Posts Tagged ‘Marco Di Vaio’

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…


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 7 – Week-End Review + GOALS of the Week (2008-09)

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Week-End Reviews

For a week-end in which huge football clashes abounded, the biggest entertainment surely came from the fields of Serie A. One field in particular, although it most certainly did not please the (Giallorossi) home fans. Aside from Roma, another team to lose big (although not quite as big) was Juventus, beaten 2-1 at Stadio San Paolo in Napoli.


Serie A Matchday 1 – Week-end Review + GOALS of the Week (2008-09)

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Week-End Reviews

Serie A is back!! :) Another season of Italian awesomess just kicked off this week-end, and here are the results and summaries for matchday 1. Full Video Highlights here.

Italian Calcio Blog week 1 review

Italian Calcio Blog 2008-09

Gazzetta in English week 1 review

Gazzetta dello Sport

It was a surprising day 1 in the Italian league.

At the Stadio Olimpico, last year’s second place AS Roma drew 1-1 with Napoli, who had defender Fabiano Santacroce sent off for a second yellow card in the 54th minute. Alberto Aquilani had nudged the ball home for the hosts just before the half hour, after fellow Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi had picked him out in the area. Later however, Marek Hamsik exploited the crossbar-rebound of his own header to level for Napoli, shortly after Santacroce’s sending off.

Meanwhile in San Siro Ronaldinho’s debut was spoiled by Francesco Valiano, blasting the ball home from outside the box in the 79th minute for Bologna. Massimo Ambrosini had equalized for AC Milan, cancelling out Marco Di Vaio’s goal in the first half.

AC Milan 1-2 Bologna Match Report (mCalcio)


Inter Milan were held 1-1 at Sampdoria on Saturday in new coach Jose Mourinho’s league debut. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had opened the score for the visitors (a very contested goal tainted by a handball control), but Gennaro Delvecchio drew things level for Samp later in the second half.

Sampdoria 1-1 Inter Milan Match Report (mCalcio)


Juventus kicked off their campaign at fierce rivals Fiorentina in the evening game on Sunday, settling for the draw as Pavel Nedved’s 39th minute opener was cancelled by Alberto Gilardino in the dying minutes.

Fiorentina 1-1 Juventus Match Report (mCalcio)

In Sunday’s other matches, Torino beat Lecce 3-0 in Turin, Lazio came from behind to beat 10-man Cagliari 4-1 in Sardinia, Atalanta and Catania secured 1-0 home wins over Siena and Genoa, and Chievo beat Reggina 2-1 in Verona. Those teams join Bologna and Udinese, who beat Palermo 3-1 in their opening game on Saturday, at the top of Serie A.



Phew! Man did I miss Serie A this summer. I mean sure Euro 2008 was nice (actually, it was not), but it lacked a high enough concentration of really spectacular goals. Thank God for Antonio Di Natale (the “Fall” version… WHY he couldn’t do it in June still eludes me)…


  • Hamsik‘s bicycle-kick (Roma-Napoli)
  • Zarate‘s chipped shot (Cagliari-Lazio)
  • Valiani‘s top-corner ripper (Milan-Bologna)
  • Di Vaio‘s drilling shot after a good collective move (Milan-Bologna)
  • Padoin‘s header after another good collective move (Atalanta-Siena)
  • Aquilani‘s half-bicycle after a good chest control (Roma-Napoli)
  • Di Natale‘s double (no comments necessary) (Udinese-Palermo)
  • Ibrahimovic‘s chested control and finish (Sampdoria-Inter)

This week, the goal-of-the-week award was a tough choice. Francesco Valiani’s match-winner against Milan was a pure beauty, but everyone loves a touch of class. And in cases like this one, class outranks a powerful top-corner drive.

Antonio Di Natale shows us how:


Results Summary


Serie A 2008-09
Matchday 1


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


AC Milan 1-2 Bologna: Ronaldinho’s Not Enough, San Siro Silenced (Serie A Matchday 1)

Monday, September 1st, 2008

AC Milan silenced at San Siro, the party for the thousands of Rossoneri fans ruined, all gathered to see Ronaldinho in action. There just is something that still isn’t working in Carlo Ancelotti’s team…

The star on the field today was undoubtedly the Brazilian nº80, but in the end Bologna were the real victors, walking away with a deserved 2-1 win and showing an enviable cynicism: four chances, two goals. What better way to celebrate your return to the Serie A?

(From Gazzetta dello Sport): Carlo Ancelotti would have never imagined a season debut like this, after having selected two second strikers in his Brazilian-styled line-up. Clarence Seedorf and Ronaldinho took places behind Filippo Inzaghi, so it was all about combining class and improvisation with an instinct for goal. Especially since Milan had to make do without Kakà, Nesta, Gattuso, Borriello and Senderos, while Bologna manager Daniele Arrigoni selected a flexible formation: 4-2-3-1 in attack, 4-5-1 in defence.

It was an effective strategy from the Rossoblu, who came out onto the pitch with little respect for famous names and closed up Milan’s spaces effectively, although somewhat helped their opponents’ lack of mobility (especially on the wings, since Milan insisted too much on central plays). Ronaldinho’s moves (albeit spectacular) weren’t enough. He wanted to show the world that he was still the magician of yore, the one we all learned to love and applaud in Barcelona, however we only got to see a few minor examples of his amazing talent. Bologna played better, building their game intelligently and relying on basic but effective moves. In the 18th minute, taking advantage of a rusty Milan set-up, the visitors opened the score: it was a quick play by Adailton, C.Zenoni, C.Amoroso and Marco Di Vaio, finalized with a diagonal shot by the ex-Juve and Genoa striker. Christian Abbiati (preferred over Dida and Kalac) could do very little. 1-0 Bologna.

The shock of the goal awoke Milan, who eventually finally got out of their slumber and unleashed Gianluca Zambrotta. The Azzurri right-back started his usual pinpoint crossing delivery, including a great assist for Ronaldinho that the Brazilian playmaker put slightly off the mark (heading’s not exactly his specialty). Meanwhile, Dinho was raising the stakes, increasing the pace and putting himself at the service of the team. His fantastic through ball for Inzaghi, was chipped over the keeper by Pippo (like in the Champions League finals in Athens) but found its way wide past the goal line.

Milan were really putting up a fight, but given the trouble they were having in the middle they tried their luck with a few long-rangers. First Zambrotta, then Flamini, but Francesco Antonioli did nothing short of a miracle against the Frenchman. Hats off to him! A goal was in the air however, and after a potential 2-0 killer blow missed by Di Vaio (upon his umpteenth breakaway), Ronaldinho pulled out of the hat a perfect assist for Massimo Ambrosini, who headed it in past Antonioli. 1-1.

The second half began with the return of the prodigal son, Andriy Shevchenko. Jankulovski left the pitch and Ancelotti changed everything, moving Zambrotta to the left, Flamini to the right and launching a ruthless and explosive attack (Seedorf slightly further back compared to the first half). The strategy highlighted Ronaldinho’s talent, and permitted him to showcase the full extent of his moves: a public danger for a Bologna defense unable to contain him, Dinho dribbled in small spaces and started to provide assists left and right. In particular to Sheva who, in a one-on-one with Antonioli, missed a great opportunity for Milan to pull ahead.

Bologna did not give up, and applied Arrigoni’s strategy to the best of their abilities. Adailton and Christian Amoroso were replaced with Gaby Mudingayi and Massimo Marazzina. The excitement came always from breakaways, such as the one in the 21st minute when Di Vaio’s shot barely missed the goal. The clock was ticking and Ancelotti refreshed the offensive line: Inzaghi left the pitch and was replaced by Alexandre Pato.

Bologna were still alive and kicking however, and took advantage with cynicism of all the chances they had. Inspired by his illustrious Brazilian opponent, Francesco Valiani summoned the best Ronaldinho in him and drilled the ball into Abbiati’s top-right corner. It was minute 79. 2-1 Bologna.

Milan were llackluster and out of juice, but attempted a final rush forward in order to equalize. Not enough to worry the Rossoblu, who controlled the ball with confidence… Ambrosini’s substitution by Emerson was also futile, in part because confusion and lack of determination reigned amongst the Rossoneri on the pitch. In the end, it was a well-deserved victory for Bologna, which should make Ancelotti understand that (as Arrigoni said) apart from talent, one also needs hard-working players.


 AC Milan
[Match Highlights]
Bologna F.C. 1909
GOALSCORERS: 18’ Di Vaio (B), 42’ Ambrosini (M), 79’ Valiani (B).
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Abbiati – Zambrotta, Maldini, Kaladze, Jankulovski (46’ Shevchenko) – Flamini, Pirlo, Ambrosini (85’ Emerson) – Seedorf, Ronaldinho – Inzaghi (69’ Pato). (bench: Dida, Antonini, Favalli, Cardacio). Coach: Ancelotti.
BOLOGNA (4-2-3-1): Antonioli – Zenoni, Moras, Terzi, Bombardini (90‘ Castellini) – Mingazzini, Volpi – Adailton (60’ Marazzina), C.Amoroso (60’ Mudingayi), Valiani – Di Vaio. (bench: Colombo, Britos, Bernacci, Coelho). Coach: Arrigoni.