The Coppa Italia ends almost anticlimactically 2-0 for the hosts in Black and Blue. But there was so much more happening this week that it merited a round up.
Inter 2 –
The game started out the way one should have expected by us by now: surprising starting roster with a decent amount of turnover and a few youth players sprinkled in. That’s the Inter MO for cup games now.
And I am not complaining.
Chivu, returning to the field after a lengthy layoff looked as good as can be expected considering that his athleticism has been falling precipitously for years now and he’s coming off a long layoff. But against a Serie B team he was more or less fine. Silvestre was what we came to expect from him lately – not too convincing but not catastrophic. Rumors are that Inter aren’t thrilled with what they are getting and that he’ll move at some point. I don’t disagree but I feel bad for him because he needs – like everyone else at this club – time to settle and time to play. He’s hasn’t gotten much of that and it shows. Juan looked powerful and confident as usual. The pairing of Palacio and Cassano was nice to watch, especially in the second half when they were warmed up and it looked like
Inter did the usual in the first half, which is to withstand the other team trying to blitz us and put us down. In the second half when the emotion ran out and the legs got heavier Inter went to work. Guarin came on for Mariga and the pairing with
Guarin as is becoming usual lately has been the energy part of the equation in the chemistry of this team. He has tremendous amount of enthusiasm and personality to just jump off the field and hit you in the brain. What a change from earlier this season when we were all wondering where that enthusiasm was, remember?
So, Guarin masterminds if not scores both goals and Cassano and Palacio in true competitive spirit try to make something of their own three or four times as well.
Castellazzi got injured at one point in the second but waved the bench off when it looked like Belec was going to come on. Strama apparently took that to heart and made a third sub to take off Cassano, probably in light of the
In thrilling 1-2 game in which I caught the last two goals of before passing out right in front of the computer after a very early/bad at work, Bologna surprised Napoli away from home to volunteer themselves as the next Inter opponent for the competition.
To be honest, I was not looking forward to facing
Roma v Fiorentina
Europa League Draw
Inter have drawn CFR Cluj in the next round of the Europa. If we were beat them over two legs we get to face the winner of the Tottenham –
For those unfamiliar with
Since their ownership changed in the early 00s, Cluj has been a major force in Romanian football including trips into the Champions League and the Europa League. Three or four years ago they had an incredible group stage appearance in which they beat Roma and had a draw with
For those who are interested Livaja is joint 3rd on top goal scorers for the competition (Palacio, and everyone else in the world is joint 4th with 3), Fredy Guarin is joint 1st in the competition in assists with 3. But there are still as many games to play as Inter have already played, I think, so there is a looooong way to go yet.