Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Julian De Martinis On May - 10 - 2011

Six Things We Learned This Weekend

Milan are worthy Scudetto winners

Following a 0-0 draw against Roma away, Milan picked up their first trophy of the season. Massimiliano Allegri’s side have been consistently good all season; by no means superb but definitely the best of the bunch in Serie A. Shrewd transfer dealings played a major role in Milan’s triumph: Antonio Cassano’s assists, Mark Van Bommel’s guile, and Kevin Prince Boateng’s versatility have all contributed greatly to the cause. The next step in the season comes with a second march towards silverware, in the return leg of the Coppa Italia against Palermo today.

Alessandro Matri is a real striker

A striker’s striker, a man who can score goals, a goalscorer. There were reservations when Juventus failed to pick up either Edin Dzeko or Giampaolo Pazzini this winter mercato, both of whom at various times seemed like sure signings. Matri seemed to be merely a stopgap, a striker signed because, well, Juve needed a striker. That line of thinking, however, has been all but demolished. Since the transfer, Ale has played in thirteen matches and scored seven goals- thirteen matches less than captain Alessandro Del Peiro, and yet the same amount of goals. His performances are often clutch, securing winners against Inter and Cagliari and turning a loss into a draw against Genoa. The real problem with Matri is the team around him: his strikes against Cesena and Chievo became less meaningful because Juve has proven relatively unable to hang onto a lead.

Fiorentina have a long way to go

La Viola have not beaten Inter away for what seems like an eternity, and last year’s treble winners continued their impressive home streak. Fiorentina have been patchy all season, after a very disappointing year last year, and a 3-1 loss away on the weekend suggests that the side has much work to do to return as Champions’ League spot contenders. The return of Sebastien Frey and Stefan Jovetic will surely bolster the side but question marks remain over Sinisa Mihajlovic’s future at the club. A 5-2 thrashing of Udinese just one matchday ago seemed as if Fior were once again on track to recovery, but Inter have proven that there’s much work to do this offseason.

Cesena are safe

Somehow, the Seahorses have managed to pull themselves to safety in their return season in Serie A. A 2-0 win away to Cagliari all but ensured that, on 40 points, Cesena are most likely out of relegation contention. Mathematically, of course, the side could still fall as they are four points away from the drop with six to play for. However, that would require two other teams to do what seems almost impossible…

There’s not much to play for… except in derbies

Genoa find themselves comfortably mid-table: no relegation concerns nor European ambitions. Yet the side wanted nothing more than to demolish Sampdoria in the derby this weekend, and did so with a last second turn from Maur Boselli. Sampdoria once again find themselves in relegation contention as they battle with Lazio to occupy the eighteenth spot within two matchdays’ time. A brutal schedule for both sides suggests this will be one spot to watch. Samp have yet to take on Palermo at home, where Fabrizio Miccoli would love to do his beloved Lecce side a favor, and Roma away- the same Roma that Sampdoria famously denied the scudetto last season. Lecce still have to face Bari- who would love nothing more than seeing their rivals relegated as well- and Lazio, who may need points to be in the Champions’ League on the last day of the season.

The race for fourth is down to three

Juve’s inability to hold onto a 2-0 lead against Chievo means that Udinese, Lazio, and Roma are still dueling for the final Champions’ League spot. Udinese’s win over the blue side of Rome over the weekend put the side in fourth, at least for now, with a two point cushion over the Roman contenders. However, the final two games will prove incredibly decisive in deciding which team occupies the spot by the end of Matchday 38. Can Udinese take full points from Chievo and Milan? Will Roma overcome Catania and Sampdoria? And can Lazio arrest their slide against Genoa and Lecce?

Julian De Martinis

Calcio, Azzurri, and Roma tifosi. Blogger, correspondent, podcast host (@LaMagicast). Lover of books, movies, wordplay, family, and a good cappuccino.

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  • Ted

    We learned that Matri is a real striker?
    Come on…surely we learned other things.

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