The weekend in Italy – Van Bommel shown red in Serie A debut
Although there were few shocks this weekend, there were plenty of interesting developments “in the Boot” this weekend.
Lazio kicked off the round with a 2-0 win over Fiorentina. Both sides had players missing through injury or suspension, and the situation got worse for Lazio when Mobido Diakite was forced off with a suspected thigh strain, replaced by Guglielmo Stendardo. Luckily Libor Kozak was fit, grabbing a brace and looking lively all afternoon.
Lazio’s win put some extra pressure on the away side for the evening match, with several title challengers now snapping at Milan’s heels after a lacklustre return from the winter break. Though Catania dominated early on in the game, Milan looked dangerous on the counter and looked the more likely side to break the deadlock. This was until Mark van Bommel started his Serie A career with a red card – unable to sweet talk his way out of bookings for once, although they were somewhat harsh. However, just as things looked to be truning in the Sicilians’ favour, Robinho scored just four minutes later then Zlatan Ibrahimovic wrapped things up with five minutes to go.
Saturday’s results meant there were some needed wins for the other challengers the following day. Napoli grabbed the chance with open arms, crushing Sampdoria 4-0. Edinson Cavani continued his incredible run of form with another hat-trick, moving his season total up to 24 goals, and solidifying Napoli in second place, four points behind Milan.
Inter beat Palermo 3-2 in an exciting quick-paced game with Giampaolo Pazzini scoring a brace on his debut following his move from Sampdoria. Juventus, however, didn’t follow the others’ leads, losing 2-1 to an increasingly impressive Udinese side, who have now leapfrogged them in the table, while Roma’s game away to Bologna was abandoned due to heavy snowfall.