Serie a Results: Analysis for AC Milan vs Cagliari and All the Weekend's Matches

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2013

Serie a Results: Analysis for AC Milan vs Cagliari and All the Weekend's Matches

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    Juventus maintained their perfect start to the defence of their Serie A title with a home win over Lazio.

    Rafael Benitez's Napoli could be major challengers to Juve and they were winners at Chievo Verona as the second round of games in Italy got underway on Saturday.

    Sunday featured eight more matches as the second weekend of the season concluded. In the following slides we dig deeper into the games.

Juventus 4-1 Lazio

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    Serie A champions Juventus made an early statement of intent with a 4-1 win over Lazio.

    Lazio are likely to be one of the sides challenging Juventus for Scudetto honours at the end of the season, but they were soundly outpointed in Turin.

    Arturo Vidal struck twice in the opening 26 minutes to hand Juventus a cushion, with both goals coming courtesy of well-timed runs beyond the Lazio defence.

    Germany international Miroslav Klose hit back for Lazio, but a goal on 49 minutes by Mirko Vucinic gave Juve some breathing space.

    Carlos Tevez has made a bright start at Juventus and his goal on 80 minutes sealed the win.

    The result takes Juventus on to six points from two games, while Lazio remain on three points.

    Match Stats (Four Four Two)
    Shots: Juventus 12-17 Lazio
    Corners: Juventus 4-4 Lazio
    Possession Percentage: Juventus 65.1-34.9 Lazio
    Passes Completed: Juventus 559-264 Lazio
    Fouls Committed: Juventus 12-15 Lazio

Chievo Verona 2-4 Napoli

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    Napoli’s fine start to the season under Rafael Benitez continued with a 4-2 win at Chievo Verona.

    Marek Hamsik bagged two goals on the opening day of the season against Bologna and his rich vein of form continued as he opened the scoring on 15 minutes.

    Alberto Paloschi drew Chievo level on 24 minutes, but Jose Maria Callejon—also on target on the opening day—put Napoli back in front.

    Paloschi’s second of the game saw Chievo go in at half-time on level terms, but Hamsik’s goal just past the hour handed Napoli the lead.

    Much is expected of Gonzalo Higuain following his summer transfer from Real Madridand he made the first repayment on his transfer fee with a goal on 70 minutes.


    Match Stats (Four Four Two)
    Shots: Chievo 13-18 Napoli
    Corners: Chievo 3-4 Napoli
    Possession percentage: Chievo 31.5-68.5 Napoli
    Passes Completed: Chievo 231-631 Napoli
    Fouls Committed: Chievo 10-10 Napoli

Roma 3-0 Hellas Verona

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    Roma scored three times in 10 second-half minutes to win 3-0 at home to Hellas Verona on Sunday. The victory was Roma's second in as many matches this season.

    In the 56th minute, Francesco Totti picked out Maicon on the right, and the full-back crossed into the middle—only for the ball to redirect into the net off Verona full-back Fabrizio Cacciatore.

    Roma made it 2-0 three minutes later, Miralem Pjanic catching Rafael off his line with a deft chip. Gervinho, signed from Arsenal in the summer, should have scored Roma's third moments later, but his shot was straight at Rafael.

    It didn't matter, though, as Adem Ljajic finished the scoring with a drilled shot in the 66th minute. Ljajic was making his debut after signing from Fiorentina last week.

    Roma dominated statistically as well, recording 11 shots on target compared to Verona's one. Verona opened the season with a 2-1 victory over AC Milan last week.

    Roma have scored five goals without conceding this season.

    Shots: 25-13

    On target: 11-1

    Passing: 90%-85%

    Possession: 58%-42%

    (Stats via WhoScored)

AC Milan 3-1 Cagliari

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    Milan recovered from last week's season-opening loss with a 3-1 home win over Cagliari. Robinho, Philippe Mexes and Mario Balotelli scored to end an encouraging week that also saw the Rossoneri side qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages.

    Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri left forward Stephan El Shaarawy on the bench, but new signing Alessandro made his debut as a substitute.

    Robinho put Milan ahead in the eighth minute, tapping home from Balotelli's cross. Milan pressed aggressively and earned a second goal in the 30th minute as defender Mexes volleyed in following more good work by Balotelli.

    Cagliari pulled one back through Marco Sau in the 33rd minute, but Balotelli restored Milan's two-goal advantage in the 62nd minute with a shot into the top corner.

    Shots: 17-10

    On target: 8-2

    Passing: 87%-81%

    Possession: 56%-44%

Genoa 2-5 Fiorentina

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    Mario Gomez scored his first two league goals for his new club, and Giuseppe Rossi added two more, as Fiorentina beat Genoa 5-2 away on Sunday.

    Rossi, who signed with Fiorentina in March, also scored in his team's season opener. His goal last week against Catania was his first in nearly two years.

    Fiorentina went ahead in the 10th minute through Alberto Aquilani's close-range header. Rossi doubled the lead four minutes later with a shot from outside the box following Gomez's headed pass.

    Gomez then got on the scoresheet four minutes before halftime, finishing Manuel Pasqual's pass from close range. Alberto Gilardino pulled one back for Genoa in the 54th minute, but Rossi restored Fiorentina's two-goal cushion just one minute later.

    Francesco Lodi converted a penalty for Genoa in the 60th minute, and Gomez responded with a spot-kick of his own in stoppage time.

    Rossi has scored three goals this season.

    Shots: 14-16

    On target: 7-8

    Passing: 79%-86%

    Possession: 46%-54%

Catania 0-3 Inter Milan

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    Milan made it two wins from two this season as Rodrigo Palacio, Yuto Nagatomo and Ricardo Alvarez scored in a 3-0 away win over Catania.

    The Nerazzurri beat Genoa 2-0 at home on opening day and have not conceded a goal yet this season.

    Palacio put the visitors ahead in the 19th minute, finishing Jonathan's pass from close range. He then turned provider for Inter's second, a Nagatomo header in the 56th minute. Nagatomo then assisted Alvarez on the third goal, in the 80th minute.

    Up next for Inter is a test against champions Juventus, who visit the San Siro next Monday.

    Shots: 13-17

    On target: 3-7

    Passing: 83%-87%

    Possession: 44%-56%

Sunday's Other Games

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    Sassuolo 1-4 Livorno

    Innocent Emeghara scored twice as Livorno beat Sassuolo in a battle of promoted teams. The teams combined for four goals in the second half, including an eight-minute spell that saw three strikes.

    Leandro Greco opened the scoring for Livorno two minutes before halftime. Sassuolo then equalized through Simone Zaza in the 66th minute. Three minutes later, though, Emeghara put Livorno back ahead, converting from a tight angle from Greco's pass. Paulinho made it 3-1 in the 74th minute, and Emeghara converted a late penalty for the visitors.

    Udinese 3-1 Parma

    Emmanuel Badu (11'), Thomas Heurtaux (72') and Luis Muriel (pen. 89') scored for the hosts, who led 1-0 at halftime.

    Antonio Cassano scored the only goal for Parma in the 82nd minute.

    Atalanta 2-0 Torino

    After a scoreless first half, Atalanta scored twice after the break to claim their first victory of the season.

    Guglielmo Stendardo broke the deadlock in the 57th minute from a set piece, and Stefano Lucchini made it 2-0 with an 81st-minute header.

    Bologna 2-2 Sampdoria

    Bologna and Sampdoria both claimed their first point of the season with a 2-2 draw.

    Eder put the visitors ahead in the 25th minute before Davide Moscardelli equalized five minutes before halftime. Panagiotis Kone gave Bologna a brief lead in the second half, but Manolo Gabbiadini drew Sampdoria level with a 71st-minute free kick.