Tag Archives: Lecce

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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Serie A Thoughts: Inter Milan pushing for sixth straight Scudetto while Di Natalie keeps scoring for Udinese

Leonardo has resurrected an Inter Milan squad that looked dead in the water under Rafa Benitez. If Inter can win the game it has in hand over league leaders AC Milan then the club will be just three points a weary looking Milan side.

By Kevin Koczwara

Life looks a whole lot better for Internazionale fans since Leonardo took over and Rafa Benitez let the San Siro door smack him in the rear. The Brazilian has lead Inter Milan to four consecutive league wins, helping the club jump from sixth to fourth in the table today after a 3-2 win over Cesena.

Inter Milan’s defense hasn’t been stalwart since Leonardo arrived — the club has yet to keep a clean sheet under the Brazilian — but he has injected a new life into an attack struggling to find an identity under Benitez. The Nerazzurri managed a meager 20 goals in 15 games under the Spaniard. Compared with Leonardo’s rejuvenated Inter Milan, which hasn’t scored less than two goals under Leonardo in his five games in charge, and one can see just how much stress has lifted from the squad. In fact, Inter has scored two goals once, three goals three times, and four goals once — an impressive run for a team that looked flat for much of the Serie A season.

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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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Serie A Preview – Juve to unseat Inter

Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero are hoping to overtake Inter Milan, the five-time defending champions of Italy (Photo Courtesy James Adams)

By Kevin Koczwara

Inter Milan dominated the world of top-flight soccer last season. The club won its domestic title in Italy, Coppa Italia and the one trophy the club’s fans and ownership had been dreaming of for 60 years, the Champions League. Inter was on top of the world, and when that happens in the world of soccer, people take notice and try to build off of your success.

Inter Milan needs to find a way to handle this season without manager Jose Mourinho – the “Special One” – who bolted for Real Madrid at just days after winning the Champions League title with Milan.

Inter’s league title didn’t come without tough competition. Roma made a valiant run for the title in the later months as they strung together win after win, but it was unable to knock down the reigning and eventual champions.
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