Month: May 2014

FIFA World rankings before 2014 World Cup

FIFA World rankings before 2014 World Cup

 

2014worldcuplogo

 

FIFA world rankings in my view are going from bad to worst, out of touch with reality. This is all going to change soon however with the World Cup coming up June 2014 in Brazil. The only one I like is number 1

The overall record and friendlies are important however head to head in major competitions is also important.I get the impression they leave out some important results. How else do we explain that Italy is far behind Germany after defeating them in the Euro 2012 and have not lost to Germany for over 12 years in all competitions. How do we explain Brazil being so low in the rankings after giving Spain their first defeat in a major competition in almost 10 years.

If we consider that Spain is the best reference point and that Brazil and Italy have been the only teams to take points from Spain then in my view they should be 1-2-3. France and England are also underrated in my view if we consider head to head games. France in particular if they can play better in midfield they could be dangerous with the amount of offensive weapons they have.England have the same problem in midfield however if they can correct that they also have a lot of offensive weapons and can surprise the favorites.Along with Germany there’s other teams overrated including Argentina especially when we consider their average record at major competitions of late

In my view, over all the rankings don’t reflect the reality of world football and I believe we will see quite a few surprises during the tournament coming from Africa, South America and even Europe.

worldcupgroups

(Serie A review week 38) Juventus finish in style, Roma takes 2nd and Napoli finish 3rd

download (1)Welcome everyone to Serie A review   juve2014In beautiful Torino in front of a packed stadium Juventus capped their record breaking season with a 3-0 win over Cagliari. La Grande Signora finished with 102 points and 33 wins, both Serie A records, needless to say an historic season for the Bianconeri. The goals for Juve came from Marco Silvestri (own goal) in the 9th minute, Fernando LLorente in the 15th minute and Claudio Marchisio in the 40th minute. Juve controlled the game from the start and with Pirlo playing like an artist the Sardenians had no chance, time and time again waves of Juve players would attack in almost perfect synchronism that left Cagliari pinned in their own half for minutes at a time. A beautiful display of a pragmatic approach to the game. Cagliari for their part looked like a team who was just happy to avoid relegation and live on another year, one bright note is the play of Daniele Conti in midfield who in my view is a lot like Pirlo, and however a lot of work needs to be done if they want to improve their standing.   images (14)Roma lost to Genoa 1-0 in a hotly contested match-up, both teams played like they did not want to lose their last game, Genoa was very opportunistic and finally came out on top. The goal was scored by Greek international and a superstar in the making Giannis Fetfatzidis in the 83rd minute. Genoa have had a respectable season and will be a definite threat for Europe next season. As expected Roma controlled the ball for the most part and got quite a few good opportunities however it was not meant to be. Roma have had a great season this no one can deny however in my view they need to find a way to be more consistent and determined if they want to compete against Juventus. With most of their core players coming back it will be very interesting indeed.   images (9)Napoli ended their campaign with panache by defeating Hellas Verona 5-1. In front of a packed San Paolo stadium Napoli put on a display for the ages, a combination of control and determination. The goals for the Partenopei came from Jose Maria Callejon in the 5th minute, Duvan Zapata with two in the 13th and 25th minute and Dries Mertens also a pair in the 62nd and 77th minute, the lone goal for Verona was scored by Juan Manuel Iturbe in the 66th minute. So much offensive talent on this Napoli team I hope they can keep most of their players if they do I predict that they will be a threat for the Scudetto for sure. Verona for their part lost the game but can be proud of the season they had after being promoted from Serie B last season, Luca Toni was a sensation for them and I hope he is back. images (10)AC Milan defeated Sassuolo 2-1 in a must win game for the Rossoneri to have any hope for the Europa League. AS it turned out it didn’t matter because Parma won their game and got through instead by 1 point. The goals for the Milanese we’re scored by Sulley Muntary in the 2nd minute with a beautifully placed shot and from Dutch international Nigel De Jong in the 27th minute, the reply came from ex U21 Italian international Simone Zaza in the 90th minute. A difficult season for AC Milan to say the least however with a horrendeous start to the season they managed to almost make the Europa League, I think Clarence Seedorf deserves another chance after the good work he displayed since replacing Allegri the team has improved a lot. Still a lot of uncertainty surrounds the team and they are a complete mystery for next year. Sassuolo won their own Scudetto by winning the race for salvation, for a small town it’s a great achievement, can’t wait to see what they will show us next year   In other scores   Fiorentina drew Torino 2-2 in a must win for the Torinese to have any hope to play in Europe next year, Parma defeated Livorno 2-0 to claim the last Europa League spot, it’s well deserved for the Parmiggiani, Inter Milan we’re defeated 2-1 by Chievo Verona to cap a seesaw season, Lazio defeated  Serie B bound Bologna 1-0, Catania defeated Atalanta 2-1 and Sampadoria drew Udinese 3-3, Antonio Di Natale got 3 goals in his last match in an Udinese uniform, a bittersweet moment for sure. Here you have it the last installment of the Serie A Review as the season has come to an end, however I will have a Final Season review in next week article..stay tuned images (7)

(Serie A review week 37)  Juventus tame Roma, Milan slips and Napoli is irresistible

images (7)

 

 Hello everyone welcome to the Serie A review, week 37

image_gallery (1)Juventus defeated Roma 1-0 to climb to 99 points, with 1 game left all they need is 1 point for 100, a great achievement for La Grande Signora. The game was tight although as expected Roma enjoyed more possession and everything looked like it was going to be a draw suddenly with seconds left Juventus storm down in a counter attack and scored with a goal from Argentinian/Italian international Pablo Osvaldo in the 94th minute. Although the match was meaningless with respect to the standings both coaches fielded their best team and it made for a great match in spite of the low score. Juventus and Roma we’re the class of the league this year and it was evident, a draw would have been just, alas was not meant to be. This game was a testament to character that Juve displayed all year long. The good news for Roma is that they will sign and keep Miralem Pjanic for at least 6 years, he has been a revelation this year and he personifies Romas’ play the best.


montolivo_milan-300x186AC Milan
lost an opportunity to take a serious option on the last Europa League spot by going down 2-1 in Bergamo against Atalanta. The goals all came from the Atalanta players, Gianpaolo Bellini (own goal) in the 52nd minute, Germain Denis tied it in the 68th minute (penalty) and Franco Brienza won it for the Bergamasci in the 90th minute. Although the Rossoneri enjoyed more possession the game was very evenly matched, many opportunities to score on both sides and the result was in doubt till the last whistle. With this victory Atalanta confirm their good season, with some luck they could have made Europe. In spite of the loss Milan still has a chance for the Europa League if they win their last game, they must regroup and focus if they want to save their season.

Napoli defeated Sampadoria 5-2 in awild and meaningless game if not for the fact that Napoli keep growing their record season. Duvan Jose-Callejon-2-600x400Zapata in the 19th minute, Lorenzo Insigne in the 27th minute, Jose Maria Callejon (him again) in the 32nd minute and Marek Hamsik in the 47th minute, with an own goal from Mustafi in the 61st minute rounded up the score line for the Partenopei. Citadin Martins Eder in the 30th minute and Pawel Wszolek replied for the Genovese. So much talent on that team, a fluid style that is effective and fun to watch. A good game to watch in spite of the score line both teams play to win however in my view  Sampadoria cannot trade chances with Napoli they will lose every time. The Partenopei should be very proud of their season I’m sure their fans are. Sampadoria has a good team although in my view they need more quality players to compete for the top spots.

Alberto-Aquilani-Fiorentina-300x186Fiorentina defeated Livorno 1-0 in a must win match for Livorno. Colombian International Juan Quadrato got the goal for the Viola on a beautiful set up from Giuseppe Rossi in the 57th minute Livorno needed a win in order to keep their dim hopes alive for salvation. Although they played well they couldn’t do it, they are officially going back to Serie B after a difficult season in Serie A. Fiorentina just had too much quality and with Rossi back for the Viola it made it that much more difficult for the Livornese. With this win the Viola confirm their 4th spot, they should be very proud of their season after Rossi went down not much was expected and against all odds they climbed the standings and locked 4th spot. Great season.

The race for the bottom was decided this week with Sassuolo defeating Genoa 4-2 and Chievo Verona defeating Cagliari 1-0. Joining Livorno in Serie B are Bologna and (in spite of defeating Bologna 2-1) Catania.

With Torino and Parma playing to a 1-1 draw, Inter Milan defeating Lazio 4-1 and Hellas Verona drawing 2-2 against Udinese, the race for a Europa League spot will not be decided until the last game. No less than 6 teams are still in the hunt, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Torino, Parma, Lazio and Hellas Verona

This is Serie A exciting till the last game..stay tuned

download (1)

(Serie A review, week 36) Juventus seal the scudetto, Roma slips and AC Milan bounce back

download (1)

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog on the most exciting soccer/football league in the world

Juventus defeated Atalanta 1-0 in front of a packed stadium to confirm their domination of Serie A this season, the goal was scored by ex U21 Italian international Simone Padoin in the 72nd minute. Having clinched the Scudetto, due to Romas’ surprise defeat in Catania the day before, Antonio Conte revamped his lineup and to no one’s surprise still came out with a win. With a record year in Serie A this season Juve surpassed every expectation, although their record in European competitions leaves to be desired, with a little more luck they could have gone further. Atalanta avoided relegation and continues to mystify with their make shift lineup of “unwanted players”, they played really well and deserved better.

juve2014

On a beautiful day in Sicily Roma was mobbed 4-1 by Catania.  The goals for the Sicilians we’re scored by Mariano Julio Izco in the 26th minute and the 34th minute, Gonzalo Bergessio in the 55th minute and Pablo Barrientos in 79th minute, Francesco Totti tallied for the Romani in the 37th minute. A dark day for the Romani as this loss also automatically eliminates them from the Scudetto race. Catania is determined not to be relegated and it showed in their play, although Romas’ defensive work looked poor at times with numerous unforced errors. In spite of not reaching their objective of winning the Scudetto, Roma plays a fantastic brand of soccer with quality players at every position, and is enjoying a record breaking season. I hope they keep all their players it would be interesting to see how far they might go next season. Catania is making a last stand in the race for the bottom, it would be nice to see them back although based on their overall play they don’t deserve it, a lot was expected after a good season last year, nevertheless they still have a chance.

image_gallery

AC Milan defeated Inter Milan 1-0 in the second derby of the season on a goal from Dutch international Nigel de Jong in the 65th minute. Hard fought game on both sides with a number of chances to score and a draw would have been just as good. With this win AC Milan confirm their improved play under Clarence Seedorf’s guide and get closer to Inter and Europe. Inter in contrast are inconsistent at the moment they must regroup and not lose points in the remaining 2 games if they want to reach Europe

images (14)

Napoli defeated Cagliari 3-0, the goals came from Dries Mertens in the 33rd minute, Goran Pandev in the 43rd minute and the Swiss international Blerim Dzemaili in the 57th minute. Napoli was dominant from the start and could have had more goals. Cagliari had a difficult time getting out of their own half however the game was meaningless for both teams, Cagliari having secured salvation last week. Napoli continues to add to their record breaking season with style, so much talent on that team it’s surprising they did not go further in the Champions or the Europa league, there is always next year. Forza Napoli

In other scores

Fiorentina was defeated at home 4-3 by Sassuolo, Lazio and Hellas Verona played to 3-3 draw, Torino defeated Chievo Verona 1-0 to further their chances for Europe, Parma defeated Sampadoria 2-0, Udinese defeated Livorno 5-3 in a quasi Ping Pong match and Genoa and Bologna played to a scoreless draw 0-0

images (7)

Although the race to the bottom is heated with 5 teams still in danger, the Europa league spot is also up for grabs and the possibilities are numerous, needless to say it will be an exciting and interesting conclusion to the season..stay tuned

In Coppa Italia action Napoli defeated Fiorentina 3-1 in a fantastic final that saw Lorenzo Insigne score 2 goals. Napoli have won every final they have been in (5), a great achievement for the Partenopei that confirms their great play and a record breaking season.

(Serie A review, week 35) Juve win for the 30th time while Roma outclasses AC Milan

download (1)

Hi everyone and welcome to the Rerie A review

Juventus got their record breaking 30th win of the season by defeating Sassuolo 3-1. It was not easy for Juve, in spite of the scoreline Sassuolo put them in difficulty trough out the game and deserved better. Sassuolo actually took the lead in the 9th minute via Simone Zaza before Carlos Tevez tied it in the 35th minute, Claudio Marchisio in the 58th minuteand and Fernando Llorente in the 76th minute rounded up the scoring for La Grande Signora. Juventus have not let up in spite of Roma nipping at their heels all season and they can clinch the title at home against Atalanta next week. Sassuolo have a pretty good team in spite of their position in the standings, they can still save themselves from relegation, if they keep playing the way they played against Juve they will be saved.

images (13)

In this final push to catch Juventus, AC Roma defeated AC Milan 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in beautiful Rome, the goals came from Miralem Pjanjc on a fantastic individual play in the 43rd minute and Gervinho in the 63rd minute. Both teams we’re riding a 7 and 5 game winning streak and the game was very promising. Roma continue their impressive campaign with their 8th consecutive win and are still in contention for the Scudetto. As expected the Giallorossi controlled the ball from the start and at times it looked embarrassing for the visitors. AC Milan was a shadow of their recent form and could not muster any sustained pressure, in my view the matchup confirmed that the Rossoneri have much to do if they want compete with the best, they must regroup if they want a chance at Europe. In contrast the Romani are having a championship season and will fight till the end to catch Juventus

image_gallery

On a beautiful night in Milano, Napoli and Inter Milan played to a scoreless draw. As expected Napoli had numerous chances and deserved a better result, however Inter put up a tough fight and deserved a draw. Although at times the game looked like a stalemate with both teams scared to make a mistake we did see some good plays. Napoli have locked down 3rd spot and have not much to play for except for the Italian Cup against Fiorentina. The Neroblu still have a chance to climb to 4th spot if they continue to get good results

 

In Bologna, Fiorentina dealt a lethal blow to Bolognas’ hopes for salvation by winning 3-0. The much sought after Colombian international Juan Cuadrato got a double in the 23rd and 87th minute, the other goal for the Viola came from Josep Ilicic in the 34th minute. Given their precarious position in the standings much was expected from Bologna in this game however Fiorentina was its best and the Bolognese had no chance from the start. The Viola must continue to get good results if they want to confirm their 4th spot in the standings with Inter closing in. Bologna has no margin for error and will give it all they have to stave off relegation, will it be enough? In my view no.

images (19)

In other results

 Cagliari defeated Parma 1-0 to halt their ascend for a Europa League spot, Hellas Verona kept their dreams of Europe alive by defeating Serie B bound Catania 4-0 with 2 more goals from Luca Toni, Torino continued their impressive play by defeating Udinese 2-0, Lazio tamed Livorno 2-0, In Genoa Sampadoria got by Chievo Verona 2-1 and lastly Genoa

The race for the bottom is still wide open with 5 teams still trying to avoid relegation.

 

In other news

 Europa League semi-final (first leg)

In Portugal Juventus lost 2-1 to Benfica in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final, although Juve dominated, the game could have gone either way, Juve must remain positive and build on their away goal. In the other all Spanish semi-final between Sevilla took a big step towards the final by defeating Valencia 2-0

Well there you have it another exciting week in Serie A..stay tuned

images (7)