Inter Milan see off Parma, Genoa top of Serie A

By Steve Mitchell

Atalanta 0 – 1 Sampdoria

Sampdoria have three wins out of three after a 1-0 away win in Bergamo against Atalanta. Former Orobici Coach Luigi Del Neri received a hero’s welcome before the game from the home tifosi, a truly magnanimous gesture on their part.

The opening 45 minutes belonged to the home side as Sampdoria tried to hit on the counter attack. Simone Padoin went close early on for the hosts but at half time the game remained goalless. Shortly after the restart, Samp midfielder Fernando Tissone got a second yellow card and it seemed the advantage had truly swung in favour of the home side. However, Antonio Cassano had other ideas and he was instrumental in the game’s only goal as he placed a slide rule pass into the path of Daniele Mannini who slotted the ball home.

In stoppage time Atalanta went so close to getting a share of the points as Jaime Valdes crashed a shot against the upright but it was Del Neri’s and Sampdoria’s day as they claimed their first win in Bergamo since 1997 and left Angelo Gregucci’s side pointless after three rounds.

Bologna 0 – 2 Chievo

Chievo continue to surprise with an impressive away win in Bologna. Two first half strikes from Giampiero Pinzi and Sergio Pellissier ensured the Flying Donkeys returned to Verona with all three points. Fiorentina came out on top in a hard fought contest at the Artemio Franchi against Cagliari, Azzurri marksmen Alberto Gilardino getting the games only goal ten minutes after the interval.

Palermo 1 – 1 Bari

Palermo’s home fixture against Bari was held up for 20 minutes after a thunderstorm hit Sicily, and two minutes into the match, Walter Zenga’s men might have wished the game had been abandoned as Riccardo Allegretti fired the visitors in front.

On a playing surface that remained tricky to say the least, Palermo huffed and puffed and finally, in stoppage time at the end of the match, they got their deserved equalizer as substitute Igor Budan got his first goal for the club.

Inter Milan 2 – 0 Parma

Inter Milan took time too see off the challenge of Parma at the San Siro, Wesley Sneijder guilty of wasting first half opportunities as the tifosi lost patience with their team.

An extraordinary confrontation between Douglas Maicon and the fans in the first period gave Parma Coach Francesco Guidolin a wry smile as his team snuffed the life out of the game. After the interval, the Nerazzurri improved, and a wonderful goal from Samuel Eto’o was followed by a typical poacher’s goal from Diego Milito to leave Jose Mourinho’s team just two points off the pace.

Udinese 4 – 2 Catania

Antonio Di Natale takes the award for player of the weekend with a scintillating 24 minute second half hat-trick for Udinese against Catania.

The visitors took a surprise lead through Japanese scoring sensation Takayuki Morimoto before Antonio Floro Flores leveled things up on 29 minutes. Just five minutes later, the visitors were back in front through a Giuseppe Mascara penalty and led going into the break. After the interval, Di Natale took the game by the scruff of the neck and reminded Azzurri Coach Marcelo Lippi of his outstanding abilities as he put the game out of the Sicilians’ reach.

Genoa 4 – 1 Napoli

The final game of the weekend was a highly charged affair at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa, as Gian Piero Gasperini’s men entertained Napoli.

The visitors surprisingly left their superstar Ezequiel Lavezzi on the bench with Coach Roberto Donadoni preferring Inacio Pia’ to partner Fabio Quagliarella in attack. Last season’s corresponding fixture saw Genoa win a thriller 3-2 whilst playing with nine men. Referee Paolo Tagliavento was given the unenviable task of keeping the game under control this time around.

Predictably the game was fast and furious right from the start and on 28 minutes Genoa’s Domenico Criscito lost his head as Tagliavento awarded a foul against him. The Napoli born defender hurled obscenities at the official who produced a straight red card.

Three minutes from half-time, Marek Hamsik scored a brilliant opener for the visitors, latching onto a slide rule pass from Quagliarella to round the oncoming Marco Amelia and place a low shot into the corner of the net.

Incredibly, in the sixth minute of stoppage time at the end of the first period, Genoa got themselves level when Napoli defender Hugo Campagnaro, having already been booked for a lunge on Genoa goalkeeper Amelia, brought down Giuseppe Sculli in the penalty area to leave Tagliavento with no option but to show another red card.

Replays suggested it was a harsh decision as new stiker Sergio Floccari dispatched the spot kick to make it 1-1 at the break. After the interval, the match lost none of its intensity and on 55 minutes, Giandomenico Mesto hit an unstoppable shot from 20 metres to put the home side in front.

The stadium was a cauldron of noise as the hosts seized the initiative – substitute Hernan Crespo put the match out of Napoli’s reach with a lovely goal 15 minutes from time and then to make matters worse for the visitors, Salvatore Aronico brought down Rodrigo Palacio in the penalty area as the third red card of the evening was produced. Houssine Kharja converted the spot kick as Il Grifone climbed to the summit of the table and proved that they are here for the long haul.

This weekend’s Serie A results in full:

Livorno 0-0 Milan
Lazio 0-2 Juventus
Atalanta 0-1 Sampdoria
Bologna 0-2 Chievo
Fiorentina 1-0 Cagliari
Inter Milan 2-0 Parma
Palermo 1-1 Bari
Siena 1-2 Roma
Udinese 4-2 Catania
Genoa 4-1 Napoli

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