Archive for March 13th, 2009

Manchester United 2-0 Inter Milan: Nerazzurri Complete Italy’s Big European Disillusion (UEFA Champions League Round of 16, Second Leg)

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic, bottom left, reacts with teammate Rio Ferdinand, top left, after scoring a goal during their Champions League second round, second leg, soccer match against Inter Milan at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. (AP Photo)

Bad luck? I don’t buy it. Okay, had Inter’s woodwork efforts (Zlatan’s crossbar and Adriano’s post) entered the net you probably wouldn’t be reading these lines now, but certainly there are factors other than old-fashioned “sfiga” (as the Italian press is claiming) explaining Inter‘s defeat at the hands of Manchester United Wednesday.

How about the fact that for the third consecutive year, Inter are out of the UEFA Champions League in the round of 16? How about “Man Utd played better, and showed 100% cynicism by converting their two biggest scoring chances in the game”? How about the fact that yet again, English club football has proven its superiority over its Italian counterpart? It’s sad to admit folks, but the truth often hurts and this case is no different: for the late part of the 2000′s, EPL >>> Serie A big time.

As for José, at least in the eyes of the English press he’s just “not special any mour“.


Roma 1-0 Arsenal: Hero-Mode Isn’t Enough, Giallorossi Beaten on Penalties (UEFA Champions League Round of 16, Second Leg)

Friday, March 13th, 2009

AS Roma defender Max Tonetto, left reacts after missing to score as Arsenal players celebrate during the penalties shootout of the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between AS Roma and Arsenal at Rome's Olympic stadium, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. Arsenal beat AS Roma 7-6 in a penalty shootout to reach the Champions League quarterfinals. (AP Photo)

Compared to their Italian rivals, Roma‘s stay in the UEFA Champions League lasted just a little bit longer: 30 extra minutes + a peanuts for spot kicks. Not a whole lot to be proud of, for at sundown the end result is the same: like Juve and Inter, the Giallorossi are leaving Europe and going home.

Unlike Bianconeri and Nerazzurri however (and all things considered), Roma are those who had the biggest chance of qualification ultimately, and also those who perhaps will have the most regrets at the end of the night. To quote Gazzetta, “they put their hearts, their bandages, their minds and their will into this match… everything they had.” It wasn’t enough. Once again this year the English “evil” proved to be stronger: it wasn’t a colossal 7-1 slap at the Theatre of Dreams, it was a penalty elimination at the hands of Arsenal. Same difference.

Once again, it’s Italian football as a whole that’s taken a beating.