Archive for March 1st, 2008

Roma 4-0 Parma: Easy Peasy for the Giallorossi, As They Prepare the Trip to Madrid (Serie A Matchday 26)

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Roma vs. Parma (Serie A)

Serie AReal Madrid beware, the Giallorossi have found the best way possible to prepare for their Champions League midweek fixture. Nothing will give your team a bigger boost than winning a home game 4-0: physically in excellent shape, and psychologically unshaken by the Javier Zanetti-show earlier this week, Roma really put on the style today. Luciano Spalletti can look at the future with a brighter light, also because his injury list has gotten considerably smaller (in contrast, there are insisting rumours from Spain casting serious doubts on Van Nistelrooy’s presence Wednesday). As for Parma, they paid a heavy price for their lack of offensive initiative in the first half, but more importantly the many many mistakes committed by their defensive line-up.

Totti’s on a good run… can he keep it up in Spain on Wednesday?

Serie A Matchday 26 - Roma 4-0 Parma

The first half of this match was rather enjoyable, with Parma starting off at high pace despite their “prudent” tactical line-up (a 4-4-1-1 formation with Andrea Gasbarroni providing support behind lone striker Igor Budan). The first 8 minutes saw the Gialloblu get 4 corner-kicks in quick succession, and managed to put Roma’s keeper Doni in ‘alert’ mode (Daniele Dessena’s header narrowly missing the mark). However, Roma’s reaction didn’t take long to arrive, and despite conceding a little too much space on counter-attacks (allowing Budan to test Doni’s ball-punching ability), the Giallorossi were the first to take the lead.

Alberto Aquilani celebrates the Roma leadIn minute 26, Parma keeper Luca Bucci saw a dangerous cross by Max Tonetto coming in from the left wing. Attempting to emulate his gloved Roma colleague< Bucci went in to punch the ball to safety… but failed. Quite miserably. In fact, his clearance was directly onto the left foot of Alberto Aquilani (getting the start over David Pizarro) who could not wish for a better invitation to get on the scoreboard. 1-0 Roma, and goal nº3 this season for Giallorossi midfielder.

Conceding the goal did little to re-invigorate Parma’s awareness: instead, the Gialloblu almost went down 2-0 when Rodrigo Taddei and Francesco Totti obtained two back-to-back chances (this time ably neutralized by Bucci). But speaking of the two Roma players, they were those who compared to their team’s latest games showed the most improvement today: Taddei with his energy and reaction on the wing, and Totti with his playmaking and key passing capabilities.

Francesco Totti (left) with Roma honorary president Rossella Sensi (center), and Giacomo Losi (right)Speaking of Roma’s nº10, Francesco Totti received a special award at the start of the match, for overtaking Giacomo Losi in the all-time caps record with the Giallorossi shirt. This actually happened in the match against Inter earlier this week, but such celebrations are usually done in the home stadium, hence the award ceremony at the Olimpico today.

The half thus finished on a 1-0 Roma scoreline, but not before Parma had a good chance to draw level with Gasbarroni (narrowly wide free-kick with Doni not even hinting a move). After the break, the visitors attempted to repeat their flashy first half debut, and immediately pushed forward. A good tactic if in so doing you obtain a goal, a bad one if you end up conceding it. Guess what Parma did?

Boo. Own goal Falcone. 2-0 Roma.In minute 51 following a yet another Tonetto cross, Giulio Falcone attempted a dangerous bicycle kick inside his box, trying to anticipate Panucci for the ball. The last time someone in Serie A did something like this, the referee ended up calling up a penalty kick. This time it wasn’t necessary however, because the ball connected with Falcone’s right leg, rebounded onto his left, then over Bucci into goal. Crappy, but Roma will take it. 2-0.

3 minutes later, Parma could have pulled one back through Paolo Castellini. In fact they did, but the linesman signalled the Gialloblu had played the ball with his hand. Another cause for referee crucifixion this week? Depending on the angle of video replays, it is fairly hard to see, but given by the moderate reaction of the Parma players and Castellini himself, one can assume that it was indeed handball.

Francesco makes it 3-0 for Roma, and 202 goals for his personal career recordAt this point, Domenico Di Carlo decided to make a few changes: out Coly and Budan for Andrea Pisanu and Cristiano Lucarelli, then Reginaldo for Gasbarroni. Speaking of Coly, the Senegalese player didn’t particularly appreciate his substitution (making it clearly known to his manager), but one thing he probably liked ever less was Roma’s third goal. Cycling the ball on the right wing, Cicinho found Esposito (on for Giuly) inside the box, who immediately backheeled it for Totti outside the box. The Roma captain the blasted a one-time howitzer directly inside Bucci’s left post, where the Parma keeper could never reach. A rather delightful play, as much in the build-up as in the finish: 3-0 Roma and game over.

The final minute even allowed the Giallorossi to score goal nº4, when a poor Damiano Zenoni clearance found Mirko Vucinic ready for the finish: 4-0 final score. For Roma, this is the 9th consecutive victory at the Stadio Olimpico, and with Napoli-Inter scheduled for Sunday, they now find themselves 6 points from 1st spot. Each Romanista will be praying and hoping that this Serie A season still hasn’t said its last word, and frankly, so do we.

Totti and Esposito celebrate after Roma’s third goal

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A.S. Roma
ROMA-PARMA
4-0
[Match Highlights]
 Parma F.C.
GOALSCORERS: 27’ Aquilani (R), 61’ Falcone o.g. (R), 80’ Totti (R), 94’ Vucinic (R)
ROMA (4-2-3-1): Doni – Cicinho, Panucci, Ferrari, Tonetto (81’ Antunes) – Brighi, Aquilani – Taddei, Giuly (64’ M.Esposito), Mançini (28′ s.t. Vucinic) – Totti. (bench: Julio Sergio, Juan, De Rossi, Perrotta). Coach: Spalletti.
PARMA (4-4-1-1): Bucci – Coly (57’ Pisanu), Falcone, Rossi, Zenoni – Dessena , Morrone, Cigarini, Castellini – Gasbarroni (77’ Reginaldo) – Budan (57’ C.Lucarelli). (bench: Pavarini, Paci, Mariga, Corradi). Coach: Di Carlo.

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MISN – Winter Lachine 07-08 game 19 (vs. Wood Gundy)

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Ricard, unofficial sponsor of MISN Impossible

MISN? What’s this?

Hello MISN,

On Saturday March 1st we played game nº19 of the Winter 2007-08 Lachine indoor league, vs. Wood Gundy.

Situation has gone from bad to worse for MISN, all in a matter of days. After the 0-2 loss vs. R.R.C. burst our 1st-rank aspirations bubble two weeks ago, an even worse performance against mtlsoccer.com nailed us against the wall, with a second consecutive defeat and another scoreless performance. In fact, the match ended so badly (0-4) that I was too depressed to even write the game report.

It was urgent time this week to set the record straight.

Attendance-wise, we had the majority of our troops back.  Only notable absentees were Eric (away to Costa Rica on Spring break), Nafee (away to Vancouver for 2 weeks), and Santi (family stuff). We were ready to start the game with 9 players: 7 starters and 2 substitutes.

1) Absent long-term: Nafee, Eric
2) Injured long-term: Tevin, Güven
3) N/A this week: Santi, Saad, Saber

Here was our line-up:

Keeper:
Jan
Defense:
Bruno
Jon / Kevin
Alex
Offense:
Marco
Bardia / Can
Tim

We started off prudently, with Can occupying the center striker position, ready to control the ball back to the opponent’s goal and flicking the ball to his teammates. A strategy that worked, because it didn’t take very long for us to get ahead.

Controlling the ball on the center, then switching positions to go down the left wing, Can exchanged passes with a team-mate and got close to the goal arming his left-foot. His low effort beat the keeper into the right-bottom corner of the net, and MISN went ahead. 1-0.

Minutes later, we made it 2-0. Can received the ball from Tim in the center, muscled off the charge from an opposing Wood Gundy player, and powered a hard shot high below the crossbar. The keeper got a hand to it, but the ball had enough momentum to cross the line and finish its course into the net. 2-0.

Unfortunately a little lapse in vigilance cost us a goal almost immediately. A long ball forward by the Wood Gundy defence was flicked on by their main target man, onto their left side for an arriving teammate. The Wood Gundy player didn’t think about it twice, and powered a hard left-footed shot straight into the inside of the right post. A pretty nice goal in retrospect, but our defense was a bit lax on the occasion. 2-1.

We continued pushing forward, coming close to increasing our lead. Kevin had a great opportunity as he moved from his defensive position, and slammed a hard shot over the bar, then minutes later Alex freed up on the left wing, and powered an hard instepper only inches wide. We were putting on the pressure.

Ironically, our third goal came almost from nothing. Bruno received the ball 5-6 meters past the half-line, took a few steps forward then armed an accurate left-footed shot low onto the net. The bouncing trajectory must have surprised the keeper a bit, because ball found enough space to slip inside the left post. 3-1!

Unfortunately once again, our two-goal lead was short lived. We allowed once again a Wood Gundy player to slip behind our defense, and I guess he must have gotten fouled very close to the box (the play was kinda confusing). Jan placed his wall, but it wasn’t enough: a defender made a run from far and sent a powerful low shot inside the left post. 3-2.

A few minutes before the break however, we gave ourselves a buffer zone again. With MISN pushing forward, Bardia obtained the ball inside the box, turned around to clear some space for goal but couldn’t arm his right foot. Instead, he shifted the ball to his left, and tapped towards the line. Keeper could not do much as the ball slowly crossed the line. 4-2 at half-time.

We were thus leading by two at the half, and were playing much better (compared to our previous two games) in offense. Our defense however was still making poor tactical decisions, with man-marking leaving a lot to be desired. That was going to cost us more goals unfortunately.

First, poor marking inside our box allowed a Wood Gundy player to get free, thus obtaining practically a free header: his effort was precisely inside the right post, and there was nothing Jan could do on it. 4-3.

Then, 5-10 minutes later a series of rebounds kept the ball inside our half, eventually leading to a cross by a Wood Gundy player towards the center. Jan tried to go for the punch (anticipating a striker) but completely missed the ball. It rebounded towards Bruno, who couldn’t manage a clearance, and another Wood Gundy player simply applied the tap-in finish for the equalizer. 4-4.

On yet another negative note, we had not managed to produce any significant scoring chances in the second half. Tim, Can, and Marco were making a lot of runs up & down the field trying to create space, but never managing to find room to shoot (Wood Gundy had considerably improved their defensive efforts).

Eventually though, we obtained a set piece and managed to pull ahead once again. From a free-kick position slightly towards the left, about 20m out, Alex armed a very precise inswinging shot inside the left post. Keeper was rooted to the spot, and we were up 5-4!

We had one final scare in the last minute, as our defense lost possession and allowed a Wood Gundy striker to arm a shot, but it was wide. Ref called full time.

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5-4 final score

Scorers:
Can (2)
Bruno
Bardia
Alex

Yellow cards:
/

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Overall, we can be happy about our 3 points: we needed to bounce back from our previous two games and we did. Offensively, leaving a strong central striker up front really multiplied our attacking solutions, and it’s no coincidence we obtained a lot more scoring chances today, and produced 5 goals.

However, let me say this: considering the entire match as a whole, we did not play well today. We are still making the same kinds of mistakes in defense, and continuing to concede avoidable goals. All that can be fixed, but we need to play tighter and more organized, and everyone has to make an effort. We’ll try to work on that next week.

GO MISN!!!!

-Marco-