Lazio lead the way in A

Last updated : 02 December 2002 By Grandmaster Suck

The old seven sisters of Italian football - Juventus, Inter, Milan, Lazio, Roma, Parma and Fiorentina - have been reduced to five. Fiorentina, now Florentia Viola in Serie C2 and Parma, rebuilding this season, no longer count. Before the season started it was predicted that four of the five would sustain a scudetto challenge. It was assumed that Roma would be the fourth force, instead, they have been usurped by Lazio. In fact, Roma seem to have missed out this season, the draw with Juve perhaps being fatal, on the very day Lazio moved to the head of the table by dramatically winning 3-2 in Piacenza.

Mancini's team have done this by recording their sixth away victory of the season, a commendable effort but Inter and Juve are their next two games. The league is always won by a team with a strong midfield and in Simeone and Stankovic, the biancocelesti have two on-form stars. They are ably supported by Fiore , Cesar and occasionally Sorin. On top of that, Lopez is showing his Valencia form and Corradi is also on top of his game. The defence has also been crucial, Stam is playing on the right as Mihajlovic, Negro and Couto are on form. Yes, that is Fernando Couto. The next two weeks will see them come face to face with Vieri, Crespo, Del Piero and Di Vaio. After those games we will be able to judge whether or not Lazio are genuine contenders. Juventus are enforcing a press silence after the dramatic 2-2 draw at the Olimpico against Roma last Sunday. The bianconeri don't want to be drawn on the explosive end to the game which saw the dismissals of Candela, Birindelli and Totti.

Capello was aggrieved that his team didn't win but throwing away a two goal lead at home is inexcusable. Inter thrashed Brescia, Bobo Vieri netting all four goals, silencing his critics who were sniping after his failure to score against Newcastle. Vieri is the best striker in the world, when fit he is unstoppable. Staying fit is the problem though. All games next weekend, from Serie A to Serie C2 will start fifteen minutes late. This is to protest against the violent acts in Napoli last Friday night. Azzurri defender Ciccio Baldini was arriving home when irate fans attacked him and his car. A piece of glass from the car windscreen scratched his eye, fortunately doctors have said he will be fine after a few days rest. Napoli are currently in the relegation zone of Serie B and face a tricky away game at Triestina next. Best of luck to them and best wishes to Baldini.


Como Udinese Postponed

Reggina 1 Chievo 1

Atalanta 0 Perugia 2

Bologna 3 Modena 0

Empoli 1 Milan 1

Inter 4 Brescia 0

Piacenza 2 Lazio 3

Torino 0 Parma 4

Roma 2 Juventus 2

The table (after 12 games)

Lazio 27
Milan 26
Inter 26
Juventus 26
Chievo 22
Bologna 22