RSS

Tag Archives: Scudetto

Fiorentina 4-1 Inter Milan

Match in a sentence

Stevan Jovetic and Adem Ljajic both shared two goals each, as Fiorentina blitzed Inter Milan at the Stadio Artemio Franchi and joined the race for the final Champions League spot.

Analysis

  • Andrea Stramaccioni fielded his side in a 4-3-1-2 with Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio leading the line. Fredy Guarin played behind the strikers and Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Mateo Kovacic and Esteban Cambiasso played in midfield.
  • Vincenzo Montella opted to play in a 4-3-3 with Stevan Jovetic, Adem Ljajic and Juan Cuadrado as the front three. The midfield consisted of Alberto Aquilani, David Pizarro and Borja Valero.
  • This match was everything we expected it not to be; frankly it was men against boys from start to finish. Fiorentina took the game to Inter from the start, and they looked dangerous sending balls over the Inter Milan defence for Llajic and Jovetic to run onto.  Jovetic and Ljajic drifted to the left as it looked like they targeted Javier Zanetti, but they caused havoc all over the final third.
  • Inter sat deep in two banks of four, inviting the Fiorentina pressure, and looked to break on the counter. Coincidentally, whenever Inter got into Fiorentina’s half, Fiorentina mirrored Inter’s defensive approach. The difference was Fiorentina defended better than Inter for 90 minutes and the way both sides broke on the counter.
  • Inter lacked cohesion going forward and was unable to break as a unit.  The space between Guarin and the midfield three was too big (due to how deep they sat), and Guarin was unable to link up with Palacio or Cassano.
  • Fiorentina on the other hand broke quick in numbers whenever they won possession and always looked a threat going forward. The other difference was that when they lost possession, they were able to get numerous bodies back into position quickly. Inter left Palacio and Cassano high as it would create 2v2 or 2v3 chances on the break, but Montella’s men were aware of that and with help from Inter being unable to break quickly Palacio and Cassano had a quiet afternoon.
  • Fiorentina controlled possession throughout the game and it took only 13 minutes for the Viola to take the lead. Inter’s backline was unable to deal with a cross that Jovetic flicked on for the unmarked Ljajic, who headed the ball past Samir Handanovic.
  • Another key factor that separated these sides was how both sides pressed one another. Fiorentina pressed the Inter backline and midfield when they picked up the ball in their third of the pitch, whereas Inter decided to apply no pressure to Fiorentina in their third. Fiorentina’s pressure led to Jovetic’s fabulous second goal. Inter tried to play from the back and Aquilani ‘s pressure forced Inter to concede possession to Jovetic, and the Montenegrin striker rifled his shot past Handanovic.

  • Inter Milan chose not to press the Fiorentina players in their half of the field and it allowed Pizarro to dominate the game. The Chilean midfielder was able to drop deep and pick up the ball with no pressure applied, and he was allowed to string passes around the pitch at will. Pizarro conducted the game during his 69 minutes on the pitch, dominating the midfield area. Inter’s midfield was anonymous and the minimal times they had possession in Fiorentina’s half they moved the ball too slow and were unable to create any openings.
  • Inter was fortunate to be down two goals at the half as Handanovic made several vital saves, keeping the Nerazzuri in the match. Stramaccioni made a tactical change in the second half by bringing on Ricky Alvarez for Kovacic. Alvarez moved to the right flank and Guarin dropped to the midfield, as Inter became a 4-3-3.
  • The same narrative occurred in the second half as Fiorentina continued to push forward, but they defended with caution dropping Ljajic deeper when they didn’t have the ball, becoming a 4-5-1.  The second half also highlighted how fragile Juan Jesus and Andrea Ranocchia are as defenders.
  • Jovetic and Ljajic added to their tally in the opening 20 minutes of the second half and both goals were down to defensive errors. Inter were unable to clear their lines and an unmarked Jovetic was played in alone with Handanovic courtesy of a wonderful back heel pass from Aquilani. Jovetic calmly slotted his shot past the Inter goalkeeper to make it 3-0. Then Ljajic curled in a shot from outside the box, in which Ranocchia should’ve closed down the Serbian, but he allowed the Ljajic all the time in the world.
Aquilani's backheel pass to Jovetic GIF. Click it!

Aquilani’s backheel pass to Jovetic GIF. Click it!

  • Cassano scored a great goal towards the end of the game as a consolation, but that was arguably Inter’s worst game of the season. They were flat from the start, the midfield three lacked creativity and their defending as a team and individually was lethargic. With the loss, Inter are now in severe danger of going another season without Champions League football. After starting the season with 10 away wins in all competitions, the Nerazzuri are winless in their last nine. Inter will need a far better performance next Sunday as Stramaccioni’s men will need a result to stay in the hunt for third place, when they take on cross town rivals AC Milan.

  • It was a dominant performance tonight from the Viola and if there was any type of result needed to boost the teams confidence, then it was this one. They outclassed Inter for 90 minutes and now sit two points away from third, playing a game more than Lazio. Fiorentina showed tonight that they’re capable of contending for European football, and if they can build on this result, the thought of it wouldn’t be too farfetched.

Three Stars

1.    David Pizarro

2.    Stevan Jovetic

3.    Adem Ljajic

Tyrrell Meertins

Follow @TEEWHYox

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 17, 2013 in Match Recaps

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Napoli 4 – 1 Roma

Match in a sentence

An Edinson Cavani hat-trick sunk Roma 4-1 in the Derby del Sole and has reignited Napoli’s surge in the race for the Scudetto.

Analysis

  • Zeman’s side started the game in a 4-3-3 with an attacking trio of Francesco Totti, Erik Lamela, and Mattia Destro.  Roma’s midfield consisted of Miralem Pjanic, Michael Bradley and Daniele De Rossi.
  • Walter Mazzari went with his traditional 3-5-2 with Edinson Cavani and Goran Pandev upfront.  Christian Maggio and Zuniga were the wingbacks with Marek Hamsik ahead of Valon Behrami and Gokhan Inler.
  • Napoli started this game in fine fashion as it took them four minutes to take the lead courtesy of a delicious ball from Pandev to Cavani. The Uruguayan striker made no mistake as he slotted the ball past Mauro Goicoechaea

  • Pandev was Napoli’s danger man in the first half as he received the ball in between the lines on numerous occasions. He then would drive at the shaky Roma backline, but only the Cavani opener would result from Pandev’s work.
  • Roma enjoyed majority of the possession but did little with it. With Lamela and Destro switching sides looking to cut in, Roma’s shape was too narrow and it stifled several of their attacks when they got into the final third. They looked better when Federico Balzaretti got forward to provide some width, but they lacked the extra bit of quality. They could use width on both sides, but with Cavani drifting to the left, Ivan Piris has been unable to get forward.
  • Napoli started the second half as they did the first with another Cavani goal. Hamsik held up the play and Zuniga overlapped and cutback a ball into the box that fell to Cavani and the Uruguayan made no mistake.

  • Mazzari’s men were organized and they defended as a unit, and Roma simply failed to produce any magic in the final third. They moved the ball too slow, there was minimal movement off the ball and the front three of Lamela, Totti and Destro struggled to get in behind the Napoli back line.
  • As the game went on, Roma was forced to throw players forward, and finally Piris started  to push higher up the field. Piris as well as Balzaretti’s presence higher up the pitch was non-existent and as expected it was a useful outlet for Napoli to launch their counter-attacks.
  • Cavani added to his tally later on with an unmarked header from a corner kick that put the game out of reach for the Giallorossi.  Pablo Osvaldo brought the game to life minutes later when Pjanic provided a glorious ball that Osvaldo slipped past Morgan De Sanctis.

  • Zeman was tactically naïve tonight, and despite Roma having a few chances to pounce on, they weren’t good enough on the night. Napoli allowed them to have the ball, knowing they had the quality in breaking down that Roma defence. Napoli also believed that Roma couldn’t break them down. They lacked natural width going forward, the midfield were unable to provide quality service to the front men, who were also average today. Zeman’s 4-3-3 was nullified and without a plan B, he simply watched Napoli comfortably defeat his side.
  • Unfortunately for Roma, things went got worse when Pjanic was sent off moments after the goal when he received his second yellow card of the night. Christian Maggio added the fourth in stoppage time to secure the three points for Napoli.
  • The win sees Napoli climb to third in the Serie A table, in what looks destined to be a dog fight for not only the Scudetto, but Champions League spots. The difference in this match was Cavani, because unlike Lamela, Totti and Destro, Cavani was ruthless in front of goal. Today he displayed to the world why he is the best striker on the planet.

Three Stars

1. Edinson Cavani

2. Goran Pandev

3. Gokhan Inler 

Tyrrell Meertins

Follow @TEEWHYox

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 6, 2013 in Match Recaps

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We’re not worthy Pirlo

With Juventus storming past Atalanta this morning and Inter Milan losing to Lazio yesterday, the defending Italian champions go seven points clear of second place. Napoli take on Bologna later on today, but even a Napoli win will leave Juventus five points clear at the top of the table.

Although we’re only near Christmas, Juventus look like clear favourites to retain the Scudetto as their title rivals are failing to stay consistent. But enough about Juventus, today Andrea Pirlo scored a remarkable 30 yard free kick to put the game out of reach.

Despite not being a finalist for the Ballon D’or, 2012 has been a year to remember for the Italian maestro. He was instrumental in Juventus undefeated title winning season and Italy’s run to the Euro 2012 final. Pirlo silenced the doubters this year and displayed to the world why he’s still a world-class player.

This free kick is another piece of brilliance that Pirlo has provided us with this year.

We’re not worthy.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 16, 2012 in Videos

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

AC Milan 1-0 Juventus

Match in a sentence

A superb team performance, combined with a controversial penalty call, equaled a second Juventus loss this season against a side from Milan.

Analysis

  • Massimiliano Allegri opted to line up in a 4-3-3 that saw Kevin Prince Boateng start in the middle with Robinho on the right and Stephan El Shaarawy on the left. The midfield three consisted of Nigel De Jong, Riccardo Montolivo and Antonio Nocerino.
  • Angelo Alessio stuck to a 3-5-2 that saw Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella start upfront. Martin Caceres replaced Giorgio Chiellini who wasn’t fit and Mauricio Isla was preferred over Stephan Lichsteiner.
  • Juventus controlled possession from the start of the game, pegging back Milan into 4-3-1-2 with Boateng dropping deeper to help out in the midfield. Milan pressed well and Juventus lost possession several times and it allowed Milan to break. Like they did against Chelsea, whenever El Shaarawy and Robinho ran at the Juventus backline, they looked vulnerable.
  • Juventus found space on the right hand side through Isla, but the Chilean was extremely poor. His crosses weren’t good enough and Milan defender Kevin Constant made easy work of the limited amount of times Isla came forward.
  • Like last seasons 1-1 draw, there was controversy in this game and Isla was involved. Nocerino nodded Robinho’s cross into Isla’s ribs, but the referee pointed to the spot. Robinho placed his shot past Buffon and Milan took the lead.
  • After seeing the replay it was clear that the ball hit Isla’s ribs, but Isla does deserve blame for having his arms in the air while trying to block the shot.

  • In the second half, Simone Padoin replaced Isla, and he had more impact on the game. Padoin stretched the pitch and whipped in dangerous balls into the box. The problem was Juventus players were unable to get on the end of them.
  • Milan had a different approach to the second half as they transitioned into a 4-3-1-2. Boateng stayed deep and helped Montolivo and Co outnumber Juve in the middle, as Milan sat deeper and deeper as a team. They slowly became a 4-5-1 as El Shaarawy tracked back to help Constant and a tiring Robinho led the line.
  • A few changes were made towards the end of the game as Giampaolo Pazzini replaced Robinho for Milan. Paul Pogba and Sebastien Giovinco replaced Fabio Quagliarella and Kwado Asamoah. Pazzini led the line and didn’t offer much, but he held the ball up, which allowed Milan to mount a few counter attacks.
  • Juventus’ changes left them in a 2-6-2 for the final quarter of the match. Caceres provided the width on the left, Pogba was on the right with Padoin, Vidal sat deeper, and Pirlo and Marchisio were advanced. Juventus threw everything at Milan, but were unable to get a goal.
  • Many will blame their midweek fixture against Chelsea for Juventus’ sloppy and fatigued play, but that’s not the case. Juventus lacked creativity in the final third, where they struggle to score goals and create chances. Against Milan they simply weren’t good enough.
  • Milan replicated what their city rivals did earlier this month, as they put in a terrific performance. The midfield of Nocerino, Montolivo and De Jong nullified Marchisio, Pirlo and Vidal. Fullbacks Constant and Mattia De Sciglio did a great job on Juve’s wide men. Milan was organized, compact, and worthy winners on the night. The win caps off a great week as they also advanced into the knockout round of the Champions League. Will this be enough to save Allegri’s job? Possibly not, but it’s a start.

Three Stars

1. Riccardo Montolivo

2. Mattia De Sciglio

3. Kevin Constant

 

Tyrrell Meertins

Follow @TEEWHYox

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Match Recaps

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Inter Milan 3-1 Juventus

 

Match in a Sentence 

Diego Milito’s brace led a brave Inter Milan side to victory against Juventus handing them their first loss under the Antonio Conte era in the league, first loss at Juventus stadium and ends their 49 game unbeaten streak.

Analysis

  • Andrea Stramaccioni surprised many as his team lined up in a 3-4-3 formation that left Fredy Guarin and Alvaro Pereira on the bench. Upfront he had Antonio Cassano, Diego Milito and Rodrigo Palacio.
  • Juventus lined up in their traditional 3-5-2 with Mirko Vucinic and Sebastian Giovinco leading the line. Juventus took an early lead 20 seconds in as Kwadwo Asamoah placed a ball to Arturo Vidal who tapped the ball into the back of the net.
  • The goal was controversial because replays show that Asamoah was offside when he received the ball. Last week Catania had a goal ruled out for offside, but replays showed the player was onside and Juventus went on to win the game.
Image

Via: ww.101greatgoals.com

  • Juventus might not have a world-class striker, but in Vucinic and Giovinco they have forwards who are able to drag defenders out of position. It was their movement along with no one pressing Pirlo that allowed the Juventus midfielder to play in Claudio Marchisio who was denied by some great saves from Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
  • Inter benefitted from the early goal as they began to settle and were moving the ball better than Juventus who were pegged in their own half. Inter’s front three didn’t provide much going forward in the first half, but throughout the game they kept the Juventus backline on their heels especially Stephan Lichsteiner.
  • From the Juventus games I’ve watched Lichsteiner tends to get forward often, but not against Inter. Whether it was to keep it 4 v 3 at the back or to avoid leaving space for Cassano, Lichsteiner sitting back allowed Yuto Nagatomo space to attack.
  • Lichsteiner was also lucky to stay on the pitch as his tackle on Palacio was worthy of a second yellow. Juventus assistant/interim manager Angelo Alessio opted to follow Fergie and not Wenger by introducing Martin Caceres in place of Lichsteiner who was indeed on the verge of being sent off.
  • The second half saw Niklas Bendtner replace Vucinic who had picked up a knock in the first half. Bendtner’s role on the field was unknown and the Danish striker didn’t provide anything to the game.
  • Another fascinating battle was on the right flank, unlike Lichsteiner and Caceres, Asamoah was eager to take on 39-year-old Javier Zanetti. Despite getting the better of Zanetti earlier on, the Argentinian isolated Asamoah and nullified his threat from wide areas.
  • The game came to life in the 57th minute when Marchisio pulled down Milito in the box. The Argentinian talisman stepped up to the spot and slotted his penalty past Gianluigi Buffon. GAME ON!
  • Stramaccioni replacing Cassano with Guarin was the game changer as Inter switched to a 3-4-1-2. Guarin’s job was to man mark Pirlo, as Rooney did to Mikel Arteta earlier on in the day in the Premier League. It took only six minutes for Guarin’s presence to haunt Inter, as he dispossessed Pirlo and let go a venomous shot that Buffon initially saved, but Milito tucked in the rebound.
  • The lead forced Juventus defenders to push higher and chase the game leaving them prone to the counter attack, and Inter made them pay. After some great individual work by Nagatomo, he picked out Palacio who put the game to bed.
  • Inter now sit one point back of Juventus and have opened up the title race. Stramaccioni got his tactics right, with the front three allowing Nagatomo to cause problems down the left, to Guarin getting the best of Pirlo which led to the winner. This Inter side showed real maturity on the night and showed Italy why they believe they’re title contenders.
  • Juventus started the game well despite getting away with Asamoah’s offside goal. They didn’t create many goal scoring opportunities and were second best overall on the night. Throughout this streak, substitutions were vital, but a Vucinic injury combined with Lichsteiner’s discipline problem left Alessio with limited options. All good things must come to an end, but what’s important is how Juventus respond to this result. All faith has been restored in the Serie A, They (Juventus) are human!

Stats

  • Vidal’s goal was the fastest in Serie A since Eran Zahavi for Palermo after 15 seconds in Palermo – Cagliari (21 Sep 2011) 3-2.
  • This is Juventus first ever defeat in the Juventus Arena since its opening in Sep 2011. They had not lost the previous 28 matches there.
  • That was also Andrea Pirlo’s first Serie A defeat since he left Milan, of course.
  • The Nerazzurri are now unbeaten in nine and just one point back of Juventus. Also, all nine of their away games this season.
  • Prior to his two goals, Diego Milito never scored a goal against Juventus in an Inter Milan jersey

Three Stars   

  1. Diego Milito 
  2. Yuto Nagatomo 
  3. Fredy Guarin

Tyrrell Meertins

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Match Recaps

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,