Monday, 28 February 2011

Monday Match Report: The best game of the weekend that you may not have seen

The newest regular Monday feature set to become an internet sensation, 'Monday Match Report' gives you the best game of the week, but not the usual Manchester United thrashing of Blackburn Rovers at home, nor a tense, high-scoring Premier League six pointer at the foot of the table. This Chemical World has scoured the internet world and produced its recommendation of the game you ought to be watching for the next few days, that is until a similar feature, Friday Football Focus, makes its Blogger debut.

Palermo 0-7 Udinese
Italian Serie A
Sunday 27 Feb 2011

Scorers: Di Natale (10, 41, 61), Sanchez (19, 28, 42, 48)

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An incredible result for both teams, surprisingly not Palermo's biggest ever defeat - that honour having been reserved for AC Milan, 9-0 winners over the Rosanero all the way back in 1951 - but their biggest ever reversal at home. Veteran Italy international Antonio Di Natale bagged himself a hat-trick, bringing his Serie A tally to 21, at the expense of nine man Palermo, whilst coveted young Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez netted four against the Renzo Barbera outfit, who will undoubtedly be looking to forget this result as quickly as humanly possible.

Possibly also worth mentioning is the fact that owner Maurizio Zamparini, known for having an 'innovative' approach to hiring and firing, sacked coach Delio Rossi immediately following the defeat. Despite the understandable devastation in the home dressing room at full, and indeed half time, the visitors demonstrated impressive technique in dispatching eighth-placed Palermo, especially in such a clinical and highly impressive manner.

Europe-bound Udinese opened the scoring through Di Natale after ten minutes, the striker latching onto left back Pablo Armero's inch-perfect cross having evaded his marker, cleverly looping the ball just past the desperate dive of Palermo 'keeper Salvatore Sirigu. Abysmal defending from the hosts then allowed Alexis Sanchez to double Udinese's lead after 19 minutes, blasting into the roof of the net after Palermo had failed to clear their lines.

Sanchez proceeded to make it 3-0, finishing off a superbly worked and clinical counter attack from the visitors, demonstrating incredible composure and mesmerising footwork to round Sirigu and fire home, Udinese three goals to the good even before the half hour mark. Sirigu's error then gifted the visitors their fourth, and Di Natale's second, a few minutes before half time, the home 'keeper spilling a shot from distance straight into the path of Bianconeri's lethal front two.

Armero was once again the provider for Sanchez' third goal a minute later, but he ought not to take all the credit; a minimal amount of pressure by Sanchez on Cesare Bovo caused the Palermo defender to surrender possession on the left hand side, before Sanchez relentlessly moved towards goal, firing past Sirigu. Going in 5-0 up at half time did little to deter the Bianconeri, particularly Sanchez, who netted just after the restart to lend the scoreline a particularly one-sided appearance. Di Natale completed his innings, after the superb Sanchez had been withdrawn, scoring from the spot after the troublesome Armero had been clearly felled in the box by Matteo Darmian, the second Palermo player to be dismissed, for his horrendously mistimed and clumsy challenge.

Photos courtesy of (in order): Svenska Fans, Foto Partite, Getty Images, Zimbio

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