Serie A Final Day: Ibra wins it for Inter, Fiorentina grabs 4th spot, Empoli and Parma wave goodbye to Serie ABy: Francesco | May 18th, 2008
And that’s a wrap folks. Serie A 2007-2008 is officially over. (Cue some graduation song, or some goodbye song). If you don’t have time to read the review or you just don’t like my musings about Calcio, Week 38 is summed up for you in the title. And in case you skipped past the title and still don’t know who was crowned champion, the picture of Javier Zanetti on the left pretty much gives it away. OK I’ll just go ahead and say it. (It pains me, in case I haven’t made it known I’m a Milanista). Inter are Campione D’Italia for the 16th time. They defeated Parma 2-0 (sending the Gialloblu to Serie B for the first time in 18 years), and made Massimo Moratti a very happy man.
So, let’s recap the day.
I thought I’d put the two main battles together:
These two games were obviously the big match-ups of the day. Two clubs fighting head to head for the Scudetto, and two clubs fighting head to head to avoid relegation. It started out as advantage Roma, as 8 minutes into the game Mirko Vucinic became Diego Armando Maradona and decided to go on a solo run, beating all the defenders in his path and finishing into the far left corner. Roma were ahead 1-0 and it put the pressure on Inter to get a result at Parma. Meanwhile at Parma both sides were getting chances. Parma had a good chance from Morrone saved, and Inter looked very dangerous, especially when the ball was at the feet of 17 year old Mario Balotelli. With Empoli winning, Catania would be relegated and needed to get a result vs. the Giallorossi, forcing saves out of Doni, including a really miraculous reaction save. Meanwhile, Inter squandered numerous chances. At half-time, Roma were Campioni D’Italia. After the break, Zlatan Ibrahimovic stood up from the bench and got ready to come in. The Swede has been out for some time but he didn’t show any signs of rust. In the 62nd minute, Ibrahimovic took the ball from outside the area and unleashed a daisy cutter that rolled past Pavarini and into the net. Inter were now ahead, Parma were in Serie B, Roma were second, and Catania were relegated as well. Catania then assaulted the Roma goal, desperately looking for an equalizer. Biagianti hit the crossbar, and Doni made some great saves. Over in Parma, the rain was coming down and so were Parma’s chances of staying up. They really looked to resigned to the loss. Inter closed the result (and the season) with a second goal from Zlatan. Maicon crossed, Ibra was there to volley home. The news of the second goal brought down Roma’s morale, and Catania equalized with 5 minutes to go. Japanese youngster Morimoto took a shot in the box that was deflected in the path of Jorge Martinez who tapped it in and the Stadio Massimino exploded. The final whistles blew and that was it, Inter won the Scudetto, Roma finished second, Catania were safe, and Parma fell to Serie B for the first time in 18 years.
Now we get to the second battle of the day. The battle for the 4th and last Champions League spot. Fiorentina had a 2 point lead going into the game, and needed a win at all costs, because a draw would see Milan go to the Champions League. Milan, on the other hand, needed to defeat the Friuliani and hope that Torino could do them a favor. With Torino frustrating La Viola, Milan didn’t take advantage, as in the 32nd minute Udinese went ahead. A beautiful team move ended with Giandomenico Mesto curling the ball past Kalac and into the far right corner. At the half it was 1-0 and Fiorentina were in the Champions League. After the half Ancelotti threw Pato on and went for broke. Milan came out with a different spirit, and 3 minutes after the break Pato tapped in a cross to pull Milan level. Then Milan took the lead when Ambrosini crossed for Pato, who chested it down for Inzaghi who volleyed it in to bring Milan ahead in the game and in the standings. Milan then got a penalty when SuperPippo was fouled, but Kaka had his shot saved by Handanovic and then Pippo hit the crossbar on the rebound. However Milan’s hopes then came to an end. In Torino, Osvaldo headed the ball to himself in the box, and then pulled off an audacious bicycle kick that skipped past Sereni and put Fiorentina back into the Champions League spot. However Milan didn’t stop. Cafu, in his last game ever with Milan, scored a nice shot from inside the box, and then in stoppage time an excellent team move was finished by Seedorf. Fiorentina end their great season and achieve a historic Champions League qualification, while Milan fall to the UEFA Cup for the first time since 2001-2002.
Now, I could go on and review every game, but every other game was pretty much meaningless. I’ll still give you the links and everything, just not summed up review.
FINAL LEAGUE TABLE SERIE A 2007/2008:
————^^ CHAMPIONS LEAGUE—–
———-^^ UEFA CUP—————–
——-^^ INTERTOTO CUP———————-
Napoli has officially chosen to partake in the Intertoto Cup. They will have to play a 2 legged final vs a Bosnian team or a Greek team in late July, and if they win they qualify for the UEFA Cup.
Alessandro Del Piero- 21 goals, video of the goals here.