Posts tagged Serie A
It may not get as much press as the Derby della Madonnina or Derby della Capitale (Rome versus Lazio), but the Derby della Mole is certainly one of the fiercest.
The 165th meeting between the two teams is truly a David and Goliath tie. Torino go up against Juventus on Sunday, having not won the Serie A giants in 16 occasions.
So, after all this is the oldest derby is the Serie A. Juventus first played Torino on January 13 1907, Granata’s first competitive match following their foundation the prior year. Also born the same year, was the socio-economic dimension, Torino – represented by proletariat and Juventus who are represented by bourgeoisie.
The proletariat is a term used to describe a class of wage earners, mainly industrial workers, and in this case, working in the car factories in Turin. Proletariat’s tend to earn fairly low wages and football is a way to unleash the passion. On the other hand, bourgeoisie see themselves as middle-class, typically composed of businessmen.
The question from fans around Europe ahead of the game is, “Does a derby stop being one once the rivalry becomes so one-sided that the underdog only has slim-to-no chances of winning?”
There’s no doubt that despite being in the bottom half of the Serie A, Torino will give it their all to earn bragging rights over their inter-city rivals.
“Like in a derby in any league, two teams from the same city hate each other, both teams want to be the best and some fans take their passion to extreme levels and do stupid things,” said Marco Messina, a Juventus fan living abroad.
“Torino fans feel like they truly run the city since most of the people from Torino support Torino. Whilst Juventus have a more worldwide reach and have most of their fans from other Italian regions.”
For Torino, this is the biggest match in their calendar: “The players want to give something back to the fans. Winning this for them is like winning the Scudetto,” said Messina.
The Bianconeri have been the dominant of the two teams, with Torino’s last win dating back to the 1994-95 season. Torino’s last goal against Juventus dates back to the 2001-02 season, and towards the end of the last season lost Ciro Immobile and Aleesio Cerci.
Juventus President, Andrea Agnelli famously said on Thursday said that: “Torino have not won the derby for more than 15 years.”
If there wasn’t tension before the derby, there certainly is now.
Unfortunately, Italian football is still marred by violence, with both clubs having been previously fined for vandalism and offensive chanting.
“The lack of effective leadership within the Italian Federation leads to this,” said Messina.
An incident that hit the headlines in Italy was one that happened between Inter Milan and AC Milan. Inter fans had smuggled in a moped, torched the vehicle and threw it from the upper deck to fans below. The incident has then been known as “The Holy Vespa.”
Torino have struggled of late and will do well to get any type of result at the Juventus Stadium. The visitors find themselves in 15th, having not found the back of the net in four of their previous five games.
Their counterparts however, are at the summit of the Serie A, having only lost once this season the league under Massimiliano Allegri.
Joel Obi’s second-half equaliser was enough to earn Inter Milan a point as two of Italy’s greats, Pippo Inzaghi and Roberto Mancini faced each other for the first time as managers.
A wonder goal midway through the first half was enough to give Inzaghi’s men the lead going in to half time. However, Inter battled back and equalised through Joel Obi 15 minutes in to the second half.
Zdravko Kuzmanovic told Sky Sports: “Inter needed a night like this. We didn’t communicate well at all, but in the second half we played a great match.
“We did well on the pitch, we were compact defensively and we were always ready to counter attack. Inter has to aim high, especially with our new manager. Obi? He deserved it (the goal) completely, my regards go to him.”
Both Milan clubs have struggled in the Serie A of late, and this season is no different. Milan started the game in eighth, just one point above Inter in ninth.
Mancini returned to Inter for a second spell, picking up eight trophies in four seasons. The Nerazzurri have struggled to score of late which is what ultimately cost Walter Mazzarri his job, with just 10 goals in the past nine games, after putting seven past Sassuolo on the second match day.
Previous encounters has seen just five goals scored in the previous four matches between the two sides, with neither team managing to score more than once in those fixtures.
Inter looked like a different side under the 49-year old Italian. Within the opening five minutes of the 213th Derby della Madonnina Inter pressed Milan high up the pitch, a sense of urgency from Inter as they looked to take an early lead.
Mauro Icardi looked to score his eighth of the season as a stray pass from Sulley Muntari hit the Argentinian who was through on goal before Diego Lopez smothered the ball to safety.
Jeremy Menez scored the only goal of the first half after 22 minutes following a well-executed counter-attack from the Rossoneri. The ball fell to Stephen El Shaarawy on the right-flank, whose cross found Menez and the Frenchman hit the ball first time beyond Samir Handanovic.
The opening goal seemed to have taken the intensity out of the derby as Inter could not really carve out any real opportunity, to the disgust of Mancini who was barking orders from the sideline – as they went in to the break a goal down.
Both sides started the second half like they did the first – with high intensity, putting their opponents under pressure.
Lopez was called in to action for the fourth time and the Spaniard showed why he’s number one ahead of Andre Agazzi. The Milan goalkeeper got down low to deny Mateo Kovacic an equaliser 10 minutes after the restart.
Persistence paid off for Inter as Michael Essien failed to clear his lines, the ball fell to Joel Obi on the edge of the box and the Nigerian found the bottom corner, out of Lopez’ reach.
El Shawaary had a chance 15 minutes from time for Milan, but the Italian could only find the crossbar as Inzaghi looks away in disgust – the former Milan player would have surely put that away.
Straight up the other end, Fredy Guarin’s cross found Icardi who took the ball on first time, unleashing a right-footed volley, which struck the outside of Lopez’ post.
The result means Inter remain in ninth, on 17 points whilst their counterparts move up to seventh after Udinese drew 1-1 to Chievo Verona earlier today.
AC Milan XI: Diego Lopez; Rami, Zapata, Mexes, De Sciglio; Bonaventura, Essien, Muntari, El Shaarawy; Menez; Torres.
Inter Milan XI: Handanovic; Nagatomo, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus, Dodò; Guarin, Kuzmanovic, Obi; Kovacic; Icardi, Palacio
The Derby della Madonnina returns to the Serie A for the first time this season. It’s AC Milan vs Inter Milan and RivalTalk looks at the top five players who have featured for both sides.
1. Andrea Pirlo
Whilst Andrea Pirlo is not known for his time at Inter, the deep-lying playmaker currently playing his trade for Juventus featured 22 times for the Nerazzurri.
The 35-year old claimed that he could have been a “legend” at Inter had Marcello Lippi not been dismissed from the managerial role in October 2000.
“When I see him, I am instantly reminded that, if he stayed on as Inter coach, I’d probably have become a legend there,” Pirlo said in his autobiography.
Marco Tardelli took over the reigns from Lippi and Pirlo was loaned out to Brescia after failing to impress the new coach.
“I won the European U21 Championship. Maybe he [Tardelli] did not recognise me at Inter, the fact that I never played. I suffered and wanted to scream so many times,” said Pirlo.
The Italy veteran then moved to fierce rivals, AC Milan in June 2001, three years after making his debut for Inter. Pirlo came on to become a pivotal player for Milan, lifting two Serie A titles and two Champions Leagues, before moving to Juventus.
Pirlo went on to make 284 appearances for Rossoneri in a decade, after making his €17million switch, which included Dražen Brnčić moving in the opposite direction.
During his time at Milan, Pirlo was nominated for the Ballon d’Or on two occasions, as well as World Player of the Year, in which he finished seventh.
2. Clarence Seedorf
Another Milan favourite, Clarence Seedorf played for rivals Inter Milan before making his move to the Rossoneri.
The now 38-year old, started his career at Ajax, before moving to Italian side Sampdoria, before earning a move to Real Madrid.
From here, Seedorf was almost ever-present, attracting the interest of Inter, who agreed a £21million transfer fee to take the Dutch international to the Serie A club.
Unable to bring any major silverware to Inter, Seedorf moved on to Milan in 2002, in exchange for Francesco Coco, where he would become the key player in Carlo Ancelotti’s 4-3-2-1 formation.
During his time at the San Siro, Seedorf helped Milan to the Coppa Italia in his debut season before winning the Serie A and Champions League, both on two occasions.
3. Hernan Crespo
The Argenine will be known for his two goals in the 2005 Champions League final, which will be known as one of the biggest shocks in European football, as Liverpool battled back from 3-0 down to win on penalties.
“It’s hard to forget such a game, but now I’m proud to have been part of it,” said Crespo, on loan from Chelsea at the time.
Crespo earned his move to Inter after finding the back of the net on 39 occasions in 54 games for Lazio, in a two-year spell. The Argentine only managed a season for Nerazzurri before earning a move to Chelsea, where he was loaned to Milan in 2004.
Despite scoring 20 goals for Chelsea, Crespo was struggling to adapt to English football and was loaned back to Inter in 2006, for two-seasons, before making a permanent move.
‘The Phenomenon’ joined Inter from Barcelona in the summer of 1997, where he scored 25 goals in his debut Serie A season.
The Brazilian moved to Real Madrid after scoring 49 goals in his five year Inter career, where he would then become one of the most feared strikers in the world.
Injuries ravaged the striker during his career, where he only made 127 appearances in five years for Madrid, before moving to Milan in 2007, where he spent a year.
Ronaldo is one of two players who have scored for both sides in the Derby della Madonnina, 1998-99 season for Inter and 2006-07 season for Milan.
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The Swedish striker arrived at Inter in 2006 and won three consecutive Serie A titles before earning a move to Barcelona.
Having written an autobiography, Ibrahimovic had much admiration for Jose Mourinho, whom he worked under during his time at Inter.
“Mourinho would become a guy I was basically willing to die for,” said Ibrahimovic.
Ibrahimovic found the back of the net on 57 occasions in 88 games for Inter before his move to Barcelona, which included Samuel Eto’o moving the opposite direction.
After playing under Pep Guardiola for one season, Ibrahimovic was loaned back to the Serie A, this time it was to Milan, where he would spend the season before making a permanent move to the San Siro.
On November 14, Ibrahimovic scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory against his former club, Inter Milan.
Known for his strength and finishing abilities, the Swedish striker scored 42 goals in 61 appearances for Rossoneri, whilst winning the Serie A in the 2010-11 season.