I really can't take this shit anymore. My heart has officially thrown in the white towel. Thanks to this team, I now have Mancini, (to ask him why he made three subs so damn early) Il Capitano (for me to profess my absolute, never ending love for him.), the pizza guy (for a late night snack. ya' know?), and the newly added doctor, on speed dial. The last one is for when, not if, I collapse to the floor and have three hear attacks in a row. Seriously, this team can't keep on doing this to me. (I'll NEVER stop loving them though. So my heart will go first, before my love for this team ever will.)
It was a terrible time for some of our players to get banged up. (Really, you couldn't wait for Reggina next game to sit?) We were without Zlatan, Cordoba, Samuel, Dacourt, Cruz, and The Matrix. Yup, we were without our two best strikers and our two best CB's. Roma were also without a bit of their firepower. Mancini and Juan were both banged up. As Cici was out with a red card. The game started off very nice for the Nerazzurri. In the second minute, Stankovic, fired one right over the bar from just inside the 18. Roma then came back with a little attack of their own, but the cross was stopped by JC.
Then, in the 18th, the first true chance of the game occurred. A terrific Vieira cross met Crespo, who pulled off a terrific volley. The ball slammed off the wood-work, and rolled gingerly across the goal line. No harm done. Despite Inter's great play for a majority of the first half, Roma struck first. In the 37th minute, Totti finished a cross from Tonetto in world class fashion. Inter had a chance to tie it up heading into the locker rooms, but Burdisso couldn't keep a header down inside the six yard box.
Mancini made his first sub coming into the 2nd half, Suazo for Stankovic. the tempo remained high, and Figo had a good look at a volley, but disappointingly hit it over. Off a terrific back-heel from Totti, Perrotta played the ball to an open Aquilani. He ripped a shot, and had JC going the wrong way. But still couldn't get the ball by him, as he made a hockey like kick save. (I love you JC) Then, after making all three subs (Mancini!?!?!?!?!?!), Max went down. And didn't get up. After looking at the replays it seems as if he actually ran on the side of his foot. Ouch. I hope it's nothing serious, we have enough injury problems to worry about. Mancio decided to play 3 up front, with Vieira trying to control the middle ALONE.(Just a little side note. We don't even get a red card and we can't play with 11 men. We must really hate it.) AFTER THIS, Roma began to dominate the match.
They opened up the game, playing the ball smartly back and forth across the pitch. Too bad Mexes wasn't that smart. After going down with an injury , he was ordered off the pitch to await permission by the ref. Guess he only speaks French, because he visibly took a short cut to the sideline during play. His final blow was a dumb and uneeded (Crespo's back was to goal. C'mon.) tackle, for which he was awarded a second yellow. Then Doni made a great save on yet another chance from Crespo. Then, Il Capitano struck. He gathered a ball that bounced out from the corner, used his thigh to control it, and smashed one past Doni. As expected, the San Siro went nuts. And so did I.
Il Capitano (88)
Francesco Totti (38)
Nicolas Burdisso (51)(Y)
Mario Balotelli (90)(Y)
Rodrigo Taddei (58)(Y)
Philippe Mexes (82)(R)
Simone Perrotta (90)(Y)
Inter: A.K.A- What the fuck was Mancio thinking?
David Suazo for Dejan Stankovic (45)
Mario Balotelli for Esteban Cambiasso (58)
Pelé for Luis Figo (61)
Alberto Aquilani for David Pizarro (61)
Ludovic Giuly for Mirko Vucinic (77)
Juan for Rodrigo Taddei (86)
JC: 7.5- He could do nothing about Totti's goal, it was a great finish. However, he did save our ass a numerous amount of times. The one that has stuck in my memory is the Aquilani shot. He thought he beat JC, but he thought wrong. He swated that shit away with his feet.Looked like he imagined the ball was Torres or something. Crazy. Oh, also, the look on Aquilani's face was priceless. I think he shit his pants.
Maicon: 5.5- Eh. Vucinic had his way with him for a majority of the game. He should of laid a beat down on him once, and stopped that shit. Plus, he didn't have that big of an impact going forward either.
Chivu : 5.5- Another eh, for another defender. (Expect this to be a reoccurring theme.) He was beat by Totti on his goal, and had trouble marking all day. There were a FEW bright spots, mainly clearing the ball from corners or headers.
Burdisso : 5- I said he just had to find his stride to regain form. I also said this wasn't the game to do it in. Maybe Rivas was a better option. Had some trouble with Totti, and his confidence looked a bit shaky.
Max: 6- I would say he was our best defender on the pitch. But, again, our best defender got hurt. Our back 4 have been ravage by injuries and a lengthy one for Max would be a terrible blow.
Il Capitano: 10- Yes, I gave a perfect score. For the pefect player. Game in and game out he battles, no matter what the occasion. He is a classy player on and of the field, maybe some of his teammates should learn from him. His strike was fantastic, but we've come to expect that from him. On of the greatest Nerazzurri ever, and my favorite.
Cambiasso: 5.5- Another weak performance. He's struggled in the past 3 games, and I think he needs a rest. He's wasn't involved in the offense at all, and that's a problem.
Vieira : 6- He took a lot of shit for what he pulled in the Samp game, and deservingly so. However, he came out like a man, and played. He held his own when Manico basically left him alone in the middle. A few more games like this and I MAY stop hating him.
Figo: 6.5- What a breath of fresh air it was to see him starting again. Very creative in the midfield, and seems to be back in form. I expect to see him start in the match against Liverpool.
Stankovic: 5- Tough game for Stankovic. After last games performance against Samp, this is really a let down. He just never seemed to get into the flow of the game.
Crespo: 7- Another great performance. A terrific volley in the first half, and a great header in the second. He was all over the field, and hustled on every play.
So, after all that drama, things remain the same. The past two games have been an emotional drain for the team and fans. That is evident by some "in team" troubles. However, a match like this is just what we needed to lift our spirits again. As for Roma, this is almost as bad as a loss. The only difference is, this is harder to take. They were about 5 minutes away from making this a race to the finish, but then Il Capitano slammed the door on them. They put so much effort into this match, mentally and physically, they must be drained. There next game verses Parma is definitely a dangerous one for them.
As you can tell by the ratings, our defense was the biggest problem. This was expected, especially when I didn't see The Matrix in the lineup. Burdisso needs to find his stride before he can truly be effective, and this wasn't the game to do that. Chivu did disappoint, but I still have faith that he be a very good CB. Maicon had a sub-par day, but Max played up to the occasion. We need to sort out that back before we meet Liverpool again.
The Christmas Tree style formation, was a big surprise. However, it did work, to som extent. I was never fully effective during the game because Stankovic never found his rythm. Also, the Vieira/Cambiasso/Zanetti part of the midfield would of been great, if they played their best.
Mexes is an idiot. Period. He broke the rules. Yellow. He made an unnecessary tackle on Crespo. Yellow. End of story. (Plus, it was olny for ten minutes. So stop bitching.) On Inter's side, Balotelli was good. Not great, not decent, good. You could tell the kid was nervous, but he did show some flashes of brilliance once he got going. Along with that, I'm not sure how a Roma fan sees that they dominated the game. To me, the game went like this: 1st half- Inter dominated the first 30 minutes. (They also had more chances.) Roma dominated the last 15 minutes. (They scored a goal in those 15 minutes.) 2nd half- Both teams basically balanced, until the 65th minute. From then until Inter's goal, Roma controlled the play. They were one man up. That's the way I see it, but feel free to disagree.
Overall, I'm happy with the result. We have been ravaged by injuries, especially this game. We went a man down, again. But we fought through it all. I said this game was going to define this teams character, well it did. And things are looking great in that department. It seems as if we're on our way to another Scudetto, but there is still 13 games to play, and anything can happen. But it does seem as if we're champions again. Also, nothing like an Inter-Roma match to "ignite" the offsides. Shit, there were insults flying from around the globe. Good stuff.
MOTM: Please, I'm not even going to bother answering this.