Archive for February, 2008

Inter vs Roma 1-1

Posted on February 28, 2008. Filed under: Inter, serie a | Tags: , , , , |

Inter welcomed Roma to the Giuseppe Meazza stadium in this entertaining top-table battle. Inter had to do without Ibrahimovic, Samuel and Cordoba because of injury while the visitors had Cicinho suspended. The match started with a fast tempo and both teams had several chances early on, Inter firing over the bar a couple of times while Roma forced Julio Cesar to come out a lot. Crespo had an amazing volley ricochet off the post and roll across the face of goal rather than into the net.

Roma were more and more involved in the game as the half wore on and finally put a goal away Vucinic left Maicon behind before passing to Tonetto who crossed for Totti to strike the ball into the bottom corner. Burdisso almost equalised at the end of the half with a free header but couldn’t keep it down. The chances continued for both parties in the second half but good goal-keeping kept out any shots that weren’t blasted just wide or over. On 67 minutes Inter were reduced to ten men and it wasn’t because of a red card. Maxwell had to go off with an ankle injury but all the subs were used already. Roma took full hold of this opportunity and began an assault on Inter’s goal. The home side had some luck come their way as Roma were reduced to ten men when Mexes picked up a 2nd yellow on 83 minutes. Soon after Crespo almost equalised with a powerful header. Finally with two minutes to go, Zanetti fired a volley past Doni from the edge of the area to equalise and send the home crowd wild.

Video highlights below.

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Inter held by Sampdoria

Posted on February 25, 2008. Filed under: Inter, serie a, Video | Tags: , , , , , |

Inter paid a visit to Sampdoria this week hoping to put the Champion’s League defeat to Liverpool behind them. Unfortunately the trip to Anfield cost them the services of solid and speedy Cordoba. He damaged the ACL in his knee and will be out for some time. Mancini also had to rest Ibrahimovic and Cruz with the former also suffering from a knee injury although much less severe. Crespo and Suazo were paired up and given a start although neither was particularly impressive.

The match was all Sampdoria to begin with as Cassano continued to inspire and dictate play. Inter slowly began to assert themselves more and more as the game continued but Sampdoria gave them a warning shot on 47 minutes. A goal that was ruled out for offside. Not long after, Cassano’s perseverance paid off as he squeezed past the Inter defense and smashed a rocket into the net on 65 minutes. The goal must’ve shocked Inter into gear as they desperately worked to salvage something from this match.

Crespo was finally able to find the net and preserve Inter’s unbeaten domestic record. The Argentine put away a diving header from a Stankovic cross. Inter grabbed a point to take home but Roma closed the gap to 9 points. A very important match between the two will take place on Wednesday, the result could be enough to put the Scudetto beyond reach or really open up the title race. Enjoy the video highlights below.

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Matchday 24 Serie A wrap on Footy-boots

Posted on February 25, 2008. Filed under: serie a | Tags: |

Check out this week’s Serie A wrap up on Footy-boots.

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Horrific Taylor tackle on Eduardo

Posted on February 24, 2008. Filed under: EPL, Players, Video | Tags: , , , |

Arsenal were held to a 2-2 draw by Birmingham but the talking point of the match was the disgusting tackle on Eduardo da Silva by Martin Taylor. You can see the footage below that he wasn’t interested in the ball and had plenty of time to pull out of it. He received a straight red but I hope he gets a serious ban for his actions. They suspect that Eduardo may have a broken leg and the game had to be stopped for eight minutes just to treat him before removing him from the field.

Seems they’ve removed that video so here’s one that’s not quite as good but shows the tackle well enough (at least until it gets removed!).

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Cordoba out for return leg

Posted on February 23, 2008. Filed under: Inter, Players, UEFA | Tags: , , , |

Cordoba went to ground during the second half of the champions league encounter between Inter and Liverpool. He was immediately replaced and could be seen clutching his knee in some pain. It’s been revealed that the damage is worse than first expected and he has injured his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). This injury is much more common in soccer than Ronaldo’s injury which ruptured his patella tendon but it can be about as serious. Cordoba may have only partially torn his ACL but will still need surgery. He is definitely out of the return leg where Inter have their work cut out. A real shame as he was solid as ever during the match.

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Inter vs Liverpool CL – second half and highlights

Posted on February 21, 2008. Filed under: Inter, UEFA, Video | Tags: , , |

Continuing my post from yesterday’s match, there was a good chance for Liverpool just after the restart when Finnan played a 1-2 and could have caused a lot of trouble if he wasn’t blocked. Mancini was forced to remove Cruz for Vieira on 54 minutes and leave Ibrahimovic alone in attack due to the missing player. On 57 minutes, Julio Caesar was called into action again, saving brilliantly after Torres received a fortunate rebound which set him on his way. On the hour mark Vieira was lucky not to give away a penalty after handling the ball in the area and Liverpool continued their domination in everything except goals. 73% possession in the second half and so many chances. Torres almost found the net a few minutes later and Lucas was replaced by Crouch in an attempt to use his ridiculous height.

It wasn’t until 67 minutes until Inter had their first corner and a minute later Ibrahimovic and Cambiasso were involved in a nice interchange which ultimately saw the Swede in an offside position. Rafa replaced Babel with Pennant, hoping to use his pace on the right but he caused little worry for Inter. Vieira had a shot but it was quite wide. A couple of minutes later Crouch had a real chance but he wasted it in trying to do too much. Unfortunately, Cordoba fell awkwardly and had to go off for Burdisso, a real shame because he was solid the entire match prevent any and all Liverpool attacks. On 82 minutes Inter had a good chance on the break with Vieira running at the defense but his pass to Ibrahimovic was lacking. Finally in the 84th minute Liverpool scored. Kuyt shot at goal and it was deflected downward off Maicon’s boot and ended up bouncing just in front of Julio Cesar who did not have time to readjust. Five minutes later Gerrard sealed the win with a shot into the far post.

Inter will host Liverpool in the return leg but have a lot to do now thanks to bad refereeing. Check out the highlights below.

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Inter vs Liverpool CL – first half update

Posted on February 20, 2008. Filed under: Inter, UEFA | Tags: , , |

The first half of this heavyweight clash began with the home side having most of the possession and pressuring Inter a lot in the first 10 minutes. The ref was handing out yellow cards like they were going out of fashion as Torres fell with any light knock. On three minutes the first went to Chivu with Aurellio putting the resulting free kick over the bar. Julio Cruz and Cordoba were solid in denying the early Liverpool chances. On 11 minutes, Materazzi picked up a yellow which was very soft as Torres fell while out-pacing the Italian to the ball.

Liverpool were marking Ibrahimovic very tightly and allowing very little space for Inter’s attack. As time went on Inter began to get into the match a lot more but generally sloppy passing was preventing them building up well. With 29 minutes on the clock, another soft Torres drop to the ground saw Materazzi pick up his second yellow and head off for an early shower. An incredibly harsh and ridiculous decision which left Inter with a lot to do. Next Torres tried to lure Cambiasso with a few cheeky slaps on the face as the young Spaniard gave away a free kick but the experienced midfielder wasn’t falling for his bait. On 44 minutes Liverpool had one of their best chances with a cut across the face of goal but now one to put it away and Maicon cleared fairly casually.

Barely a minute of stoppage time as the teams paused for the break but Inter with a great deal to do now! More to follow later…

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Ronaldo injury update

Posted on February 18, 2008. Filed under: Players | Tags: , , , |

The surgeon’s that operated on Ronaldo have said that the operation was successful but now only time will tell if he can recover and play at an elite level still. There will be a wait of at least nine months to see how he can recuperate but the medics don’t think his career is done just yet.

The latest news come from Ronaldo’s dad, Nelio Nazario, who has said that Ronaldo has already taken a few steps around his room and is happy with the progress. He is without pain which is pretty amazing for only 48 hours after surgery. He’s begun the preliminary stages of his rehabilitation although he won’t be able to run for 6 months or train hard for 9 months.

The history of Ronaldo’s injuries began in 96 at PSV. He had surgery to clean up the cartilage in his right knee and was out for 4 months. Then came the injury at Inter in 99 where he partially tore his patella tendon in his right knee and was out for 5 months. In April of 2000 he completely tore the same tendon playing against Lazio, 6 months after the initial surgery. He was then out for 11 months. In 2006 while still at Real Madrid, Ronaldo had surgery on his left leg to remove two calcifications on the tibia bone. It wasn’t urgent surgery but he was keen to have it done and was out for a month and a half.

A Brazilian doctor has come out to sensationally blame Ronaldo’s injuries on doping while at PSV. He was employed by the CBF but has since been fired for his remarks. He claims that while Ronaldo was a teenager at PSV he was given steroids in order to build up his physique for the game. The large muscle mass that developed as a result would not be supported well by his bones, joints, ligaments and tendons. He said that the repercussions of this would not be felt immediately but later on as the stress on the body would manifest itself as serious injuries 10, 15 or 20 years after. Who knows if he’s telling the truth but it would explain a lot, Ronaldo certainly got a lot bigger in a fairly short period of time. It’s either that or a huge growth spurt and a predisposed genetic condition that makes his patella tendons quite weak because it is a fairly rare injury in soccer (especially twice!), usually it’s the ACL that goes.

Ronaldo’s dream is to return to play and will return to Milan after the initial period and will determine later whether the rest of the rehabilitation will take place there or in Brazil. Apparently Flamengo are still after his services and will probably try to use this injury to take him off Milan’s hands but I hope he remains as he still has something to give to the highest level, even if that’s only watching over and guiding Pato’s rise.

There’s also a recent video interview he gave explaining what he’s currently going through and his thoughts at the moment.

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Manchester United destroy Arsenal

Posted on February 17, 2008. Filed under: EPL, Video | Tags: , , , , , |

Man U have knocked Arsenal out of the FA cup with a convincing 4-0 rout. Fletcher was on the scoresheet twice and Rooney and Nani made up the total. Most of the goals came early on, Rooney on 16, Fletcher on 20 and Nani on 38 but Arsenal’s chance for a revival or at least to get some dignity back took a blow when Eboue was sent off on 49 minutes for a clumsy challenge on Evra. Fletcher wrapped things up in the 74th minute. Wenger tried to bring on some more firepower but left it a little late, that’s the way it goes when you have several competitions to think about.

Check out the highlights below

Also some of the goals in more detail.




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Inter vs Livorno (2-0)

Posted on February 17, 2008. Filed under: Inter, serie a, Video | Tags: , , |

Inter took full advantage of the second place battle between Juventus and Roma which caused the latter to miss out on points and almost second place. Inter opened up their lead on the league to 11 points and can probably already taste that third consecutive scudetto.

Suazo was given a start as Ibrahimovic and Cruz were rested for the important champions league match with Liverpool in several days. He did not waste the opportunity and sealed the win with an early brace. The first goal was a header through Amelia’s legs off a Chivu free kick and the second goal made use of a defensive blunder on Livorno’s part, a simple tap in.

Check the highlights below.

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