Tag Archives: Sampdoria

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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Benitez's Bold Statements Cost Him His Job at Inter Milan

Rafa Benitez spent just six months in charge of Inter Milan before being relieved of his duties. (Courtesy DJDannyP)

By Kevin Koczwara

Oh, Rafa Benitez, you wily, old man. You’ve worn out your welcome at the San Siro with Inter Milan already. It didn’t take long. Massimo Moaratti will be pleased to rid his hair of the negative Benitez before his players become disenchanted like Yossi Benayoun and Albert Reira did at Liverpool, among others. It took just six months.

It took a lot longer for the former Valencia boss to do the same at Liverpool – demanding transfer funds and saying he has no support from his bosses. Eventually, the board there had enough of the managers antics,and Benitez found himself unemployed. Now, speaking out again about transfer money and poor league form cost Rafa another job, his second in less than a year.

Inter Milan needed a new manager when Jose Mourinho bolted for Real Madrid after securing an unprecedented treble and winning the club’s first UEFA Champions League trophy since 1964. Benitez made improvements at Liverpool during his time there one – cannot forget he did lead the team to glory in the 2005 Champions League.

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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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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading – August 25, 2010

Claudio Pizzaro (center) celebrates with teammates after he scored in the 105th minute against Sampdoria on Tuesday to send Werder Bremen through to the Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League. (Photo Courtesy Deutsche Welle)

Deutsche Well – Werder Bremen completes massive comeback to qualify for Champions League Group Stage

Werder Bremen completed massive come back against Sampdoria on Tuesday to earn a bid to the UEFA Champions League Group Stage. After defeating the Italian club 3-1 in the first leg last week, Bremen fell behind 3-0 on Tuesday, which put them behind 4-3 on aggregate. However, a strike in the 93rd minute from Markus Rosenberg tied the clubs 4-4 and sent the match to extra time. In the 105th minute, Claudio Pizzaro scored for Bremen to seal the its place the 32-team group stage.

The Guardian – Robinho refuses to play in Turkey

Brazilian Robinho has turned down contracts Turkish sides Fenerbahce and Besiktas after deciding life in the country was not for him. The forward spent most of the summer embroiled in a struggle to remain with Brazilian side Santos before Manchester City demanded he return from extended loan spell. However, City’s summer spending spree deemed him expendable. After refusing to sign in Turkey, Robinho claimed he prefers to sign with an Italian or Spanish side, as many of his countrymen have succeeded in both nations.
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