Posts Tagged ‘Zenit St. Petersburg’

Zenit St. Petersburg 1-0 Udinese: Bianconeri Scraping their Way to Quarter-Finals (UEFA Cup Round of 16, 2nd Leg)

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Players of Udinese react after UEFA Cup Round of 16 second leg soccer match against Zenit at the Petrovsky stadium in St.Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, March 19, 2009. Udinese lost 0-1 but gets to the next round. (AP Photo)

Through to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals, for the first time ever. Thursday’s 1-0 loss in St. Petersburg was a “happy” loss for Udinese, as Pasquale Marino’s boys achieved a club milestone by beating current champions FC Zenit 2-1 on aggregate, and qualifying for the last 8 of Europe’s “lesser” competition.

If one wanted to push a “schoolyard logic” here, we could say that Zenit beat Man Utd (Super Cup), Udinese beat Zenit, and that therefore Udinese > Man Utd. Ah to be 8 years old again… The Italian 2008-09 adventure in Europe is not looking so grim after all.


Udinese 2-0 Zenit St. Petersburg: All Hail the Pride of Italy… (UEFA Cup Round of 16, 1st Leg)

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

(LEFT) Udinese's Fabio Quagliarella, left, celebrates after scoring with his teammate Simone Pepe, during a UEFA Cup, Round of 16, first-leg soccer match between Udinese and Zenit St. Petersburg, in Udine, Italy, Thursday, March 12, 2009. (AP Photo) (RIGHT) Udinese's Antonio Di Natale celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick during a UEFA Cup, Round of 16, first-leg soccer match between Udinese and Zenit St. Petersburg, in Udine, Italy, Thursday, March 12, 2009.  (AP Photo) (

All together now: “Thank you Udinese!!”.

The Italian disaster-fest that was the UEFA Champions League this year will not be easily forgotten, but at least there is one team giving us consolation and keeping the peninsula’s pride elevated (to moderate heights at least) as they mantain their presence in Europe’s second-choice cup: the UEFA (soon-to-be Europa) Cup.

With this win, the Bianconeri have demonstrated that their darkest days are finally behind them and to sweeten the deal even further, Udinese’s opponents Thursday night were none other than 2007 Russian Premier League and 2008 UEFA Cup Winners Zenit St. Petersburg, the very same team which not even five months ago was battling it out against Real Madrid and Juventus in the UCL.

Just something to keep the naysayers quiet…


Zenit 0-0 Juventus: One Point Closer to First Spot… (UEFA Champions League 2008-09)

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Claudio Ranieri had warned Zenit he wasn’t planning to fold today and that Champions League matches are never considered “friendly”, with or without the mathematical certainty of qualification. And that is why Juve’s manager sent his boys to play offensive football in Russia, keeping squad rotation to a minimum and concentration at its fullest.

If Wednesday’s match was to prove Juventus had “digested” (Ranieri’s words) their 1-0 loss to Inter this week-end, I’d say “mission accomplished”. Only partly however, because the Bianconeri were also determined to put the first place of Group H on ice, something which after their 0-0 draw today (and Real Madrid’s concurrent win vs. Bate Borisov) will unfortunately have to wait until matchday 6.