Euro Football Rundown: Memorable moments from the Weekend
LastWordOnSports is proud to announce a new column, “Euro Football Run-Down“.
Tired of sifting through dozens of sites looking for the football news that matters in a relatively compact package? That is exactly what Euro Football Run-down will solve each Tuesday morning. Essentially, we scour the weekend’s news stories, and find what we believe are the most important from around Europe’s biggest leagues, storied clubs and its most celebrated athletes.
Without further ado, the “RUN-DOWN”!
5) Juventus defeats AC Milan to lift Trofeo Berlusconi
Favoured to repeat the scudetto triumph from last year, Juve stood up to the occasion to make their intentions known and that is that the Old Lady will be relentless once again when the new season begins. La vecchia signora battered the Diavolo 3-2. Although the scoreline may hint otherwise, the Juventini were very much in control of the match and ran out deserved victors. The Trofeo Berlusconi is a traditional friendly normally between Milan and Juventus. Out of the past 22 editions, the Rossoneri faced off with the Bianconeri 19 times. After Sunday’s victory, Juve has now won ten times against Milan’s nine – so it’s pretty even. The superstition attached to this encounter is that the winner normally does not win the Italian Serie A. Last year, Allegri’s men won 2-1 and ended up losing the scudetto to Mr. Conte and Co. (Juve). Should the Old Lady be worried this time around?
Roberto Mancini has long been an admirer of the Roma-native midfielder and would love to have ‘il capitan futuro’ at the helm sooner rather than later. It is thought that Man City has offered AS Roma £31 million for his services and £7 million per year salary to the player. Very tempting, isn’t it? There aren’t too many professionals around who would refuse such a lucrative deal. Giallorossi head coach, Zdenek Zeman, has communicated his desire to keep hold of DDR as he is a major part of the project in Rome. Sunday, during the Roma – Aris Salonika (Greece) friendly, the fans held out banners expressing their feelings about the possible transfer. Today, the Italian media is suspecting that DDR will proclaim his love for his hometown and reject Man City’s offer. What a refusal it would be.
3) Barcelona’s bang to start of new campaign already leaves Real Madrid behind
The Blaugrana began life without Pep Guardiola on the bench and unsurprisingly defeated Real Sociedad 5-1 at the Camp Nou. At the 16th minute mark, it was already 3-1 with goals from Carles Puyol and a brace from Lionel Messi. Pedro added a fourth before half, while David Villa shot the final nail in the coffin at the 86th minute. Very satisfying indeed for new coach Tito Vilanova to have Puyol and Villa back from lengthy injury layoffs and scoring goals already. This will certainly open the eyes of Real Madrid coach, Jose Mourinho, whose side drew 1-1 after leading on 10 minutes with a Gonzalo Higuain opener. The Portuguese tactician is content with the point as Los Blancos controlled the play, but feels his players should have won and knows they can give more. Certainly, with the players he has at his disposal, Mr. Mourinho will surely defend his title from Barcelona seeing that Spain’s La Liga is pretty much a two-team league anyway!
After spending €140 million in the 2012 summer transfer market, star-studded PSG was only able to earn a draw on day 1 of Ligue 1 last week. Shockingly down 2-0 against 10-men Lorient at home stadium ‘Parc des Princes’, the Parisians were saved by new €20 million signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic who bagged two goals on his debut to save PSG from an embarrassing loss. On day 2, PSG were held again to a scoreless draw this time to lowly AC Ajaccio – a side that has only been in the top flight for one year. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has spoken publicly of his disappointment but, at the same time, is remaining calm and is satisfied of the ‘progress’ made so far. Progress? Really? Its going to be a long process. PSG currently sit in 9th spot with two points.
1) Citizens win without Sergio ‘El Kun’ Aguero
No Aguero, no problem? Man City boss Roberto Mancini looked worried on the sidelines when Aguero went down in agonizing pain and had to be substituted at the 14th minute with Edin Dzeko. Really? Did anyone read that statement correctly? Worried – with the players Mancini has? Well, maybe he worried a little. But then David Silva missed a penalty on 17 minutes. Was the worry-meter rising then? Perhaps a little more? No? Ok. How about after Southampton took a 2-1 lead after Carlos Tevez bagged the go-ahead? Surely, it was time to worry then. Are you kidding? No worries at all! Give the ball to Dzeko and he’ll equalize, and then give it to Samir Nasri and he’ll put it in for the victory. The match ended 3-2 for Mancini’s boys. In all seriousness, the coach has expressed his concern for the Argentine who scored 30 goals in his debut season in the EPL last term and fears he will be out of action for a long while with a suspected twisted knee. Reports suggest that Mario Balotelli also went down holding his knee in pain during a six-on-six cool-down match between ranks. Without ‘El Kun’ and Balo, it is indeed a worrying situation for Man City especially with Dzeko and Tevez in the starting line-up – did you catch the sarcasm there?
…and that’s the last word.