Archive for February 21st, 2008

Soccerlens 2007 Awards – mCalcio Runner-Up in ‘Editor’s Choice’ category

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Soccerlens 2007 Awards - Best Serie A BlogFor those of you who haven’t been following, this month saw the launch of the first official Soccerlens 2007 Awards, rewarding the best soccer blogs on the internet. For each category, the choice was narrowed down to 6 candidates, with being nominated for ‘Best Serie A Blog’.

After one week of voting, time for results. I can’t really say that we almost made it, because… well that would be untrue. The Readers’ Choice poll ended up ranking mCalcio in 4th position, shortly behind Italy Offside (which in my opinion deserved the win) and way behind vote winners Italian Soccer Serie A (authored by our friend Anna Italia).  I guess that’s what happens when you got a lot of friends voting for you… repeatedly :P but in any case, congratulations to Anna for all her hard work. Her enthusiasm certainly shows in each one of her posts, and that’s the main thing.

Soccerlens 2007 Awards - Best Serie A Blog Poll ResultsOn the upside, mCalcio did rank 2nd in the Editor’s Choice category (and no, before you ask, I did not have anything to do with the voting), right behind Italy Offside who got the recognition it deserved. The work of Martha this past year has been absolutely incredible, and it is with great sadness that I learned she would be quitting her blogging tasks this month, due to lack of time. The good news is that, for the moment, she is being replaced by Chris from the Roma Offside, which by the way won the award for ‘Best Blogger’. Those of you who have read Chris’s work before, you know you’re going to get entertainment. Yes he’s a Romanista and entirely biased towards the club of Trigoria but hey, nobody’s perfect…

Anyways, I’d like to thank all of you who voted for me, as well as all those who keep reading my footy ramblings day after day, week after week. You are keeping mCalcio alive! :)

So CHEERS for a great 2007, and here’s to an even better 2008!! :mrgreen: Drinks are on me, courtesy of Carlsberg. Salute!!

Cheers everyone!

Fiorentina 2-1 Rosenborg: La Viola Job Well Done, Through to the Last 16 (UEFA Cup Round of 32, Leg 2)

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

 Fiorentina vs. Rosenborg (UEFA Cup)

Fiorentina kept their promise. Before the match, Cesare Prandelli had declared “We will not simply be defending our 1-0 victory from the first leg, Rosenborg is a team which must be attacked“. Said and done: the 2-1 final scoreline (3-1 on aggregate) is witness that La Viola’s ticket to the next round was obtained through a series of scoring chances and technical displays, albeit with a few defensive mistakes too many. The clean sheet is gone, but this year’s record of only Serie A team unbeaten in Europe remains.


UEFA Cup - Round of 32, Leg 2 - Fiorentina 2-1 Rosenborg

Tactically, and staying consistent with his pre-game declarations, Prandelli fielded what essentially constitutes Fiorentina’s best starting eleven: Frey in net, backline formed by Ujfalusi, Kroldrup, Dainelli and Pasqual, and a 3-man midfield (Donadel, Liverani, Montolivo) supporting a 3-man attack (Semioli, Pazzini, Mutu). Rosenborg was not to be underestimated, but almost as if their manager’s words weren’t sufficient, the Fiorentina players needed bit of a “push” from their Norwegian opponents in order to ‘wake up’. Fabio Liverani celebrates his goal with his teammatesIndeed, the first couple of minutes of the match were at the initiative of Rosenborg, virtually unrecognizable compared to the team from a week ago: physically and tactically in much better shape, Sebastien Frey saw danger lurking close to his net.

Eventually however, the Viola players pushed up the rhythm and began occupying the wings: Pasqual-Montolivo-Mutu on the left, Ujfalusi, Donadel, Semioli on the right. It was precisely from the latter part of the field that Fiorentina’s first goal arrived: from Riccardo Montolivo to Franco Semioli, waiting for the overlap of Marco Donadel deep towards the goal-line. The Viola midfielder’s cross to the edge of the box found Fabio Liverani, whose instep shot to the right caught the Norwegian keeper off balance. 1-0 Fiorentina. The half ended on that scoreline, but not before Kroldrup had the perfect chance to double his team’s lead, and incredibly missed the open-net following a corner-kick.

After the break, Rosenborg tried once again to surprise their opponents, and immediately pushed forward. The visiting team’s “rush” (if one may call it that way) lasted only a few minutes however, and it didn’t take long for Mutu & friends to begin dominating ball possession again. fiorentina_celeb_rosenborg.jpgMidway through the half Martin Jorgensen came on for Montolivo, and the Danish player immediately came close to scoring on his first touch (were it not for a close-range deflection of a Rosenborg defender). Minutes later, Sebastien Frey had his first real fright of the night, when a suicidal backpass of Liverani found the header of Koné in anticipation, fortunately for Fiorentina over the crossbar. Shortly after, an almost-own-goal deflection of Dainelli found the ready hands of the Viola keeper. Fiorentina were taking unnecessary risks.

Fortunately, all Viola worries were brushed away when Daniele Cacia redirected a perfect Pasqual delivery into the net: a beautiful left-footed flick on the volley, from close range. 2-0 Fiorentina in minute 80. The Viola second goal was essentially the last highlight of the night, even though Rosenborg eventually managed to take one back in stoppage time (Sapara cross from the left wing, re-directed by Koné from close-range). 2-1, but too little too late for the Norwegians. Fiorentina’s next European commitment will be on March 6 against Everton, but in the meantime there’s AS Roma this week-end, another very vital match in light of European Cup qualification. A bigger cup this time: the UEFA Champions League.


 ACF Fiorentina
[Match Highlights]
 Rosenborg BK
GOALSCORERS: 37’ Liverani (F), 80’ Cacia (F), 89’ Y.Koné (R)
FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Frey – Ujfalusi, Dainelli, Kroldrup, Pasqual – Donadel, Liverani (81’ Kuzmanovic), Montolivo (63’ Jorgensen) – Semioli, Pazzini (72’ Cacia), Mutu. (bench: Avramov, Gamberini, Osvaldo, Morelli). Coach: Prandelli.
ROSENBORG (4-4-1-1): Jarstein – Basma (54’ Lago), Kvarme, Demidov, Nordvik – Storflor, Tettey, Skjelbred, Konan (71’ Iversen) – Sapara – Y.Koné (90’ Pelu). (bench: Hansen, Berbatovci, Aas). Coach: Henriksen .