Posts Tagged ‘Mirko Vucinic’

Bordeaux 1-3 AS Roma: Julio Baptista Time, With Birthdays and Sh** (UEFA Champions League 2008-09)

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Would you believe it if I told you both Roma goalscorers (Vucinic & Julio Baptista) celebrated their birthday today? Seriously, no lie! And what better gift to themselves (and Spalletti), than to carry their team to victory on Bordeaux soil after trailing by one in the first half? You just can’t make that sh** up… talk about a perfect day huh?

The Giallorossi party shouldn’t go on for too long though. Getting the first three UCL points of the season was important today, but there’s still a looooot of work to be done by Luciano Spalletti: there’s just something missing from this team (as today’s first 60 minutes demonstrated). And yes, it may be as simple as getting capitan Totti back…

If there were such things as “Man of the Half” awards, Yoann Gourcuff would get it today. The ex-Milan player, who for over a year played the inconvenient role of underachiever in Italy, seems to have been transformed since his arrival in Gironde. Manager Laurent Blanc (who knows Italian teams well, having played at Napoli and Inter Milan) essentially elected the French youngster as key playmaker today (alongside another ex-Serie A player, Fernando Menegazzo, and in support of lone striker Marouane Chamakh), and the Bordeaux midfielder executed the boss’s orders to perfection.

Present virtually everywhere on the field (including the defensive zone), Gourcuff started dishing out passes, crosses, and shots left & right. The first goal of the game in particular, was a well-executed 20m effort that caught the Roma defense unprepared and with their pants down. The kind Rossoneri supporters would like to have seen earlier last season, but which Gourcuff patiently waited until now to display. 1-0 Bordeaux.

With 30 minutes left to play in the first half, you would have thought the goal would have a kick-in-the-pants effect for Roma. Alas… not really. The only notable Giallorossi highlight in fact, was a Jon Arne Riise long-range piledriver on set pieces, that the Norwegian wing-back put narrowly wide of the Bordeaux goal. Not enough to scare the home team.

No, in fact all the “scary” stuff was left to referee Alberto Mallenco, who in minute 36 decided to send off Bordeaux’s Carlos Henrique for a elbow on Simone Perrotta. Replays showed that although the center back’s arm was directed toward Perrotta, there seemingly was no contact between the two players. Ironically though, Bordeaux came very close to increasing their lead to 2-0 and this despite their one-man disadvantage, Geraldo Wendel narrowly heading wide another good delivery by Gourcuff. 1-0 at the half.

In the second period, Spalletti sounded the charge in the changing room & on the field, replacing Ménez and Aquilani with Julio Baptista and Stefano Okaka. Roma needed to catch a break, which promptly arrived in minute 64. Anticipating both the keeper and his marker, Mirko Vucinic’s header connected with a DDR corner-kick to send the ball into the back of the Bordeaux net. 1-1, with a net shift if the match’s momentum.

Indeed, just over 5 minutes after the equalizer, Roma grabbed the lead for the first time thanks to a marvelous free-kick execution of Julio Baptista: 20m, curling shot over the wall and into the top-right corner. Totti-esque. 2-1 Roma.

Later still, the ex-Real Madrid and Arsenal player repeated himself, finalizing a beautiful Vucinic-Taddei combination and deflecting the latter’s cross into the open goal. Just minutes earlier, Okaka had blown another good opportunity in front of Valverde to make it three. 3-1 Roma.

It was the liberating goal for the Giallorossi, who could now breathe a sign of relief and enjoy their first points of the 2008-09 UCL campaign. Baptista’s and Vucinic’s night’s gonna be a long one…


 FC Girondins de Bordeaux
[Match Highlights]
A.S. Roma
GOALSCORERS: 18’ Gourcuff (B), 64’ Vucinic (R), 71’, 83’ J.Baptista (R).
BORDEAUX (4-1-4-1): Valverde – Chalmé, Henrique, Diawara, Jurietti (78’ Gouffran) – A.Diarra – Menegazzo, Obertan (40′ Planus), Gourcuff, Jussie (37′ Wendel); Chamakh. (bench: Olimpia, Ducasse, Cavenaghi, Bellion). Coach. Blanc.
ROMA (4-1-4-1): Doni – Cicinho, Mexès, Panucci, Riise – De Rossi – Taddei, Aquilani (63’ Okaka), Perrotta, Ménez (52’ J.Baptista) – Vucinic (85’ Brighi). (bench: Artur, Loria, Filipe, Montella). Coach: Spalletti.


SUPERCOPPA ITALIANA 2008: Penalty Kicks Give INTER & JOSÉ First Trophy of the Season

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Ladies & gentlemen, the new Serie A season has been launched! Yes, Day 1 only begins on August 31 “officially”, but Sunday night’s Supercoppa appetizer provided enough excitement and entertainment, it almost looks like we’re in it already.

Indeed, the traditional pre-season clash between Scudetto champions and Coppa Italia winners resulted in 4 goals and 120 minutes of very intense battling, where the psychological boost from a win is every bit as important as the silverware. In the end, Inter triumphed over Roma on penalty kicks, the determining shots being made by the two team captains: where Francesco Totti had failed Javier Zanetti succeeded, giving the Nerazzurri the fourth Supercoppa title of their history.

(From Gazzetta): Compared to “ancient” history, the two Serie A dominators of the past 3 years are looking a lot more alike. Tactics-wise firstly (with two wingers dropping back all the way to the goal line, if necessary), and also because of that midfield “pivot” dynamo (Pizarro on one side, Stankovic on the other). Inter however are the team who experienced the biggest changes, at least concerning the playing mentality, and in that sense appeared more motivated. The only two Summer transfers, Sulley Muntari and Amantino Mancini, were immediately fielded in the starting eleven, while veteran Esteban Cambiasso was forced in an increasingly more-frequent center-back role, in order to patch up the missing links of the Inter roster (this seemed like an explicit message to Nelson Rivas, kinda like José’s saying: “sorry, but you’re second choice buddy”).

On the other end, Roma coach Luciano Spalletti preferred Mirko Vucinic (over new signing Julio Baptista) as the lone striker, reverting “The Beast” on the outside wing instead. The ex-Real Madrid player was virtually absent from the match’s first half, but made important progress in the second (especially after the entrance of Francesco Totti, kept on the bench as a precautionary measure).

Much like “The Beast” however, Roma midfield anchors Daniele De Rossi and Alberto Aquilani were having a tough time in the first 45 minutes, pushed back by the Mourinho-dictated Nerazzurri plan (dividing the field in sections, and attacking first on one side then on the other). Dejan Stankovic notably, seemed a shadow of his former past-two-years self (and that’s a good thing!), providing with a certain Luis Figo (finally back to his true winger role) the main passing/crossing service for Inter, supported as always by the genius of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

In minute 18 the Inter battleship sank its first target, courtesy of Sulley Muntari: the ex-Udinese and Portsmouth midfielder initiated a beautiful one-touch Nerazzurri play (leading to a powerful Maicon shot deflected onto the crossbar by Mexès) and gave his team the lead with a rippling left-footed effort. 1-0 Inter, a scoreline which was left unchanged all the way to the half.

After the break, it seemed that Mourinho’s boys could easily control the proceedings until the full-time whistle: Javier Zanetti stung the fingers of Doni from long-range, while based on the quality of his touches/passing, Ibrahimovic’s knee problems seemed a thing of the past. However, and much against the run of play, 2007-Supercoppa-main-man Daniele De Rossi decided to crash the Nerazzurri party: his swerving 25m effort overpowered Julio Cesar, and finally put the teams level. 1-1.

After the equalizer, it seemed as if the game had turned on its head. It was now the Giallorossi attacking and pushing Inter back, something that a guy named José was not enjoying one tiny bit: replacing Figo and Mancini with Balotelli and Jiménez, Mourinho decided to bring balance back to his midfield line, and it worked. The young Italo-Ghanain striker notably (playing his first official match as an Italian citizen) was being pins & needles in the Roma defense, forcing first Cassetti then Doni to two important clearances close to goal (the provider for those two chances? Ibrahimovic, who else). In minute 83 however there was little the Roma keeper could do, when TurboMario got in behind the Giallorossi defense (Mexès a bit at fault here) and beat Doni with a chipped effort inside the left post. 2-1 Inter.

Game over? Not in the least, especially with a team as determined as Roma. In minute 90, a David Pizarro corner was deflected by Mirko Vucinic, bouncing on its way to the top-left corner off Stankovic and Zlatan. Little Julio Cesar could do, 2-2, and match forced into overtime.

Meanwhile, Francesco Totti and Stefano Okaka had replaced Perrotta and Aquilani, while Nelson Rivas had come on for the injured Nicolas Burdisso (just before the Roma equalizer in fact), so needless to say that with the “fresh meat” a different kind of match began here. The Roma captain notably gave glimpses of his genius, with one-time long-range through balls (one of which was shamelessly wasted by Okaka), but it became rapidly obvious that Totti was still miles away from optimum form. Much unlike a certain Mario Balotelli, who in two separate free-kick occasions (a venemous curling long-range effort with a very tight angle notably) sent shivers down the spine of Roma supporters.

Just before the inevitable shoot-out lottery, the Giallorossi had one final chance to score through Okaka, but Julio Cesar deftly neutralized the through-on-goal Roma youngster. It was then time for the Totti-drama, as the Roma captain (who had the chance to win the game, after Stankovic’s mistake) sent his shot onto the crossbar, giving rival captain Javier Zanetti the opportunity to strike back. Indeed, after Julio Cesar had saved Juan’s kick, the Argentine midfielder sent an angled shot past Doni, allowing José Mourinho to grab the first official trophy of his Inter career.

Whoever said Italian football wasn’t exciting? :mrgreen:


F.C. Internazionale Milano INTER-ROMA
2-2 (8-7 p.s.o.)
[Match Highlights]
A.S. Roma
GOALSCORERS: 18’ Muntari (I), 59’ De Rossi (R), 83’ Balotelli (I), 90’ Vucinic (R)
PENALTY SHOOTOUT: Vucinic (R) goal, Ibrahimovic (I) goal, J.Baptista (R) goal, Balotelli (I) goal, Cassetti (R) goal, Stankovic (I) crossbar, De Rossi (R) goal, Maxwell (R) goal, Totti (R) crossbar, Cambiasso (I) goal, D.Pizarro (R) goal, Jiménez (I) goal, Juan (R) saved, J.Zanetti (I) goal.
INTER (4-3-3): Julio Cesar – Maicon, Burdisso (90’ Rivas), Cambiasso, Maxwell – J.Zanetti, Stankovic, Muntari – Figo (66’ Balotelli), Ibrahimovic, Mançini (70’ Jiménez). (bench: Toldo, Pelé, Crespo, Cruz). Coach: Mourinho.
ROMA (4-3-2-1): Doni – Cassetti, Mexès, Juan, Riise (78’ Tonetto) – De Rossi, D.Pizarro, Aquilani (90’ Okaka) – Perrotta (85’ Totti), J.Baptista – Vucinic. (bench: Artur, Panucci, Loria, Brighi). Coach: Spalletti.