Serie A cut down to size after Champions League debacleMarch 13th, 2009 - 3:02 pm ICT by IANS
Rome, March 13 (DPA) The Italian Serie A football tournament continues in a subdued tone this weekend after its three remaining teams were eliminated from the Champions League.
As happened last year, three English sides took care of reminding Italy’s football buffs that, despite the Azzurri’s world title, their home league is no longer the best in the world, as some prided themselves on some years ago.
Leaders Inter Milan were possibly the most disappointed as they again failed to proceed past the round of 16 despite the supremacy displayed in Italy in the past three seasons.
Holders Manchester United sent them packing, as Liverpool did in 2008, leaving new Inter coach Jose Mourinho to vie for the home title and the Italian Cup.
“Today I have a great certainty that the scudetto will be ours,” Mourinho said. “I understand that all of Italy will be happy because Mourinho was eliminated, but this is not my problem.
“I say we did not advance only due to bad luck. With Porto I won (in 2004) doing even less.”
After losing 2-0 at Old Trafford, Mourinho’s side look to retain their seven-point lead over Juventus when they welcome Fiorentina late Sunday.
Inter have 63 points from 27 games with 11 games remaining until the end of the season.
Juve, who were eliminated by Chelsea, drawing 2-2 at home but going out 3-2 on aggregate, welcome lowly a Bologna side Saturday led by league top striker Marco Di Vaio.
Also Saturday, Genoa visit Cagliari hoping to leapfrog Fiorentina and occupy the fourth available Champions League berth.
Roma lie level with Genoa and are also keen on playing in the Champions League again after Arsenal eliminated them on penalties, but have a hard task Sunday away to in-form Sampdoria.
Well positioned to play in the next European season are third-placed AC Milan, who won their seventh continental crown in 2003 over Juventus.
The Devils visit Siena Sunday, when Lazio welcome struggling Chievo, Udinese take on Catania and Palermo host troubled Lecce, who hope to leave the drop zone with the help of freshly hired coach Luigi De Canio.
Napoli also switched helmsman this week, welcoming former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni ahead of a visit to bottom side Reggina.
- Juventus beat Inter Milan in Serie A - Mar 26, 2012
- Inter upset by Lecce as Milan win to chase Juventus - Jan 30, 2012
- Juve win Serie A title after Milan loses in derby - May 07, 2012
- Juventus surpass Milan to top Serie A - Apr 08, 2012
- Milan lose to Lazio while Inter draw with Palermo - Feb 02, 2012
- Genoa fire coach Malesani - Apr 24, 2012
- Milan extend lead as Juve held in Serie A - Mar 12, 2012
- Juventus kick-off season with win - Aug 26, 2012
- Milan keep pressure on Juventus with win over Novara - Jan 23, 2012
- Win against AC Milan is a huge step forward: Ranieri - Jan 16, 2012
- Mourinho keeps his cool after ban - Feb 25, 2010
- Brooding Mourinho suspended in Serie A midweek round - Sep 21, 2009
- Juve, Milan win to keep title race open - Apr 26, 2012
- Lazio beat 10-man Rome in Serie A derby - Mar 05, 2012
- Inter beat AC Milan in Serie A derby - Jan 16, 2012
Tags: ac milan, bad luck, berth, buffs, champions league, debacle, drawing 2, football tournament, inter milan, italian cup, italian serie, jose mourinho, juve, juventus, manchester united, old trafford, rome march, scudetto, seven point, three seasons