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Serie A Week 16 Talking Points

It was a topsy-turvy weekend in Serie A, with 41 goals scored across the 10 games and 28 of those coming in the second half. Roma were 1–0 up, then 2–1 down at home to Cagliari before recovering to win 3–2, while Chievo recovered from 2–0 down against Inter to pull level at 2–2 midway through the second half but still went on to lose 4–2. More dramatic still, however, were events at Stadio Friuli, where Lazio trailedUdinese 3–0 with just over half an hour to play, yet somehow managed to snatch a 3–3 draw.

As well as opening the scoring for Roma yesterday, Francesco Totti set tongues wagging earlier in the week by suggesting he may be ready to turn out for the national side again. “I wouldn’t say no right away,” Totti told Corriere dello Sport on Friday, when asked how he would respond to a call up for the 2010 World Cup. “I would think about it over and over, but only because [Marcello] Lippi [is Italy manager]. He has always been incredible to me.”

Adriano is expected to return to Brazil in the next two days after a week in which Inter were forced to deny reports the striker had been sent home from training for showing up in poor condition after a night out. Jose Mourinho insisted once again that he hoped Adriano would stay at Inter and was expecting him back with the team when training resumes on January 2, but also added: “If he asked to leave in January and a solution arose that worked well for both him and us, then I wouldn’t stop him. But if he does go, I expect someone to be brought in to replace him.” The common assumption is that Jose’s ideal “someone” would be Didier Drogba, though Inter may have to cough up a fair bit of money, as well as Adriano, to convince Phil Scolari to sanction such a move.

Napoli manager Edy Reja dismissed talk of his team winning the title after they thumped Lecce 3–0 at the San Paolo on Saturday. “The title is nothing to do with us,” he insisted and with good reason. Napoli now sit third, nine points behind Inter, and have wins against Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio under their belts. But they have also picked up just eight points in as many games away from home. Their home form alone could carry them to a top-four finish, but they are not ready for a sustained title challenge.

Even before they signed Diego Milito this summer, Genoa had deemed Marco Di Vaio surplus to requirements. At 32, the striker was coming off a season in which he had scored three goals in 22 appearances and the Grifone were more than happy to send him on loan to newly promoted Bologna. After scoring a hat-trick in Bologna’s 5–2 rout of Torino on Saturday, however, Di Vaio now sits joint-top of the scorers’ charts on 12 goals — alongside Milito and Fiorentina’s Alberto Gilardino.

Results: Bologna 5–2 Torino, Fiorentina 2–0 Catania, Genoa 1–1 Atalanta, Inter 4–2 Chievo, Juventus 4–2 Milan, Napoli 3–0 Lecce, Palermo 2–0 Siena, Reggina 0–2 Siena, Roma 3–2 Cagliari, Udinese 3–3 Lazio