Posts Tagged ‘Walter Mazzarri’

Sampdoria 0-0 Juventus: Lackluster Performance at Marassi, Blucerchiati & Bianconeri Strike Out (Serie A Matchday 5)

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

No deal for Sampdoria and Juventus: based on pre-game statistics, a 0-0 draw was a result almost foretold in advance. On the one hand we had the Blucerchiati, 17th in the Serie A standings with a goaltotal of 2 goals in 4 matches. On the other, the Bianconeri: 4 goals in as many games, and never more than 1 goal scored in each. On a day when even Cassano and Del Piero (woodwork excluded) weren’t in their best form (much to the contrary of the central backlines, lead by the likes of Mellberg, Chiellini, Accardi, Gastaldello, and Lucchini), a scoreless draw was inevitable.

For either team, is it too early to be talking about ‘crisis’ period? Probably, but consider the following. Although this only their second consecutive draw, a team with clear Scudetto and Champions League ambitions like Juventus would be expected to produce offensive efforts just a tad more convincing. Claudio Ranieri & friends have got injuries to blame, but should also be raising questions as to what isn’t working elsewhere. As for Sampdoria, the squad that marvelled Serie A enthusiasts last year and finished 6th in the standings, was nowhere to be seen today. This is a team that after 5 matches, is still looking for their first win in the domestic league: when you have someone like Antonio Cassano on the team that should definitely raise some eyebrows.

(From Gazzetta dello Sport): And so, after their 1-1 home draw vs. Catania on Wednesday, Juventus chalked up another counter-performance Saturday at Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Their Sampdoria opponents played a solid, compact game, much like they had done on matchday 1 against Inter Milan, and had it not been for the “absence” of Antonio Cassano on the field (was he there today? I didn’t notice…) the Blucerchiati could even have grabbed something more than 1 point. Especially because, much unlike the match vs. Catania, Juventus were virtually uncapable of changing the pace of the game, even giving themselves some defensive scares in the final 15 minutes.

The first half of today’s match could essentially be summarized by two words: “physical“, and “not fun” (ok, that’s three words). Sampdoria’s thick midfield formation (3-5-1-1) essentially relied on the interdiction of Sammarco/Palombo/Franceschini in the middle, coupled with the creative genius of Cassano and the long runs down the right wing of Marius Stankevicius (fresh from his Brescia transfer). The Lithuanian winger gave considerable problems to counterpart Cristian Molinaro, even trying the long-range blast on a couple of occasions (wide).

On the other end, Juventus were having a bit of trouble themselves in producing anything substantial. Both wings were well-defended by Sampdoria, while the presence of Sissoko/Poulsen in central midfield provided plenty of defensive quality but not much penetrating power. So, creative tasks were essentially left to Alessandro Del Piero, who actively tried to make his presence felt: a short-range free-kick (saved by Mirante) and a diagonal shot from inside the box (post) were the main highlights of the first 45 minutes, with the Bianconeri hitting woodwork for the 3rd time in four days. The 0-0 half-time scoreline surprised no one, although Juventus had been a bit more daring perhaps.

In the second half, very little changed in terms of clear scoring chances, although the game’s momentum shifted slightly in favor of Sampdoria. Cassano sent a good 25m free-kick narrowly wide, while Sammarco had a good chance on a headed corner-kick (also wide). Sissoko was becoming Mr. “Iron curtain” in the center, essentially stopping any Blucerchiati offensive dead in its tracks. Of course midway through the half, the fact the home team lost captain Angelo Palombo to injury certainly did not help Walter Mazzarri’s plans, but even so it was obvious a goal today would only come through a brilliant piece of individual effort. Which never arrived. Iaquinta and Bonazzoli got a little bit of playing time in the final minutes, but the scoreline did not budge. 0-0 FT.


 U.C. Sampdoria
[Match Highlights]
Juventus F.C.
SAMPDORIA (3-5-1-1): Mirante – Lucchini (80’ Bottinelli), Gastaldello, Accardi – Stankevicius, Sammarco, Palombo (74’ Dessena), Franceschini, Pieri – G.Delvecchio (88’ Bonazzoli), Cassano. (bench: Castellazzi, Ziegler, Fornaroli, M.Padalino). Coach: Mazzarri.
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Manninger – Grygera, Mellberg, Chiellini, Molinaro – Camoranesi, Poulsen, Sissoko, Nedved – Amauri, Del Piero (73’ Iaquinta). (bench: Chimenti, Salihamidzic, Knezevic, Giovinco, De Ceglie, Tiago). All. Ranieri.


Sampdoria 1-1 Inter: Scudetto Champions Kick Off With A Draw (Serie A Matchday 1)

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

If the game ends in a draw, it won’t be dramatic“. Those were the words of the ‘Special One’ before Sampdoria-Inter. And a draw it was, thus somewhat spoiling the debut of José’s Serie A adventure. The culprit in this occasion? Gennaro Delvecchio, author of the Sampdoria equalizer at the 68 minute mark, who rendered the early 1-0 Inter lead (courtesy of Zlatan Ibrahimovic) vain.

This was a tense match, especially in the final 15 minutes. Much contrary to expectations, Marassi had spawned a very determined Sampdoria team today, firmly decided to produce rain on the Inter Milan party. Angelo Palombo was absolutely outstanding (no wonder Lippi’s starting to notice) and Walter Mazzarri’s boys could even have snatched the win, had it not been for the lapses of concentration of Antonio Cassano.

Note: I just got back from my 8-hour Paris-Montreal flight , so please accept my apologies for the lack of updates this week-end. ;)

(From Gazzetta dello Sport): Tonight’s starting eleven for Inter were the same ones seen in the Italian Supercoppa six days ago, but compared to their performance in that game, the Nerazzurri had considerably decreased their playing efficiency along the flanks and simply did not have the same “humph” in midfield. Figo was unable to create space for himself, whilst Mancini was only dangerous when moving towards the centre (as he did in the play resulting in Ibrahimovic’s goal), and the merit was all Sampdoria’s: solid along the flanks with Stankevicius & Pieri and careful in defence, the only fault one could find in Mazzarri’s team was their lack of conviction in mounting their attacks.

A MEASURED START- From kick-off to Ibrahimovic’s diagonal effort in the 33rd (virtually their first shot on net), there was very little emotion in the game. Effectively Inter took the lead with very first chance they had, but this was a play heavily contested by the Sampdoria players (and probably rightfully so, tainted by Zlatan’s arm/chest control). In a game which was struggling to take on any sense of fluidity, the 1-0 Inter goal however took on even greater significance. It was now Mazzarri having to change his on-field structure, but the fact that referee Roberto Rosetti needed to summon Mourinho & friends back from the half-time break (Inter were well taking their time in the changing room) gives weight to the argument the “Special One” had spoken at great length about all things that went wrong in the first half.

GAME RHYTHM - Once again in the second half it was Sampdoria’s intensity that set the tone of the match. Palombo countered and defended ball after ball, which caused Inter to pull back the lines of their attack and slow down the game, shifting the balance between physical & technical more towards the former (and thus obviously playing into the Blucerchiati’s hand).

And thus the Nerazzurri defense started to suffer. Marco Materazzi (out injured since July 29) intercepted a low cross from Cassano to Delvecchio, then Javier Zanetti came very close to concending a penalty for a handball inside the box (not seen by Rosetti). Eventually, the Sampdoria equalizer wasn’t exactly a surprise, although in this particular occasion Gennaro Delvecchio’s quick tap-in was as much deserved as it was fortunate. 1-1.

SUPER SAMP – After the equalizer, the game drastically shifted in pace and produced a very exciting last twenty minutes (a completely different match almost). Mourinho, who had already substituted Mancini with Mario Balotelli before the equalizer, increased his offensive power with Herna Crespo and Luis Jiménez (on for Figo and Muntari). However it was in defence that things were not going to plan, and it was only the wasteful accuracy (or lack thereof) of Cassano (through on goal towards Julio Cesar but waiting too long to take the shot) that saved Inter from a worse fate. Contrary to their game vs. Roma, Balotelli wasn’t able to effect a change of pace in the Nerazzurri (even managing to anger Ibrahimovic due to a couple of poorly-executed passes). The Swede was thus forced to take things into his own hands, almost setting up Jiménez with a winning diving-header deflection.

When all is said and done, Sampdoria more than deserved their draw. This match gave weight to Mourinho’s prediction last Saturday that the season would be “a marathon”. But like all marathons or endurance events, the Serie A league isn’t a race which you lose in the first kilometer…


 U.C. Sampdoria
[Match Highlights]
F.C. Internazionale Milano
GOALSCORERS: 33’ Ibrahimovic (I), 68’ G.Delvecchio (S)
SAMPDORIA (3-5-1-1): Mirante – Campagnaro (79’ Lucchini), Gastaldello, Accardi – Stankevicius (58’ M.Padalino), Sammarco, Palombo, D.Franceschini, Pieri – G.Delvecchio (86’ Dessena) – Cassano. (bench: Fiorillo, Ziegler, Fornaroli, Bottinelli). Coach: Mazzarri.
INTER (4-3-3): Julio Cesar – Maicon, Cambiasso, Materazzi, Maxwell – J.Zanetti, Stankovic, Muntari (72’ Jiménez) – Figo (72’ Crespo), Ibrahimovic, Mançini (64’ Balotelli). (bench: Toldo, Córdoba, Dacourt, Cruz). Coach: Mourinho.