Serie A

News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about Serie A and everything Italian football related.

Serie A

Giuseppe Mascara’s Three Goal Effort Too Much

The 29-year-old attacking midfielder/forward’s three-goal effort against Torino FC in today’s Serie A action propelled Calcio Catania to the 3-2 victory.  The well traveled Mascara has seen action at a host of Italian clubs over his career.  Today’s hat-trick is surely one of his career achievements.

After Mascara’s second goal gave Catania a 2-1 lead late in the first half, the 18,000 supporters at the Stadio Angelo Massimino felt confident that three points would be secured.

Sadly, Torino equalized early in the second on a penalty goal from Nicola Amoruso.  The match looked destined to end 2-2 until Mascara capped his Man-of-the-Match performance with his third goal in the 80th minute.

Serie A

Napoli Hanging with the Milan Clubs

After eleven Serie A matches, Napoli is tied with AC Milan on 23 points and is only one point behind first place Internazionale. 

The Partenopei have used a strong defense and timely goals thus far.  Goalkeeper Gennaro Iezzo recorded four saves in his shutout victory over Sampdoria on Sunday.

In the 2-0 victory, goals came from Daniele Mannini and substitute Marcelo Zalayeta.  Zalayeta, the 29-year-old Uruguayan, has scored two goals in eight league appearances.  Fellow Uruguayan, Walter Gargano, has also played a pivotal role for Napoli.  The 24-year-old midfielder arrived in 2007.

Serie A

2008 Serie A Summer Transfer Review Part I

Serie A Tickets now offers up an in-depth look at the transfers who arrived in Italy for the 2008-2009 campaign.

1. Olof Mellberg – The centre back arrived at Juventus this summer via Aston Villa. He was excited to join the club using the Bosman ruling to move.  He signed a three-year deal and so far has started 7 league matches and come on a substitute in two more.  The 31-year-old Swedish international has the right recipe of international and domestic experience to keep the supporters happy.  He was a favorite of the supporters while at Villa.  Grade: B+

Serie A

Coppa Italia’s Round of 16 Offers a Few Interesting Match-ups

Of the eight, AC Milan vs. Lazio appears to be the marquee match-up.  With AC Milan invested in successful Serie A and UEFA Cup campaigns, Lazio has an opportunity to surprise the Italian giants.  Also on tap are:

Internazionale vs. Genoa, Roma vs. Bologna, Sampdoria vs. Empoli, Udinese vs. Reggina, Fiorentina vs. Torino, Napoli vs. Salernitana, and Juventus vs. Catania.    
     
Serie B sides include Salernitana and Empoli.  Empoli was relegated from Serie A last season leaving Salernitana as the lone Cinderalla at the dance.  Salernitana won promotion to Serie B last season after capturing the Serie C title.

Who will advance?

Serie A

How Much Longer Can Alessandro Del Piero Compete at This Level?

The 33-year-old Juventus striker continues to compete at an elite level.  It is not so much a question of can he keep this maddening scoring pace up, but more a question of when will the drop off occur?  At 33, Alessandro Del Piero is entering a period noted for decline with many of the globe’s greatest attacking players, but after his recent brace against Real Madrid in the group stages of the 2008-2009 UEFA Champions League, his looming decline seems to be put on hold yet again.

Serie A

Cicinho’s Own Goal Costs Roma Two Points

After Francesco Totti’s second-half goal put Roma up in front of promoted side Bologna Football Club 1909, Roma supporters relaxed as they waited for the end result which certainly looked like a given three points.  Sadly, disaster came in the form of the Brazilian right back’s injury-time own goal in the final moments of play. Cicinho attempted to clear but instead headed directly into his keeper’s net.

Roma manager Luciano Spalletti noted to the media, “We could have won but unfortunately we conceded an own goal and we have to accept it.”

Serie A

Five Key Attacking Prospects in Serie B

Here is a look at five key attacking prospects in Serie B.  All are 25-years-old or younger.

1. Francesco Lodi: The 24-year-old second striker is picking up where he left off in 2007-2008.  He already has six goals for former Serie A side Empoli.  Several clubs could move for the forward during the January transfer window including Napoli.

2. Barreto: The 24-year-old Samba striker is on loan at Bari from Serie A outfit Udinese.  He has four goals already and could return to the Zebrette for the 2009-2010 campaign.

3. Giuseppe Greco: The 25-year-old striker has four goals for Pisa Calcio.  He is on loan from Genoa.

Serie A

Goran Pandev and Mauro Zárate Are Helping to Keep Lazio Close

Without some timely goals from forwards Goran Pandev (5) and Mauro Zárate (6), S.S. Lazio would be several rungs down the table and more-than-likely out of Europe next year. Manager Delio Rossi still has the potential on his side to secure a successful campaign but he must find greater production from several key players including tapping into Pandev’s full potential. You might recall Pandev’s brace against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League. He has the potential to be a top star in Italy.

Serie A

Inter hammer Roma

Francesco Totti started his first game in six months for the Giallorossi after damaging knee ligaments against Livorno last April, and the roar from the Stadio Olimpico’s Curva Sud (south stand) as he emerged from the tunnel was deafening. Almost as deafening as the silence in said stand as Victor Obinna completed Inter’s scoring in a 4-0 rout of the home side.

“The result seems false to me, exaggerated,” reflected Roma manager Luciano Spalletti afterwards. Hardly. Had Inter not eased into second gear after Obinna lashed home the fourth just 56 minutes in, things could easily have been a lot worse.

Europe, Serie A

Three To Think About

With several interesting matches from around Europe today,  I am sure you were glued to the TV or perhaps at a match.  Every media outlet under the sun is reporting on the likes of Liverpool and the historic comeback versus Wigan or Real Madrid and its last second derby victory, but below you will find three matches that you might have missed.

3. Napoli 2-1 Juventus

21-year-old Slovak midfielder Marek Hamšík tied the match at 1-1 and 23-year-old Argentine striker Ezequiel Lavezziput the club up for good.  The win ups Napoli’s point total to 14 which is good enough for first in the league.  Juventus sits at 11thin the table with 9 points.