Cavani helps Napoli keep pace in a wild weekend in Serie A

By Jonathan Gold

Edinson Cavani is probably the actual father of your children. There, I said it. It’s out in the open. I know, it was kind of a shock, but the way your kid scored seven goals in his last three youth league games probably should have been a dead giveaway.

But of course, I’m exaggerating for effect. Edinson Cavani has only scored eight in his last six and is only leading Serie A’s scoring charts by two goals. Ho-hum. His brace against Roma last Sunday started with a comic penalty that managed to ping-pong off both posts (though it clearly crossed the line) and went from the ridiculous to the sublime when Cavani raided the gap between Cassetti and Rosi to stick home a cross from Paolo Cannavaro.

It was great cross from Cannavaro, no doubt, but it was topped by the one Juventus’ Frederic Sorenson, who swept imperially onto the head of Allesandro Matri, who, as they say, made no mistake. If you haven’t seen that one, find it immediately; just a beautiful, twisting scimitar of a cross.

It was even good enough to beat Inter, who had been closing back in on their long-accustomed driver’s seat atop Serie A, though it couldn’t have hurt that no less than Samuel Eto’o contrived to comically doink an excellent low cross the bar with the keeper Buffon nowhere to be found. At any rate, the loss to Juve will definitely make still another title for the Nerazzuri even less likely than it already was.

Juve, on the other hand, despite the infighting, inconsistency and frequent spells of being terrible (January), might actually be seeing a bit of light on the horizon. Paolo Bandini of the Guardian points out that, having scored twice against his former club in his debut and now the winner in the Derby d’Italia, Matri looks to be already cementing his role in the squad in the absence of Fabio Quagliarella.

Next on the list for Juve is a comparative jog against relegation candidates Lecce – and can someone clarify whether their team name means “milk?” For Inter, a much sterner test awaits them as they travel to surging Fiorentina, who played a great one against Palermo on Sunday.

The Viola went behind twice, first to a well-taken shot from Javier Pastore before seven minutes passed, and then to a Nocerino header after nice work from Miccoli just a couple minutes into the second half. Given that Fiorentina equalized minutes before halftime, having scrapped mightily to do so, conceding again right after the restart must have seemed back-breaking, but they tied things up again after a corner trickled all the way out to Camporese at the far post and left him with a simple finish.

From there, a forehead-slap-inducing own goal from Cesare Bovo – I think he’d gotten a little lost and out of position – and a slick counterattack finished off by Riccardo Montolivo propelled the Viola to a vanishingly rare away win at a tough stadium. They’ll certainly be confident that this is a dandy time to play Inter, and I could definitely see them taking it 2-1.

Elsewhere, Sampdoria showed a flash of their early season form by putting three past Bologna in the first quarter of an hour. There was even that rarest of things, a goal from Massimo Maccarone.

A match of two halves saw Lecce fight back to 2-1 after conceding just before the break (Gianni Munari’s second, which he pumped in from a rebounded shot off the post after playing in his teammate with a fine backheel, was memorable), only to be undone by two more from hosts Catania.

Cagliari whipped Chievo 4-1, scoring three before the half and doubtless giving the fans something to cheer about after having had to endure that man Mastri leaving for Juve and then immediately scoring against them twice.

Jonathan Gold is a contributing writer for The Soccer Guys.

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