Serie A Round 23 Results: Zeman axed as Cagliari stun Roma, Genoa shoot down Lazio at death
Elsewhere, Napoli's victory over Catania ensured they stayed on track with Juventus in the Scudetto race, while Fiorentina finally picked up their first win of 2013 against Parma
By Livio Caferoglu
Zdenek Zeman's tenure as Roma coach came to an end following the Giallorossi's surprise 4-2 defeat to Cagliari on Friday.
These two sides met in acrimonious circumstances earlier in the season as the capital side beat the Sardinians without kicking a ball. Nonetheless, inside just four minutes, Marco Sau's cross was turned in by Radja Nainggolan.
|Bet:||Returns:||Milan £23.00||Draw £33.00||Roma £31.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||Milan £23.80||Draw £32.50||Roma £30.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||Milan £23.00||Draw £33.00||Roma £31.00|
|Bet:||Returns:||Milan £23.00||Draw £33.00||Roma £30.00|
But with 10 minutes of the first half left, Francesco Totti levelled the scores with a piledriver of a free-kick from 25 yards out, meaning the two teams went into the half-time interval finely poised.
However, all of Roma's efforts proved to be in vain when goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea spilt Danilo Avelar's cross - despite not being challenged for the ball - over the line, before Sau scored yet again for Cagliari, heading home Victor Ibarbo's cross.Zeman's troops kept plugging away for a route back into the match, but Cagliari full-back Francesco Pisano's strike from near the edge of the box ended any slight hopes of a shock comeback being staged by the hosts.
Brazilian midfielder Marquinho did fire in a second goal for Roma, but it was far too little too late as Roma remain nine points behind a Champions League playoff spot in eighth. Ivo Pulga's side, meanwhile, move into 16th.
TORINO 0-0 SAMPDORIA
In Saturday's clash between two of Serie A's newest outfits, Torino and Sampdoria could not be separated in a goalless draw at the Grande Torino.
Both sides had their fair share of chances throughout, with the match constantly shifting in momentum, but neither Sergio Romero or Jean-Francois Gillet could be beaten as the likes of Daniele Gastaldello and Paulo Barreto squandered the best chances.
Torino climb one place to 12th in the standings, but Sampdoria fall to 15th following Atalanta's win at Palermo.
NAPOLI 2-0 CATANIA
Napoli made it a fifth win in six Serie A matches on Saturday after they recorded a routine 2-0 success over similarly-in-form Catania.
The Partenopei took the lead on the half-hour mark when Juan Zuniga saw his shot at goal turn into an assist for Marek Hamsik who crept up at the back post to tuck away a cool finish beyond Mariano Andujar.
And on the cusp of half-time, the Sicilians failed to clear their lines from a corner, allowing Hamsik to cut the ball back across the face for Paolo Cannavaro to ensure the centre-back matched Diego Maradona's landmark of 259 appearances in style.
Walter Mazzarri's side, who also paid tribute to former midfielder Carmelo Imbriani in his battle with cancer, stay three points off Juventus in second place. Catania, meanwhile, remain seventh.
PALERMO 1-2 ATALANTA
Palermo were arguably the busiest team of the January transfer window, but their newly-assembled team came unstuck in a 1-0 defeat to fellow strugglers Atalanta - piling the pressure on coach Gian Piero Gasperini.
On 54 minutes, the Orobici took the initiative when Ivan Radovanovic's screamer from distance rattled the stanchion, and Carlos Carmona was on hand to pick up the pieces with a diving header past Stefano Sorrentino.
Atalanta then sealed the victory - their first in seven matches - as they hit Palermo on the counter-attack and German Denis diverted the ball goal-bound at the near post.
Despite new Rosanero right-back Nelson appearing to get the final touch of a cross in the dying embers at the Renzo Barbera, it was mere consolation for Palermo, who now fall to bottom of the pile in Serie A.PESCARA 2-3 BOLOGNA
Pescara fell into the relegation places after they suffered their fourth consecutive defeat on Sunday, falling 3-2 to Bologna at the Adriatico.
Cristiano Bergodi's men went ahead first, however, as Vladimir Weiss won his side a penalty at the expense of Mikael Antonsson, and the winger promptly struck the ball home from 12 yards out.
However, the card-happy match referee awarded another penalty not long after when Damiano Zenon's kick on Niccolo Cherbuin was deemed an illegal offence. Alessandro Diamanti stepped up to level the two teams.
Incredibly, another penalty was given by the official as Saphir Taider was found guilty of clipping Weiss in the box - new signing Gaetano D'Agostino fired the attempt against the crossbar and into the net.
Bologna then grabbed an equaliser immediately after the interval as Alessandro Diamanti proved his set-piece expertise once more, bending a free-kick onto the head of Alberto Gilardino.
And they eventually found the winner through Panagiotis Kone after the Greek midfielder burst into the box and slid home Archimede Morleo's cross for all three points and a first victory in three matches.GENOA 3-2 LAZIO
Lazio extended their winless run to three matches in the league on Sunday as Genoa nicked a 3-2 victory at the death to further dent the Biancocelesti's hopes of Champions League football next season.
Davide Ballardini took control of the Ligurians a fortnight ago, and after starting his career at the Marassi with a creditable 1-1 draw against champions Juventus, Marco Borriello put his side on their way again from a corner.
The Grifone then doubled their lead soon after through midfielder Andrea Bertolacci who smashed the ball beyond Federico Marchetti - recalled to the Italy squad after a three-year hiatus - from a quick-fire break.
However, Lazio pulled one back when Sergio Floccari broke away from a failed offside trap to fire a half-volley before Borriello turned villain, bringing down Lorik Cana in the box, to gift Stefano Mauri the chance to equalise from the penalty spot.Yet deep in injury time, Marco Rigoni - a January arrival from Chievo - popped up in the box to head home a corner and lift Genoa out of the relegation zone in dramatic fashion. Lazio, however, lose further grip on third place.
FIORENTINA 2-0 PARMA
Fiorentina's rotten start to 2013 finally came to an end thanks to a 2-0 win against Parma at the Artemio Franchi - their first of the New Year - on Sunday.
Luca Toni's rebirth as a prolific Serie A goalscorer at the tender age of 36 was evidenced once more when he met Juan Cuadrado's cross and sent a powerful header past Antonio Mirante in the first half.
And after the restart, Manuel Pasqual advanced down the left flank and sent in a cross which Giulio Migliaccio flicked on for Stevan Jovetic to make no mistake about from close range.
The Viola leapfrog AC Milan into fifth, only four points behind a top-three finish, but Parma stay 10th following a run of four games without a win.
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