The weekend in Italy – Milan extend lead
Fortunately, Serie A’s players came to an agreement with their clubs to play their penultimate games before the winter break, meaning we have the 16th round of matches to discuss.
With Inter away in the United Arab Emirates for the Club World Cup, Milan had the chance to put 13 points between them and the former Champions, and duly did – beating Bologna 3-0. After some initial teething problems, Massimo Allegri seems to have done the impossible and made Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho work for the team, with both getting their own reward by getting on the score sheet.
The other Scudetto contenders Juventus and Lazio battled it out in the last game of the weekend. Just 90 seconds into the game Giorgio Chiellini headed home an Alberto Aquilani corner, only for Mauro Zarate to equalise for Lazio a little over ten minutes later. Juve continued to dominate the game, but it looked to be heading for a draw before Milos Krasic got to the byline and crossed for a teammate, where Lazio’s Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera deflected it in.
Marek Hamsik’s goal in Napoli’s 1-0 win over Genoa now puts the Neapolitan club equal on points with Juve and Lazio on 30, six behind leaders Milan – all in a good position to challenge going into the new year. That gap may narrow further as next week Milan face Roma, who, after an abysmal start, have had a quietly impressive run of late, crawling up to sixth with their 1-0 win over Bari.
Elsewhere, fifth-placed Palermo beat Parma 3-1, Udinese managed a 2-1 win over Fiorentina and Sampdoria surprisingly lost to relegation candidates Brescia.