Football Italiano brings you Serie A’s latest offerings for great goals with another trio of tasty strikes.
Third place – Fabio Quagliarella 87’ – Napoli 2-0 Chievo
Quagliarella is far from the most prolific Italian goal-scorer of the last few years, but he is certainly one of the most spectacular. This weekend’s goal – albeit not the most shining in his portfolio – is a delicatessen nonetheless. A diagonal long ball from the midfield is domesticated with grace and panache. The ball has the time to bounce, it is true, but Quagliarella is still clever in opening towards the left rather than choosing the more physical solution of barging through the centre. Hounded by three defenders, he leaves no-one the time to catch up with him and his conclusion – a slanted, on-the-ground shot of appropriate accuracy – denotes class and confidence. The show is very impressive and one has to wonder to what extent the above-mentioned qualities can be transplanted on to major stages. Displays of this kind should be enough to earn Quagliarella a ticket for the World Cup, but the young man has only scored at home this season, and his reputation as a provincial player needs more than this goal to be shaken off. Do it again, Fabio, against the big boys and on the big scene.
Second place – Edinson Cavani 41’ – Palermo 1-0 Siena
Palermo’s galloping run continues this week as Cavani beats Gianluca Curci for the 1-0. The goal is remarkable for its construction more than it is for its termination. Its skeleton is a vertical momentum that sees the ball passed up, then left, then back into the centre. There, Cavani picks it up and throws it into the net with the urgency of a child throwing a pebble with a sling. Before the shot, he even allows himself the luxury of burning a defender on his tracks. The work that Delio Rossi has done with Palermo is impressive, and the smoothness with which his team can take the ball upwards – be it through the magical runs of Fabrizio Miccoli or by this lovely constellation of passes – is very promising for the future. If Rossi can keep this up for the rest of the season, expect Palermo to become a force to be reckoned with. Milan have already found out.
First place – Antonio Cassano 15’ – Livorno 3-1 Sampdoria
In a week rather avaricious as far as beauty goes, the little piece of magic by Antonio Cassano takes the palm and spotlight. The ball is lobbed from the midfield, Giampaolo Pazzini wins an air-contrast and forwards it to Fantantonio with his head. The talent from Bari Vecchia controls the ball, leads it forward with no apparent hurry, and surgically places it into the corner of the net with the tip of his toe. Journalist Gianni Mura praised the move for the light it sheds on the ‘shot with the tip’ – usually regarded as a mark of vulgarity, a move reserved for players whose repertoire draws from power and not technique, Cassano uses it with an elegance of uncommon degree. As everything that this player does, the conclusion is far from obvious. Fantasia is the name of his game, even when sketched with the crudest of stencils. Class is not in the gesture, but in its execution. This is the weekly lesson from the rebel professor.