By DAN KARELL
A league known for it’s defense decided to ditch that tradition on Monday as four teams combined to score 13 goals in two Serie A matches.
First up, Fiorentina hosted Hellas Verona, with the Serie A newbies fighting valiantly until the final whistle, despite playing down a man since the 53rd minute. The Brazilian duo Romulo and Jorginho ran the show for Hellas and each grabbed a goal, but they were outdone by the two strikes of Borja Valero and a penalty kick goal from Guiseppe Rossi, as La Viola held on to win, 4-3.
Later in the afternoon, Napoli traveled to the Stadio Olimpico to face Lazio, and put on a show for the fans in attendance. Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain scored on either side of halftime and his partner Goran Pandev added a goal and an assist for the visitors as they routed Lazio, 4-2. Lazio’s Balde Keita scored in the 88th minute to cut the deficit to one but just a couple of minutes later, summer signing Jose Callejon pegged one back for Napoli as they earned another three points to move three behind AS Roma.
In all of round 14 of Serie A, 33 goals were scored in 10 games combined, 15 more goals than round 13’s total.
Here are some more soccer stories from around the world:
PIRLO TO MISS AT LEAST ONE MONTH WITH KNEE INJURY
One of the world’s best players and the man who keeps the Juventus heart ticking on the field is set for at least one month on the sidelines.
Andrea Pirlo was substituted in the 12th minute of Juventus’ 1-0 victory against Udinese with what was thought to be just a knock, but further tests have revealed damage to the medial collateral ligament in his right knee, according to a statement on Juventus’ website.
While the club offered no timetable, Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport has speculated that he could miss at least 40 days with the injury. That timetable puts the 34-year-old maestro in line to return for Juventus’ match against Cagliari on Jan. 12. However, that game comes one week after Juve’s big match against title contenders AS Roma, a game that Juventus like to have Pirlo fit for.
NEUER, BUFFON, CASILLAS HIGHLIGHT FIFPRO WORLD XI GOALKEEPER SHORTLIST
Though he hasn’t started a match in La Liga since last January, Real Madrid captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas is on the five-man shortlist for goalkeepers in FIFA/FIFPro’s World XI.
The veteran goalkeeper who lead Spain to the Confederations Cup final last summer is joined on the shortlist by Barcelona rival and Spain teammate Victor Valdes, Chelsea’s Petr Cech, Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, and Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon.
The winning goalkeeper for the FIFPro World XI will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony on Jan. 13, 2014.
Bayern Munich left back David Alaba has signed a new contract through 2018. (REPORT)
AS Roma is now closing in on Barcelona’s 17-year-old Paraguayan international forward and could seal a deal by next week. (REPORT)
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure was named the BBC’s African Player of the Year today. (REPORT)
Chivas manager Jose Luis Real has admitted that the club are interested in signing veterans Carlos Salcido and Jose de Jesus Corona for the Clausura campaign that begins in January. (REPORT)
Pepe Mel’s time in charge of Real Betis is over after the club have parted ways with the Spaniard while the team is mired in 20th place in La Liga. (REPORT)
What do you think of this news? Think that Higuain is finally hitting his stride at Napoli? Impressed with the goal-scoring from Monday’s action? How much of an impact will Pirlo’s injury have on Juventus?
Share your thoughts below.