The weekend in Italy
A 2-1 loss to Chievo capped off another awful week for Internazionale coach Rafa Benitez.
The cosmos most definitely hasn’t been kind to the former Liverpool manager – his defensive line injured to the extent that he was forced to play Nelson Rivas, a man who looks and plays oddly like Titus Bramble, while Wesley Sneijder has been diagnosed with anaemia.
Inter’s injury crisis can go some way to explaining why Benitez has struggled in his new job, but it can’t account for conceding two goals against a team that haven’t scored in their previous four games. Last year’s treble winners should have good enough back-ups to play better than they are right now.
And things could well get worse for Benitez before they get better. Samuel Eto’o’s excellent injury-time goal adds to a tally that had already bettered last season’s, but Inter’s only performing player could well sit out the next few games after “doing a Zizou” and headbutting Bostjan Cesar, which the officials failed to notice. Despite Benitez’s claims that the Cameroonian was provoked – which he was, receiving a sly punch in the back – it’s likely Eto’o will face retrospective action.
While Inter flailed about against the Flying Donkeys, the contenders to their Serie A crown went about their business much more efficiently. A stunning Zlatan Ibrahimovic overhead volley sealed a 1-0 win over Fiorentina for Milan; Milos Krasic helped Juventus past Genoa in a 2-0 win with some help from the posts; Roma eased past Udinese in a 2-0 win and Napoli crushed Bologna 4-1.
Parma 1-1 Lazio
Lecce 2-3 Sampdoria
Brescia 1-2 Cagliari
Cesena 1-2 Palermo
Catania 1-0 Bari