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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"I’d like to play for an Italian club... like Barcelona."

Well, TDH was watching Milan v Barca and simultaneously wishing that Villa could strip a few points off Wigan. It didn't happen, but at least the big match of the night had some entertaining moments.

You wouldn't have predicted it, though, after the first 20 minutes or so. A few crummy tackles and the game was starting to turn into another grinder in the Barca v Chelsea mold. Fortunately, things opened up a bit afterwards and into the second half.

Despite the uniqueness of the Italian style of play, there were parallels aplenty. Both teams were clearly capable of attractive football. Both teams had large Brazilian contingents, in a bizarre mirroring of the Argentine tie between Villareal and Inter Milan. Both missed makeable free kicks, too, via L'il Ron and Pirlo. After Giuly finally converted, the game was wide-open. Ol' Blue Eyes finally came on, supposedly to allow Fattuso to get forward. And later, both teams put on a blond striker with a headband.

By that time, however, Barca had turned into a vast, Brazilian triangle factory. Ronaldinho to Belletti to Motta to Edmilson to Samueletinho to Vanbommelinho.... They tiddled the ball around Goon-Show-like, and in the dying minutes Maxinho (of the blond hair and headband) even chose to dribble into the corner rather than take a wide-open shot on Dida. Inho.

Milan didn't play badly for a team coached by a railroad hobo. But TDH's big question for Mara is, what happened to the vaunted Milan wingmen? The service for Sheva and Gilardino just wasn't coming in from the sides of the pitch. They can't count on Pirlo's through balls all the time. It'll be interesting to see how the hobo mixes things up for the Camp Nou.


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

firstly, to adjust your analysis. Paolo came on so that Serginho could get forward and run at the defence from wide on the left; this is the same ploy that led to the two late goals against Lyon (and, bafflingly, no-one has commented on; but once Carlo did that, they stretched the lyon defence like bubblegum).

Secondly, the other substitution was ridiculous, because Ambrosini, the blond with the headband is actually a DMC.

as for the width, guilty as charged. Sergio was subdued and Cafu insufficiently fit for 90 minutes. But I still think we did enough for a draw, what with the glaring misses by Gila, and Valdes' point blank save from Sheva.

Barca will prolly go through, but if we can score first in Camp Nou, its all to play for.

12:26 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

What is a DMC? Defensor-mediocampista, i.e. defensive midfielder? Half of a legendary rap group? (I'm the King of Rock, there is none higher; the sucker MC's, they call me sire....) I assume you meant the former. Yeah, I don't understand why he came on, either. But he did try to get forward.

1:18 AM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

A DM playing in the C... but he does have prior when it comes to late goals in europe...

(I wonder if Ancelotti summoned him from the bench by howling 'Walk this way!'?)

9:19 AM  

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