European hangovers, Mario Balotelli matches Oliver Bierhoff, while Roma and Fiorentina break their taboos as Susy Campanale sums up the stats from Serie A Week 25.
All but one of the teams involved in Europe this week lost their following Serie A match. Napoli secured a draw, but Juventus, Inter and Lazio conceded a grand total of eight goals, scoring one.
Francesco Totti scored his 224th Serie A goal and is now just one behind Gunnar Nordahl, who is second in the all-time charts, while Silvio Piola has 274. The Roma captain has put 10 career goals past Gigi Buffon in only nine meetings, including two when the shot-stopper was at Parma. However, Totti hadn’t scored against Juventus at the Olimpico since September 2007.
Roma had not kept a clean sheet in their last 16 League meetings with Juventus, while the only other teams who didn’t score here this season were Atalanta and Torino. The Bianconeri were unbeaten at the Olimpico since a 4-0 thrashing in February 2004, followed by five wins and two draws. The leaders fail to find the net on their travels for only the third time this season and suffered their first away defeat since a 1-0 at Milan on November 25, the second in 31 League trips outside Turin.
Aurelio Andreazzoli enjoyed his first Serie A victory and ended Roma’s run of two points from six games since their 4-2 win over Milan on December 22. Roma have scored in each of their last 32 Olimpico outings in Serie A for a total 69 goals.
Juve lost a top flight match after a 3-0 Champions League victory for the second time this season, as they were also beaten by Milan after a 3-0 over Chelsea.
Fiorentina had not beaten Inter, home or away in all competition, since a 2-1 result at the Franchi in February 2006. This win ends a run of three stalemates and 12 defeats. The last time the Viola put four past them was in May 2000, while Inter hadn’t lost in Florence by three clear goals since a 3-0 in 1985.
Inter are without an away victory in all competition since conquering Partizan Belgrade 3-1 on November 8, managing one draw and eight defeats between Serie A, Coppa Italia and Europa League. In Serie A alone, they have earned one point from their last seven away matches, their worst run since one point in eight in April 1999.
The Tuscans remain Antonio Cassano’s favourite victims, as he has scored eight of his 95 Serie A goals against them in 15 meetings. He has netted in the last three rounds, also scoring against Siena and Chievo.
When Fiorentina have played ‘Three Tenors’ Alberto Aquilani, David Pizarro and Borja Valero together, they’ve notched up eight wins, one draw and one defeat. Stevan Jovetic had scored just one in his last six matches before this game, while it was Adem Ljajic’s first ever Serie A double.
Napoli had found the net in each of their previous 20 Serie A outings at the San Paolo for a total 48 goals since the 0-0 with Cesena on February 1, 2012. Home and away, they had scored 31 goals in their last 14 Serie A rounds. Sampdoria fired blanks in their third away game on the bounce, but are unbeaten in four rounds with just one goal conceded. The Partenopei had won the last four editions of this fixture, but Samp still haven’t scored a Serie A goal in Naples since 1998. Napoli hadn’t drawn two League ties on the trot since March 2012.
Mario Balotelli scored four goals in his first three games, the first player to achieve this for Milan since Oliver Bierhoff in September 1998. The Rossoneri notched up a sixth consecutive home victory and have benefited from three own goals, the other two scored by Elvis Abbruscato and Jonathan of Pescara. Gabriel Paletta scored an own goal on his 27th birthday.
Parma extended their winless run to six, their worst of the campaign, but found the net at San Siro for only the fifth time in their last 12 visits. The Ducali have lost 12 and drawn three here since their last win in December 1996, including four defeats on the bounce in which they scored two goals and conceded 12. Roberto Donadoni has never beaten Massimiliano Allegri, registering one draw and five defeats.
Siena have picked up 10 points in the last five games. Lazio have a disastrous Serie A record in Siena, earning one win in 2006 along with three draws and six defeats, including last season’s 4-0 hammering. The Biancocelesti have still not won any of their seven Serie A matches played without either Miroslav Klose or Hernanes this season, drawing three. Innocent Emeghara has now netted in each of his three starts for the Tuscans, but remarkably scored four goals from his only four shots on target.
Torino confirmed their problem with referees, as they have given away eight penalties this season, more than any other club on a par with Udinese. Alessio Cerci has a bizarre quirk to his campaign, as all four of his League goals have come between the 40th and 45th minute. Valter Birsa scored his second. Atalanta have won just one of their last 10 games, losing six. German Denis went up to 42 Serie A goals, nine in the current campaign.
Cagliari extended their unbeaten streak to three wins and three draws, a run they hadn’t enjoyed in the top flight since January 2010. In all eight of Marco Sau’s 10 goals this term have been scored away from home, while this was his second brace. In the last six editions of this fixture between Serie A and B, Pescara have not scored a single goal.
Cyril Thereau has been involved in all of Chievo’s last four home goals, scoring two and providing assists for the others. Palermo have been in front only three times away from home this season and ended up drawing all of them. Their record at the Bentegodi is now one win in 2006, three draws and four losses. The Sicilians are without a win in 11, including six defeats, but Mauro Formica broke his Serie A duck at the fourth appearance.
Bologna have failed to score in eight of their 13 away matches, but had found the net in their last five games for a total 12 goals. Catania had lost their previous four meetings with Bologna, home and away, without scoring a goal and conceding eight. The Elefantini have dropped just two points from their last five games at the Stadio Massimino. All three of Sergio Almiron’s goals this season have come on home turf.
Davide Ballardini beat Francesco Guidolin in the top flight for the first time, after one draw and three defeats. Genoa are still unbeaten under Ballardini, earning eight points in four games and kept only their third home clean sheet of the season. In their last nine Serie A trips to Genoa, the Friulani have managed a 4-2 win in 2011, a draw and seven defeats. Juraj Kucka set a new personal best with his third goal of the campaign, five overall. Udinese have scraped just one point from their last four away games and one win in eight.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £5,000 monthly.