Posts Tagged ‘José Mourinho’

Genoa 0-2 Inter Milan: Zlatan & TurboMario Launch Nerazzurri Towards Old Trafford (Serie A Matchday 27)

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Inter Milan forward Mario Balotelli, second from right in background, celebrates with his teammates Inter Milan Brazilian defender Maicon, left, Davide Santon, back to camera n. 39, and Colombian defender Ivan Cordoba after scoring, during the Serie A soccer match between Genoa and Inter Milan at the Ferraris stadium in Genoa, Italy, Saturday, March 7, 2009.  (AP Photo)

After the mid-week disaster against the first of the Genoan teams, Mourinho’s Inter Milan picked things up against the second Saturday, defeating Genoa 2-0 and consolidating their lead atop Serie A standings.

It was a welcome win too for the Nerazzurri, who after their 3-3 draw to Roma and 3-0 loss to Sampdoria can now prepare their visit to Old Trafford with more tranquillity (injuries of Materazzi & Burdisso excepted). Of course, no Inter win this year would be complete without the traditional controversy, and Saturday’s encounter didn’t fail to provide one. Indeed, serious doubts remain on the validity of Balotelli’s 2-0 tally: fully over the line or not?

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Sampdoria 3-0 Inter: Cassano & Pazzini Put Three Holes in the Nerazzurri Battleship (Coppa Italia Semi-Finals, First Leg)

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Coppa Italia 2008-09 - SF L1 - Sampdoria vs. Inter Milan

“A big Blucerchiati slap in the face”: there’s little more to be added for José Mourinho after Coppa Italia’s Sampdoria vs. Inter Semi-Finals match. Thanks to the goal by Cassano, the brace by Pazzini, and the saves of Castellazzi, Sampdoria walked all over their Nerazzurri opponents Wednesday, virtually putting one foot and a half into the big final match in Rome.

After conceding three vs. Roma on Sunday and three vs. Sampdoria yesterday, one has to wonder what on Earth is going through the minds of Inter’s defensive line-up at the moment (and particularly, the man picking them out). It wouldn’t take a big stretch of the imagination to postulate José’s anti-Juve and anti-Roma rant earlier this week, psychologically (and adversely) affected his team’s concentration & tranquillity. Or perhaps was it the team had already their minds set on the UCL return leg vs. Man Utd?

Either way, after taking much time to point out Milan and Roma would finish the season with “zero titles”, Mourinho seems to have thrown one out the window himself. For it is hard to foresee any way in which Sampdoria can blow their 3-0 lead at San Siro in two weeks’ time, so good was the entente between Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini. One was the assist-provider and playmaker, the other the ruthless finisher in front of the net. Comparisons are already being drawn with Vialli/Mancini. Call it coincidence, but the last two times Sampdoria eliminated Inter (1988, 1994) they went on to win the Coppa Italia trophy…

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Inter 3-3 Roma: Spectacle in Milan, Giallorossi Waste a Double Two-Goal Advantage (Serie A Matchday 26)

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Mario Balotelli "shushes" the Roma supporters.

As far as neutral spectators go and taking the match in itself, Sunday’s Inter vs. Roma had everything you could wish for in a football encounter: tons of action, goals aplenty, and even a dramatic come-back 10 minutes from time. In the global picture however, even neutrals secretly wished for Roma to take this one.

Indeed, by maintaining their lead over 2nd-ranked Juventus to +7, the Nerazzurri have further decreased the chance for us to see a close race to the finish in May, and once again have sent a very clear message to their Scudetto rivals: “no matter how hard you try, you can’t take us down”.

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Inter Milan 0-0 Manchester United: José’s Defense Holds, See You at Old Trafford Everyone (UEFA Champions League Round of 16, First Leg)

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

UEFA Champions League 2008-09 - Inter Milan vs. Manchester Utd

On the positive side, here’s a neat little stat for you: this was José Mourinho’s 13th encounter vs. Sir Alex Ferguson and so far, the Scottish legend has only managed to beat his Portuguese counterpart (wait for it)… once! You better believe it.

You better also believe that if the Nerazzurri play at Old Trafford the way they played this match’s first half, they’ll be out of Europe faster than José can say “Pirla”, and that’s a fact. The final 0-0 between Inter Milan and Manchester United is not such a bad one in itself (it’s the best home draw a team can get), but alas this was a game which also evidenced the tactical & technical superiority of the Red Devils over their Italian opponents, particularly in the first 45 minutes.

One can only hope that José saved some his half-time advice (which remotivated Inter towards playing at least decently in the second half) for the second leg, as the Nerazzurri will be needing every bit of it when they travel to Old Trafford in a match with everything still left to play for.

Manchester United Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, right, challenges for the ball with Inter Milan forward Davide Santon, left, and Romanian defender Cristian Chivu during a Champions League, Round of 16, first leg soccer match, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Feb.24, 2009. (AP Photo)

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Bologna 1-2 Inter Milan: Thinking about Manchester, a Super Mario & Super Julio Job (Serie A Matchday 25)

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli celebrates after scoring against Bologna during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna, February 21, 2009. (REUTERS)

No, that’s not the title of the latest Nintendo Wii game; it’s who Inter have to thank for their three points against Bologna Saturday.

Two protagonists: an expected one (it would be useless to point out that right this moment, Julio Cesar is the best goalkeeper on Earth) and a very unlikely one. And I say unlikely because given all the drama taking place in these last few months, it looked as if Mourinho was ready to keep him on mothballs until kingdom come. Instead, Mario Balotelli came, saw, and conquered, albeit with (a little) luck and a (minor) contribution by Antonioli (and by little and minor I mean big and major). Which should surely prompt the Serie A press now to hail José with yet another “miracle renewal”, just like the Portuguese manager did with Adriano. Pff… how predictable.

Regardless, these were another vital three points for the Nerazzurri (their lead is +12 with Juve playing later at 20:30 CET) who can now give their impending encounter with Manchester United their full attention. With a serene mind. At least until the Red Devils come through the door.

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