Posts Tagged ‘Branislav Fodrek’

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.