Posts Tagged ‘Julio Cruz’

Inter Milan vs. Manchester United: The PLAYERS

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009


So remember that great “Serie A vs. EPL” section on La Gazzetta which I promised I’d partially translate?

Here’s the first batch of pink-goodness: a look at ALL THE PLAYERS from tonight’s Inter Milan vs. Manchester United UEFA Champions League match.

Boy I can’t wait for game-time. Meanwhile, feast your eyes on this. (oh, and credit goes where credit is due of course: the original)


Soccer Bargains: All EXPIRING CONTRACT Players for 2009

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Fabio Cannavaro, Carlos Tevez, Michael Ballack, Michael Owen, Mark Van Bommel, Fred… these are but a few of the players whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season. And with the january transfer window practically at our doorstep, it is time to give these “old timers” a chance to prove they still are champion material. Time to make that zero-cost buy to win you that elusive trophy, cup, or championship title (or in the worst cases, save you from relegation).

In other words: it’s “Bosman Bonanza” time, with some real bargains to be made…


Serie A Matchday 4 – Mid-Week Review + GOALS of the (Mid)Week (2008-09)

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Mid-Week Reviews

Coming back strong from the Summer break, Italy was involved in some mid-week Serie A action Wednesday. Here are the results and summaries for matchday 4. Full Video Highlights here.

Note: Sorry for the tardy update and the lack of match reports this time. My University Intramurals job took a big load of my time this week.
. week 4 review


Italian Calcio Blog week 4 review

Italian Calcio Blog 2008-09


Gazzetta in English week 4 review

Gazzetta dello Sport


Substitute Julio Ricardo Cruz scored to give Inter Milan a hard-fought 1-0 win over newly promoted Lecce on Wednesday to take over sole possession of the Serie A lead. With four forwards playing, Cruz took a headed pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to hit the target with a low shot in the 79th minute at the San Siro. Ibrahimovic hit the crossbar in the 26th for the three-time defending champion. Juventus was held to a 1-1 draw by Catania and AC Milan beat Reggina 2-1 for its second straight win.

Inter leads with 10 points, followed by Lazio and Atalanta with nine each. Napoli, which beat Palermo 2-1, and Juventus are next with eight points apiece. Amauri scored his third goal in three games for Juventus in the 16th minute but Gianvito Plasmati, who also scored against Inter earlier this season, equalized in the 68th for Catania. Alexandre Pato scored the winner for Milan after Bernardo Corradi had equalized for Reggina. Marco Borriello had scored first for the Rossoneri, who face Inter in the Milan derby Sunday.

Diego Milito joined Lazio’s Mauro Zarate atop the league scoring chart with his third and fourth goals in Genoa‘s 3-1 win over 10-man AS Roma, which has only one win through four rounds. Stefano Mauri, Goran Pandev and Sebastiano Siviglia scored to give Lazio a 3-0 win over Fiorentina, and Sergio Floccari’s goal led Atalanta to a 1-0 victory over last-place Cagliari. In the remaining three matches, Bologna overcame Udinese with an away score of 3-0, while Chievo-Torino (1-1) and Siena-Sampdoria (0-0) ended in draws.



Now see… we had an awesome batch of goals last week-end (and I mean some really really good stuff), so because of that, seems that the football Gods had to compensate on Wednesday.

Very ordinary stuff… in fact, just a Top 3 selection this time. (yeah… that bad!)


And the winner is… Antonio Floro Flores. Definitely not mind-blowing stuff here… but a nice dribbling execution and cool finish. I couldn’t have, in good conscience, given the award to a bicycle kick 1 yard from the line right? :)


Results Summary


Serie A 2008-09
Matchday 4


Juventus FC
Calcio Catania
AC Chievo Verona
Torino FC
SSC Napoli
US Città di Palermo
FC Internazionale Milano
US Lecce
Bologna FC 1909
Udinese Calcio
AC Siena
UC Sampdoria
SS Lazio Roma
ACF Fiorentina
Genoa CFC
AS Roma
Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio
Cagliari Calcio
Reggina Calcio
AC Milan


Lazio 0-2 Inter Milan: Cynical Nerazzurri Head to the Italian Cup Final (Coppa Italia Semi-Finals, Leg 2)

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Lazio vs. Inter (Serie A)

Coppa Italia Tim Cup 2007-08In Italian, there’s an expression that perfectly defines the nature of Inter’s Coppa Italia performance of Wednesday night: “massimo risultato con il minimo sforzo“, which translates to “maximum results with the minimum amount of effort”. Any additional comment would be superfluous.

Ok fine, I’ll tell you just a little bit more. To use the words of Gazzetta (who defined the team as “an expert vulture, awaiting its prey to punish it“), the Nerazzurri played the ‘waiting game’ on Wednesday night. It’s really a fun little game, and it goes something like this: “let your opponents run around the pitch, allow them to keep ball possession & create most of the scoring chances, then rely on them missing those chances and hit them on the counter-attack”. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Delio Rossi wasn’t too amused though, especially since he drew the card “Your 44 year-old goalkeeper has butterfingers, and gifts the opponent a goal. Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200“…

Such a shame too, because the Coppa Italia was originally supposed to Lazio’s “tournament of redemption” (you know, after a kinda crappy season and all). There was little doubt manager Delio Rossi was going for victory tonight, especially because of the highly offensive 4-3-3 starting line-up, featuring the Pandev-Bianchi-Rocchi trio up front. On Inter’s end, Roberto Mancini had to deal with post-Derby della Madonnina repercussions (losing to AC Milan is never an happy event) but decided to rotate his team nonetheless, fielding Francesco Toldo in goal and relying on the youth and energy of Primavera Francesco Bolzoni. The Nerazzurri’s 4-4-1-1 formation included Luis Jimenez operating behind lone striker David Suazo.

During the first half, and serving as a representative of pretty much their entire season, we saw two faces of Inter. In the first 20 minutes, the Nerazzurri appeared lazy, uninspired, and out of gas, which is a face we’ve been seeing more and more often in Serie A after the Winter break. Not even the two woodworks hit by Lazio in the initial minutes (the 2nd minute free-kick post by Cristian Ledesma and the 15th minute strike by Tommaso Rocchi) gave Inter the necessary “wake-up” signal to stick their heads out of the hole. The Biancocelesti were pressuring high up, exerting complete domination on central midfield, and there was little that the inexperienced Bolzoni and Pelé were doing to counteract the situation. The absence of a player like Esteban Cambiasso (on the bench) was all-too-evident…

Eventually, Mancini decided to reposition Javier Zanetti in the center, and things finally started to work out for the Nerazzurri. Their wing distribution became more efficient, Luis Jiménez could operate a little more freely in his offensive playmaker role, and began getting closer to Marco Ballotta’s net. His 39th minute sliding finish, one-on-one with the Lazio keeper (after a great heel set-up by Suazo), was narrowly wide of the post however.

In the second half Lazio continued their offensive efforts, and immediately brought danger close to Toldo’s goal. The Inter defense however kept close guard, and soon the Biancocelesti would be biting their nails for their missed chances. On virtually the first shot on goal of the second period, Inter grabbed the lead: like a speeding bullet, Suazo got through on the right wing and made a low cross for Pelé. The Portuguese U21 international waited for the ball to arrive, and then popped a one-time instepper that finished its course straight into Ballotta’s top-right corner! A great goal and 1-0 Inter.

The goal was a tough slap in the face for Lazio, who up until then had essentially dominated the encounter. On the contrary, galvanized by his team’s lead Mancini switched his formation back to two strikers, inserting Julio Cruz for Bolzoni and re-positioning Jiménez on the right wing. Grabbing back the reins of play wasn’t sufficient for the Inter manager however, who somehow managed to get sent off for dissent just a few minutes later. On the other end, Delio Rossi seemed to maintain faith in his current formation, only replacing Zauri with Aleksandar Kolarov.

As time passed by, Lazio became more and more active in the Inter box (especially through Pandev, Dabo, and Kolarov) but were always a few feet away from hitting the target, and the fact the Nerazzurri coach (Mancini’s second-in-command) had inserted Marco Materazzi and Maicon for Burdisso and Chivu certainly wasn’t helping in making the Inter defense more penetrable. It seems ironic then that during this period, much like what had happened to Mancini a few minutes earlier, the team that seemed to be “in control” of their situation got one player sent off and came dangerously close to finishing the game with 9 men (first a punch by Cruz on Kolarov was punished only with a yellow, then Materazzi received a direct red for an overly mean tackle from behind).

Even more ironic was that despite playing with 10 men, Inter increased their lead to 2-0, putting their qualification on ice. A right-wing cross by Pelé was “intercepted” by Ballotta, but the Lazio keeper ended up colliding with a defender, released the ball, and Julio Cruz simply had to apply the finish into the empty net. 2-0 Inter and game over. This will be the Nerazzurri’s 4th consecutive Coppa Italia final, and considering how close their 16th Scudetto title is, this will also be Mancini’s opportunity to make a double this year. Perhaps over Roma and perhaps as the last trophy as Inter manager, who knows?


[Match Highlights]
F.C. Internazionale Milano
GOALSCORERS: 52’ Pelé (I), 85’ Cruz (I)
LAZIO (4-3-3): Ballotta – De Silvestri (87’ Tare), Siviglia, Cribari, Zauri (66’ Kolarov) – Dabo (80’ Mutarelli), Ledesma, Behrami – Pandev, Bianchi, Rocchi (bench: Muslera, Rozehnal, Mauri, Mudingayi). Coach: D.Rossi
INTER (4-4-1-1): Toldo – Burdisso (68’ Materazzi), Rivas, Chivu (77’ Maicon), Maxwell – J.Zanetti, Pelé, Bolzoni (59’ Cruz), Cesar – Jiménez – Suazo (bench: Julio Cesar, Siligardi, Cambiasso, Crespo). Coach: R.Mancini


Serie A Matchday 36 – Week-end Review + GOALS of the Week (2007-08)

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Week-End Reviews

Here are the results and summaries for matchday 36. Full Video Highlights here. week 36 review

Italian Calcio Blog week 36 review

Italian Calcio Blog

Gazzetta in English week 36 review

Gazzetta dello Sport

MILAN, 4 May 2008 – Roma’s gap with Inter was reduced today, thanks in part to Inter‘s defeat to AC Milan (2-1) and Roma‘s win against Sampdoria (3-0, from Panucci, Pizarro and Cicinho). By the same token, the Blucerchiati’s dream of a place in the Champions League went down the drain as well.

AC Milan moves to 4th place ahead of Fiorentina: La Viola players were obviously distraught by their elimination in the UEFA Cup, because they were defeated by relegation-strugglers Cagliari (2-1, goals from Jeda and Daniele Conti). Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu was sent off during the match.

Meanwhile, Udinese aren’t giving up hope of a place in European competitions next season, beating Empoli 1-0 thanks to a goal from Fabio Quagliarella. The Bianconeri move ahead of Samp in the standings (6th place with 57 points). The race to remain in Serie A is still very close.

Down at the bottom, Livorno are just one step away from moving down to Serie B, and this despite the recent return of their old coach Fernando Orsi. The Amaranto returned empty-handed from Bergamo, despite overcoming an early double disavantage (Cristiano Doni and Ferreira Pinto) with comeback goals by Fausto Rossini and Simone Pavan. Simone Padoin sealed the fate of the game for the Nerazzurri, seeing Atalanta victorious 3-2.

Livorno’s loss keeps them at the bottom of the standings, 5 points away from Catania who lost today against Reggina. The Calabrian team got 3 very valuable points today thanks to two goals by Nicola Amoruso, which allows them to move ahead of Catania. Catania’s goal came in the stoppage time from Jorge Andrés Martínez, but it was too little too late.

A breath of fresh air for Parma and Torino. Parma beat Genoa with a goal from Cristiano Lucarelli and Torino beat Napoli thanks to a penalty kick by Alessandro Rosina and a goal by David Di Michele, who put his team ahead despite the temporary draw by Matteo Contini. This was Gianni De Biasi’s first win after his return to Toro’s bench.

Finally, Siena‘s goal by Houssine Kharja (during the first minutes of play) put an end to Juve‘s dream of a second place in the standings, while Lazio suffered yet another defeat, this time against Palermo. Despite being ahead after Goran Pandev’s penalty kick, the Biancocelesti couldn’t stop Palermo’s comeback with 2 goals by Amauri.



Wow… we had 7 great goals last week, but this time not even enough to make a ‘Top 5′, can you believe it? Here’s our Top 3 then:

This week, the goal-of-the-week award goes to Simone Padoin. Great stuff by the Atalanta midfielder, who gave the Nerazzurri an 89th-minute 3-2 win over Livorno with a delightful chipped shot over Marco Amelia. Scroll to minute 02:10:


Results Summary


Serie A – day 36
Atalanta – Livorno 3 - 2
Cagliari – Fiorentina 2 - 1
Catania – Reggina 1 - 2
Empoli – Udinese 0 - 1
Lazio – Palermo 1 – 2
Milan – Inter 2 - 1
Parma – Genoa 1 - 0
Sampdoria – Roma 0 - 3
Siena – Juventus 1 - 0
Torino – Napoli 2 – 1