Archive for November, 2007

Milan vs Juventus

Posted on November 30, 2007. Filed under: serie a, Video | Tags: , , , , , , |

So Milan and Juventus will square off this weekend in what is usually a much anticipated match up. Unfortunately the season is far from nearing crunch time and Milan are well off the pace at the moment anyway, so it won’t be as decisive a match as it usually is. Milan is sitting in 9th place with 17 points while their Turin rivals are only 3 points behind Inter on 25 (although Inter have a game in hand). The outcome will be important for Juventus but not so much for AC Milan who could end up doing their city-rivals a favour if they win.

Buffon has stated that he is confident Juventus can beat Milan and spoke out about Milan’s inability to win at home this season. Seedorf believes that Juventus will play a more open game than the smaller teams which tend to close up the back and prevent many scoring chances. I think that Milan will have their work cut out for them as Juve is in fine form and has proven many who said they would not be competitive this season wrong. With a focus only on the league, they do not have to be careful about which players to use and which to rest.

In terms of injuries, Milan may not have Seedorf’s services after he picked up an ankle injury against Benfica in the champions league. Camoranesi is a doubt for the match after muscle fatigue during training, he had returned from a long spell on the side lines but Ranieri insists that he will not use him unless he is one hundred percent. Ronaldo is also out after injuring his calf during his warm up on the sidelines for the match against Benfica. He played well during Cagliari but it looks like his injury woes will continue again. It’s a shame because I’m sure he wanted to pay Juventus back for the way they cheated Inter in 1998. A match that more than likely cost Inter the Scudetto of that year.

Have a look at the footage and decide for yourself, a clear and definite penalty denied at one end and a soft one given at the other within seconds. At least Juve have cleaned their act up since then.

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Beckham’s Galaxy not enough to challenge Sydney FC

Posted on November 27, 2007. Filed under: General | Tags: , , , , , |

Tonight saw David Beckham captain LA Galaxy in a friendly match with Sydney FC in the A-league team’s Telstra Stadium. Some 82,000 football mad spectators filled the grounds to welcome Beckham to Australia for the first time.

Sydney FC was certainly not overwhelmed by the occasion or the media frenzy that surrounded it, they quickly set out to prove that even with an annual budget of less than Beckham’s one week paycheck, there was a great deal of quality on offer. It was the youngsters that took the centre stage along with another hero who last faced Beckham when playing for Middlesborough and also for the Selecao in the 2002 world cup, Juninho. The diminutive Brazilian set up most of the plays and was provider for several of the goals.

Sydney quickly got ahead and had 2 goals on the board already by 25 minutes and it looked like the Galaxy were about to cop a hiding but it was what happened to their captain at this time that proved even more dramatic. The slippery surface of the pitch caused Beckham to twist his left ankle (although not unlike how he rolls it when taking free kicks anyway) and unfortunately a Sydney FC player was already sliding towards him and caused more injury. Beckham stayed down for some time and only returned to play after a minute or two, managing to hobble around but to his credit he continued to play and was able to run it off after a while. A valiant display given that he could’ve hit the showers early and not risk himself further (the same ankle caused a long spell on the sidelines at Real Madrid).

Soon after Sydney made it 3-0 and could very well have continued to punish the Galaxy but they gave away a free kick in prime Beckham territory. From some 25-30 yards out, Beckham curved it over his players hiding in the wall and Sydney’s keeper could only get fingertips to the ball as it drifted into the left-top corner. I think everyone in the crowd got something out of that goal, it’s what you come to see and what you expect from Becks.

As the game continued, the Galaxy were rewarded for their pressure and were able to pull another goal back making the score 3-2 to Sydney. But Sydney was quick to stamp out any further comeback with Robbie Middleby and Iain Fyfe capitalising on more defensive errors to make it 5-2. Only through Landon Donovan were the Galaxy able to restore some pride by finishing the game 5-3 on 90 minutes. It is worth noting that the Galaxy were a man down towards the end of the game, one of their players standing on a Sydney player’s arm in a vulgar and malicious off the ball incident. Apart from that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable match with plenty of action throughout. I’ll try to post some highlights soon.

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Inter defeat Atalanta 2-1

Posted on November 26, 2007. Filed under: Inter, Video | Tags: , , , |

Just a quick post with some video highlights of Inter defeating Atalanta on the weekend. Inter started with the pedal to the metal but lifted off the gas towards the end of the match. They seemed to do enough and a win’s a win I guess…

Here’s the first goal by Suazo.

and here are all three goals.

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Brazil vs Uruguay

Posted on November 23, 2007. Filed under: International, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Brazil played against Uruguay a few days ago as part of the 2010 world cup qualification campaign. The match was played out at Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium and was a chance for several players to return to the grounds of the club that started it all for them (SPFC). Kaka’, Mineiro and Luis Fabiano all left SPFC to move on to other challenges but against Uruguay they were certainly less than spectacular.

Even though Luis Fabiano bagged a brace that won Brazil the match, it was a somewhat unjust result for Uruguay who were moving the ball well and were on the scoreboard after 7 minutes. Brazil’s goals were certainly not outstanding, the first a lucky deflection through the keepers legs and the second, a moment of poor clearing and marking to leave Fabiano mostly unchallenged to slap the ball in from around the penalty spot. Kaka’, Ronaldinho, Robinho and Gilberto Silva were playing well below par but luck favoured Brazil and 3 more points were collected.

See the goals below.

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Riquelme to Inter

Posted on November 17, 2007. Filed under: Inter, Players, Transfers, Video |

It seems that Inter could be making a move for Villarreal’s out of favour midfield star. Riquelme has not played regularly for the first team in quite some time, mainly because he and Chilean coach, Manuel Pellegrini are not on the best of terms. He’s been on loan at Boca Juniors in Argentina where he has returned to his best form. He’s returned to play for the national team also after giving it up for a while (he was concerned about his mother when the fans blamed him).

It makes sense to move to Inter as a lot of the Argentine national team are already there and many other Argentines also. Zanetti, Cruz, Burdisso, Crespo, Cambiasso, Solari and Samuel are there, waiting to make an easy adjustment for him. With Inter’s injuries in the midfield area, it’s in their best interest to sign someone of such a calibre very soon (Viera still out, Figo out for several months, etc.).

Inter may be able to pick him up for a very small amount of money as he does not feature in Pellegrini’s plans. Riquelme has already gone out of his way to please the coach but it doesn’t seem to be enough and it’s probably best that he leaves. There are quite a few clubs showing interest in his services but Inter seems to be in pole-position.

Check out a decent Riquelme compilation below…

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Inter after Arsenal’s Rosicky

Posted on November 13, 2007. Filed under: Inter, Players, Transfers, Video | Tags: , , , , , |

There’s been talk in England that Inter are preparing to move on Tomas Rosicky, one of Arsenal’s many young talents. It’s not surprising that such an influential player is linked to Inter as they search for Figo’s replacement when he retires at the end of this season. There may be even more haste after Nedved’s challenge on Figo, which broke his shin bone and will see him sidelined for at least a couple of months. It wasn’t a particularly nasty looking challenge but it was one of those unlucky tackles (think Larsson when he was at Celtic or Cisse either when he was at Liverpool or later when France took on China).

The “Daily Mail” claim that Inter have prepared a 15 million Euro bid to lure him away from Arsenal but that would have to be a starting price to kick negotiations off, I can’t see Arsenal selling him for that amount. They’ve already lost Henry and I doubt they’d want to unsettle a young team that’s playing spectacular football at the moment. Rosicky and Hleb aren’t getting all the praise they deserve because Fabregas is shinning brighter but they’ve been instrumental to Arsenal’s success also.

Rosicky’s agent, Pavel Paska has been quick to squash the rumours and dismiss the possibility of a January transfer move. He stated that Inter tried to sign Rosicky in 2005 and last year also before Arsenal grabbed him from Borussia Dortmund. They got him at a bargain basement price of 6.8 million pounds but this is because the club was in financial trouble. There is a good chance for Arsenal to cash in and given Rosicky has had a fair few injury woes, it might be a good idea as they’ll be moving on Dinamo Zagreb’s Luka Modric in January anyway…

Check out Rosicky in action as well as the unfortunate challenge on Figo below…

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Lulinha

Posted on November 11, 2007. Filed under: International, Players, Video | Tags: , , , , , , |

Just a quick post about another new up and coming star. Brazil’s hero of the under-17s south american cup. His name is Lulinha and he currently plays for Corinthians in Brazil. He’s also attracted the attention of Chelsea with a couple of scouts sent to watch him in league action impressed with what they saw! They’re apparently very keen to sign him in the January transfer window because they already missed out on another rising star in Alexandre Pato (signed by Milan).

He ended up scoring 12 goals during the south American championships which is highly impressive as a midfielder/second striker and considering that was in only 7 matches! Check him out in action below, as Brazil hand Bolivia a hefty drubbing.

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Inter/Juve and Arsenal/Man U

Posted on November 6, 2007. Filed under: EPL, Inter, serie a, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

So the big games of the weekend have been played and the battle for the top of the table fought. Interestingly both of these matches ended in draws and little ground was made for any of these teams. Inter vs Juve ended 1-1 with Inter retaining it’s lead at the top and Juve dropping one place to forth. Roma failed to capitalise on the chance and instead lost it’s place to Fiorentina by throwing away a two goal lead, a draw with Empoli the result. Arsenal and Manchester United remain as they were in first and second position respectively, although Arsenal still has that game in hand.

Rooney scored first (well really it was a Gallas own goal with little he could do about it) for Manchester United towards the end of the first half but the unstoppable Cesc Fabregas pulled Arsenal level soon after with a calm finish after receiving the ball near the penalty spot. Christiano Ronaldo looked to have won the game for Man U, scoring in the 82nd minute but Gallas made up for his earlier mishap by volleying in a goal which Van Der Sar seemed to have saved but the ball was already well into the goal.

In the other big match, Julio Cruz put Inter in front just before half-time, continuing his strange ability to consistently score against Juve. It wasn’t enough though as Mauro Camoranesi equalised in the 77th minute to snatch a share of the spoils. Both teams were playing fairly cautiously although it was clear that Inter was in control of the match, nearly scoring again on several occasions after the first goal. Raneiri made a couple of changes which ended up being the perfect tactic and provided the equaliser. Iaquinta and Camoranesi were brought on in the last half an hour and combined to create Juve’s goal. It seems that Inter will have more competition this year and the Scudetto won’t come as easily.

Julio Cruz goal, Inter 1-0.

Camoranesi goal, Juve 1-1.

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We’ve moved!

Posted on November 4, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

We’ve moved to paid hosting rather than the free wordpress hosting. Find 18 yards at www.18yards.com

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Inter vs Juventus

Posted on November 3, 2007. Filed under: Inter, serie a | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The other big match up this weekend (apart from Arsenal vs Manchester United) is the battle between Inter and Juventus! Although Roma is sitting in second spot, one place above Juventus, they are only one point behind. The Inter-Juve games have always been fierce and highly anticipated affairs and this is an especially important match. This is the first time the two teams have faced each other in a league match for almost a couple of years. Juventus is keen to reassert itself as a serie A powerhouse while Inter will want to prove that the last two scudettos were earned through a great team and not by default as many claim.

Both teams are certainly different from the last time they met. Juve has restructured and had to let some players leave while they pulled themselves out of serie B. While Inter has made some important buys over the last couple of years, a couple such as Ibrahimovic and Viera from Juve, allowing them to build a squad with much depth. Look at their line up of strikers for proof of that!

Inter are coming off the back of a 4-1 win over Genoa, a win where Ibrahimovic and Samuel were rested to not risk then picking up yellow cards as that would mean their suspension for the big game. Also Julio Cesar and Toldo were injured and the 3rd keeper had to be fielded. Suazo also scored his first goal for Inter, which will hopefully be the start of many more to come (another Adriano would be hard to take!). So Inter is still unbeaten after 10 games while Juve have lost a couple, drawn a couple and won the rest.

Traveling to Turin means the crowd won’t make it easy on Inter and the Adriano saga might have lowered the moral of the team a bit (He wasn’t happy about being subbed during a previous match and now isn’t even on the squad list for the Champions League group stages). Although that may be getting blown up as much more than it was, apparently he’s been doing really well at training.

Lippi has come out to say that Juve could take the scudetto, even though he admits Inter is the strongest team. He also conceded that it could go either way. Whatever happens, you can bet Juve will continue to fight all the way and this is going to be a tough match for both sides.

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