Serie A Round-Up: Siena Stun Roma, Novara Shock Inter Milan
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images
Siena 1 - 0 Roma
Francesco Totti was hoping that his 700th career game was going to be memorable.
It was but for all the reasons Siena was hoping for.
Roma opted for non-traditional white socks instead of black, and apparently their offense wasn't on their feet either.
Roma looked stagnant throughout the game, unable to push the ball forward and find quality chances. Constant passing that went from side to side never even gave them a chance.
A free kick taken from about 8 meters out, spot-on in front of the penalty area, flew right into the wall off the foot of Francesco Totti in the third minute. That was the best chance Roma would have on the night.
Roma defender Juan was pulled out of the game at halftime in place of Simon Kjær, a move that would prove costly for Roma.
Despite minimal contact and a blatant dive in the 50th minute, Kjær was called for a penalty in the box. Emanuele Calaiò converted, giving Siena all they needed for a stunning upset.
Napoli defender Miguel Britos struck first, in the 15th minute, to help his team past struggling Chievo in Monday nights' other contest.
Chievo played an awful first half, committing 14 of their 21 total fouls before intermission. Edinson Cavani added the second goal after a penalty in the box in the 38th.
Playing with determination in the second half just wasn't enough. Napoli midfielders did an exceptional job of playing keep away during critical moments.
Lazio 3 - 2 Cesena
Lazio found a comeback despite being a man down.
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
Cesena enjoyed a man advantage following a red card given to Lazio's Abdoulay Konko in the 33rd minute. The subsequent goal had Cesena flying high with a 2-0 lead.
Lazio began their comeback in the 53rd minute with a goal by Hernanes and followed up with the tying goal just seven minutes later by Senad Lulic.
But before you could marvel at the quick strike, Lazio had scored again, this time in the 63rd, the goal that would prove to be the difference from Libor Kozak.
The loss leaves a devastated Cesena team four points under the relegation bar. The victory for Lazio puts them into third place on the table.
Udinese 1 - 2 AC Milan
AC Milan celebrates the late goal by Stephan El Shaarawy.
Dino Panato/Getty Images
Antonio Di Natale scored in the 19th minute, and it seemed to be all that Udinese would need to sail in for a victory until Milan decided to show up.
Maxi Lopez found a goal in the 77th minute on a counterattack following a Udinese corner.
Until Lopez's goal, Milan had difficulty in playing their style of game, with limited opportunities on goal despite dominating in possession.
Stephan El Shaarawy was the hero in this one, finding a late winner that crept into the far post from seven yards out in the 85th.
Milan's next contest is a UEFA Champions League fixture at home to Arsenal on Wednesday.
Cagliari 2 - 1 Palermo
Cagliari have put themselves in a position of having something to play for.
Enrico Locci/Getty Images
Attempts were taken often and early, but neither team could find that quality strike in the first half.
Mauricio Pinilla put in a gem from point blank range in the 56th minute to finally put some separation between the two teams on the scoreboard.
Daniele Dessena found the second goal in the 81st, but the excitement was short-lived; a converted penalty kick by Abel Hernandez two minutes later left a wild finish on the plate.
Palermo dominated in corner kicks but were nearly doubled up in shots on goal—a stat that seemed to tell the story for Palermo.
Next up for Cagliari is a game at Udinese, while Palermo will be preparing for a home contest against Lazio.
Catania 4 - 0 Genoa
Pablo Barrientos (left) had two goals just three minutes apart on Sunday.
Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images
Some games are over before they start, but this one waited until the seventh minute at least. That's when a converted penalty kick by Francesco Lodi put Catania in the lead, a position they would find themselves in for the remainder of the game.
Genoa was riding high coming into this contest—winners of their last two. But it was perhaps overconfidence that led to the overall breakdown on Sunday.
Pablo Barrientos would score twice within just three minutes, with a goal in the 49th and again in the 52nd. Gonzalo Bergessio capped off Catania's scoring with a goal in the 62nd.
Genoa did not go without chances; shots were equal at 16 a-piece, and Genoa even had an advantage in time of possession but could not get that to pay off on the scoreboard.
Genoa next find themselves away to Atalanta, while Catania travel to Cesena.
Atalanta 0 - 0 Lecce
Atalanta's struggles in front of the net continue to haunt them.
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Lecce committed a whopping 19 fouls en route to one of their worst statistical performances of the season. To escape from this contest with a point was a huge blessing.
Atalanta, meanwhile, has been dealing with an elephant on their offensive end, and that elephant might as well be standing in front of the goal. The lack of offense is becoming a serious issue.
Only six points above the ever present relegation bar, Atalanta need to find their form quickly. Their next contest is at home to Genoa, while Lecce will next host Siena.
Inter Milan 0 - 1 Novara
Novara are ready to prove they belong in Serie A.
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Andrea Caracciolo's goal in the 56th minute is all that Novara would need to secure only their third win of the season but more importantly pull them closer to being out of the relegation zone.
More importantly for Inter, not only are they dealing with the obvious frustration from their fans over the state of the season, but they have now been doubled up by their last-place, local rivals.
Inter challenged the Novara goal with five times as many shots as the visitors on Sunday but to no avail on the scoreboard.
The only thing more impressive than the victory for Novara is that they pulled it out while being down to only ten men for the final ten minutes of the game, after Ivan Radovanovic was sent off with a red card.
Inter will host Bologna on Thursday, and Novara will take their new-found confidence to Atalanta.