Posts Tagged ‘Edy Reja’

Juventus 1-0 Napoli: “Claudio Marchisio” Wipes Stamford Bridge Tears Away (Serie A Matchday 26)

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio, right, celebrates after scoring during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Napoli, at the Olympic Stadium in Turin, Italy, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009.  (AP Photo)

It may not be champagne football, but Juventus know just what to do to pick themselves up. I wouldn’t say the “Stamford Bridge scar is healing” (Gazzetta‘s words, personally I wouldn’t even call it a scar – things are still very open for the second leg) but Saturday the Bianconeri demonstrated once again maximum efficiency with minimum effort: very few shots on target, one goal in the first half, preservation of the lead in the second.

As for Napoli, yesterday marked the 8th consecutive away loss for the Azzurri, a team which in their last 8 matches has been able to score only two points. And while Edy Reja’s boys at least tried to muster some kind of a pride reaction in the second half, it looks like the Neapolitan manager’s tenure at the club is hanging by a very thin thread indeed.


Napoli 1-1 Bologna: The Azzurri’s Dark Tunnel Continues (Serie A Matchday 24)

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Napoli's Christian Maggio, on ground, is pressed by Bologna defender Salvatore Lanna, right, and Vangelis Moras during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Bologna, in Naples' San Paolo stadium, southen Italy Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009. (AP Photo by FRANCESCO CASTANO')

Saturday’s Napoli vs. Bologna was a match telling two tales. The first is that Mihajlovic seems to like 1-1 draws an awful lot: since he took over the team, Bologna has finished six matches out of twelve with that scoreline. That’s six valuable points in the fight against relegation which may prove decisive later on (you know what they say about pennies…).

The second thing is that Napoli aren’t in a slump anymore, they’ve turned just plain mediocre. I don’t know what it is, but this is a team who is now incapable of winning: they’ve raked 4 losses and 2 draws in their last 6 matches, something which sounds almost unreal compared to the 8 wins & 1 draw in their first 9 of the season. That was back in September/October. So who’s to blame? The manager? The players? Hard to say, but one thing’s for sure: presidents don’t generally fire their players…


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.


Napoli 2-2 Udinese: 45 Minutes of Brilliance, 45 Minutes of Boredom (Serie A Matchday 22)

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

…and Fabio Quagliarella. At the end of the day the main story of Napoli vs. Udinese, without a doubt, will be the Udinese striker’s fantastic 2-2 tally. The kind that Quagliarella has been known to do, the kind that has made us fall in love with this great player: side volley from outside the box, no chance for the opposing keeper.

And as much as Fab Quagl’s goal wonderfully capped the end of an exciting 45 minutes, Napoli vs. Udinese ended at half-time. The score did not change further in the second period and sealed the draw (more or less satisfactorily) for the two teams: Napoli halted their 3-game losing streak while Udinese, after their great mid-week performance vs. Juve, confirmed to be back in the driver’s seat.


Napoli 0-3 Roma: Giallorossi Enjoying Neapolitan Hospitality (Serie A Matchday 20)

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Without a doubt one of the main stadiums that contributed (and continue to contribute) to Italian football’s great history is Stadio San Paolo, and without a doubt the hospitality it continues to show for AS Roma will make Spalletti & Co. glad to return here next year.

It just seems that Napoli‘s home form, as good as it might be (the Azzurri had raked up 18 consecutive home matches without a loss), can’t help but break its teeth when it’s dealing with the Giallorossi. Who have now increased their Napoli-Roma victories streak to three (four if you add 2005′s Coppa Italia) and this without conceding a single goal. Scary. And unproductive (for Napoli that is), because Reja’s team now find themselves level with Roma in the standings, and the prospects of Champions League football (howevery illusory they might have been) slowly slipping away.

The only catch (and excuse for Napoli)? Roma’s first goal by Philippe Mexès was blatantly offside.