Archive for September 15th, 2008

Serie A Matchday 2 – Week-end Review + GOALS of the Week (2008-09)

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Week-End Reviews

After the Summer wait, Serie A continues. :) Here are the results and summaries for matchday 2. Full Video Highlights here.
. week 2 review


Italian Calcio Blog week 2 review

Italian Calcio Blog 2008-09


Gazzetta in English week 2 review

Gazzetta dello Sport


AC Milan‘s poor early-season form continued on Sunnday when they lost 2-0 at Genoa for their second consecutive defeat. Giuseppe Sculli struck in the first half and Diego Milito converted a stoppage-time penalty to leave Milan with no points in Serie A after they lost their opener 2-1 to promoted Bologna. The result increases the pressure on coach Carlo Ancelotti following Milan’s disappointing 5th-place finish last season and an embarrassing 2-0 defeat at second-division Swiss side Lugano in a friendly on Wednesday.

Genoa 2-0 Milan Match Report (mCalcio)


Champions Inter Milan beat Catania 2-1 at home (thanks to two Sicilian own goals), while last year’s runners-up AS Roma lost 3-1 at Palermo on Saturday, despite taking the early lead.

Inter 2-1 Catania Match Report (mCalcio)

Palermo 3-1 Roma Match Report (mCalcio)


In the evening fixture later on Sunday, Juventus beat Udinese at home thanks to a goal by ex-Palermo striker Amauri.

Juventus 1-0 Udinese Match Report (mCalcio)


In other matches, Napoli came from behind to beat Fiorentina 2-1 thanks to second-half goals by Marek Hamsik and Christian Maggio after Adrian Mutu had put the visitors ahead four minutes before the break. The end stands of Napoli’s San Paolo stadium were closed and will remain shut for the next two home games as a penalty after violence marred their opening-day visit to Roma. The game was also one of three games considered high risk which away fans were banned from, along with Genoa-Milan and Saturday’s match between Inter and Catania at the San Siro.

Lazio are the early pacemakers in Serie A this year, courtesy of a 2-0 home win over Sampdoria secured with goals by Mauro Zarate and Goran Pandev. Atalanta also have a 100% win record from two games after Tiberio Guarente gave them a 1-0 victory at Bologna.

Finally, Lecce overcame Chievo at home thanks to goals by Caserta and Castillo, Reggina vs. Torino ended in a 1-1 draw (goals by Amoruso and a Di Loreto o.g.), while Siena went on to defeat Cagliari at home through Calaió and Ghezzal.



Keeping true to our “more quality, less quantity” tradition (I change it when it suits me), here’s the candidates for goal of the week…

And the winner is… Giuseppe Sculli. Not so much because of the individual finish (a banal diagonal effort) but rather due to the orchestrated teamplay and action as a whole, in particular the gorgeous Milito chest-pass. Maldini and Favalli don’t know what hit them…


Results Summary


Serie A 2008-09
Matchday 2


US Città di Palermo
AS Roma
FC Internazionale Milano
Calcio Catania
SS Lazio Roma
UC Sampdoria
Genoa CFC
AC Milan
AC Siena
Cagliari Calcio
SSC Napoli
ACF Fiorentina
Bologna FC 1909
Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio
Reggina Calcio
Torino FC
US Lecce
AC Chievo Verona
Juventus FC
Udinese Calcio


Juventus 1-0 Udinese: Amauri Leading the Way for the Bianconeri… (Serie A Matchday 2)

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Ladies & gentlemen, Juventus is IN. As in saying “the Doctor is IN”, only in a football team context. Just a few days before their important reconciliation with Champions League (FC Zenit is waiting), the Bianconeri gave a convincing display against Udinese on Sunday. Kinda like a way of saying: “Bring it on Europe, we’re ready!”.

Now, the victory may have been achieved only by the narrowest of margins, but the manner in which it was achieved will go some way in reassuring Claudio Ranieri and Juventus fans. The three points, courtesy of Amauri (scoring his first Serie A goal with his new club), allow the team to stay on level points with Inter, behind the early surprise leaders Atalanta and Lazio.

(From Gazzetta dello Sport): Three points, as we were saying, made all the more impressive by the absence of Trezeguet and Del Piero, left on the bench until the last 5 minutes of play in light of Juve’s mid-week European action. A starting line up that also welcomed back Giorgio Chiellini, out of action since his mid-August knee injury in the Trofeo Berlusconi.

Juve however did not make it easy for themselves, contriving to miss a flurry of chances throughout the game (thanks, or rather “because of” Samir Handanovic, giving out an impressive display in the Udinese goal). For their part, the visitors were unable to produce a repeat of last year’s performance (in which they beat Juventus away from home), the team struggling to put together any sort of real scoring chance, and failing to “honour” the Azzurri’s mid-week outing (which took place in Stadio Barbera) with an adequate display. Indeed the team’s all-attacking brand of football, an intrinsic characteristic of Pasquale Marino’s teams, was nowhere to be seen.

Beginning the game in an aggressive fashion and fully focused on their opponents (despite their mid-week CL encounter threatening to draw away their attentions), Juventus dominated the first half. Mauro Camoranesi was in inspired form on the right wing, Paolo De Ceglie a little dynamo on the opposite flank, all the while Vincenzo Iaquinta and Amauri provided a constant danger upfront. Somewhat wasteful with their opportunities though. Juventus created chance after chance but it all seemed in vain, especially when Iaquinta scored from Nedved’s assist only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.

There was no breakthrough either when Iaquinta again latched onto an Amauri cross and hit a first-time shot at Handanovic, the goalkeeper deflecting the ball out for a corner. Later still, it was the woodwork that came to Udinese’s rescue, Amauri’s header from a Camoranesi cross coming back out off the post. Iaquinta went in for chance nº3 and 4(perhaps particularly looking to impress his former club), but both his header and strike still failed to hit the back of the net.

On the other end, Udinese were unrecognisable from their usual self (even though that had more to do with their opponents’ merits than their own shortcomings): there was no sign of their usually free-flowing brand of football or of their well-worked counterattacks, replaced instead by long balls pumped forward to Antonio Di Natale, who was unable to unleash his skills. The first half thus finished goalless, Juve having failed to take what would have been a deserved lead.

The second half began in much the same manner as the first, with Juventus continuing to push forward as Udinese defended deep into their own half. In an attempt to change the tide of the game, Marino decided to bring off Di Natale (evidently tired from his exertions with the national side,) in place of Alexis Sanchez. The Bianconeri then almost found a breakthrough via an unexpected source, as Christian Poulsen hit the bar with a powerful shot from outside the area, Juventus once again thwarted by the woodwork as Amauri was in the first half.

Then with 67 minutes on the clock, the former Palermo forward finally broke the deadlock with a precise right-footed effort following Sissoko’s incursion from the middle. It was Amauri’s first goal of the season, the player just recently speaking to Sky Sports of his willingness to don Italy’s national jersey should he be called up by Lippi and upon receipt of his pending Italian passport. 1-0 Juventus

Towards the end of the game, Udinese finally rediscovered a modicum of pride and managed to create a chance for substitute Antonio Floro Flores: through on goal after a hazardous back-pass, the Udinese striker was floored in Juve’s penalty box by Chiellini. Replays showed it was merely a brush, no penalty. However by then Juve were on the back foot, and the threat of conceding a late goal (like they did in Florence) was no doubt playing on the players’ minds. But they held on to win a contest that they largely dominated. Consider that a warning, FC Zenit…


Juventus F.C.
[Match Highlights]
 Udinese Calcio
GOALSCORERS: 67’ Amauri (J).
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Grygera, Mellberg, Chiellini, De Ceglie – Camoranesi (87’ Del Piero), Sissoko, Poulsen, Nedved – Amauri (87’ Trezeguet), Iaquinta (80’ Marchionni). (bench: Manninger, Knezevic, Salihamidzic, Marchisio). Coach: Ranieri.
UDINESE (3-4-3): Handanovic – Ferronetti, Coda, Lukovic – Motta (71’ Isla), D’Agostino, Inler, G.Pasquale – Pepe (75’ Floro Flores), Quagliarella, Di Natale (58’ A.Sanchez). (bench: Belardi, Sala, Domizzi, Tissone). Coach: Marino.


Genoa 2-0 Milan: When It Rains, It Pours for Ancelotti (Serie A Matchday 2)

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Three Golden Balls on the field: Kaká, Ronaldinho, Shevchenko. Was it enough for AC Milan to turn their catastrophic pre-season and Serie A debut around?

Alas, all Rossoneri supporters already know the answer to that question. Once again, Ancelotti’s team blanked out against “moderate” (on paper) opposition, and notice I say “on paper” because on the field Genoa was anything but. Lead by the technical brilliance of prodigal son Diego Milito, Il Grifone sank the Rossoneri with two goals conceding none, and put a serious question mark (despite what Galliani might say) on Carlo Ancelotti’s tenure at the club. 0 points after two matchdays, and team that isn’t working: some heads gotta fall at Milanello soon…

(From Gazzetta dello Sport): So, according to Galliani no Sword of Damocles is currently hanging over Carlo Ancelotti. Over that one at least, the Milan manager should not be losing any sleep (mmhh… cough). But who could blame the coach, when even seasoned veterans like Maldini and Zambrotta (not to mention the Golden Ball trio up front) starting making elementary mistakes, stuff you would normally only see in Primavera matches. Therein lies the problem perhaps: the “seasoned” part. There’s a point when the distinction between “experience” and “over-ripeness” gets kinda blurry, and for some AC Milan players that point has arrived…

Such a shame too, because the Rossoneri had started the match fairly well. Ronaldinho may still be struggling to find perfect form, but it’s still someone named “Ronaldinho”, the kind of guy whose one-touch pass or shot can transform a game. A message the Genoa defenders got very early on, constantly doubling man-marking on him and his two striking partners (Kaká and Shevchenko). Thus after a timid start, the home team shifted into second gear and started getting close to Abbiati’s goal, thanks in part to the blatant lack of defensive efforts in Milan’s midfield (Flamini was playing? Was he really?). In minute 30, the first goal of the game was a mix of precision (Gasbarroni’s aerial through ball), technique (Milito’s lovely chest-pass) and finishing (Sculli‘s daisy-cutter from 10 yards out). A well-deserved goal for Gasperini’s team, and yet another alarming wake-up call for Milan. 1-0 Genoa.

At this point, Ancelotti decided to push his men forward: Gianluca Zambrotta was given “license to kill move forward”, thereby reducing the Milan backline to three men. (Maldini, Bonera, Favalli). Then, he continued his line-up revolution by getting rid of Sheva and Ronnie at half-time, inserting Clarence Seedorf and Marco Borriello: radical changes designed to effect radical results. Alas with little success: Matteo Ferrari (you know, the guy deemed surplus by Roma) was following Borriello around like a shadow, and Kaká’s best efforts (even from long-range) were being far too predictable.

On the other end, Andrea Gasbarroni was acting as perfect playmaking & assist-man: the ex-Parma midfielder was litterally on fire, serving up a perfect ball for Giuseppe Sculli (saved by Abbiati) and then almost getting a goal of his own with a chipped shot saved by Zambrotta on the line. Ancelotti made his last change with Alexandre Pato (on for Flamini), trying also to boost his aerial attacks: the “Duck” got his noggin to a few crosses (shortly imitated by Ambrosini), coming close to the equalizer. This was however Genoa’s day: in stoppage time, Diego Milito turned with the ball and made a fool out of Maldini, forcing the Rossoneri captain to an uncharacteristic yet significant trip inside the box. The ex-Zaragoza striker did the penalty kick honors himself, giving his team a historical 92nd-minute “icing on the cake” victory. 2-0 Genoa and game over.


 Genoa C.F.C.
[Match Highlights]
 AC Milan
GOALSCORERS: 30’ Sculli (G), 91’ pen. Milito (G).
GENOA (3-4-3): Rubinho – Biava, Ferrari, Criscito – Mesto (M.Rossi), Milanetto, Juric (66’ Vanden Borre), Modesto – Sculli, G.Milito, Gasbarroni (85’ Palladino). (bench: Scarpi, Sokratis, Bocchetti, Olivera). Coach: Gasperini.
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Abbiati – Zambrotta, Bonera, Maldini, Favalli – Flamini (69’ Pato), Pirlo, Ambrosini – Kaká, Ronaldinho (46’ Seedorf) – Shevchenko (46’ Borriello). (bench: Dida, Kaladze, Jankulovski, Emerson). Coach: Ancelotti.