Celebrating club football and shining the light on incompetent and biased journos indulging in stereotyping and negativity.
Tag Archives: Italy
The front pages of the Italian press will tonight be all black and white, but for the nerazzurri, it is like a re-birth. One almost wishes that the season was already over, as one could hardly pen a more fitting & emotionally uplifting scenario to wrap an otherwise difficult season that has tested the frontiers of complexity. This evening’s Milan derby has done a lot to restore pride and happiness, as well as remind the nerazzurri of the kind of passion that has been missing for most of the season. Even the ridiculously incompetent (or purposefully malignant?) refereeing trio could not dent the force of the hosts tonight, despite denying them a goal and then gifting a non-existent penalty to the visiting Milan AC.
Il Principe started things off brilliantly with a true poacher’s goal, but the fans then had to endure the now predictable officials’ “helping hand”. Unsurprisingly, the squad suffered after the gifted penalty was converted, and was further tested after the second goal by Ibrahimovic. But the ageing “senators”, led by the tireless and as usual exemplary captain Zanetti, have again confounded the critics by digging deep for that agonistic spirit that has characterised the side that won the historic triple in 2010. Let them now come forward and argue that the squad is old and depleted – they would be hard pressed to find evidence of fatigue and resignation in tonight’s performance. This was partly helped by the compact 4-5-1 formation (with Wesley occasionally venturing forward in support of the otherwise lonely Milito), but fundamentally this game was all about heart, guts and motivation in standing up for self and fighting injustice. Because it would clearly have been a case of daylight robbery had the visitors managed to get away with 3 points.
Instead of suffering what most observers mights have already banked on, the blue & black soldiers rose to the occasion, similarly in many ways to the return leg in 2010 in its dramatic intensity and sense of overwhelming favoritism for the opponent. And with what aplomb! Douglas Sisenado gifted us one of those goals that had forever endeared him to the nerazzurri fans in the past and notably in 2010, reminding all of his attacking flair and capacity to take responsibility.
The joy of this victory is doubly delicious as it presented the final blow to the cousins’ aspirations, condemning them to a title-less season and putting Allegri’s last season’s success into a more humble context.
It was certainly a most appropriate way to pay homage to one of the longer serving faithful, for whom it was the last game at home, Iván Ramiro Córdoba Sepúlveda.
The dream continues!
Ah, what a relaxing feeling, a lightness of the mind and the heart. For once this international week-end has come with almost perfect timing for some much deserved rest for the nerves, as long as there are no injuries to important players. Any surprises? Well, let’s see:
- In Group A, Germany crushed Kazakhstan. Azamat will be sad. Wa-wa-wee-wa. But seriously though, watch out for Belgium: 0-2 away against Austria may not sound like much, but the 3 points will be vital to them, and they have a side that is composed of some promising young players. Plus Hazard did not even play. For those who missed it, here is his 1st goal against Marseille from a few weeks ago in early March 2011.
- Group B: Ireland beat Macedonia 2-1, while Armenia and Russia settled on an amicable goalless draw.
- In Group C, Italy won more or less in the last minutes of the game against Slovenia, courtesy of Inter’s own Thiago Motta. I think Ronaldinho wants to play too, maybe they should offer him a passport too. Adriano could probably get one too, you should give it a go, Cesare. In the meantime, Serbia mounts a spirited fightback against plucky Northern Ireland in an empty stadium (merci Michel) to scoop up some much needed 3 points.
- In Group D, Bosnia beat Romania 2-1; with Ibisevic and Dzeko on a good day, these guys might actually do something this time around. France managed 2 in order to squeeze the 3 points from Luxembourg. Albania won their first game ever (no, I’m messing around, hopefully not) with a clean 1-0 against not to be underestimated Belarus.
- Holland made light of Hungary by 0-4 in the only game for Group E.
- In Group F, Georgia beat Croatia 1-0; there’s an upset for ya. Dzienkuje.
Israel got the 3 points by beating Latvia 2-1.
- England beat Wales (sooo suprisingly) in Group G for Gerrard. Don’t they have a really good player that plays in the EPL for a team in red, who’s really on fire this season? No, I don’t mean Chris Evans. Switzerland managed another draw away against Bulgaria. Qualification is looking increasingly unlikely. Credit Suisse would be well advised to start pulling back those investment brochures and posters with Hitzfeld.
- In Group H, the Viking standoff between Norway and Denmark ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Same in the game opposing Cyprus versus Iceland, except there it was even less exciting, nil-nil.
- Cech and the Czechs are not what they used to be: potentially the best game on the bill over the weekend in this Group I, things kicked off to a nice start with Plasil’s 1st (a nice strike rebounding in from the post), which was cancelled out in the 2nd half by Villa, in a remarkably similar effort, taking him to a new record of Spain’s best ever scorer.