Archive for September 22nd, 2008

Serie A Matchday 3 – Week-end Review + GOALS of the Week (2008-09)

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Week-End Reviews

After the Summer wait, Serie A continues. :) Here are the results and summaries for matchday 3. Full Video Highlights here.
. week 3 review


Italian Calcio Blog week 3 review

Italian Calcio Blog 2008-09


Inter Milan produced a masterclass of attacking play when they moved to the top of serie A with a 3-1 win at Torino on Sunday. The reigning Serie A champions had been finding their feet in Jose Mourinho’s first few games in charge, but they outclassed Torino thanks to an own goal by Marco Pisano, Maicon’s superb 30-yard screamer and a neat finish from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Torino 1-3 Inter Match Report (mCalcio)


Injury-hit Juventus also made it seven points from three games with striker Amauri sealing a 1-0 win at Cagliari. The race between Nerazzurri and Bianconeri is on. Manager Claudio Ranieri was unfortunate however, in losing keeper Gigi Buffon to a groin strain for at least a week.

Cagliari 0-1 Juventus Match Report (mCalcio)


The day’s biggest performance of course, was AC Milan‘s 4-1 thumping of Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Like last season, all of Milan’s troubles seem to melt away when they face the Biancocelesti, as the goals by Seedorf, Zambrotta, Pato, and Kaká seem to indicate. The consolation for Delio Rossi’s team, was the excellent moment of form of Serie A revelation Mauro Zarate. 4 goals in 3 games, and the lone leader of the topscorer ranking.

Milan 4-1 Lazio Match Report (mCalcio)


Finally for the last two “big” teams, Roma rebounded nicely from their shocking 2-1 UCL defeat by winning 3-0 against Reggina Saturday (goals by Panucci, Aquilani, and Perrotta), while forward Alberto Gilardino continued his rich vein of form by scoring in Fiorentina‘s 1-0 victory over promoted Bologna.

Roma 3-0 Reggina Match Report (mCalcio)


In other matches, Catania stopped Atalanta‘s winning streak dead cold with a 1-0 win at Stadio Massimino Saturday (goal courtesy of Michele Paolucci), while Palermo overcame Genoa on a score of 2-1, thanks to Edison Cavani and a Cesare Bovo screamer (Diego Milito scored the lone Genoan goal).

Lecce vs. Siena (Ficagna, Caserta), Sampdoria vs. Chievo (Franceschini, Langella), and Udinese vs. Napoli all ended in draws.



You’re just going to love today’s goals of the week selection… it’s essentially the same fantastic top-corner blast repeated five times. Well, maybe not exactly the same… but awfully close. (and yes, I felt lazy on the goals description)


And the winner is… Kaká. Why this one over the others? The ball’s not moving, the distance might be a bit further away, and the trajectory’s just so damn awesome. If had to choose one between all the top-corner strikes this week, this one’s it.


Results Summary


Serie A 2008-09
Matchday 3


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


AC Milan 4-1 Lazio: Is “Biancocelesti” Italian for “Miracle Cure”? (Serie A Matchday 3)

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

You know it’s funny: it seems that whenever AC Milan are in trouble, all they need to lift their spirits is a little Lazio “rejuvenation cure”.

Just around the same time last year, the Rossoneri had just played an abysmal UEFA Champions League match against Celtic Glasgow (in which Dida infamously faked being mortally hit by an invading Celtic supporter, remember?) and occupied one of its lowest Serie A rankings in years. On matchday 7, they were travelling to Stadio Olimpico to play Lazio, at which point… a miracle took place. Contrary to every pre-game prediction, Milan won the match 5-1, virtually (temporarily) ending their results crisis and sending them on the way to a FIFA Club World Cup champions title.

I’m beginning to think that playing Lazio when you’re wearing red & black must have therapeutic powers

(From Gazzetta dello Sport): Four very loud trumpet calls sounded at the San Siro Sunday night, just to let the Serie A know AC Milan is very much alive and kicking. No doubt also to convince Carlo Ancelotti, who wanted a clear sign and some impressive football in order to declare the Rossoneri crisis well and truly broken.

A sign of the kind that brought Lazio literally to their knees, with a superlative 4-1 win in a goal-filled, showtime bonanza. Most importantly, the match demonstrated what Milan is truly capable of, albeit with a little help from Lazio (the Biancocelesti forgot to put up barricades for this one, but they kept their heads up and faced the Rossoneri with a brave face). A night for football epicurians let’s say, who were served up Seedorf‘s (lucky) opening shot and Zarate‘s equalizer for starters, then wined and dined by some wizard shots from Zambrotta, Pato and Kaká to bring the banquet to an end.

When you have still yet to score a point in the standings, playing conservative is not an option. Lost ground is regained by taking risks, and that’s just what Ancelotti put on the menu: diamond formation with Gattuso midfield between Ambrosini and Seedorf, Kaká up top behind Alexandre Pato and Marco Borriello (Ronaldinho and Sheva on the bench). Lazio lined up a similar formation, with Stefano Mauri covering the backs of the top-scoring Goran Pandev-Mauro Zarate duo.

Milan got off to a shaky start: on a hazardous Kaladze back-pass to Abbiati (just a few seconds into the game), Mauri almost managed to capitalize and put his team in the lead. This was to be the first in a long series of Kakhaber-blunders, but its was also crucial in making the Rossoneri get a clear idea on Lazio’s intentions: the Biancocelesti had come to San Siro to win.

Milan perked up and started pressing. 6 minutes in, Seedorf and Kaká combined (one of the recurring themes of tonight’s match) to set up Pato inside the box, but the young Brazilian’s backheel did not fool Carrizo. Two minutes later however, breakthrough time: from Pato to Seedorf on the edge of the box, the Dutchman litterally played a wall pass with… Ledesma’s back, to pick up the ball just inside the box apply an easy finish. 1-0 Milan.

It was an unfortunate goal for Lazio, but the Biancocelesti were not demoralized. Playing a razor-sharp, well-balanced game with no hesitation of moving forward, Delio Rossi’s man launched themselves into the Milan box. Mauri forced Abbiati down with a ground shot in minute 18, shortly followed by Zarate (well-served by Pandev). During this phase of play, it became evident that Lazio maneuvering variety was superior to Milan’s, and that Pandev can be a playmaker of the highest level at times. It was precisely through the Macedonian player’s assist that Zarate took control of the ball, burned Kaladze on the run, and put an accurate effort past Abbiati’s first post. 1-1.

Milan responded immediately. Pato (great dribble followed by a low shot on Carrizo) and Kaká (double dribble on Lichtsteiner and shot wide) tried their luck a few times, but it was through Gianluca Zambrotta’s scorcher (in minute 35) that Milan took their lead back. Similar to Maicon’s shot in the Torino vs. Inter game, the Rossoneri right-back unleashed a marvelous strike from 30 yards that ended its course straight into the top-left corner. 2-1 Milan.

The goal really got Milan’s motors going, driving them harder and faster to claim the game as their own. Pato was feeling inspired, Borriello a bit less (although his pass for Kaká’s header in minute 42 was worthy of note), while Lazio patiently waited in their own half, hoping to hit the Rossoneri on the counter (especially through Kaladze’s turf, whose lack of confidence put the entire backline on thin ice).

In the second period Lazio came back out strong, with Zarate showing he was no flash in the pan. While half of Milan’s defence (often forced to foul on the edge of the box) tried to stop the Argentine striker, the Rossoneri attacking line was lurking. In fact as soon as Milan stepped up the tempo again, it was goal nº3 for the Ancelotti’s boys: Jankulovski darted off on the left and served a perfect ball to Alexandre Pato, setting him up for an unstoppable short-range diving header. 3-1 Milan.

Milan was finally calling the shots, almost oozing in confidence as Kaká continued his vintage show of ball control & technique. The Brazilian playmaker first tried his luck from 15 yards (receiving a pass from Borriello) but was denied by the Lazio keeper. Carrizo could however do very little three minutes later, as Kaká did… well what Kaká does best, sending a great long-range inswinging curler straight into the top corner. Lots of top-corner goals this week-end, and 4-1 Milan.

It was the coup de grâce for Lazio, guilty perhaps of having underestimated their opponents’ crisis-recovery abilities. In the final minutes, even Ronaldinho (on for Pato) got some playing time, immediately setting Borriello up for a fifth goal (blocked by Carrizo) and sending the ball onto the crossbar. Lazio were spared further humiliation, as Ancelotti grabbed the first points of this Serie A season… Phew! Huh Carlo?


 AC Milan
[Match Highlights]
S.S. Lazio
GOALSCORERS: 8’ Seedorf (M), 26’ Zarate (L), 35’ Zambrotta (M), 59’ Pato (M), 60’ Kakà (M).
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Abbiati – Zambrotta, Kaladze, Maldini, Jankulovski – Ambrosini, Gattuso (79’ Emerson), Seedorf (64’ Flamini) – Kaká; Pato (71’ Ronaldinho), Borriello. (bench: Dida, Bonera, Favalli, Shevchenko). Coach: Ancelotti.
LAZIO (4-3-1-2): Carrizo – Lichtsteiner, Siviglia, Rozehnal, Kolarov – Brocchi (79’ De Silvestri), C.Ledesma, Matuzalem (68’ Meghni) – Mauri (63’ Foggia) – Pandev, Zarate. (bench: Muslera, Cribari, C.Manfredini, Makinwa). Coach: D.Rossi.


Torino 1-3 Inter Milan: Nerazzurri Powering Past Granata (Serie A Matchday 3)

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Excessive self-satisfaction: that was really the only flaw of Inter Milan Sunday. With the score up by three, Abbruscato’s goal, a crossbar, and two great saves by Julio Cesar reminded the Nerazzurri matches last for 90 minutes. Other than that, José Mourinho’s really dominated their Torino opponents, and deservedly closed the game with a 3-1 victory.

Speaking of José, the Inter manager will undoubtedly be happy with all the positive things emanating from Sunday’s match. Everyone played their part: Mancini, Maicon, and Ibrahimovic in the role of the “energizer bunny”, Vieira and Cambiasso the “midfield iron wall”, Julio Cesar the “attentive/miraculous keeper”, while a certain Adriano (yes, believe or not) seems to be (almost) back to his usual self. Only thing left to work on for the Portuguese manager: the aforementioned self-complacency aspect. Plenty of time for that.

(From Gazzetta dello Sport): As any host team should, Torino showed the way in this way, leading the early attacking proceedings into the Inter box. The men of Gianni De Biasi has evidently received specific instructions from their coach, pressuring their opponents high up the field and closing down any space that they could. The Inter forwards were left a bit isolated because of this, and Mourinho repeatedly had to instruct Maicon and Chivu to push up the wings in order to support the offensive effort.

The first chances of the game therefore, were all in favor of the home team. First, Alessandro Rosina sent a left-footed long-ranger inches wide, while Rolando Bianchi seemed to be getting the upper hand on Materazzi, as he connected with a few aerial balls first (sending them wide of the mark). The early chances were however an illusion for Granata supporters, because the scoreline changed as soon as Inter came knocking on Sereni’s door. 24 minutes in, Amantino Mancini exploited a good through ball by Adriano, and sent a cross from the right straight into the net. Of course, Pisano’s unfortunate deflection helped fool the Toro keeper, but it was still 1-0 Inter.

Things really went from bad to worse for Torino, because not even two minutes after conceding the first, the home team conceded a second (an absolutely slamming shot by Maicon from 25 yards, straight into the top-left corner) and then lost Rosina to injury. 2-0 Inter, couple with a big slap in the face for De Biasi.

The Torino coach had to resort to desperate measures in the second half, inserting Simone Barone for Eugenio Corini (also picking up an injury) and sending his team forward, attacking with their heads down. Risky business, but necessary when your team is trailing by two goals. Of course there’s always the risk you’re going to concede a third one on a counter-attack, which is exactly what happened in the the 51st. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was there to finish a play that Maicon started and Mancini continued, or in other words 3-0 Inter.

Game over right? Almost. There were still 40 minutes left in this match, which if you were wearing a black & blue shirt seemed almost like a tedious inconvenience at this point. Mourinho even made attacking substitutions at this point (Quaresma & Balotelli on for Mancini & Adriano), and Inter let their guard down in defense for a little while. Elvis Abbruscato was thus sent free to a winning close-range deflection, while Diana and Bianchi were allowed to unload on the Inter keeper (forced to some great saves in the process). Abbruscato even blasted the ball onto the crossbar, which gave the Torino crowd a bit of pride back.

As for the points… those were all Inter’s.


Torino F.C.
[Match Highlights]
F.C. Internazionale Milano
GOALSCORERS: 24′ Pisano o.g. (I), 26′ Maicon (I), 51’ Ibrahimovic (I), 76’ Abbruscato (T)
TORINO (4-3-2-1): Sereni – Diana, Di Loreto, Pratali, Pisano – P.Zanetti (65’ Ogbonna), Corini (46’ Barone), Saumel, Rosina (29′ Abbruscato), Amoruso, Bianchi. (bench: Calderoni, Colombo, Rubin, Ventola). Coach: De Biasi.
INTER (4-3-3): Julio Cesar – Maicon, Burdisso, Materazzi, Chivu – Vieira, Cambiasso, J.Zanetti, Ibrahimovic (87’ Cruz), Adriano (67’ Balotelli), Mancini (64’ Quaresima). (bench: Toldo, Córdoba, Rivas, Cruz, Crespo, Balotelli). Coach: Mourinho.