Archive for August 10th, 2008

VIDEO(s) of the DAY: Vintage “Man Utd vs. Juventus” PEPSI Commercials

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

While we’re on the subject, I’ll take last week’s Manchester United vs. Juventus friendly match as an opportunity to show these cool PEPSI commercials. No commentary needed, just… enjoy! :)

Hey, isn’t that the Coca-Cola tagline?..

Inside the Man U Changing Room

On a Foosball Table

Becks vs. Juve Kid

Poor Ref Can’t Get a Drink

Manchester Utd 0-0 Juventus: Boring Nil-Nil Draw? Far From It…

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Pre-Season 2008-09 - Manchester United vs. Juventus

It’s pretty rare in soccer (or any other sport for that matter) for a scoreless draw to be a very entertaining match, but that is exactly what Wednesday’s Manchester United vs. Juventus ended up being. And I’m not saying this because I’m a Juve supporter (ok, maybe just a little) but genuinely, the prestige friendly between Red Devils (who were celebrating their 2008 EPL and Champions League titles) and the Bianconeri was a true marvel to watch, almost as if both sides had the UEFA Champions League logo sewed on their jerseys, and this was indeed a match that counted.

In the words of legend winger Ryan Giggs (often courted by the Bianconeri, back in the day), Man Utd has had “some superb battles with Juventus over the years. There’s some great history there. When we first played in the Champions League they were the top team, they were who we were aspiring to be like“. For the sake of all Juve fans, let us hope those times will be back soon. :)

Pre-season 2008-09 - Manchester Utd 0-0 Juventus

(From Gazzetta): MANCHESTER (England), 6 August 2008 – For Juventus fans, good news came from Manchester on Wednesday. Del Piero & Co. drew 0-0 in the prestige friendly match with Man United, who were celebrating their 2007-08 titles of European and EPL Champions. In a sold-out (69,872-people) Old Trafford stadium the Bianconeri played very well, especially in the first half, displaying unity, fighting verve, and personality. Main protagonists of the night were Mauro Camoranesi and Alessandro Del Piero (and their usual reportoire of tricks), but also Momo Sissoko and Giorgio Chiellini, respectively praised for their dynamism and versatility (Keyser Giorgio reverted to his “old” left-back position).

In a very short while (Wednesday this week) it will be D-Day: the Champions League Preliminary Round qualifier (against Artmedia Bratislava), a time where mistakes will not be tolerated. Judging from this week’s performance against United (a team which, on top of being reigning European champions, will start their EPL campaign very shortly and thus supposedly, are already well-prepared fitness-wise), Ranieri should not have too many doubts on his mind.

CLASSY JUVE – The first half of Wednesday’s match was intense. And physical. It did not seem like a friendly at all – also because the ground was a sell-out, and because even the England manager (ex-Juve coach Fabio Capello) was there. Also, it rained. The European Champions (without Cristiano Ronaldo –whose Summer transfer saga ended with him staying at Old Trafford- and Wayne Rooney, both injured), controlled the tempo through ball possession, fast plays, and vertical runs forward by the midfielders, essential to provide support for lone striker Carlos Tevez. Darren Fletcher got the early chance to score, but his close-range effort ended up in front of Buffon.

Juve were not frightened; rather they responded in kind. Sissoko, the loudly jeered former Liverpool player, made his presence felt not only for his covering skills, but also by providing structure, moving sharply and powerfully in the center of the Juve machine. Camoranesi and Del Piero showed flashes of class, with the Bianconeri captain coming close to scoring in minute 23 (his left-footed shot, following a textbook counterattack, was deflected short-range by O’Shea). ADP repeated himself a few minutes later, as he delivered a lovely through ball for Iaquinta who made a mess of it. Camoranesi narrowly missed the post on a headed corner-kick, as the half came to a close. Despite the 0-0 HT scoreline, this was a vibrant and exciting game, with the Bianconeri having perhaps done just a little more.

SOLID JUVE – In the second half the pace slowed down, and Ranieri brought on Amauri for Iaquinta. A free-kick over the bar from Del Piero and a header by Paul Scholes (inches wide from the cross of the new Red Devils star youngster, right-back Rafael Da Silva) immediately made the highlights reel, then later a Juventus counter-attack was finished with an angled shot by Sissoko (Van der Sar was vigilant). Del Piero came off in minute 67, receiving a standing ovation from the classy OT crowd and giving them a clap back. On came David Trezeguet, and Juve continued to play with some authority, closing down the flanks thanks to Grygera and Chiellini. In the absence of left-back Molinaro (out injured), Ranieri must be glad to know he can still count on Italy’s best Euro 2008 defender, especially with Olof Mellberg playing so well in the center.

In the final minutes, Manchester United were looking for a win and ended the game in attack. However, the match remained scoreless as Juve held on for a very well-deserved draw. No matter, the Old Trafford crowd enjoyed what they had seen and frankly, so did we.


Manchester United F.C.
[Match Highlights]
Juventus F.C.
MANCHESTER UTD (4-5-1): Van der Sar – Brown (46’ Rafael), Vidic (78′ Evans), R.Ferdinand, Evra – Giggs, Fletcher (46’ Gibson), Scholes, O’Shea (71′ Possebon), Martin (47’ Silvestre) – Tevez (69’ F.Campbell). Coach: Ferguson.
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Grygera, Legrottaglie, Mellberg, Chiellini – Camoranesi (59′ Marchionni), Poulsen (89’ Tiago), Sissoko (82’ Ekdal), Salihamidzic (74’ Rossi) – Iaquinta (46’ Amauri), Del Piero (67’ Trezeguet). Coach: Ranieri.