Archive for March 15th, 2009

Siena 1-5 Milan: Super Pippo & The Duck Make Milan… Rock (Serie A Matchday 28)

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

AC Milan's Andrea Pirlo (C) celebrates with his teammates Filippo Inzaghi (L), Pato (2nd L), David Beckham and Paolo Maldini (R) after scoring a penalty against Siena during their Italian Serie A soccer match in Siena March 15, 2009.  (REUTERS)

Yes, I didn’t look for that rhyme very far… sue me for lack of imagination. I stand by it: it’s an appropriate title, and something a bit more original than phrases including “Super Pippo” and “300″.

Milan‘s visit to Siena Sunday was really a one-way encounter for the Rossoneri, who saw the welcome returns of Kakà and Ronaldinho from injury as well as the confirmation that maybe, just maybe (and for one last season), old & new can blend together in this team. On the one hand we have Inzaghi, who followed last week’s Atalanta hat-trick with a brace today, just to confirm that even as a 35 year-old he’s lost nothing of his goalscoring cunning. On the other hand we have Pato, whom Inzaghi has apparently taught well and who quite happily seems be carrying the scoring torch at Milan. With his two goals today (one more spectacular than the other) the “Duck” rises to 14 goals in this Serie A season, just five behind capocannoniere Marco Di Vaio.

Oh, and for those still confused about my “Super Pippo” and “300″ reference: no, this isn’t another Zack Snyder movie. Simply, Serie A goalscorer extraordinaire Filippo Inzaghi just bagged his 300th professional career goal Sunday. Say what want about Inzaghi (he’s always offside, he dives, etc.) but… Mazel Tov! Few people can make that claim about their football career.

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Sampdoria 2-2 Roma: Pazzini Illuminating Marassi, Julio Baptista Turning Its Lights Off (Serie A Matchday 28)

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Sampdoria's forward Antonio Cassano, left, tussles with AS Roma's midfielder Marco Motta during a Serie A soccer match between Sampdoria and AS Roma at the Ferraris stadium in Genoa, Italy, Sunday, March 15, 2009. (AP Photo)

As far as entertainment goes, today’s Sampdoria vs. Roma had all the ingredients required of a soccer match: goals, cards (of various colours), and… oh yes, this is Serie A after all, reffing mistakes. For a Sunday morning, it certainly beats waking up to watch Chelsea vs. Manchester City I think… (bitter? who me?).

But in all seriousness, I got up early today primarily because I was curious on just how Spalletti would handle his injury crisis (as a Juve fan I can relate, you see…) and I have to say the Giallorossi can be pretty satisfied with their final 2-2 result, especially given the turn this game had taken after Motta’s red card. Can we talk about the “post-elimination aftershock” I was mentioning in Juve-Bologna? Partially. A draw certainly isn’t the best way to rebound from an Champions League elimination. It must also be said Roma’s roster featured nearly 1/3 of Primaveras.

Discussions aside, the match was also (very surprisingly) a game of redemption for Julio Baptista (who had been so terrible mid-week) and (less surprisingly) one of confirmation for Giampaolo Pazzini, whose entente with Cassano is screaming more and more of perfection.

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Juventus 4-1 Bologna: Bianconeri on the Rebound, Brazzo/Super-Seba/ADP “Toast” Rossoblu (Serie A Matchday 28)

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Juventus' Alessandro Del Piero (L) celebrates with his team mate Vincenzo Iaquinta after scoring the team's third goal against Bologna during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Turin March 14, 2009. (REUTERS)

Post-elimination aftershock? Not for Juventus, no sir! The Zebras have turned into Bengal Tigers, landing straight on their feet after their European fall.

Their Saturday 4-1 win over Bologna demonstrated one thing and one thing only: depression only lasts for as long as you let it (in Juve’s case: 45 minutes). After a rocky first half ended with a one-goal deficit, Ranieri’s boys put on a spectacular turn-around, led by a Salihamdzic/Giovinco pair absolutely on fire and a reborn Capitan Del Piero.

A great way to kick their European Blues (and never-ending streak of injuries) goodbye and put the pressure back on Inter, now temporarily at -4 in the Serie A standings.

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