Month: December 2014

Serie A Review 2014-15 week 16, Juventus retake top spot while Roma vs AC Milan ends up in a draw

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Hello everyone and welcome to Serie A Review, where the beautiful game is played with style

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Juventus got back to winning ways by defeating Cagliari 3-1, after a mini slump by their standards Juve got an important win. The goals for La Grande Signora we’re scored by Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal and Fernando Llorente while Luca Rossettini replied for the Sardinians. With the Romans nipping at their heels the Bianconeri had no margin for error the pressure was high however being  cool under pressure is one of the things that make Juve unique and they showed it once again. The Juve players we’re very dominant, the only shot at the net for Cagliari went in. The hope is that the wins continue for the Bianconeri and with Roma just 1 point behind it’s no time to falter. Not much to say for Cagliari they we’re beaten by a superior talented team however they must continue to believe, they know they can play better.

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Roma and AC Milan played to a 0-0 stale mate, a win would have permitted the Romans to surpass Juve for top spot, the soccer gods had other plans for the Romans it seems. A result that will at least keep them within striking distance of the top spot. The Giallorossi dominated possession as expected although the AC players did not give an inch and fought for every ball, in my view a good performance from both clubs in spite of the score line. Roma must continue to believe had keep the pressure on if they want any hope of finishing first. AC for their part must be proud of the fact that they have had 2 consecutive games without giving up a goal, their defense seems to be slowly improving and the ambitions are growing in Milan.

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Napoli regained third spot with an emphatic 2-0 win against Parma. Duvan Zapata who keeps scoring when called upon and Belgian sensation Dries Mertens got the goals for the Partenopei who needed this win in front of their fans to boost moral and confidence. A dominant performance from the Napulitane that will keep them challenging for a Champions League. The Parmiggiani are a shadow of themselves they are in serious trouble and Roberto Donadoni is in danger of losing his job.

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Fiorentina hit a wall against Empoli in Florence no less in a 1-1 draw. A surprising result due in part to the ability of the Empoli players to keep the ball away for the Viola. A masterful display of poise and composure from both teams. Fiorentina will take this point because they know Empoli played well and the point keeps them in contention for Champion League play. Empoli can be proud of their display against one of the better teams in Europe. They will surprise a lot of teams if they keep playing like that.

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Inter and Lazio squared off in a 2-2 draw, a goal fest of sorts that satisfies both teams although Inter needed a win to stay close to the group of hopefuls. The goals came from Felipe Anderson with 2 for Lazio  and Argentinian Rodriguo Palacio and Mateo Kovaciic replied for Inter. Both teams gave it all they had a sea saw battle throughout the match with Mateo Kovacic being the man of the match in my eyes

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In other results

Torino surprised Genoa 2-1 in a hard fought match

Sampadoria and Udinese played to a 2-2 draw

Chievo Verona defeated Hellas Verona 1-0 in very old city derby

Atalanta di Bergamo and Palermo played to a goal fest draw of 3-3

Finally Sassuolo and Cesena also played to a draw of 1-1

In a midweek affair Napoli defeated Juventus 8-7 in shootouts, the game was 1-1 after full time and 2-2 after overtime which led to the shootout.The bragging rights was for the annual Super Coppa was at stake, where the Scudetto winner is pitted against the Coppa Italia winners

Here you have it folks another installment of the Serie A Review, the race is very tight for top spot and anything can happen…stay tuned

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Serie A Review 2014-15 week 15: Juventus slip at home and Roma capitalize

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Hello everyone welcome to the weekly Serie A Review where thegame is played with style

juventusvssampaJuventus slipped at home with a 1-1 draw against Sampadoria di Genoa, the goals we’re scored by French international Patrice Evra for Juve while Manolo Gabbiadini replied for Sampa. Although Juve dominated for the most part the result is fair considering the hard work the Sampa players put in, Sampa has really improved on defense and they will surprise a lot of people before season’s end. Two in a row without a win for Juve and considering that they also tied Athletico di Madrid in a Champion’s League match makes 3 in a row, a mini slump of sorts and even more important their lead over the Romans has been cut to 1 point after Roma’s victory over the week end. Like I said before Juve don’t look as strong as last year, not to take anything away from their new coach Massimiliano Allegri but I think they really miss Antonio Conte. In any case they might just lose their lead if they don’t find a way to win their next game.

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Roma is within striking distance of Juventus after a tough 1-0 win over much improved Genoa FC, Nadja Nangoolan got the lone goal. A great win against a very good team for the Giallorossi which sees them only point back of Juve and two points away from taking the lead. A superb game for the Romans after a disappointing loss to Manchester City in the Champion League and the eventual drop from contention. It was difficult to predict whether they would be able to bounce back on the road no less, especially against a team like Genoa Fc who are having a great year. Great win for the Romans who must continue to believe in their chances of finishing first. Genoa for their part must remain positive in spite of the loss at home, they should take pride in the improvements they made over the summer.

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Napoli are having a hard time winning on the road and this game was no exception losing to AC Milan by the score of 2-0, Frenchman Jeremy Menez him again and ex U21 Italian international Giacomo Bonaventura scored for the Rossoneri. In spite of the score line the match could have easily gone the other way with the Partenopei missing easy chances throughout the game, they seem to have more trouble on the road which to an extent is understandable however if the team aspires to better things they have to play better on the road. The Milanisti on the other hand had a reversal of fortunes and for a rare time did not allow a comeback, overall they can be happy with this result which keeps them in the hunt for a Europa League spot. In my view Napoli should make a coaching change after this season, Benitez has had plenty of time and some of the best talent in Europe and did not progress the team in my view the fans deserve a Campione.

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Fiorentina continue their good form with a decisive 4-1 win over newly promoted Cesena. All the goals we’re scored by Viola players including Cesena’s goal, an own goal by El Hamdaoui, Stefan Savic with 2, Borja Valero and Gonzalo Rodrigues rounded up the scoring sheet. An important win for the Tuscans who are just a joy to watch and are now in striking distance of a Champion League spot. Vincenzo Montella has done a great job in Florence, with relatively unknown players he build a beautiful team the sign of a good coach in my view.

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Inter Milan who at the moment are desperate looking for points got an important win of 2-0 over Chievo Verona, the goals came from Mateo Kovacic and Andrea Ranocchia who continues to show improvement. A much needed 3 points for the Neroblue, Mancini will breath a little easier no doubt the expectations are high in Milan he is expected to make an impact.

In Other Fixtures

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Lazio defeated Atalanta 3-0 which keeps them in the running for the European competitions

Hellas Verona surprised Udinese 2-1 at home and is also aspiring for better things

In Parma the hosts played to a 0-0 draw against Cagliari, both teams are struggling at the moment and the result is not a surprise

In Sicily Palermo halted Sassuolo’s climb with a 2-1 win and are showing that they are no pushovers and are almost unbeatable at home

Torino and Empoli played to a 0-0 scoreless draw, the Granada who are impressing in the Europa League are enjoying a fine moment reminiscing of the glory days

In European Competitions

Juventus reached the next round of the Champions League with a draw against Athletico Madrid, however Roma is out after losing to Manchester City

In better news Inter, Napoli, Fiorentina and Torino all made the next round of the Europa League

Here you have it another exciting week in Serie A, the standings are getting tighter and it should interesting till the end of the campaign…stay tuned

Serie A Review 2014-15 week 14: Juventus hit a wall in Florence but Roma does not capitilize

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Hello everyone and welcome to the Serie A Review

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Juventus hit a wall in Florence in a 0-0 draw against Fiorentina. In spite of the lack of goal scoring the game was a gem lots of beautiful plays and tactics, the Tuscans dominated possession with over 600 passes and in my view deserved a better fate. Juve played well on the road and deserved the point however they suffered in this contest and only some luck kept the ball out of the net. This game clearly showed how tough the Viola can be and why they are so successful in the Europa League. Juve on the other hand does not seem as strong as last season however it could be that Fiorentina is that good. At the end a result that satisfies both teams for different reasons I suppose. I believe Fiorentina will be a force to reckon with till the end of the season and this result will just give them more confidence. Juve can’t afford to lose too many points Roma is just behind them ready to pounce on any opening

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Roma had to come from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw against a much improved Sassuolo.  Super Italian international Simone Zaza got both goals for Sassuolo while Adem Ljajic  got 2 for the Romansincluding the tieing goal in the 93rd minute, Ljajic played another fantastic game and is on fire at the moment with no less than 6 goals since coming back in the lineup. With Juventus drawing in Florence the Romans lost an opportunity to gain some ground. It was not meant to be on this day, partly because they did not play as well as usual and partly because Sassuolo played extremely well and only a last minute goal prevented an upset. Roma have a much better team than they showed on this day and must continue to believe in the Scudetto. Sassuolo for their part are playing extremely well of late and must be extremely happy with the result.

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Napoli had to also come from behind in a 2-2 draw against newly promoted Empoli. Daniele Rugani and Simone Verdi gave Empoli a 2-0 lead before Duvan Zapata and Jonathan DeGuzman tied things up for the Partenopei in the second half, newcomer David Lopez had a solid game for the Napuletane. This game is proof that there are no easy games in Serie A this season, Empoli who have one of the best rated Academies in Europe played well and deserved a win only a late goal prevented that. The Partenopei are struggling on defense this season and this game was no exception and although they dominated possession they we’re not at their best to say the least, Rafael Benitez must do something if they want any hope to stay with the leaders. Empoli are playing really well for a newly promoted team and their game is fearless and based primarily on possession and control of the ball, in my view they will continue to surprise this season.

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AC Milan was defeated 2-0 by a surging Genoa team. Luca Antonelli who is a revelation for Genoa this season got the lone goal of the game. This game showed to me once again that AC have a lot to do if they want to compete with the leaders, their defense and midfield needs help, Filippo Inzaghi promised a better team and so far not too many people agree. Genoa for their part are in a good moment of late and are sitting in third spot behind Roma and Juve and just ahead of their cousins Sampadoria and Napoli. Their manager has done a fantastic job with mostly discarded players, I’m very happy for the city that they have 2 fantastic teams, Genoa is a beautiful city and have some of the best fans in Europe, in my view they deserve a winning team.

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Inter Milan lost at home 2-1 to Udinese, Argentinian Mauricio Ricardi gave the Neroblue the lead before Bruno Fernandez and Frenchman Cyril Thereux replied for Udinese. In spite of holding the ball for almost 70% percent of the time it was a lackluster performance from the Interristi in terms of commitment forward. Inter continue to struggle in spite of playing relatively well a new manager has not yielded any convincing results in fact  Roberto Mancini is still waiting for his first win after taking over as manager. Udinese for their part are very unpredictable and we don’t know which team we will see from week to week, although in this game they showed what they are capable of when they are on their game.

In Other Scores

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Sampadoria continue their impressive form by defeating Hellas Verona 3-1

Chievo Verona surprised Cagliari 2-0 in a beautiful night in Sardinia

Torino and Palermo also played to a 2-2 stalemate a fair result

Atalanta defeated Cesena 3-2 in a festival of goals

Lazio defeated lowly Parma 2-1, the Parmiggiani are in serious trouble

Here you have it another week in Serie A, albeit a strange one, the long shots had a field day stay tuned….

Serie A Review 20-14-15 week 13: Juventus gets final word in derby while Roma tames Inter Milan

 

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Hello everyone welcome to the Serie A Review where the game is played with style

 

 

Juventus edged out Torino 2-1 in one the annually two city derbies thanks to an injury time goal scored by non-other than juventusvstorinoageless Andrea Pirlo who by the way completed 89 out of 90 passes during the contest just a phenomenal feat that reminds us of Zinadine Zidane, the other goal for La Grande Signora was scored by Chilean international Arturo Vidal, Bruno Perez replied for Il Toro. Although Juve dominated the contest as a whole and could have easily score at least 1 more goal the result was in doubt till the final whistle. Torino played well and deserved a better fate I believe with a little luck they even might have won it, when we consider the players they lost in the offseason it’s amazing that they can still compete at this level. I still believe Juve is not as strong as last season although they have practically the same players and at times it during the game we did not see the same fighting spirit we we’re accustomed to see, nevertheless they did prevail, it will be interesting to see if Allegri can keep them winning. For their part Torino needs some help up front and in the middle of the pitch, they need to score more if they want to continue to stay in Serie A

 

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Roma kept pace with a brilliant win of 4-2 over Inter Milan, Miralem Pjanic who is one of my favorite players had 2 goals for the Romani with Gervinho and newcomer Jose Holebas getting the other ones. Andrea Ranocchia and Pablo Osvaldo replied for the Neroblue. Roma dominated the exchange as expected especially in midfield, Pjanic was just tremendous controlling the ball with ease and giving the Inter defense fits. I cannot say it enough in my view I Romani practice soccer the way it is meant to be, control, poise, composure and explosive, although Inter tried to compete it was evident that Mancini has his work cut out for him if Inter wants to improve. The Romans must continue their assault on Juventus they have no choice but to win practically every game but if anyone can do it they can.

 

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Napoli salvaged a point on a goal from Duvan Zapata in the very last minute of the game in 1-1 draw against Sampadoria. Sampa’s reply came from Eder. Although the Partenopei dominated possession and chances to score Sampadoria is a tough team to play against especially at home and this year in particular they are playing very well with a stingy defence. It is not as easy this year for Napoli their defence is suspect and consistency is a problem personally I think the manager is not as keen this year with his choice of the starting 11 mind you it could be just a question of having too many good players. I believe they still have a very good team and if they can be more consistent they will definitely be a threat. Sampadoria for their part are having a breakout year and I’m convinced they will continue to surprise.

 

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Fiorentina demolished Cagliari 4-0, Matias Fernandez with 2, Mario Gomez and Colombian Juan Cuadrato got the goals for the Tuscans who seem determined to catch the leaders. The Viola who have in my view an underrated team played a very strong game both offensively and defensively especially if we consider that Cagliari have one of the best offense in the whole tournament, all this without superstar Giuseppe Rossi, it will be interesting indeed to see how far they might go when he gets back in the lineup. Cagliari for their part hit a wall sort of speak, although they showed flashes of brilliance nothing would work on this day, it is the hope of all Sardinians and me that Cagliari continue to play positive soccer in spite of this loss

 

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Ac Milan defeated Udinese 2-0 with French international Jeremy Menez getting both goals. Important 3 points for the Rossoneri and Inzaghi I might add who in spite of the win were often exposed and only luck kept the ball out. A fairly even game in spite of the score and one of the rare occasions where AC is not victim of a comeback, Menez was fabulous and continues to demonstrate his talent in spectacular fashion. I still maintain that AC Milan will not compete for the Scudetto this year in spite of what some fans are hoping, they just don’t have what it takes in my view. Udinese seem to have hit a road block of late and must find a way to get a positive result soon

 

In Other Scores

Sassuolo continues their good form beating Hellas Verona 2-1

Lazio who is struggling to get a win of late drew Chievo Verona 0-0

Empoli and Atalanta also played to a scoreless draw 0-0

Palermo defeated Parma who are in deep trouble 2-1

Genoa who continue to impress with win of 3-0 over newly promoted Cesena

 

PS..Juventus won and Roma drew their games in the Champions League, both are well placed to advance

While Inter Milan, Torino, Fiorentina and Naples are also well placed to advance in the respective Europa League

 

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I also want to congratulate some of my favorite players Gianluca Buffon, Paul Pogba and Carlos Teves of Juventus who we’re named on the 15 man lists for each position respectively for the upcoming awards for best best players in Europe. A great honor for La grande Signora who are in my view one of the top teams in Europe both in talent and consistency, they have dominated Italian Calcio for a long time, the only trophy they have not won in for a few years years is the Champion League which they hope they can win this year

There you have it another exciting week in Serie A where the game is played with style..stay tuned