Lessons from Serie A: AC Milan fury at Sulley Muntari’s ghost goal
What lessons did we learn from a controversial weekend of Serie A clashes in Italy?
Milan’s ghost goal
AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi led the calls for goal-line technology to be introduced to Serie A after his side were denied a valuable three points against title rivals Juventus on Saturday night. The match officials missed Sulley Muntari’s controversial goal despite linesman Roberto Romagnoli’s seemingly perfectly placed to judge the attempt, with the official reported to have told referee Paolo Tagliavento that it was “definitely not a goal”. Milan took the lead through Antonio Nocerino’s deflected shot and they should have extended their advantage when Muntari’s header crossed the line. The home side’s sense of injustice was compounded when Alessandro Matri scored a late equaliser. Marcello Nicchi, president of the body that governs Italy’s referees, suggested goal-line technology would be discussed in the future after the game.
Napoli inflict more misery on free falling Inter
Internazionale slumped to a fifth consecutive defeat on Sunday night, suffering a 1-0 defeat by an in-form Napoli side at the Stadio San Paolo. The result leaves Claudio Ranieri’s side in seventh place, and they trail third-place Udinese by nine points as qualification to next season’s Champions League looks increasingly unlikely. Inter striker Giampaolo Pazzini had the chance to equalise in the closing moments of the game, but Ezequiel Lavezzi’s 59th-minute finish was sufficient to secure a third successive Napoli victory and heap more misery on Inter.
Guidolin wins Albo Panchina d’Oro
Udinese manager Francesco Guidolin was awarded the Albo Panchina d’Oro – the prize for Serie A’s coach of the year. The 56-year-old received the award for his achievements in the 2010-11 season, for guiding Udinese to fourth spot in the league and a club record points tally in the top flight, securing Champions League qualification. Although Guidolin’s side were knocked out by Arsenal at the play-off stage, Udinese have bounced back from the disappointment, and now trail league leaders AC Milan by just six points.
Red mist descends on Serie A
In a hot tempered weekend in Serie A, eight red cards were issued, with Atalanta’s stunning 4-1 victory over nine-man Roma a particularly undisciplined game. Luis Enrique’s side were already 3-1 down when Pablo Osvaldo was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident, and Atalanta striker Germán Denis completed his hat-trick, before Marco Cassetti also saw red for dissent. Juventus had Arturo Vidal sent off late on in the Turin side’s 1-1 draw with AC Milan at the San Siro, and the players clashed at the end of a controversial game. On Sunday night, a busy weekend for the Serie A referees was completed when Salvatore Aronica was given his marching orders for a mistimed challenged on Marco Faraoni.
Goal of the weekend: Giovanni Marchese
English football supporters, and in particular Manchester United fans, will remember Paul Scholes’ famous goal for the Red Devils against Bradford City in 2000. David Beckham’s corner found Scholes with pinpoint accuracy, with the midfielder unleashing a sensational volley on the edge Bradford’s area which flew into the net. Serie A was treated to a similarly stunning goal on Sunday, when Giovanni Marchese hit a sensational first-time shot to help Catania to a 3-1 victory over Novara.