Gloom descends over Serie A after unhappy week

Today 15:00 AC Milan     v  Fiorentina  SS6    15:00 Atalanta     v  Siena    15:00 Cagliari     v      Inter     15:00 Cesena     v      Bologna
ARRESTED: Andrea-Masiello. Net photo.
ARRESTED: Andrea-Masiello. Net photo.

15:00 AC Milan     v  Fiorentina  SS6    15:00 Atalanta     v  Siena    
15:00 Cagliari     v      Inter    
15:00 Cesena     v      Bologna    
15:00 Verona     v      Catania    
15:00 Lecce     v      AS Roma    
15:00 Novara     v      Genoa    
15:00 Udinese     v      Parma    
18:30 Palermo     v      Juventus   
21:00 Lazio     v      Napoli      

A fresh refereeing row, another match-fixing scandal and failure to get a team to the Champions League semi-finals for the second year running have cast gloom over the weekend’s Serie A matches.

Leaders AC Milan will go into their match at home to Fiorentina still smarting from their Champions League exit at the hands of Barcelona in midweek and the goal that never was against Catania the weekend before.

They will, however, have the comfort of knowing that opponents Fiorentina are even worse off than themselves after a miserable run of one win in nine matches, which has seen them plummet towards the relegation zone.

Juventus, who have cut Milan’s lead to two points and remain unbeaten after 30 games, visit unpredictable Palermo.

Juventus’ form over the last few weeks has been one of the bright spots and they can be credited with making the title race one of the most exciting in recent years.

Their sleek new stadium, invariably full and with the crowd urging the team on only metres from the pitch, is a novelty in a league usually criticised for its rundown, half-empty arena.

But this week has shown that the old problems are still bubbling under the surface.

On Monday, former Bari defender Andrea Masiello was arrested and eight of his former team mates placed under investigation for allegedly fixing matches in Serie A last season, when their side was relegated.

Masiello, interrogated for three hours on Wednesday, is still playing in Serie A for Atalanta, themselves deducted six points this season over match-fixing in Serie B last season when they won promotion.

There was another reminder of Italy’s problems on Wednesday when former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi lost his appeal against a life-ban for his part in the scandal which led to the Turin club being demoted and stripped of the 2005 and 2006 titles.

Refereeing has also been in the spotlight after Milan were on the wrong end of a goal-line controversy for the second time in a matter of weeks as officials failed to spot that a Robinho shot had crossed the line in the 1-1 draw at Catania.


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