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Serie A Wrap Up

Cagliari-Milan (1-2)

Mario Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini got on the scoresheet in the final three minutes of the game to hand Milan a 2-1 victory over Cagliari in Sardinia.

It was Clarence Seedorf’s second league game in charge of the Rossoneri but his third in total after having suffered a midweek upset against Udinese in the Coppa Italia.

And it almost looked like the San Siro giants were in for another upset when Marco Sau handed the hosts the lead on 28 minutes inside a very windy stadium.

Marco Amelia’s awful clearance was put back into the middle by Mauricio Pinilla, in which Sau kept his cool to dribble both Daniele Bonera and the goalkeeper to deposit the ball into an empty net.

Milan struggled to claw their way back into the game an needed to late strikes from Balotelli and Pazzini to seal the victory. The former City man curled a free kick over the wall to which left Vlada Avramov rooted to the spot, before Pazzini pounced a minute before the full time whistle with a volley of his own.

Inter-Catania (0-0)

Inter’s winless run in 2014 was stretched to yet another 90 minutes when they played out to a 0-0 draw against Catania at the San Siro Stadium.

The Nerazzurri dominated possession but frustratingly couldn’t covert any of their chances created in front of goal.

Walter Mazzarri will rue the missed opportunities his team squandered as they dropped two points to a Sicilian side who previously had not acquired a single point on the road all season long.

The point still sees Catania sit bottom of the Serie A log, while Inter remain in fifth.

Livorno-Sassuolo (3-1)

Domenico Di Carlo couldn’t have asked for a more perfect debut on the Livorno bench with their 3-1 win over relegation contenders Sassuolo.

The Tuscans took the lead after just five minutes of play when Innocent Emeghara drew defenders away down the right and his cross found Leandro Greco, who struck a splendid volley.

Di Carlo’s presence seemed to be working as Livorno’s lead was swiftly doubled with Paulinho’s snapshot from outside the box, while the third goal arrived just moments before the half hour mark.

Emeghara turned provided again when he surged forward and rolled a cross for Marco Benassi to strike home an angled drive.

Sassuolo were given a lifeline when Francesco Bardi brought down Nicola Sansone. Domenico Berardi converted from the penalty spot but it was merely a consolation goal.

Parma-Udinese (1-0)

Udinese’s domestic crisis continued when Parma snatched a 1-0 victory over the Zebrette at the Ennio Tardini Stadium.

Amauri scored the only goal of the game in the 35th minute and it came through some comical defending by Francesco Guidolin’s side.

Zeljko Brkic clattered into teammate Thomas Heurtaux when Antonio Cassano floated in a cross from the by-line and it allowed for the Italo-Brasiliano to convert a comfortable header.

The defeat staggeringly leaves Udinese three points off the relegation zone, while Parma move up to seventh place on the Serie A log.

Sampdoria-Bologna (1-1)

Alessandro Diamanti’s last gasp penalty ensured Bologna salvaged a late 1-1 draw to Sampdoria at the Luigi Ferraris on Sunday afternoon.

The Blucerchiati had plenty of chances to take the lead in the first half but were guilty of wasting opportunities and they were left ruing the strayed opportunities after an opening 45 minutes of no goals.

Manolo Gabbiadini broke the deadlock to put Sampdoria in front, but did not celebrate against his former teammates. Eder got to the byline and pulled back for Gabbiadini’s low drive with the inside of the boot from 12 yards.

But as the home side looked destined to take the three points, it was the Rossoblu who had the last laugh from the penalty spot.

Lazaros Christodoulopoulos was tripped by Costa as he burst into the box and it allowed for Diamanti to convert the spot-kick.

Torino-Atalanta (1-0)

Atalanta were left ruing a controversial penalty decision which saw Torino snatch a 1-0 victory via Alessio Cerci’s spot kick.

The winger-cum-striker had the ball in the net after three minutes, but it was correctly ruled offside.

German Denis came off the bench and immediately created Atalanta’s best opportunity, but he sprung the offside trap only to barely skim the assist that rolled across the six-yard box.

Torino were awarded a penalty moments later, but it was a questionable decision to say the least. Andrea Consigli was clearly coming out and punched the ball when Cerci ran into him, but the referee considered it to be the goalkeeper’s error. Nonetheless, Cerci took the spot-kick himself to put Toro in front, much to Atalanta’s anger.

It proved to be enough for home side to secure the three points and move sixth on the Serie A log.

Fiorentina-Genoa (3-3)

Alberto Aquilani got on the scoresheet three times for Fiorentina as they were held to a 3-3 draw by Genoa in what was an exciting six-goal thriller.

It was a sprightly opening 45 minutes to the encounter which welcomed four goals, two penalties and a brace by Alberto Acquilani.

There was controversy just before the half hour mark when Luca Antonelli ran on to an Alberto Gilardino assist before falling over Neto’s shoulder. There did not appear to be a foul, but the referee awarded a penalty that Gilardino fired into the top corner.

It was the end of Fiorentina’s run of five consecutive clean sheets but they were soon awarded with a spot-kick of their own which Acquilani sent Mattia Perin in the wrong direction.

But the Grifoni took the lead against just 60 seconds later when Francelino Matuzalem’s ricocheted strike allowed for Luca Antonini to drive an angled ball past Neto.

Fiorentina equalised again before half-time. Massimo Ambrosini couldn’t turn between three defenders but protected it just enough to allow Aquilani to drill low from 12 yards.

Aquilani could have handed Fiorentina the lead at the restart when his header was incorrectly ruled out for offside, before seeing another shot moments later take a deflection to put the Viola 3-2 up.

Genoa were having none of it though, and De Maio prodded in a corner at the back post to ensure a 3-3 draw.

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Juve Hone In On Serie A Title

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