Posts Tagged ‘Artmedia Bratislava’

Artmedia 1-1 Juventus – Champions League Says “Welcome Back Old Lady!” (UCL Preliminary Round)

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Artmedia 1-1 Juventus. Two years after the dark clouds of Calciopoli and Serie B tainted their glorious European history, the Bianconeri are back into the club elite of the world, ready once again to contend the “Cup with the big ears”. Or in other words “Champions League, here we come” might be saying Claudio Ranieri’s boys, after tonight’s preliminary round return leg in Bratislava, Slovakia (merely a formality, after the 4-0 victory obtained in Turin two weeks prior).

The biggest suspense for Juventus will now be coming from the drawing lots of UEFA headquarters, where their opponents for the Group Stage round will be revealed Thursday. The Bianconeri are currently third seed, but depending on Wednesday’s results may be upgraded to the second seed group. Until then, Ranieri can enjoy the positive notes gleaned from Tuesday night’s match.

And speaking of positive notes, here they are.  

  1. Amauri. The ex-Palermo striker scored one, and gave an impressive display on aerial balls: his jumping abilities permitted him to virtually get to every header first, and while David Trezeguet still remains the likely starting striker (the fact that Ranieri rested him tonight -alongside Del Piero- strongly suggests he was thinking ahead to the Serie A season opener vs. Fiorentina), the Italian-Brazilian makes for a perfect super-sub on fire.
  2. Marchisio. With Cristiano Zanetti likely still sidelined for a while (injury problems), the young U-21 midifielder is the elected alternative of choice to Poulsen and Sissoko. Tonight, he demonstrated quality and personality, and may very well be the long-awaited midfield recruit Juventus was searching for. Sure he’s no Aquilani or Xabi Alonso, but he’s solid, reads the game well, and knows how to time his runs. With Sissoko suspended, expect to see him get the start on Sunday against Fiorentina.
  3. The usual suspects: Camoranesi, Nedved, and Buffon. No introductions needed really. With Camo and Pavel still the irreplaceable play-creating dynamos, and Gigi the always-ready-to-pounce nº1 (even in matches like this one), Ranieri will not be losing sleep any time soon.
  4. Mellberg & Legrottaglie. With Giorgio Chiellini out for a month, these two become the de-facto starters in the center backline. With limited playing time together it’s still pretty early to make an assessment, but one word comes to mind so far: SOLIDITY.

Getting back to the game itself, the first half practically lasted till minute 25, when Juventus tied the game. Yeah, because Artmedia had actually managed to take the lead in this one, and it was by no means a lucky goal: in minute 13, captain Kozak had delivered a perfect cross to the center, and while Legrottaglie and Mellberg were having tea Branislav Fodrek had armed a spectacular bicycle kick, leaving Buffon to pick up the ball from the net. 1-0 Artmedia.

Fortunately for Juve, 10 minutes later a great cross from Pavel Nedved (permitted by Molinaro’s great off-the-ball left-wing run) found the noggin of Amauri, whose powerful header slammed the bottom part of the crossbar before crossing the line. 1-1, and game over for the Slovaks (who now had to score another 5 goals to qualify).

Ya, I say game over because essentially that was the last goal of the game, despite the many chances obtained by the visiting team in the first (Nedved, Amauri -post- and Iaquinta’s efforts come to mind) or the second half (Nedved, Amauri, Marchisio). Despite clearly suffering the Bianconeri’s ball possession, Artmedia themselves got a late chance for the prestige win (an 88th minute on-the-run shot by Halenar, on which Gigi had the chance to display his superb reflexes), however the scoreline remained unchanged.

There was time to see Sissoko and Giovinco come on for Nedved and Camoranesi, but the game had become a boring excuse for a kickabout at this point, and even the young “Formica Atomica” was being a bit imprecise with his passes. No matter. The biggest news of the day of course, was that Juve were back in the UEFA Champions League. Not just the preliminary round. For real this time.


FC Artmedia Petržalka ARTMEDIA- JUVENTUS
[Match Highlights]
Juventus F.C.
GOALSCORERS: 13’ Fodrek (A), 25’ Amauri (J).
ARTMEDIA BRATISLAVIA (4-2-3-1): Kamenar – Cisovsky, Salata, Farkas, Burak – Anderson (83’ Halenar), Velicky – Obzera (65’ Piroska), Kozak, Fodrek – Pospech (80’ Cleber). (bench: Hyll, Mraz, Hasek, Oravec). Coach: Weiss.
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Grygera, Legrottaglie (83’ Ariaudo), Mellberg, Molinaro – Camoranesi (70’ Sissoko), Poulsen, Marchisio, Nedved (70’ Giovinco) – Amauri, Iaquinta. (bench: Manninger, Salihamidzic, Del Piero, Trezeguet). Coach: Ranieri.


Juventus 4-0 Artmedia: A Walk in the Turin Park… (UEFA Champions League Preliminary Round)

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

And you thought that Fiorentina’s return to Europe was a good one… The Juventino in me can’t help but grab this opportunity to say that whatever La Viola do well, the Bianconeri seem to do better. Ok that was a cheap shot and also completely gratuitous: different teams, different opponents, different levels of preparation. Still there is something disconcerting about the ease with which this Juventus team just brushed Artmedia Bratislava aside. I used the expression “pressed their opponents under their heel” in my Fiorentina-Slavia match report, but I feel something a little bit stronger and more explicit is required here.

How about “bashed their heads in with a big hammer”? Too strong? Just “steamrolled” will do then…

Champions League 2008-09 - Preliminary Round, Leg 1 - Juventus 4-0 Artmedia Bratislava

(From Gazzetta): This is what you call an exhibition game, because that is exactly what Wednesday night’s UCL Preliminary Round match ended up being for Juventus: a whopping 4-0 victory, thanks to goals by Camoranesi, Del Piero, Chiellini, and Legrottaglie. Artmedia Bratislava may very well already be on day 7 of the Slovakian league, they could not provide a shred of danger for the Bianconeri tonight.

ADP’s ON FIRE! – Elements of Juve’s “walk in the park” tonight: the reliability of the “old guard” (except for Christian Poulsen, all the starting eleven were part of last season’s roster) and the class of captain Alessandro Del Piero, who christened the beginning of his 16th season with the Bianconeri with a fantastic goal, nº38 in 80 matches the UEFA Champions League and nº242 with the Juve shirt. A goal “alla Del Piero” for good measure: curling shot into the top-right corner and keeper left looking. Also big contributors: the quality of Mauro Camoranesi (dribbling, passing, and finally on the road of optimum form) and the strength of Giorgio Chiellini (who needs no introduction at this point). As for Gigi Buffon, he celebrated his 500th professional match with yet another clean sheet, just another positive note to add to a very successful evening.

FIRST HALF HAT-TRICK – The Bianconeri started their domination very early into the match, and one could say Mauro Camoranesi’s goal in minute 7 made things considerably easier for them. Exploiting some good work inside the box by Grygera, the Italo-Argentine winger slammed a powerful instep shot inside the right post, thus putting his team into an early lead. 1-0 Juventus. The only snag? Grygera had to be subbed off due to a knock on the head, forcing Ranieri to backtrack Salihamidzic to right-back and insert Vincenzo Iaquinta as vice-Nedved (out suspended) on the left wing.

Having an extra striker on the field must have actually helped Juve, because they did not slow down one bit. Del Piero’s star was burning very brightly tonight, just like in the good old glory days (with plenty still to come) and his recent match at Old Trafford (when the Man Utd crowd gave him a standing ovation as he was subbed off the field). Indeed, anything that the Juve captain touched turned into gold, be it penetrating passes or finishing shots from close to mid-range. As for his curling minute-26 shot inside the top corner, well… that was pure vintage Del Piero right there, justifying in full all the “ooohs” and “aaahs” coming from the Stadio Olimpico crowd. 2-0 Juventus.

2-0 became 3-0 shortly before the break, as Giorgio Chiellini got his noggin to a perfectly-delivered Camoranesi free-kick. The latter was the true playmaker in Claudio Ranieri’s team (and this despite playing on the right wing), making heads in the Slovakian defense spin with his twists & turns, all the while the tireless Momo Sissoko continuously to win possession back in the center. The 3-0 Juventus HT scoreline left little doubt on the Bianconeri’s UCL qualification.

SECOND HALF FORMALITY - Indeed, the second period was essentially a formality for Juve. Controlling the lead, Ranieri’s boys even came close to making it four on a good number of opportunities, such as Del Piero’s curling shot (this time left-footed, from the right side) which missed the crossbar by inches (it would have been another fantastic goal, a xerox copy of his first one), or Vincenzo Iaquinta’s 20m effort that the Juve striker slammed onto the post. Goal nº4 did come eventually, but we had to wait until minute 90 for it, as Nicola Legrottaglie (left all alone by the Slovakian defense) headed a Camoranesi corner-kick out of the keeper’s reach. 4-0 Juventus, with the Bianconeri one foot and a half through the UCL entrance door.


Juventus F.C.
[Match Highlights]
FC Artmedia Petržalka
GOALSCORERS: 7’ Camoranesi (J), 26’ Del Piero (J), 38’ Chiellini (J), 90’ Legrottaglie (J).
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Grygera (15′ Iaquinta), Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Molinaro – Camoranesi, Poulsen, Sissoko, Salihamidzic – Del Piero (72’ Amauri), Trezeguet. (bench: Chimenti, Mellberg, Zebina, Ekdal, Pasquato). Coach: Ranieri.
ARTMEDIA BRATISLAVA (4-4-2): Kamenar – Fodrek, Cisovsky, Salata, Urbanek – Anderson, Kozak, Velicky, Piroska (46’ Obzera) – Pospech (83’ Oravec), Halenar (69’ Glever). (bench: Hyll, Szabo, Hasek, Mraz). Coach: Weiss.


UEFA CL Preliminary Round Draw – Good Picks for Juventus and Fiorentina

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup Preliminary Round - Juventus, Fiorentina, and Napoli

Amidst the lot of international friendlies & tournaments (Emirates Cup, Russian Railways Cup, and such), I almost forgot to mention the UEFA Champions League Prelim. Round draw last week. Indeed, on Friday August 1 the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon (Switzerland) hosted the draw for the European Cups Qualifying Round, and Serie A teams can be fairly satisfied with the picks, avoiding “tough nuts to crack” such as Atlético de Madrid, Galatasaray and Dynamo Kiev.

Here are the results: Fiorentina will take on Czech team Slavia Praha, whereas Juventus will square off against the winner in the Tampere (Finland) vs. Artmedia (Slovakia) match. Also a good draw for Napoli (involved in the UEFA Cup), who will face Albania’s Vllaznia.

Champions League
Tampere / Artmedia
Slavia Praha


Juventus, Napoli, Fiorentina


(From Gazzetta and KwSport): At a glance, the appetizer of the Champions League should be easy to digest for Juventus, who will have to face the winner in the Tampere (Finland) and Artmedia (Slovakia) match in order to qualify for the group stage of the 2008-2009 Champions League. We’ll have to wait until the second leg between both teams (held on August 6), in order to know who will compete with Juve for a ticket to the group stage. In the first leg of the second qualifying round (played in Finland), Artmedia Bratislava won 3-1 with goals from Pospech, Obzera and Piroska (Nieme scored the consolation goal for the home team). A Slovakian defeat therefore, would come as a big surprise.

Certainly not an ‘evil’ draw for us” was Claudio Ranieri‘s comment from Juve’s training ground in London (Juventus were scheduled to play Arsenal the following day). “Given their 3-1 away result I really think we’ll be facing the Slovakian team in the end, and with the other possible opponents we could have got, it was a pretty good draw I’d say. Our main concern was to face a team much much further than us in their level of pre-season preparation, and that’s been avoided” concluded Ranieri.

Artmedia Bratislava (FC Artmedia Petržalka)Some of you might not remember Artmedia, but the Slovakian team is no stranger to the top European competition. In fact they already faced off against a Serie A team before, when during the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League campaign (after their preliminary round wins over Celtic -with an astonishing 5-0 home win- and Partizan Belgrade -in penalties) they landed in the same group as Porto, Rangers, and… Inter Milan. While not clinching a playoff ticket, Artmedia managed however to grab 3rd spot in the group and qualify for the UEFA Cup, thanks to an away victory to Porto and 3 draws (against Porto and twice against Rangers). The team is managed by Wladimir Weiss, a big fan of teamwork and collective play, and will be counting on the technique & long-shot abilities of playmaker Jan Kozac.

Slavia Prague (Czech: SK Slavia Praha)As for Fiorentina, they have a slightly spicier dish in front of them having to take on Slavia Praha, an expert Czech team and one of the main regulars in the European tournament. The Czechs make of their youth component one of their strongest points, to which the experience of players such as Vladimir Smicer brings added quality and reference points. Up front, the dangerous goalscoring form of Tomas Necid (which peaked in the U-19 tournament last July) should keep the Viola defense on their guard. In last year’s UCL, Slavia Praha (holder of 15 national league titles, including 13 from the old times of Czechoslovakia) managed to come out 3rd (and thus qualify for the UEFA Cup) in a group made up of Arsenal and FC Sevilla.

It’s a tough pick of the draw against a top-notch squad“, was Viola manager Cesare Prandelli‘s first comment. “We all know the level of football played in the Czech Republic“, he added. “I have also seen it in the European Cup.” It will be a difficult match and we’ll play to the best of our ability“. The first leg will take place on August 12 or 13 and the second leg two weeks later.

UEFA CupNapoli can also smile after ending up with Albania’s Vllaznia as the pick of the draw for the 2º qualifying round of the UEFA Cup. They will play the first leg in Albania on August 14 and the second match at Stadio San Paolo on August 28.


Atletico Madrid vs. Schalke 04 should provide some good entertainment, while Turkish champions Galatasaray will play the always tough Steaua Bucharest. Unless some apocalyptic event occurs, Spartak Moscow will be waiting for Dynamo Kiev (still needing to play the second leg against an already-defeated Drogheda) and finally, as Arsenal take on Dutch rivals Twente and El Niño‘s Liverpool play Standard Liège (Belgium), Barcelona have it relatively easy: they will play the winner in the Beitar (ISR)-Wisla Krakow (POL) match.


UEFA Champions League

Full UCL Preliminary Round Draw

Anorthosis (CYP) / Rapid Wien (AUT)
Olympiakos (GRE)
Vitória SC (POR)
Göteborg (SWE) / Basel (SUI)
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Domâžale (SVN) / Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)
Schalke 04 (GER)
Atlético Madrid (SPA)
Aalborg (DEN) / Modrica (BIH)
Rangers (SCO) / Kaunas (LTU)
Barcelona (SPA)
Beitar (ISR) / Wisla Krakow (POL)
Levski Sofia (BUL)
Anderlecht (BEL) / B. Borisov (BLR)
Standard Liège (BEL)
Liverpool (ENG)
Inter Baki (AZE) / Partizan (SRB)
Fenerbahçe (TUR) / Budapest (HUN)
Twente (HOL)
Arsenal (ENG)
Spartak Moskow (RUS)
Drogheda Utd (IRE) / Dynamo Kiev (UKR)
Juventus (ITA)
Tampere (FIN) / Artmedia (SVK)
Brann (NOR)
Marseille (FRA)
Fiorentina (ITA)
Slavia Praha (CZE)
Galatasaray (TUR)
Steaua Bucarest (ROM)
Panathinaikos (GRE) / Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)
Sheriff (MDA) / Sparta Praha (CZE)