Graham (follow on Twitter: @grahamsibley)
Thu 1 October 2009

Just One Scudetto: Matchday 6 - It's in the stars

Leo (23 July - 23 Aug) The full moon in Aries signifies more disappointment as work colleagues fail to pull their weight and burden you with the blame. Bad news comes from a media tycoon with a glint in his eye.

More pressure has fallen on Milan coach Leonardo after he watched his team lose to Zurich at home in the Champions League. Following the embarrassing 4-0 home defeat by Inter, Milan have failed to win their last three games in all competitions and more worryingly have only scored three Serie A goals.

The trouble is Milan look like a team at the end of a long fruitless campaign not at the start of one. This time last year I saw them tear apart the current table toppers, Sampdoria, at the San Siro... has so much changed since then? Of course the retirement of Maldini and the departures of Kaka and Ancelotti would affect any team, but - on paper at least - Milan still have a very strong squad, a squad Leonardo will need to get the best from if he is to keep his job.

Also under a little pressure is Jose Mourinho (or Mou as they like to call him out there) who watched his side come from a goal down to draw against Russian champions Rubin Kazan. By the time they play Kiev in the next round of fixtures, it will be 12 months since their last Champions League victory. Worrying times ahead all round as the Bundesliga breathes down Serie A's neck for third spot on the UEFA coefficients - the last position to give four Champions League qualifiers.

Of course, doing the business for Italy were Fiorentina who beat Liverpool 2-0 with first half goals from the Montenegrin Messi Stevan Jovetic, while Juventus slugged out a 0-0 in Munich in Group A.

As mentioned, Sampdoria lead the way in Serie A - on merit too after beating the Champions Inter 1-0 in the Saturday evening kick off, retaining top position as second placed Juve failed to beat Bologna the following day. The defeat leaves Inter two points off the top with Fiorentina, and two clear of the improving Udinese. After a shaky start, Udinese are now stringing results together - though they're still over-reliant on Di Natale's goals - their latest win a 2-0 victory over early pace-setters Genoa.

Genoa have slipped down to sixth, though were unfortunate not to take all three points in their midweek fixture against Juve. A late (and offside) goal from sub David Trezeguet equalising goals from Mesto and Crespo for the home team after Iaquinta's early opener. Level on points are Parma who after back to back wins against Palermo and Lazio, lost at home to Cagliari.

There are four teams on 8 points - all won two, drawn two, lost two - however, that's good news for two of the teams and bad news for the others. Chievo are unbeaten in four, as are Roma under new boss Claudio Ranieri. Lazio on the other hand have failed to win in four, and we've already touched on Milan's woes.

Next is Bari, who added to Leonardo's problems by clinching their second San Siro point of the season. They were unlucky not to get more from the game as they ran Milan ragged for the opening 45. Cagliari are also on seven points ahead of Napoli on goal difference who managed to register just their second win of the season at the weekend at home to 17th placed Siena.

Above Siena, Palermo have added three draws to their opening day win. Bologna will hope they've turned a corner after celebrating their first win of the campaign in the mid-week card against bottom-placed Livorno and following it up with previously mentioned draw away to Juve. Livorno along with Catania and Atalanta are all awaiting their first win, though with Atalanta hosting Milan this weekend they might be forgiven for feeling confident enough to take three points.

That's it. Full results and table here.

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