Serie A season 2007, in a flash
They had a great run the whole season only suffering one defeat, gaining 97 points, and breaking the record for the most wins in Serie A history. They also broke the record for the longest undefeated run in Europe beating Bayern Munich's and Real Madrid's record. Inter played with consistancy and always seemed confident, in the rare occassion that when they were a goal down, to come back and fight and win the game.
Reggina and Empoli:
The shock teams, even if Reggina only managed to avoid relegation on the last day they still won a majority of their games. They were another team that were brought into the calciopoli scandal which saw them suffer a huge 14 point deduction at the start of the season. Without their 14 points penalty Walter Mazzari's men would be up in the top half of the table contending for a possibilty of a spot in the UEFA Cup. They had one of the strongest attacking line-ups in Serie A with Nicola Amoruso and Rolando Bianchi both netting 17 and 18 goals this season respectively. The team played with fast attacking football that left even the best defense in Italy worried at times.
Empoli, the Tuscan outfit! Last year they were deemed the team to get relegated but the outfit managed to prove everyone wrong and end up finishing 7th last season after the calciopoli verdicts. They certainly took the calciopoli deductions to their full advantage as they crept up the table without many people noticing what was going on. They managed great wins against Roma, Fiorentina and a draw against Milan. And they were soon sitting comfortably in 4th spot, which is where Milan needed to be. Unfortunately for them they slipped a few spots down the table but they did manage to claim a spot in next season's UEFA Cup, and without a doubt they did the Tuscan's proud.
This was one of the closest relegation battles seen, it was the last day of the campaign and no less than five teams could have got relegated. Catania, Parma, Chievo, Reggina and Siena were all in contention to go down. The battle was well and truely on.
Parma vs Empoli
Catania vs Chievo
Reggina vs Milan
Siena vs Lazio.
All of them facing tough battles as if any team suffered one bit of bad luck they could be playing in a whole new league next season. Parma drew early blood and proved how hungry they were to stay once more in Serie A. They defeated Empoli 3-1, their revival had been complete thanks to Guiseppe Rossi, a new hero at Parma, and Claudio Ranieri who installed new faith in them.
Reggina won 2-0 to a defleated Milan team who were possibly still suffering from a bit of a hang over from their Champions League celebrations.
But the main tussle was between Chievo vs Catania and Siena vs Lazio. All Chievo needed was a point to secure safety and Siena would get relegated. However, Siena won a penalty and netted it to improve their chances of Serie A survival. But as the first half drew to an end Chievo were holding onto their point with a 0-0 draw. Catania at this point were looking to go down.
But the second half came and Lazio netted a goal through a Rocchi penalty and Catania had scored too causing huge chaos around Italy. Even the neutrals felt the tension, and now Siena were looking to go down if the results stood the same. Siena started to attack, as they became increasingly aware that survival wasn't looking good, and especially after Catania scored a second a few minutes later. The Tuscans pressed for an equaliser and 5 minutes from time they found the back of the net only for it to be disallowed for off-side. They continued to push and 2 minutes from time, Negro found of the back of the net for Siena, securing them a 2-1 win and Serie A safety for at least one more season.
The flying donkeys of Verona had stopped flying, as they would once again see themselves back in Serie B. Their fairytale story had ended for them, and it was time to say good- bye to one of the smallest clubs in Serie A.
It was an intense relegation battle that really went down to the wire, and i don't think any league has quite seen something like that.
Once again we saw another Inter - Roma final, for a third season running some might have said it woud be broing to watch it again. But it certainly didn't turn out that way, Roma played an amazing first leg tie at home that saw them, ironically, "do a Manchester United" on Inter and pulled off a 6-2 thrashing of the new Serie A Champions. Which certainly made their chances of winning the Coppa this season more likely as they had lost twice to Inter for two years in the final.
The second leg produced more drama seeing Inter win 2-1, which wasn't enough to secure their 3rd consecutive Coppa Italia title, but it also saw two dismissals to Cordoba (Inter) and Pannucci (Roma).
Roma certainly buried their demons from Manchester and pulled out a great win, seeing them win their 8th Coppa Italia title in history.
We now welcome Juventus back into Serie A, after they won promotion under the guidance of Deschamps. Serie A will hopefully look more like it's usualy self again and the likes of Genoa and Napoli could return too, two teams with great history. Next season is bound to be good.
Serie A's capocannonieri:
26 Totti F. (26 Roma, 5 rig.)
20 Lucarelli C. (20 Livorno, 3 rig.)
19 Rigano' C. (19 Messina, 5 rig.)
18 Bianchi R. (18 Reggina, 3 rig.)
17 Amoruso N. (17 Reggina, 3 rig.) , Spinesi G. (17 Catania, 5 rig.)
16 Mutu A. (16 Fiorentina, 2 rig.) , Rocchi T. (16 Lazio, 3 rig.) , Toni L. (16 Fiorentina)
15 Ibrahimovic Z. (15 Inter)
14 Crespo H. (14 Inter) , Iaquinta V. (14 Udinese, 3 rig.) , Saudati L. (14 Empoli, 4 rig.) , Suazo D. (14 Cagliari, 8 rig.)
13 Budan I. (13 Parma) , Doni C. (13 Atalanta, 4 rig.) , Quagliarella F. (13 Sampdoria)
12 Gilardino A. (12 Milan)
11 Di Natale A. (11 Udinese, 2 rig.) , Pandev G. (11 Lazio) , Zampagna R. (11 Atalanta, 1 rig.)
10 Corini E. (10 Palermo, 4 rig.) , Materazzi M. (10 Inter, 4 rig.)
Serie A's final standings: