Serie A: Galliani fumes as Robinho’s ‘ghost goal’ costs AC Milan
Kieran Beckles takes a look at a controversial weekend in Serie A as AC Milan fume at Robinho's 'ghost goal' against Catania
‘Ghost goal’ returns to haunt Milan
AC Milan were left to rue another ‘ghost goal’ as Catania netted a 57th-minute equaliser to cancel out Robinho’s first-half strike, and hold the defending champions to a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening. The San Siro outfit were left fuming after Robinho appeared to net his second of the game and the visitors’ winner but the referee ruled that the Brazilian striker’s effort was cleared off the line by Giovanni Marchese. Replays appeared to show the ball had fractionally crossed the line, and after Sulley Muntari’s infamous ‘ghost goal’ against Juventus, the incident only served to infuriate Milan. “It’s the second time that the ball has crossed the line. When it crosses the line, it’s a goal – but not for us,” said Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani. “It’s the second time that it’s happened. First against Juventus and on Saturday against Catania. It’s frankly unacceptable.”
Full steam ahead for Juventus
Perhaps inspired by Milan’s miserable luck in Catania, second-placed Juventus produced a sparkling display to close the gap on their title rivals to just two points. Antonio Conte’s side handled a dangerous Napoli attacking outfit with ease to extend their unbeaten record to 30 games. Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci deflected Mirko Vucinic’s strike past Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis to hand the home side a 53rd-minute lead. Arturo Vidal doubled the Turin outfit’s lead with a flamboyant run and unstoppable drive before Fabio Quagliarella completed a 3-0 victory. For Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri, the overriding emotion was frustration as his side failed to capitalise on Lazio’s 3-1 defeat by Parma in the hunt for the final Champions League place.
Stramaccioni gets Inter back to winning ways
Andrea Stramaccioni dismissed suggestions his presence was the decisive influence on Internazionale’s performance in their thrilling 5-4 victory over Genoa. It was only their second victory in 11 league games and an action-packed debut for Claudio Ranieri’s successor Stramaccioni. Inter appeared to be easing to a comfortable win over their relegation-threatened opponents but Emiliano Morretti and Rodrigo Palacio struck in the opening 10 minutes of the second half to narrow Inter’s lead. Mauro Zárate’s curling shot put the home side back in front but Inter keeper Júlio Cesar received a straight red for denying a goal scoring opportunity and Alberto Gilardinho scored from the spot to leave the scores at 4-3 with 10 minutes remaining. Inter’s Argentine striker Diego Milito returned to form and sealed his hat-trick from the spot before Gilardinho converted his second penalty to end a frenetic encounter.
Siena newspaper’s April Fools
Corriere di Siena readers awoke to the surprising news on Sunday morning that Siena coach Giuseppe Sannino had been sacked – only to find out it was just a hoax. The local newspaper decided to play the trick in its Sunday edition with a fake front page on which the major news was the firing of Sannino. The newspaper went as far as claiming that ex-captain Michele Mignani would take over the reins for Saturday’s clash with Udinese. Regardless of the April Fools gag, Siena eased to a 1-0 victory over their opponents, moving eight points clear of the drop zone with eight games remaining.
Goal of the weekend: Vidal’s superb solo effort against Napoli
With the game finely balanced at 1-0, Juventus’ Chilean midfielder Vidal sealed three points for the Turin outfit against Napoli. His goal was the pick of Juve’s three strikes.