home and away, the Granata haven’t beaten Parma for eight games, losing six.

Nicola Sansone and Amauri had also scored in October when the Ducali won 3-1 at Torino. Amauri has now put seven goals past Torino in seven games, but this was his first Serie A hat-trick, 75 overall. Sansone now has an impressive seven goals in 12 Serie A caps. The Granata have won one and lost five of their last 12 away games. Mario Alberto Santana has scored three of his total 27 Serie A goals against Parma, making them his joint favourite targets along with Genoa, Cagliari and Udinese.

Palermo have scraped just seven points from their last 14 games and are without a victory since beating Catania in the Sicilian Derby in November. The Rosanero managed only three points from the last seven at the Barbera. Anselmo celebrated his debut Serie A goal at the ninth appearance. Siena’s only other away win of the season was 2-0 at Inter in September.

The Tuscans hadn’t conquered the Barbera in Serie A since a 3-2 result in 2008, followed by three consecutive defeats without finding the net. Siena ended their 260-minute goal drought and Innocent Emeghara got his fifth strike in seven games. Alessandro Rosina took his tally up to 27 in Serie A, his fourth of the campaign.

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Have your say...
The balance of power is gradually being restored to Italian football. Juventus and Milan are historically the strongest teams both in Italy and next season will see the northern giants face-off for the Scudetto. Prior to Calcopoli only Lazio and Roma had bucked the trend of late and Inter were exactly where the should be, nowhere, and without any fake champion patches on their shirts, just like now. As a Juventus supporter I love the duel between Juventus and Milan. It is the way it should be.
on the 12th March, 2013 at 4:57pm
i want milan to finish second and napoli third for the sake of italian football. Inter dropped in form since post mourinho days and fiorentina are no CL material. Napoli can atleast make it to the round of eight while Milan will be much stronger given they will rienforce their team next summer for sure
on the 12th March, 2013 at 12:45pm
My beloved Juventus have proved that we are mentally too strong for Napoli, who clearly can't take the pressure a Scudetto battle. Last season Conte drove Juventus on to win 10 of the last 11 games to take the Scudetto from Milan, Mazzarri clearly isn't of that level. Without the goals of Cavani, no one else is capable of stepping up. Juventus may not have a top class forward, but their 4 forwards have scored 40 between them and the midfield 4 have contributed 24...that is the difference.
on the 12th March, 2013 at 12:56am
After 28 games, Juve are on top of Serie A 9 points clear of Napoli. I've got no doubt that they would retain the Serie A title. As an Inter fan all I can say is that we have to keep hoping that after 38 games we would finish in the top 3. With the poor form we are in right now, its not a challenge that we will finish in the top 3, its just impossible. But who knows if we can go on a winning spree? Winning 8 out of the last 10 games might just be enough. Lets wait and see. Forza Inter!!!
on the 11th March, 2013 at 12:34pm
I know it's slightly ambitious but Juventus in their run in have to play Inter, Lazio and Torino in quick succession. Is there any possibility of Milan winning? If only we had picked up a few extra points at the start of the season. Maybe scored from one of the 20 or so shots we had against Inter over the course of the two matches..grrr!
on the 11th March, 2013 at 10:13am
Interesting as always.
on the 10th March, 2013 at 11:59pm
Napoli are no longer scudetto contenders, without the goals of Cavani they are simply not good enough.Milan will finish second and Fiorentina 3rd.Juve may not have one prolific scorer but they do have goals throughout the whole team as Giaccherini showed.
on the 10th March, 2013 at 11:54pm

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