BLOG ITALIA
Thursday October 31 2013
Over to you Roma…

With Roma yet to play, their challengers had a chance to put the Giallorossi under a bit of pressure. Giancarlo Rinaldi sums up how the midweek Serie A action turned out.

It’s only an advantage to play your game first if you get the points under your belt. Both Juventus and Napoli had a shot at trying to plant a seed of doubt in Rudi Garcia’s mind on Wednesday night. Both teams managed it, but it could hardly have been in different styles.

The Partenopei had, on paper, the tougher task on the road to Fiorentina and so it proved to be. Two sweetly-finished goals from Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens with a Giuseppe Rossi penalty sandwiched in between gave them a half-time lead. They were put under severe pressure for the rest of the game but they held out – if only just.

The most contentious moment came late in the game when Juan Cuadrado thought he had won a penalty but was, instead, booked for the second time for diving and sent off. Napoli were already down to 10 men themselves after Christian Maggio was sent packing, but they kept their shape to fend off Vincenzo Montella’s men. If clinical finishing wins titles, Rafa Benitez might have another trophy to polish come the summer.

It was a more straightforward task for Juve against a Catania side which has yet to see any positive effects from the appointment of Gigi De Canio. Andrea Pirlo celebrated his Balon d’Or nomination with a trademark free-kick which was possibly the pick of four goals for the Bianconeri. If this is a crisis, most other teams would love to be suffering one.

Defeat to Napoli killed Fiorentina’s hopes of overtaking Inter who had only managed a draw with Atalanta on Tuesday night. It also allowed those heroes from Hellas to catapult themselves back up the table with a win over Samp. A comical swing and a miss before he thumped the ball home saw Luca Toni add the second goal which clinched the victory for Verona.

Elsewhere, an old-school Kaka finish was not enough for Milan to get the three points they desperately craved at home to Lazio. Vlad Petkovic’s men fought back with a show of character under driving rain and equalised through Michael Ciani. A point, however, was probably a frustrating reward for both teams.

A share of the spoils came in more madcap style in Livorno. Torino got off to a flyer with two goals in less than 10 minutes but they have shown themselves capable of throwing away a lead before and so it proved again. The Tuscan side drew level and overtook them before an Alessio Cerci penalty saw the match finish in an incredible 3-3 scoreline.

Udinese got over their first home defeat in more than a year with a precious three points away to Sassuolo while Alberto Gilardino redeemed himself for having a penalty saved by scoring the only goal in the game to see Genoa down Parma. The other winners were lowly Bologna, who showed that keeping faith in your Coach can be no bad thing. A 3-0 away triumph over Cagliari allowed Stefano Pioli to breathe a little more easily. They have been playing better than their League position suggests and should be able to float towards safety in the weeks to come.

That might prove a tougher ask for Giuseppe Sannino at Chievo Verona with that trip to Roma on the horizon. It looks like a formality for Rudi Garcia’s men in a classic top versus bottom clash to make it 10 wins out of 10. But football does not always follow the script we all imagine and, at the very least, Juve and Napoli have given them something to think about.

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.

Have your say...
FORZA NAPOLI SEMPRE!!!
on the 4th November, 2013 at 6:55am
Foraz Lazioooooooooooo!
on the 2nd November, 2013 at 6:43am
The perfect 10 incredible. The last 3 games we haven't been at our best clearly missing Totti and Gervinho in last 2. But 3 wins still. We are in history, the whole team, management etc are a huge credit, now we must win the scudetto. Hope Gervinho back for Torino game we need him. I also think when Destro comes back from injury he will contribute a lot and prove himself very useful to the team. This team is prepared to put their bodies on the line and never give up, great desire. FORZA ROMA
on the 1st November, 2013 at 10:24am
Back to you, Napoli & Juve.
on the 31st October, 2013 at 11:47pm
Congratulations to Roma! Another gutsy display. It is crazy to think that they are only 5 points clear despite the 10 & 0. Very sad news about Natalino, I wish him all the best for the future.
on the 31st October, 2013 at 10:46pm
It is over to us. Juve and Napoli winning last night has put the pressure right back on us. Lets make it the perfect 10 and set the record. It will only matter though if Totti lifts the Scudetto to the heavens at the end of the season. Hope gervinho is back tonight and Destro and of course most important Totti back soon. We must approach the game as we have all season and not take Chievo lightly. If we do that we should do the job. Forza Roma.
on the 31st October, 2013 at 11:25am
Roma v Chievo should be easy win for Roma, but I think it will be 1-1
on the 31st October, 2013 at 10:57am

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.