Tag: Internazionale

Match Of The Midweek: Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Internazionale

Maicon is not a bad player, by any stretch of the imagination. He didn’t win the Italian national lottery to win a place in the Inter side, and he isn’t related to Massimo Moratti. He broke through the youth system in the fiercely competitive world of Brazilian football and into the Cruzeiro team. From there he was transferred to Monaco, where he again managed to hold onto his place in the first team and attract the interest of the Italian giants, Internazionale. He has played well over one hundred games for Inter, and has won four Serie A champions and, earlier this year, the UEFA Champions League. He has also played over sixty games for Brazil. Tonight, however, Maicon was turned inside out, taken to the cleaners and eaten alive by a player that not so long ago had reached a near talismanic status after starting his first twenty-four matches for Spurs without having appeared on the winning size once. Gareth Bale only turned twenty-one just over three months ago, yet he is blossoming on one of the biggest stages of all, the UEFA Champions League, and this evening he added further strings to his bow with a performance of such accomplishment that, for all of the excitement that Spurs supporters will have over his current excelsis, the nagging doubt may start to form in the back of their...

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Match Of The Midweek: Chelsea 0-1 Internazionale

How would you feel if you were Roman Abramovich after this evening’s Champions League match between Chelsea and Inter? When he disposed of Jose Mourinho just over three years ago, it was reportedly a show of player power the likes of which the English game had seldom seen before. Mourinho, however, has never quite gone away. He remains a ghost-like presence at Stamford Bridge, clever enough to know that revenge is a dish best served cold. He was coolly pragmatic about his choice of words when he left the club. The Champions League is the trophy that Abramovich really wants, but it took until the start of this season for Abramovich to work his way through Scolari, Grant and Hiddink before finding a little stability in the form of Carlo Ancelotti. Tonight, though, was the night that Mourinho took his revenge. This may just have been the first match at which the pre and post match press conferences were as eagerly anticipated as the match itself. The press love Jose Mourinho. He is as ready with a quote as Brian Clough was at the peak of his powers, yet the applecarts that he upsets are usually inconsequential ones. Sometimes he gives the impression of talking too much and saying too little. Sometimes he leans too heavily upon playing to press expectations of what he will say. Sometimes the fake...

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Five Great European Cup Finals

If you open this morning’s newspapers, you’ll see that, in the opinion of the hacks, it’s already a foregone conclusion that this year’s European Cup final will be the greatest football match of all time. This may or may not come to pass, but it has some stiff opposition to overcome if it is to join as much as the greatest European Cup finals of all time. Although there were nine consecutive years during the 1970s and 1980s when no-one could manage more than a single goal in a European Cup final (and English teams were the worst for this – the halcyon days of English clubs in Europe featured five successive 1-0 wins for Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa between them), there have been many European Cup finals that have been breathtaking events. Here, in no particular order apart from chronological, are five of the best: 1960: Real Madrid 7-3 Eintracht Frankfurt – Real Madrid, of course, owned the European cup in its early years. They had already won the first four competitions by the time of the 1960 final, played at Hampden Park in Glasgow. The signs of greatness were already there. Real had thrashed Barcelona 6-2 over two legs in one semi-final, while Eintracht had beaten Rangers 12-4 in the other. A few weeks prior to this match England and Scotland had played out a...

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