Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Serie A Split from Serie B is Official, plus a Serie A Week 1 Round Up

At the end of last season news filtered out of Italy the Serie A was following the lead of the English Premier League by voting to split away from Serie B. This move was officially approved today and Serie A will now operate as its own separate entity, no longer having to share revenue with Serie B.

The 2009/2010 Season of Serie A got underway on Saturday when Bologna hosted Fiorentina in a 1-1 draw. Later that evening, Milan, which has struggled in the preseason, picked up its first Serie A victory for new coach Leonardo in a 2-1 win over Siena. Pato, who started the match, picked up a brace for Milan.

On Sunday, Jose Mourinho's Inter hosted the newly promoted Bari, which, to the dismay of Inter fans, put up an unexpectedly strong fight against the reigning Scudetto champions. Recently acquired Samuel Eto'o picked up the first goal of the match by converting a penalty kick in the 56th minute, but Bari's Vitaly Kutuzov found the equalizer in the 74th minute when he shot the ball into the bottom right corner of the net. Prior to the Bari goal, Eto'o had a great opportunity to pick up a second goal in the 67th minute, but his shot just barely missed when it went left of the post.

In Torino on Sunday, Juventus, my choice to win the Scudetto this season, managed to pick up a 1-0 victory over Chievo Verona, a squad that hovered close near the drop zone all last season. In Genoa, two clubs hoping to finish in the top four this season battled it out in a 3-2 affair, giving Genoa the victory over a Roma side hoping for a better start to this season then last season. The Eternal City's other club, Lazio, had a better day then Roma by getting a 1-0 victory over visiting Atalanta. Lazio's goal came from Tommaso Rocchi, who scored the game winner in Lazio's upset of Inter in the SuperCoppa earlier this month.

An American derby of sorts occurred down in Sicily as Palermo managed a 2-1 victory over Napoli thanks to a Fabrizio Miccoli penalty kick in the 75th minute. This match featured two coaches who spent time playing in MLS: Walter Zenga and Roberto Donadoni. Sunday was Zenga's first match as coach of Palermo while Donadoni took over the reigns at Napoli after getting fired from the national position. Zenga, who has coached the New England Revolution and Catania, among other teams, has shown interesting but as to yet unfulfilled promise as a coach. While this victory suggests Zenga might have found the right fit at Palermo, it should not be forgotten that in his first match as coach of Catania in April of 2008, Catania defeated Napoli 3-0.

Elsewhere in Serie A, Udinese and Parma settled on a 2-2 draw, newly promoted Livorno held Cagliari to a 0-0 draw, and Sampdoria managed a nice 2-1 away victory against Catania.

Next weekend features two big matches in Italy with the Milan Derby on Saturday and Roma hosting Juventus on Sunday.

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