Posts Tagged ‘David Trezeguet’

Chelsea vs. Juventus: The PLAYERS

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Chelsea vs. Juventus: The PLAYERS

Continuing to surf on La Gazzetta‘s “Serie A vs. EPL” wave, here are ALL THE PLAYERS from UEFA Champions League’s Chelsea vs. Juventus.


Palermo 0-2 Juventus: Welcome Back David, Chelsea Here We Come (Serie A Matchday 25)

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

David Trezeguet is back!

May 17, 2008. That is the last time one Mr. David Trezeguet had scored in the Italian Serie A: almost an unthinkable waiting period for a goalscorer of his caliber, but which finally came to an end Saturday night as Juventus overcame Palermo.

And it certainly was no easy feat, as the Bianconeri battled with a motivated, tactically disciplined, and physical Rosanero team, who obtained their fair share of scoring chances but in the end were forced to capitulate against an impenetrable Gigi Buffon and the scoring cynicism of their opponents.

And with Juventus, all three Serie A teams with upcoming UCL mid-week action have gathered full points, something which in terms of team morale should make a big contribution in their favor. “Europe here we come“!


Juventus 0-0 Napoli: Bianconeri Through on Penalties, Qualify for Coppa Italia Semis

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

If one thing was certain on Wednesday night’s Coppa Italia match, it was the “do or die” nature of Juventus vs. Napoli. Coming from rather poor moments of form in Serie A (two consecutive losses against Udinese and vs. Cagliari for the Bianconeri, a single point scored in their last four fixtures for the Azzurri) both teams had every intention of turning this Cup encounter into a rejuvenating cure.

What transpired in the end was a rather entertaining match, and this despite the misleading 0-0 score at the end of the 120 minutes of play. A rather bleak first-half performance was followed by an exciting second half, in which Juventus and Napoli played open attacking football and quckly shifted the ball from one end of the field to another. It was only through some great moments of defensive brilliance (Mellberg/Cannavaro) or sheer bad luck (Bogliacino/Trezeguet) that the 0-0 score remained unchanged, and in the end (after another battled & tense 30 minutes of extra time) only penalty kicks were able to break the tie at the Olimpico tonight. Ultimately Juventus prevailed, capitalizing on the Neapolitan errors of Lavezzi, Contini and Gargano, and will advance to the Coppa Italia Semi-Finals where they will play Lazio.

At the end of the day though, it must be said that both teams can be satisfied with their performances tonight. After their rough last couple of weeks, Napoli and Juventus have demonstrated they are very far from being dead & buried.


EMIRATES CUP 2008: Arsenal, Real Madrid, Juventus and Hamburg Showdown, Ups & Downs for the Bianconeri in London

Monday, August 4th, 2008

The Emirates Cup, an annual two-day pre-season football tournament held at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in London (where each team plays two matches, with three points awarded for a win, one point for a draw, and a point for every goal scored), was an interesting test for Juventus especially in light of their upcoming UEFA Champions League campaign (and preliminary round match on August 12). Teams of Arsenal and Real Madrid‘s caliber, are just the type the Bianconeri will have to face when the “real deal” begins in September, so this was the opportunity for Ranieri’s boys to “test their might” in Europe.

After the week-end, the global experience for Juventus was mixed. A good win vs. Arsenal on Saturday was followed by a bleak performance against Hamburg on Sunday, a match during which the Bianconeri’s legendary determination arose in the second half, but which also highlighted some rather dangerous holes in La Vecchia Signora‘s backline. A backline which, for their upcoming match vs. Manchester United on Wednesday, will have to do without two of its main elements. With Jorge Andrade’s knee injury still persecuting the Portuguese center-back, it is possible the Turin club may have to grab its shopping cart again and look for replacements.

Arsenal vs. Juventus

Arsenal F.C.Juventus F.C.

(From Gazzetta): Beating Arsenal on their home turf is never an easy feat, even if that performance is achieved in a pre-season friendly tournament. For that result alone, Juventus deserve a commendation for their match at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, and that commendation actually turns into full marks when one considers the way the Bianconeri have achieved their win. Indeed, the boys of Claudio Ranieri (back for the first time in England since his managing spell at Chelsea) put out a solid performance throughout the whole 90 minutes, imposing their play on the Gunners’ “reserves” in the first half and ably resisting the siege of their opponents when the “big stars” (Gallas, Walcott, Nasri, Adebayor & the like) came on in the second period.

Unsurprisingly, the match winner came through yet another goal by David Trezeguet (in offside position though, it must be said) who just wants to remind the Juve board that he is still indispensible for this team. Other positive notes of the night: Chiellini, Sissoko, and Mellberg. Tiago‘s utilization as a Pirlo-surrogate (playing just in front of the backline) provided some interesting results, but the Portuguese midfielder’s still struggling to find his role in this team, and one has to wonder how much longer really will the ex-Chelsea and Lyon player prolong his stay in the Turin club.

The match’s first half took a while to pick un pace, and considering Arsène Wenger‘s decision to field a good deal of his “promising youngsters” in the starting lineup, that comes as little surprise. The likes of Justin Hoyte, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Carlos Vela and Jack Wilshire (not to mentiond Denilson and Bendtner) undoubtedly have a bright future in front of them, but it’s going to take them a little more experience to provide significant punch for the Gunners. Especially in front of a disciplined, solid, compact Juventus team, who will likely remain that way for the much of the upcoming 2008-09 season. They may not provide Brazil-style spectacular football just yet, but their vertical passing coupled with lethal counterattacks should provide plenty for opposing teams to remain vigilant. Especially with finishers like Vincenzo Iaquinta (in stunning form this month) and David Trezeguet (who needs no introduction) up front.

Speaking of, the Frenchman proved once again today he doesn’t need an excess of chances to put it in: until minute 34, it seemed as if Trezegol was just another of the 60,000 sold-out crowd who had come to watch the match, but within two minutes got two touches on the ball who ended up in the back of the net. The first one (header) was ruled offside, the second one (tackled deflection on a Iaquinta free-kick) wasn’t, even though it should have been. Regardless, 1-0 Juventus.

Poked in their pride at trailing by one in front of their home crowd, Arsenal got back to work and gave a few glimpses why Wenger is so keen at developing their youth component. In minute 25, Ramsey got behind a good cross from the opposing wing and lashed out a powerful diagonal shot from the left (forcing Buffon to an attentive save), while up front the movement of Vela and Bendtner was keeping Mellberg and Chiellini busy, with the latter not hesitating to resort to “rough” treatment when necessary. The Juve backline held however, aided in the defensive work by a more and more indispensible Sissoko. The score was thus 1-0 at the break.

At the restart, Wenger decided to bring on the “heavy artillery” so-to-speak as William Gallas, Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Adebayor were all called to duty for the second half. Speaking of the Togolese striker (who despite the courtship of AC Milan and Barcelona decided to renew his contract with Gunners for 4 more years), he quickly became the main source of danger for the Juve defense. Add to that the vivacity of Theo Walcott (on for Eboué) and the technique of new recruit Samir Nasri (on for Wilshire), and Arsenal were looking a lot more impressive. Juve were being pushed back to the ropes, but Claudio Ranieri was determined to hold the win against his prestigious opponents. Bringing out Trezeguet, Nedved, and Iaquinta for Salihamidzic, Camoranesi, and Amauri, Juve effectively turned to a 4-4-1-1 formation, the Brazilian striker carrying alone the weight of the attack in front of Mauro Camoranesi.

It was enough for the Bianconeri to weather the storm, as Adebayor had 3 good successive chances on net but couldn’t aim his shots precisely enough (or found Gigi Buffon ready). 1-0 was thus the final result for a well-deserving Juventus team. Arsenal would have to find some consolation in Sunday’s match vs. Real Madrid (victorious 2-1 over Hamburg, thanks to goals by Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Daniel Parejo).


[Match Highlights: 1st Half, 2nd Half]
 Juventus F.C.
GOALSCORERS: 38’ Trezeguet (J)
ARSENAL (4-5-1): Fabianski – Hoyte (59′ Sagna), Djorou, Senderos (46′ Gallas), Gibbs – Eboué (59′ Walcott), Ramsey (46′ Diaby), Denilson, Vela (46′ Adebayor), Wilshire (59′ Nasri) – Bendtner. (bench: Almunia, Clichy, Hoyte, Lansbury, Randall). Coach: Wenger.
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Grygera, Mellberg, Chiellini, Molinaro – Marchionni (78′ Poulsen), Sissoko (82′ F.Rossi), Tiago (78′ Ekdal), Nedved (61′ Salihamidzic) – Trezeguet (70′ Camoranesi), Iaquinta (70′ Amauri). (bench: Chimenti, Ariaudo, Legrottaglie, Zebina, Del Piero). Coach: Ranieri.


Hamburg vs. Juventus

Hamburger SVJuventus F.C.

(From Gazzetta): Juventus‘s fate in Day 2 of the Emirates Cup in London was not as glorious as Saturday’s. After their good win vs. host team Arsenal, the Bianconeri suffered an undeservingly brutal loss at the hands of Hamburg the following day, a whopping 3-0 with goals by José Paolo Guerrero and a Ivica Olic double. And yes I did say undeserving, because as much as Hamburg did indeed play better for the majority of the match (especially the first half) the Bianconeri had a good 5-6 chances to score and a perfectly valid goal by Camoranesi called off in the second period, almost as if to compensate Trezeguet’s offside goal from the eve. In the end, with the defense falling asleep in the final three minutes, Olic was able to hit Chimenti with two stoppage time rippers that left Juve’s backup keeper no chance.

To make matters worse for Ranieri: the simultaneous injury of Dario Knezevic and Cristian Molinaro. Early reports say the Croatian defender suffered a “twisted left knee trauma” (in a clash with compatriot Olic), while his teammate endured a “strong contusion to the left hip”. The latter sequence was actually dramatically funny to watch: as Molinaro and Zidan were running after a deep pass in the Juve half, Chiellini preceded them both and tackled the ball back to his own keeper, in so doing crashing into both his teammate and his opponent just as if they were bowling pins. Somebody ought to tell Keyser Giorgio to take it easy during training/friendly matches, and leave the Matrix-style tackles for Serie A & Champions League. In any case, both injured players returned to Turin for further examination, and will miss Wednesday’s friendly vs. Manchester United.

But back to Sunday’s game itself. The first half, as already mentioned, was largely dominated by Hamburg, and not so much because of the German team’s own efforts but rather due to Juve’s inability to create anything substantial. The midfield line was appearing very uninspired, with Poulsen instructed to recover possession but not much more, F.Rossi and Ekdal handicapped by their lack of experience, and Camoranesi still trying to find his best form. The striking duo (Del Piero-Amauri) on the other hand was showing nice touches of class, with the Juve captain trying to provide the missing spark for his teammates (with moderate success). On the other hand Hamburg, who on Saturday managed to stand firm to Real Madrid (the Merengues achieved their 2-1 victory only in the final minutes), showed some interesting bits of play and that despite the absence of their main playmaker Rafael van der Vaart (a Juventus target for much of the past season, but now imminently set to join… Madrid it seems).

Not that Martin Jol’s team was lacking quality mind you, what with a certain Zidan in the team and all. Yeah I know an “E” is missing in that name, but while Mohamed probably has very few things to teach to Zinedine (restraint maybe? I digress…), the Egyptian midfielder’s certainly got a few tricks of his own. Such as the time when he dribbled 2-3 Juve defenders in succession, only to blast his shot on the outside part of the goal mesh. Kind of a warning sign for Antonio Chimenti, who after a few of years spent at Cagliari & Udinese came back to Juve, happy to play the role of Buffon’s reserve. Indeed, exploiting a good aerial through ball (on a defensive lapse of Legrottaglie), Hamburg’s José Paolo Guerrero got through on the left side and sent a low shot past Juve’s keeper. 1-0 Hamburg at the break.

At the restart, Zebina and Rossi left their place to Grygera and Molinaro, shortly followed by Knezevic (injd) for Chiellini. Evidently, Ranieri’s half-time talk had its effect because Juventus came back on the field a lot more aggressive and motivated. On a Chiellini-orchestrated and Del Piero-finalized counter-attack, the Juve captain set up Hasan Salihamidzic all alone in front of the net, but the Bosnian midfielder messed up his first touch and allowed Frank Rost to control the ball. Shortly after, Hamburg’s nº1 got called into action once again as Del Piero delivered a good cross for Amauri’s powerful header, parried away by the German keeper. The two Juve strikers were now working well together, and Ranieri’s attack benefited even more from the entrance of Vincenzo Iaquinta (on for Poulsen), because the ex-Udinese forward almost transformed into goal his first touch of the game. However, the chipped shot which had worked so well against another German team found the ready hands of Rost once again. On the upside, Juve’s much-anticipated “tridente” (attacking trio) seemed to work rather well in the short while it was utilized.

There was virtually only one team attacking at this point, as Juve accumulated chance after chance and even managed to put one in 10 minutes from the end. Camoranesi’s goal however, was called off for a non-existent offside position. And with Ranieri’s boys all pushing forward to get the equalizer, it was inevitable the Bianconeri defense would concede one space too many. Exploiting a counter-attack first, then the collective “sleepy-time” of the Juve backline, Ivica Olic managed to increase Hamburg’s lead to 3-0 in stoppage time. A result which, very clearly, did not reflect the game’s overall 90 minutes but which allowed Hamburg (who would have thought?) to win their first trophy of the season, the 2008 Emirates Cup (Arsenal beat Real Madrid 1-0 in the other game, thanks to a penalty goal by Emmanuel Adebayor).


[Match Highlights]
 Juventus F.C.
GOALSCORERS: 19′ P.Guerrero (H), 90′, 92′ Olic (H)
HAMBURG (4-3-3): Rost – Boateng, Reinhardt, Benjamin, Atouba – Jarolim (70’ Ben-Hatira), De Jong (46’ Putsilo), Trochowski – Zidan (87’ Torun), P.Guerrero (65’ Aogo), Olic. (bench: Mathijsen, Hesl, Chrisantus, Pitroipa, Stepanek, Kunert, Sam) Coach: Jol.
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Chimenti – Zebina (46’ Grygera), Legrottaglie, Knezevic (55’ Chiellini), Salihamidzic – Camoranesi, Ekdal (52’ Marchionni), Poulsen (72’ Iaquinta), F.Rossi (46’ Molinaro, 88’ Tiago) – Amauri, Del Piero. (bench: Buffon, Ariaudo, Mellberg, S.Esposito, Nocchi, Trezeguet) Coach: Ranieri.

Trofeo TIM 2008-09: Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter Milan Pre-Season Showdown Favors the Rossoneri

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

You just gotta love the month of August in Italy, and the regular occurrence of triple-team tournaments. The “Triangolare” format (as they call it down in the Old Boot) seems to be an Italian specialty because I have yet to see it appear regularly elsewhere in Europe (feel free to prove me wrong in the comments). With prestigious tourneys such as the Trofeo TIM and Trofeo Birra Moretti, these series of friendlies provide Serie A fans with interesting pre-season insights on their favorite teams.

So, while we wait for the “Birra Moretti” (August 25, featuring Juve, Milan, Napoli), last week was the turn of the Trofeo TIM and the first chance to see Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter Milan face off against one another, albeit with different levels of preparation and in matches of reduced length. The game format is the following: each game consists of one single half of 45 minutes; should the game still be tied at the end of regulation time, it wil go straight to penalty shots. Points are attributed as follows: 3 pts. for a win, 2 pts. for a P.K. win, 1 pt. for a P.K. loss, 0 pts. for a loss.

In front of the 20,000 spectactors of Stadio Olimpico di Torino, let’s see how it all went down.

Juventus vs. AC Milan

Juventus F.C.A.C. Milan

(From Gazzetta): In the first 45 minutes, Juve manager Claudio Ranieri picked his classic 4-4-2 formation; Buffon in net, Grygera-Chiellini-Mellberg-Molinaro at the back, Marchionni and Nedved on the wings and Sissoko-Tiago in the center (with the former operating as defensive mid and the former in a playmaking role), and Trezeguet-Iaquinta up front. As for AC Milan, many players were unavailable for Carlo Ancelotti (Maldini and Inzaghi still recovering from injuries, Ronaldinho and Pato away with the Brazilian olympic team, and Mathieu Flamini unable to join the party due to a muscular problem) so the Milan manager also stuck with the “classics”, namely Milan’s patented Xmas tree formation: Kalac – Zambrotta, Bonera, Kaladze, Jankulovski – Brocchi, Pirlo, Ambrosini – Seedorf, Kakà – Paloschi.

It didn’t take very long for the match to pick up pace: in minute 2 Massimo Ambrosini already had to chance to shoot on target (deflected by Tiago), while one minute later it was Alberto Paloschi’s turn to fire one at Buffon. In other words, the Rossoneri seemed keen on proving that despite the many absentees this team “wanted some”. As indeed did Clarence Seedorf, who in the last month seemed to elicit interest just because he was “the guy with the nº10 shirt”, till Ronaldinho finally picked 80. Indeed, the Dutch international donned his “super-goal” shoes and slammed a wonderful 25m-strike straight into Buffon’s top-right corner. 1-0 Milan.

Just 60 seconds later, Juve made it 1-1: a Grygera cross was tackled into the net by David Trezeguet, via Kalac’s wide open legs. While Milan certainly was showing touches of class, the Bianconeri’s determination (even in friendly matches) needed to further introduction, and the fact Giorgio Chiellini was being the usual rock in center defense (damn were the Azzurri lucky to have him at Euro 2008!) could not hurt either. In fact, in minute 11 Ranieri’s boys actually took the lead through Marco Marchionni, exploiting yet another Grygera cross (deflected by the Milan defense) to beat Kalac with a precise header. 2-1 Juventus and looking strong.

Back on the other end, Kakha Kaladze fell short of redeeming his defensive mistakes by incredibly missing an easy finish (minute 16), while five minutes later a Marek Jankulovski howitzer was deflected wide by Buffon. Signs that AC Milan were still alive & kickin’. But so was Juve: in minute 40 the Bianconeri could have made it 3-1 as Pavel Nedved (yes, Furia Ceca is still around for one more season) narrowly missed the post from the edge of the box.

However this clearly was Clarence Seedorf‘s night, as the Dutch midfielder seemed to make a point in proving that Ronaldinho or no Ronaldinho, he’s still the guy with the starting spot at AC Milan. In minute 42, picking up a loose corner-kick clearance by Sissoko, Seedorf put his super-boots to work one more time and pierced Buffon’s top-right corner again. Boo-ya! 2-2 the final score, time for penalties. With the misses of Trezeguet (don’t let him shoot penalties anymore!!) and Tiago for Juve, the 2-point P.K. win went to AC Milan.


2-2 (4-6 p.s.o.)
A.C. Milan
GOALSCORERS: 8’ Seedorf (M), 9’ Trezeguet (J), 12’ Marchionni (J), 43’ Seedorf (M).
PENALTY SHOOTOUT: Trezeguet (J) wide, Kakà (M) goal, Iaquinta (J) goal, Pirlo (M) goal, Chiellini (J) goal, Jankulovski (M) goal, Tiago (J) saved, Paloschi (M) goal.
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Grygera, Mellberg, Chiellini, Molinaro – Marchionni, Sissoko, Tiago, Nedved – Iaquinta, Trezeguet. Coach: Ranieri.
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Kalac – Zambrotta, Bonera, Kaladze, Jankulovski – Brocchi, Pirlo, Ambrosini – Seedorf, Kakà – Paloschi. Coach: Ancelotti.


Juventus vs. Inter Milan

Juventus F.C.F.C. Internazionale Milano

For Juventus to tame an evidently still unfit & unprepared Internazionale, a Vincenzo Iaquinta goal was clearly sufficient. For their second match Claudio Ranieri operated a whole line of changes, keeping only Buffon, Molinaro, and Sissoko compared to the original team. Thus the Bianconeri stepped back onto the field with Buffon – Zebina, Knezevic, Legrottaglie, Molinaro – Camoranesi, Sissoko, Ekdal, F.Rossi – Amauri, Del Piero. As for Inter’s first appearance tonight, José Mourinho fielded his favorite 4-3-3 formation with Julio Cesar – Maicon, Burdisso, Materazzi, Maxwell – J.Zanetti, Vieira, Cambiasso – Balotelli, Adriano, Mançini.

Unlike the sparkling start of Juve-AC Milan, the night’s second fixture took a little while to become interesting, both teams evidently taking a bit longer to study each other’s movements. With good reason too, because unlike last year when the Bianconeri were just coming out of a season in Serie B, this year Ranieri’s team is claiming a definite role in the Scudetto race. Interisti, you have been warned! In minute 6, Adriano (yup, he’s back and José’s counting on him this season) received a good ball inside the box, but the Brazilian’s first touch betrayed him as he allowed the Juve defense to clear. One minute later, bad news for Mourinho as Marco Materazzi was forced off due to a muscular strain, and with Samuel, Córdoba and Chivu still unavailable, Inter was left facing a real Center-D problem. On came Dejan Stankovic (greeted with a plethora of boos) thus forcing Esteban Cambiasso to backtrack to the backline.

In minute 11, Alessandro Del Piero came close to opening the score (his powerful instep finish was deflected wide by Maxwell), shortly imitated by Adriano on the other end (Knezevic doing the deflection job here). Alas for Juve (and neutral spectators looking for goals), twelve minutes after Materazzi it was Amauri’s turn to leave the field injured (head-to-head collision with Vieira), forcing Ranieri to put Vincenzo Iaquinta back in. This actually turned out to be a good move for Juve though, because the Calabria-born striker exploited a perfectly-timed long ball to get behind the Inter defense, control the ball on the edge of the box, and beat Julio Cesar with a powerful shot low on the left side of the goal. 1-0 Juventus.

Overall and based on the level of play seen so far, the Bianconeri certainly deserved their lead: Inter’s passing was leaving something to be desired, their striking trio still lacking teamwork, and the team as whole severely lacking fitness. The Nerazzurri it must be said, had the excuse of beginning their pre-season training later than Juve (who will be playing the preliminary round of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers), but still one was perhaps expecting something more from the Serie A title holders. The positive note of the evening for Mourinho though was the good form of Adriano, back to Italy after his loan spell at Sao Paulo and capable in minute 43 to force Buffon (still the world’s best) to his only real “save” of the night.

Before the match ended, there was still time for Christian Poulsen and Giorgio Chiellini (on for Sissoko and Molinaro) and Luis Figo and Hernan Crespo (on for Stankovic and Balotelli) to make an appearance, and for Del Piero to showcase his still lethal (but not tonight) set pieces skills (double post on a great 25m free kick, leaving Julio Cesar to watch). The match ended 1-0 for Juve.


F.C. Internazionale Milano
GOALSCORERS: 27’ Iaquinta (J)
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Zebina, Legrottaglie, Knezevic, Molinaro (40’ Chiellini) – Camoranesi, Sissoko (26’ Poulsen), Ekdal, F.Rossi – Del Piero, Amauri (20’ Iaquinta). Coach: Ranieri
INTER (4-3-3): Julio Cesar – Maicon, Burdisso, Materazzi (8’ Stankovic, 35’ Crespo), Maxwell – Vieira, Cambiasso, J.Zanetti – Mançini, Adriano, Balotelli (35’ Figo). Coach: Mourinho.


AC Milan vs. Inter Milan

A.C. MilanF.C. Internazionale Milano

Unlike Juventus, Milan manager Ancelotti decided to include his goalkeepers in the substitution rounds. Indeed, it looks like Christian Abbiati and Zeljko Kalac are roughly at equal chances of starting this season (with Dida set to remain in the stands, refusing the termination of his contract). The Rossoneri thus operated six changes compared to their match vs. Juve, fielding Abbiati – Oddo, Simic, Digao, Favalli – Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini – Seedorf – Kakà, Paloschi. As for Inter, there were many changes for the Mourinho boys as well, including the appearance of newest recruit Sulley Muntari: Toldo – Maicon, Burdisso, Maxwell, Cambiasso – Dacourt, J.Zanetti, Muntari – Figo, Crespo, Mançini.

Now, tonight’s first match (Juve-Milan) had been an exciting goal-laden spectacle while the second one (Juve-Inter) dropped the intensity level somewhat. Continuing on this decreasing trend alas, the third game proved to be a total dud (or almost), a great example that “leaving the best for last” isn’t always true. Indeed, the only player attempting some kind of percussion forward in the initial minutes was Kakà for AC Milan, and even then his shots were easily saved by Toldo (min. 4) or wide (min. 9). In fact, after 15 minutes it was already time for Inter to make their first changes, as Luis Jimenez and Mario Balotelli stepped on for Maxwell and Mancini.

Five minutes later, it was Milan’s turn as Ambrosini and Seedorf left their place to Antonini and Brocchi, and the newcomers immediately got to work to re-ignite the play (shots in minute 20 and 21 deflected into corner). Inter in all of this? First real chance in minute 24 (scramble inside the box, last touch by Dacourt and great save by Abbiati), shortly followed by Muntari’s howitzer in minute 26 (parried again).

More changes followed for both teams (Primavera’s Chinoye & Strasser for Paloschi & Pirlo in AC Milan, Suazo & Adriano for Crespo & Balotelli in Inter) but without major changes in the scoreline. Balotelli did have a few good opportunities before leaving the field, but the Italo-Ghanaian youngster (who will soon get full Italian nationality on his 18th birthday) was obviously not in a good night of form. The match thus ended 0-0 after regulation, proceeding to penalty shots (again) where the errors of Figo, Jiménez, and Muntari proved decisive (or rather, decisive were the excellent saves of Abbiati on the aforementioned shots). 4-3 AC Milan the final score, making the Rossoneri Trofeo TIM winners.


0-0 (4-3 p.s.o.)
F.C. Internazionale Milano
PENALTY SHOOTOUT: Kakà (M) goal, Adriano (I) goal, Oddo (M) saved, Figo (I) saved, Jankulovski (M) goal, Suazo (I) goal, Favalli (M) wide, Jiménez (I) saved, Brocchi (M) goal, Santon (I) goal, Digao (M) goal, Muntari (I) saved.
MILAN (4-3-1-2): Abbiati – Oddo, Digao, Simic (47’ Jankulovski), Favalli – Gattuso, Pirlo (42’ Strasser), Ambrosini (16’ Antonini) – Seedorf (21’ Brocchi) – Kakà, Paloschi (27’ Osuji). Coach: Ancelotti.
INTER (4-3-3): Toldo – Maicon, Burdisso, Cambiasso (42’ Santon), Maxwell (16’ Jiménez) – J.Zanetti, Dacourt, Muntari – Figo, Crespo (30’ Suazo), Mançini (16’ Balotelli, 43’ Adriano). Coach: Mourinho.