Monday, March 01, 2010

Italy February 2010

Juventus 0 Ajax 0 in the Europa League.

Juventus had a 2-1 lead going into this second leg game and they completed the job reasonably comfortably in the Stadio Olimpico.

Ajax brought their hardcore ultras who I joined for a short while as they walked along 'Green Street' (Via Sacchi) towards the ground.

The away section was full and overall the crowd, 16,400, was pretty good for a Juventus Europa League match.
The Italians should have wrapped it up in the first half as they came close with a number of headers.
Ajax did play better in the second period when Juve consolidated to preserve their advantage.

Christian Eriksen, a recognised talent, showed good feet and the occasional shot but Ajax lacked a cutting edge.
It was only when Manninger, in for Buffon, had a couple of uneasy moments that the Dutch might have had some hope.

Vicenza 0 Citadella 2 in Serie B.

A local derby involving two teams in mid-table watched by around 8,000.

The stadium is of medium size, mainly open, with a covered main stand. The fans from Cittadella were in the left hand end and their counterparts in the better occupied end to the right.

Though the home side benefited from some good passing by Sgrigna it was Cittadella who took the lead after a defensive error allowed Carteri through to be brought down for a penalty, from which Pesoli scored.

Vicenza developed some pressure and missed a good chance near the end but the away side sealed the win with a last minute breakaway goal by the impressive Iunco.

Incidentally Vicenza produced at least three 'newspaper' style programmes and one official version.

Padova 0 Torino 1 in Serie B.

Despite Padova being second from bottom a decent crowd turned out on a sunny but coldish afternoon.

The 'programme' commemorated a game played in February 1949 between the two sides which ended 4-4. The Torino team was then 'Il Grande Torino' the great Turin side that would perish some months later in the Superga plane tragedy.

This (lesser) Torino team had support from a small group of ultras, far less than Ajax, but they looked somewhat similar except the Italians had sunglasses.

Their team got the win in the second half after top scorer Bianchi was put through to shoot home.

Though the Padova leading scorer Di Nardo worked hard up front the home side couldn't manage an equaliser and the fans went home disappointed.

I'd walked the good 45 minutes or so from the station to the stadium but took the bus back even though it was, as a helpful Padova fan said 'sempre ritardo'. Nevertheless I made my train.

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