An extremely interesting few games were played out, and they show a few things about the team which might win the scudetto. Inter Milan, Roma, and AC Milan all played out their second match-day games, and while the nerazzurri won, the other two title contenders lost.
Inter Milan didn’t have too much difficulty against Udinese, they played at the San Siro, and they were in front by the seventh minute. It was Lucio who found the back of the net from a corner, the Brazilian controlled at the far post, then smashed the ball where Handanovic wasn’t. Udinese tried to make things interesting around the half hour mark with Floro Flores scoring a very nice header. But inevitably, Inter Milan found the winner thanks to Samuel Eto’o.
Rafa Benitez’s men earned a penalty, and the Camerun striker had his shot saved, but he followed up quickly to hide any possible humiliation of missing a penalty. From there, Inter dominated the rest of the match, only suffering with Udinese’s quick counter-attacks. In the final minutes Benitez decided to take off Milito, who was disappointing, and put on Muntari, shifting Eto’o to the center. This is where the forward thrived and hit the post in the dying minutes, almost making it 3-1 for Rafa Benitez, who will probably be glad with this victory.
AC Milan found things a little harder away at Cesena, but the nation was waiting to see Ibrahimovic play alongside Pato, Ronaldinho, and maybe Robinho. The Swede was given the start, while Robinho started from the bench. Milan began by playing great football, an attacking style which utilized Pato’s speed and dribbling ability. But the rossoneri weren’t able to conclude anything, and Cesena were beginning to gain confidence in front of their fans.
It was in the 31st minute that the shock goal arrived, a well worked play which set up Bogdani with a header was what made the Stadio Dino Manuzzi explode into joy. Then Massimiliano Allegri’s team was shell-shocked again right before the half, this time it was the lightning fast Giaccherini who with a long range finish punished Abbiatti’s bad goalkeeping. It was the perfect finish from a long run which the AC Milan defense couldn’t end, the ball pinged off the post and into the back of the net, sending all of the Cesena fans, staff, and players into dreamland.
The second half began and AC Milan were desperate for a goal. They fed long balls up to Ibrahimovic who couldn’t do much as he was surrounded by a swarm of white Cesena shirts. Allegri tried to go for the super-sub option by taking of Ronaldinho and putting on Robinho, but the new Brazilian found himself surrounded by his teammates which were slightly out of ideas and breath.
But the golden chance arrived for AC Milan, in the final minutes of the match, they were awarded a penalty. Ibrahimovic stepped up to take it, but he sent his curling effort onto the post, ruining the day for any anti-Inter fans. In the end, Allegri was forced to put on Inzaghi, and the 37 year-old turned out to be the best player for AC Milan. But the match ended 2-0 for Cesena, and after two games against Roma and AC Milan, the newly promoted side has been able to overachieve and grab four points. AC Milan on the other hand have slightly under-achieved with this loss, letting Inter slip just a little farther away.
Roma were truly humiliated, while AC Milan lost 2-0 and missed a penalty, Roma were defeated 5-1 away at Cagliari. And there will be plenty of joy for Inter fans since their ex-player Nicolas Burdisso, who decided to leave the nerazzurri for Roma this summer, gave Cagliari a penalty, and was sent off in the early stages of the match.
But lets take this match from the beginning: Cagliari went ahead in the 8th minute thanks to a stunning volley by Daniele Conti, a contender for goal of the season. Ten minutes later Roma equalized with De Rossi, and the comeback seemed imminent from Ranieri’s side. It was in the 22nd minute when Nicolas Burdisso charged with a two footed tackle in the penalty area into Conti’s legs, earning a direct red card, and giving Cagliari a penalty. Matri scored from the spot, putting his side in front as they now had to face ten-man Roma.
In the 38th minute, Acquafresca headed a looped ball from Biondini’s pinpoint cross over Julio Sergio to score the third goal for Cagliari, which would be followed by two others. Matri headed the fourth goal, and then Lazzari tapped in the fifth and final goal, giving Roma a humiliating 5-1 loss.
It’s really interesting to see how people have been doubting Inter Milan, and touting AC Milan and Roma for the title. Now we see that the nerazzurri truly have the consistency in their team, even when all players aren’t playing well. What are your thoughts on these three games? Are they just small blips for AC Milan and Roma? Share your thoughts by commenting below!