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Goal glut hits Italy as Juve minces Milan
by Ian Plenderleith, December 15th, 2008 7AM



The soccer gods went crazy at the weekend with an unprecedented 41 goals in 10 Serie A fixtures. In the game of the weekend, Juventus beat Milan 4-2 in a cracking encounter, while Inter retained its six-point lead at the top by beating last-place Chievo by the same score. Elsewhere, Udinese and Lazio also shared six goals in a 3-3 thriller, while Roma topped Cagliari 3-2 with a last-minute winner. Bologna went wild on Torino with a 5-2 rampage.

Alessandro del Piero started off the Juventus rout of Milan with a penalty kick on the quarter hour, but Alexandre Pato leveled after taking a Ronaldinho pass 15 minutes later. Textbook headers from Giorgio Chiellini and Brazilian striker Amauri put Juve 3-1 up at halftime, but after getting back into the game through a deflected Massimo Ambrosini goal, Milan lost Gianluca Zambrotta to a red card for a violent foul. A second Amauri goal then finished things off to leave Juve second, three points ahead of Napoli which beat Lecce, 3-0. Milan dropped to fourth.
"We gave away too much," said Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti. "We were trailing from the start, we could have completed the comeback, probably without Zambrotta's sending off. Too bad because we played and they took the shots. We did suffer on their counterattacks, that must be said." Juve's Claudio Ranieri said he didn't know "if it was the best match played by Juve this season, but I'm very happy because to beat Milan we needed to play very well. We knew we would have to run a lot. With players like they have it is never easy."
After taking a 2-0 lead against lowly Chievo on goals from Maxwell and Dejan Stankovic, Inter had a scare when the visitors leveled through a fine strike from Sergio Pellissier and a tap-in from Simone Bentivoglio. But two late goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the second a crushing strike from 15 yards, sealed all the points for Inter.
"The whole team won," said Inter coach Jose Mourinho. "The coach... has responsibilities, but I remain hidden on the bench, which is a nice warm place, and the players are on the pitch with the pressure of the fans. Luckily the fans were our twelfth man and we played the last twenty minutes with great intensity and we didn't fear the situation." Not that you see many coaches nowadays sitting on the warm bench rather than  jumping up and down gesticulating at the players and the referee.
Lazio scored three times in the final half hour to rescue a point at Udinese, who shot into a 3-0 lead on a brace from Antonio di Natale (taking his total to seven this season) and one from Fabio Quagliarella (who has six). But goals from highly rated Argentine striker Mauro Zarate (his eighth of the campaign), Mobido Diakite, and a bullet six minutes from the end courtesy of Cristian Ledesma gave Lazio a share of the points. At least Udinese broke its five-game streak of defeats.
Roma left it later still to beat Cagliari, coming from 2-1 down to win the game on a superb bicycle kick from Simone Perrotta and a last-minute winner from Mirko Vucinic. Francesco Totti had got the first goal for Roma, who moved up to 10th. One of the teams it leapfrogged, Catania, lost 2-0 at fifth-placed Fiorentina, where Adrian Mutu scored his sixth of the season and Alberto Gilardino his 12th.
Gilardino drew level at the top of the scoring chart with Genoa's Diego Milito, who failed to score as his side could only tie nine-man Atalante Bergamo 1-1 at home. They were joined by Marco di Vaio, who hit a hat-trick for Bologna in its 5-2 win over Torino. Sampdoria won, 2-0, at Reggina, while Palermo topped Siena by the same margin.
Goals scored Dec. 13-14: 41 in 10 games (4.1 per game)
Goals scored in season 2008-09: 393 in 159 games (2.47 per game)

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