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Sunday, September 23, 2012
Milan clubs suffer, perfect starts ended

ESPN staff

The writing appears to be on the wall for AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri as his side suffered a third defeat in four Serie A games, a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Udinese.

• VIDEO: Sampdoria 1-1 Torino
• VIDEO: Udinese 2-01 AC Milan

The beleaguered Rossoneri boss has spent the last fortnight deflecting speculation his job is under threat and will now face more tough questions should he remain in charge at the San Siro.

Udinese put their opponents under the cosh with a Mathias Ranegie goal just before half-time, with Stephan El Shaarawy restoring some confidence for the visitors in the second period with a mercurial finish from 25 yards.

But as Cristian Zapata became the first of two Milan players to be dismissed, Kevin Prince-Boateng later walking for two yellow cards, Antonio Di Natale converted from the penalty spot to earn the Zebrette their first three-point haul of the new campaign and cast Allegri's future into serious doubt.

Second-half goals from Simone Vergassola and Francesco Valiani saw Siena claim their first Serie A victory of the season after shocking Inter Milan 2-0 at the San Siro.

Rock-bottom Siena held their own against their title-chasing opponents but it still came as a shock when captain Vergassola put the visitors ahead in the 73rd minute.

Valiani sealed the win in the second minute of time added-on for Siena, who still have a negative points tally following their part in the match-fixing scandal that rocked Italy over the summer. Inter, meanwhile, have now lost both matches at home this season and already find themselves six points behind league leaders Juventus.

Sampdoria's 100% record in Serie A was brought to an end by Torino, who earned a point at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris thanks to a 1-1 draw.

It was a tale of two penalties in Genoa with Rolando Bianchi scoring first from the spot for Torino in the 69th minute before Nicola Pozzi replied five minutes from time.

Torino goalkeeper Jean Francois Gillet then took centre stage to preserve a point for his side as the hosts surged forwards in search of a winner which they could not find for the first time this season.

Napoli dropped their first points of the Serie A season as they were held to a goalless draw at Catania - despite playing for virtually the entire match against ten men.

The hosts had defender Pablo Alvarez sent off after only two minutes for a last-man foul on Edinson Cavani at the Stadio Angelo Massimino, but the visitors were unable to find the breakthrough. The result left Walter Mazzarri's side two points behind leaders Juventus and saw Catania slip to eighth.

Genoa ended Lazio's perfect start to the season thanks to a goal from former Roma striker Marco Borriello securing a 1-0 win despite an otherwise one-sided game at the Stadio Olimpico.

Lazio, who left Miroslav Klose on the bench, dominated most of the game but were restricted to long-distance efforts by a disciplined Genoa defence. Borriello struck on the counter-attack in the 79th minute to condemn Lazio to their first defeat and lift the Rossoblu into the top half of the table

Pescara survived the second-half dismissal of goalkeeper Mattia Perin to hold on for their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw at Bologna.

Perin received a straight red card in the 63rd minute when he brought down Alberto Gilardino in the area, but Bologna failed to capitalise as substitute goalkeeper Ivan Pelizzoli guessed right to save Alessandro Diamanti's spot-kick.

Gilardino had earlier given the hosts the lead in the ninth minute, but Juan Quintero's stunning 40th-minute free-kick proved sufficient for promoted Pescara to snap their three-game losing streak at the start of the season.

Cristian Raimondi denied Gian Piero Gasperini any joy on his debut as Palermo manager with his late header earning Atalanta a 1-0 victory.

The former Inter Milan tactician replaced Giuseppe Sannino at the Renzo Barbera following the Sicilians' winless start to the season, but the barren patch will extend to Wednesday night's trip to Pescara at the earliest. For Stefano Colantuono's Atalanta, though, it was a second consecutive league win and their first home triumph of the new campaign.

The match between Cagliari and Roma was called off after the Sardinian club's president defied local authority orders to exclude fans from their new stadium.

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