Archive for March 24th, 2009

Serie A Matchday 29 – Week-End Review + GOALS of the Week (2008-09)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

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Napoli 0-0 Milan: Donado-napoli Takes Its First Step, Rossoneri Shut Out (Serie A Matchday 29)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Napoli's coach Roberto Donadoni (L) shouts orders at his team beside AC Milan's David Beckham during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, March 22, 2009. (REUTERS)

In pure Neapolitan style, Azzurri supporters greeted the San Paolo appearance of their new manager with the following banner: “Donadoni, sbruoglia sta matassa“. That’s dialect for “Donadoni, clear this mess up”.

Well… mission accomplished? Not quite, but Napoli are on the right path, and the way in which Donadoni achieved this 0-0 draw shows some reassuring signs of improvement. If you’re not convinced, a clean sheet against a team which had scored in 29 consecutive matches (Milan‘s last goal-less fixture was in October against Cagliari) speaks fairly clearly; the Azzurri’s stellar pre-Winter performances are still very far away, but at least on the motivational side Donadoni’s done his job.

And to be perfectly honest, Napoli had indeed scored a valid goal (Marek Hamsik) which really shouldn’t have been called off.

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Inter 3-0 Reggina: Easy Peasy… Zlatanesey (Serie A Matchday 29)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Inter Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L) celebrates with his team mate Sulley Ali Muntari after scoring a third goal against Reggina during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the San siro stadium in Milan March 22, 2009. (REUTERS)

See what I did there? Feel free to use that in future Inter victories (sounds a bit better than “japanesey” or “lemon-squeezy”, no?). For there are few words more appropriate than “piece of cake” to define the Nerazzurri’s victory over Reggina Sunday. Juventus thought that by keeping the pressure on their rivals, Mourinho’s boys were going to slip up… eventually. Ibrahimovic thought otherwise.

Inter’s third goal, a marvelous left-footed chip over the keeper after a double dribble by Zlatan, epitomizes the ease and facility with which this team is playing domestically at the moment: one can only wonder how on Earth they could not translate Serie A domination into European success (especially with Man utd losing against teams like Fulham this past week-end). And the stats speak loud & clear: 10th match without a loss, 7th consecutive game ended with a +2 goal margin. Those who criticized Mourinho for non-spectacular playing style are keeping quiet.

Reggina on the other hand, and their hopes for avoiding relegation, are looking grim: Nevio Orlandi’s team has not managed to win since the end of November…

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