Tag Archives: Fiorentina

Cavani helps Napoli keep pace in a wild weekend in Serie A

By Jonathan Gold

Edinson Cavani is probably the actual father of your children. There, I said it. It’s out in the open. I know, it was kind of a shock, but the way your kid scored seven goals in his last three youth league games probably should have been a dead giveaway.

But of course, I’m exaggerating for effect. Edinson Cavani has only scored eight in his last six and is only leading Serie A’s scoring charts by two goals. Ho-hum. His brace against Roma last Sunday started with a comic penalty that managed to ping-pong off both posts (though it clearly crossed the line) and went from the ridiculous to the sublime when Cavani raided the gap between Cassetti and Rosi to stick home a cross from Paolo Cannavaro.

It was great cross from Cannavaro, no doubt, but it was topped by the one Juventus’ Frederic Sorenson, who swept imperially onto the head of Allesandro Matri, who, as they say, made no mistake. If you haven’t seen that one, find it immediately; just a beautiful, twisting scimitar of a cross.

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A fool's guide to an unpredictable weekend across Europe (except for Spain)

By Jonathan Gold

Manchester United’s completely unpredictable 1-0 win over Liverpool – sorry Kevin – and Spurs’ similarly shocking triumph over mighty Charlton were FA Cup fixtures reminding us of how dire the competition can be, but there were a couple of real surprises this weekend in the oldest cup tournament in the world.

Arsenal 1 – 1 Leeds United

While it’s not, you know, outside the realm of possibility for Arsenal to be stumped by lower-level opposition who outwork it and close down aggressively, the Gunners have been on a roll of late, after an important win over Chelsea and a disappointing draw with Manchester City that they nonetheless dominated utterly. However, Leeds led for much of the second half and were denied the win only by a very late penalty from Fabregas.

Manchester City 2 – 2 Leicester City

Anytime the lower-league club pulls it out over a top-flight competitor – particularly one whose team cost approximately 963 times more than the opposition – it’s fun to watch. And, somewhat surprisingly for a game involving Manchester City, it actually was a good one to watch, as Leicester leapt on City’s pallid defense, scoring in the first minute and pulling level again midway through the second half. For a team full of wildly expensive defenders and defensive midfielders, City really was shocking at the back and could easily have lost.

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Liverpool In Transit

Courtesy Myo Kyaw Htun

By Kevin Koczwara

News coming from Liverpool’s home base, Anfield, hasn’t usually been the most uplifting news for a few years now. Owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks took on an investment too big for their bite that only got worse after the global economy tanked. Investors have come and gone in droves. Players have been upset by management and have been rumored to move during each transfer window with a lack of potential transfers moving to Anfield being slim.

This summer Rafa Benetiz was asked to leave his post at the club and then signed on to take over Jose Mourinho’s vacant post at Inter Milan, which are some heavy and big shoes to fill. The club was in flux and there seemed to be no end to transfer rumors for their talisman players (Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres), a shortage of cash, again, and a real limited supply of eligible, affordable, and qualified managers in the market to replace Benetiz — who really did need to go after he alienated much of the squad.

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Blue vs Red…Time to Pick Up Pieces

Petr Cechs suspension could have dire affects on Chelseas chances to win on Sunday against Liverpool. His prescene in net is huge for the Blues; he solidifies their strong backline.  (Courtesy Wikicommons.

Petr Cech's suspension could have dire affects on Chelsea's chances to win on Sunday against Liverpool. His presence in net is huge for the Blues; he solidifies their strong back-line. (Courtesy Wikicommons.)

By Kevin Koczwara

What to Watch

Liverpool v Chelsea (Sunday) at Stamford Bridge

The two teams have played enough times in the last few years to know what color their opponents underwear is. This is a clash of defensive minded and strong Chelsea versus the attack and flair of Liverpool. And both teams need to win to keep pace with the surging Manchester City and the steady Manchester United.

If last years Champions League clash between the teams is reenacted at all, then fans are in for a treat. The games ran down to the last minute with both sides powering in goals, tackling hard, and pushing their bodies to limits that were unknown. As a football fan, the clashes between the Blues of Chelsea and Red of Liverpool is a highlight in my schedule every year.

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Giants Stumble in Europe

Daniel Agger is finally healthy. His addition to the Liverpool defense will surely be a lift because right now it is struggling to keep opponents from scoring. (Courtesy Wikicommons.

Daniel Agger is finally healthy. His addition to the Liverpool defense will surely be a lift because right now it is struggling to keep opponents from scoring. (Courtesy Wikicommons.

By Kevin Koczwara

Liverpool Lose in Florence

It is a staggering scoreline: Liverpool 0-2 Fiorentina.

Rafa Benetiz cannot explain it. Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard cannot understand or defend it. As for the defense, they have looked like Babe in the Big City all year long–they have one clean sheet, a 5-0 win against the struggling attack of Stoke. And they can’t explain their struggles.

Liverpool went into the match confident, and Fiorentina had had a few “sleepless nights” after seeing the Reds put up six easy goals against Hull in the weekend. But none of it mattered on the pitch on Tuesday as Fiorentina scored two goals in less than 10 minutes, putting the visiting Reds on their backs like a hapless turtle.

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Champions League Live Blog Experience

By Kevin Koczwara

Today The Soccer Guys are going to do something unprecedented. I am not going to write a column, a news wrap, or anything of the sort. I am going to Live Blog the Liverpool vs Debrecen game and (this is a bold and) update the scores of other games that are being played. Lots of computer screen watching, television watching and the likes today for a few hours. But it will be done.

So check back in around 2:20 p.m. (est) for all the news and happenings before the game. Should be a doozy of a day.

2:30 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel has an interview with Lucas…don’t know why. But it is good filler.

2:35 Line-ups announced:

Liverpool Debrecen

25 Pepe Reina (G)                   (G) Vukasin Poleksic 1

37 Martin Skrtel (CD-L)       (CD-L) N Meszaros 17

23 Jamie Carragher (CD-R)       (CD-R) Adam Komlósi 16

22 Emiliano Insua (LB)          (LB) Marcell Fodor 21

2 Glen Johnson (RB)                (RB) Laszlo Bodnar 10

21 Lucas (CM-L)                      (CM-L) Zoltán Kiss 30

8 Steven Gerrard (CM-R)    (CM-R) Luis Ramos 6

11 Alberto Riera (LM)            (LM) Péter Szakály 55

15 Yossi Benayoun (RM)                 (RM) Peter Czvitkovics 77

9 Fernando Torres (CF-L)            (ST) Adamo Coulibaly 39

18 Dirk Kuyt (CF-R)        (RCF) Leandro 4

2:40 Cesc Fabergas is starting in the Arsenal game. Big news for Arsenal Fans, but no Arsharvin yet.

2:45 Notably no Mascherano on the Liverpool side. His fitness for this weekend’s game is now in question.

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