Category: Soccer

Ronaldo jumped up to 2m56 when he headed a score

Cristiano Ronaldo leaps half a body above the Sampdoria defender, to score the winner for Juventus in Seria A on December 18.

45 minutes, Alex Sandro cross from the left wing towards the far post of Sampdoria. The ball went so high that the home defender decided not to bounce. But Cristiano Ronaldo still rushed into the 5m50 area, jumped so high that his knee was almost equal to the opponent’s, then definitely increased the score to 2-1.

“The Portuguese superstar showed off his super sports ability. He jumped as high as 2m56, stopped in the air for 1.5 seconds, before scoring the winning match,” Sports Mail (UK) described.

Ronaldo jumped up to 2m56 high when he headed home to score

After the match, coach Maurizio Sarri constantly praised Ronaldo: “I have nothing to say about that goal of Ronaldo. I can not believe it is so beautiful. I had to swear off the border.”

Meanwhile, coach Sampdoria, Claudio Ranieri also expressed admiration: “Ronaldo did what we often see in the American Professional Basketball (NBA). He seemed to stop in the air for an hour and a half. Admiring that goal, you can say nothing but congratulating Ronaldo”.

After the match, Ronaldo posted a shot high on the head of defender Sampdoria on his personal Twitter page, with the caption: “CR7 Air Jordan”. This is an expression used by fans to talk about basketball legend Michael Jordan before he scored every time.

In the second half, Ronaldo was also denied a goal against Sampdoria for offside. Even so, his head-on masterpiece still helped “Old Lady” to the top of the table, with three points more than Inter and played more than one match.

Yesterday was also a special day for goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. He equaled Paolo Maldini’s record 647 matches in Serie A, and surpassed Alessando Del Piero in the number of games played in Serie A for Juventus (479 matches).

Napoli travel to incosistent Torino

Napoli the fourth place travel to a tricky Torino squad, that are looking to rebound from its most recent loss.

Two teams

Napoli did win 2-1 against Brescia Calcio in their last Serie A match but in their UEFA Champions League clash midweek they had a very disappointing 0-0 draw against K.R.C Genk. If Napoli wants to move up the Serie A, Torino will prove a tough task for the Partenopei but in order to keep pace with the likes of Atalanta B.C, Internazionale, and Juventus FC standings they must continue to string together some victories.

Their Sunday opponents, Torino F.C have had have also had some ugly matches despite some very impressive ones thus far in Serie A. Coming off a loss to Parma Calcio 1913 with 3-2, Torino will need a much better effort to defeat against a much stronger SSC Napoli team.

Injury 

Coach Carlo Ancelotti and the Partenopei will be without the injured duo of Lorenzo Tonelliand Nikola Maksimovic. Also, Kalidou Koulibaly their top centre-back will be missing the match due to suspension.

Torino have had no listed injuries, so that except for suspended centre-back Bremer coach Walter Mazzarri should have everyone available.

Most watched players

In the summer Llorente joined Napoli on a free transfer and certainly he has proved that he can still play. Former Tottenham Hotspur FC Tthe 34-year-old player has added already one assist in just four Serie A appearances and scored two goals. Insigne has collecting four assists and three goals in his five Serie A appearances and quietly put together a very good start to the season. Look for Insigne to exploit Torino’s trio of centre-backs by using his pace down the wing.

Midfielder Belotti has collected five goals in that time when he started all six of Torino’s matches. Baselli has contributed two assists as he has also started all six matches. He is there and is not afraid of joining the attack. He moves the ball well when he can for more than just assists though.

All the facts you should know about AC Milan’s new head coach Stefano Pioli (Part 4)

Put high press

Pioli’s teams tend to up the pitch to increase the pressure on the defending team to move as many players as possible by vercrowding the opposition’s half.

Pioli usually pushes his entire team high then even more to enhance the pressure whilst out of possession. Pioli’s teams are notorious for pressing on the opponents to win the ball back as high up in the pitch as possible using furious and immense. The pressing also continues in possession.

It also relies on Pioli’s players to create something which need enough creativity and not just stand on the opposition half. This is not accomplishing anything with the possession, very tiring for a defence to be exposed to repeatedly, knocking the ball from side to side.

Develop the youth

Pioli is an excellent manager when it comes to maximising the potential of his squad and developing his young players.

Throughout his years at Fiorentina, Inter and Lazio, Pioli has especially improving his young players and had really good results at man-managing his players. The most obvious is the rise under Pioli’s reign at Viola of Federico Chiesa at Fiorentina on the list.

There was Felipe Anderson, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Nikola Milenkovic, and Keita Baldé At Lazio, plus he helped nurture Giovanni Simeone at Fiorentina.

The 53-year-old coach is also really good at getting the best out of his senior players such as Antonio Candreva, Lucas Biglia, Jordan Veretout, Cristiano Biraghi, Marco Parolo and Luis Muriel.

Pioli also historically has not taken too long at implementing his ideas and is capable of quickly instilling in a squad a good atmosphere. His biggest accomplishment is finishing seventh in Serie A which hasn’t impressed the past three seasons. He can duplicate that 2015-16 season that gave Lazio the third place, yet one can hope that this criticism motivates and fires on Pioli even more to succeed at Milan.

All the facts you should know about AC Milan’s new head coach Stefano Pioli (Part 3)

Weaknesses

Pioli’s tactics has a weakness that he do not prepare a plan B. You can rely on overcrowding the opponents half and intense pressing, but Pioli doesn’t seem to have any other alternative plan to go to when that doesn’t work, no matter in-game situation or which opponent.

The oppositions now are quick to resolve to a defending and low-block deep because they know how Pioli plays due to his worrying tactical inflexibility. Then a manager cannot solve that issue by relying on his players with individual brilliance. Maybe not over the course of an entire season in an in-game situation or single game.

The man-marking system he uses also receives some concerns. Pioli removes every safety net by assigning an opponent to mark to every outfield player.

His opponent then has no obstacles to motor forwards if one of his players misses losses a runner or a tackle. In the first Coppa Italia match against Atalanta Josip Iličić provided the most clear example, and there were also countless others, especially in the midfield role.

Pioli’s biggest pitfalls are the man-marking comes and explosive pressure.

Pioli’s teams have tended at getting past low-blocks to struggle while in possession on the opponents half. For example, teams who defend with all ten players behind or sometimes with the ball two banks of four.

Perhaps it was Pioli’s ideas that were lacking  or this can explain because his players weren’t creative enough to know how to get past them.

One thing is for certain: Pioli leaves his team vulnerable for counters due his utilization of many players to overcrowd the opposition half teams and he struggled against teams which sit deep in the past.

Multiple times opponents ping a ball long in behind Pioli’s defence that is often unable to recover the situation after looking for the right time to regain the ball and having ended up with their low-block suffering through the intense pressure.

All the facts you should know about AC Milan’s new head coach Stefano Pioli (Part 2)

Personality

Stefano Pioli is having an incredible personality despite may be lacking past success in form of top placements in the table and trophies. This is one thing you can’t fault him for and very striking to Gennaro Gattuso is surprisingly enough.

Pioli is a very caring and empathic human being. He creates an affectionate and deep bond with his players so many players admire about him.

There are many signs of his kindness, like just to be the first one new players talk to by meeting up them at the train stations or airport in the middle of the night. All of his honesty, kindness, grace and empathy combines into his players who are ready to go to war for him. He has also bought sandwiches for fans who stopped to serenade him at a gas station as a sign of appreciation.

Pioli has also never been one to refuse for responsibility. He has always been the first one to take the blame when the team goes through rough spells or a common denominator from wherever he has been.

Even if it is the fault of his players, he never lets them become solely accountable. It’s a really admirable personality trait whose much like Rino Gattuso. This can probably explain why his players are so keen on him.

But above all, when Davide Astori’s shocking and tragic death in 2017, Pioli handled the situation surrounding that we simply can’t forget. Stefano Pioli was a supporting pillar in the middle of the darkness and a beacon of light during one of Fiorentina’s darkest moments in their history.

He is seen as a icon simply and club legend by many Fiorentina supporters because of the way he brought through it all with his impressive grace and empathy to the team, fans and the city of Florence. As a tribute to his former captain and late friend, Pioli put a tattoo “DA13” on his arm.

All the facts you should know about AC Milan’s new head coach Stefano Pioli (Part 1)

It’s official announced that this summer just over a 100 days after the former got signed, Stefano Pioli has replaced Marco Giampaolo as AC Milan’s manager.

This article will give you more information about the new coach, his personality, formations and tactics, his strengths and weaknesses here belows.

A man-marking approach

When defending Pioli often opts for a man-marking approach instead of the zonal-marking approach. One thing is for certain and that is that it demands bigger responsibility from the defenders so it’s a risk although this has its ups and downs.

There is often not a team-mate there to cover the ground which you’ve just given your opponent, as if you lose your man. This puts increased pressure on his defenders who can not make any mistakes.

His formation

Between 2014-2017 during his tenures with Lazio and Inter Milan, Pioli’s favorite team deployment is a 4-2-3-1, especially when he coached the latter. However, after succeeding Paulo Sousa Pioli switched formation into an attacking 4-3-3 when he took over Fiorentina.

The two formations have been similar that he seem to prefer alternatively great crossers and two fast and technical wingers. There’s usually a complete striker which is skilled at scoring through headers and with both feet centrally between the wingers. During his Fiorentina days Giovanni Simeone occupied and in Inter Mauro Icardi played that role perfectly.

Occasionally at the back Stefano Pioli has used different variations of three. This has mainly been against two types of opponent: Firstly, lower table teams to have as many players as possible on the opponents half where Pioli’s team can play possession based. Secondly, he needs to rely on counters with those that are playing possession and ball moving based football.

Man City – the brightest candidate for the Premier League champion (Part 4)

Benitez neutralized the midfield space to force Man City to play wide, ensuring there were not too many gaps between defense and second line, and kept Guardiola’s players as far away from Newcastle as possible.

Claude Puel, who helped Leicester defeat Man City in the Premier League and drew them to the League Cup, has another priority. “You have to accept you don’t have the ball,” he said. “The first touch, the first pass after you regain the game, is very important. It has to be on the front line.”

Puel’s squad in the last two City games was not entirely the players who only chased and intercepted. He picked out people with good technical qualities to play “safely” under the terrifying pressure of City. Puel told the students not to risk losing the ball with long passes or lucky kicks, because those things only made them “suffer another attack.”

Instead, Puel said, he asked Leicester to play “two, three, four passes, one or two touches, fast and quality, to open up space,” in order to break the pressure from the City. It was not his favorite game. “I’m not interested in matches like that,” Puel said. “But adaptation, here, is the key to survival.”

This season, Man City promises to be even more perfect, because Guardiola is constantly looking for perfection. They will become a formidable opponent more than last year. Benítez and Puel colleagues will have to find a way to follow them.

Pochettino also with Tottenham eliminated Man City from the Champions League last season, in a crazy game in the second leg. But Pochettino also understands: defeating Guardiola in the Champions League and in the Premier League are two completely different things. He will have a headache before a rematch with Pep. There is so much to do, including … burning candles!

Man City – the brightest candidate for the Premier League champion (Part 3)

Liverpool can maintain their form last season, although this is not certain. They still depend too much on Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – the trio plowed through the previous season, and have just spent a summer tired of attending CAN and Copa America. Klopp’s registration list for this season is not much different from last season, with only one reserve goalkeeper added. The Champions League championship will put Liverpool on a stretch for the FIFA Club World Cup in December – the toughest month in the Premier League. The intense schedule at that time would set Klopp with a difficult problem.

If Liverpool lose their feet, Tottenham are likely to be the most fierce competitors. Tottenham are excited to be kicked on the new stadium. They had three more new recruits: Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon, Giovani Lo Celso of Real Betis and Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon. But last season, Tottenham finished with 27 points behind Man City.

The challenge may still come from other teams, but whether a Chelsea is struggling because of a ban on transfer, a Man Utd with a confusing transfer policy, a real Arsenal has strengthened but not enough to overthrow Man City ? Mourinho recently stated: “Only four teams that are capable of winning the Premier League this season: Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Man City’s reserve team”.

In other words: if a compelling race takes place, it will not come from the fact that rivals are up to Man City and come from Man City dropping to the same level as them. The teams have to learn quickly how Benitez will defeat Man City. Besides Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Leicester City have defeated Guardiola’s team last season.

The way they do it is also different. Benitez told his students before the game that every mistake had to be paid, so much so that they did not dare to take a minute.

Man City – the brightest candidate for the Premier League champion (Part 2)

This is also the eloquent message for the unparalleled resources that Guardiola inherited at Etihad. Summer 2018, Man City broke the club’s transfer record when recruiting Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City for $ 79 million. But Mahrez sat down for most of the season, only kicking 14 times in the Premier League.

This summer, Man City spent $ 72 million on young Spanish midfielder Rodri. They then turned Joao Cancelo into the most high profile defender in history with $ 70 million (this number was removed after Man City sold Danilo back to Juventus). In total, Man City spent $ 250 million only for a full-back position within three years. And at the first match – against West Ham, Kyle Walker played like he wanted to remind Cancelo “don’t dream of taking his place”.

That’s how Guardiola created a positive competitive atmosphere in Man City. No one is irreplaceable. Look at Leroy Sane, the German striker who was very eager to join Bayern Munich before suffering a knee injury against West Ham. Superior talent, but last season Sane almost only prepared. So that Bayern knocked on the door, Man City gently replied: “160 million USD”, and did not accept bargaining. They are not short of money, and Guardiola knows what a player needs most: get on the pitch regularly.

Guardiola and Man City are being criticized, that they are too rich and their success is based on purchasing power on the transfer floor. One of the main critics is Jurgen Klopp. Guardiola immediately responded to fellow Liverpool side. The City’s chairman pointed out: the contracts brought back to Etihad are indelible to Guardiola’s extraordinary achievements, because Man Utd pointed out: money is not a panacea.

Last season, Liverpool showed remarkable courage to race against Man City until the final round. That competition created an illusion: City’s wealth did not create a significant advantage. But it is possible that this 2019-2020 season will expose that illusion.

Barca vs. Vissel Kobe: Perez shines in a friendly match

Barcelona continues its summer tour with a confrontation with Vissel Kobe. The Japanese club has a lot of former Barcelona players like Iniesta, David Villa and Samper. In the end, Barcelona won 2-0 against Kobe Vissel with Carles Perez‘s 2 goals.

The match was “hot” right from the start of the match with Iniesta’s beautiful long shot. Unfortunately, Ter Stegen still excelled in this situation. Barcelona also responded with a few dangerous situations later but failed.

Coming to the second half, Barcelona replaced all 11 players and quickly got the chance. Due to changing 11 people, most Barca players have the opportunity to try the field. Gerard Pique is the only star who doesn’t play. According to Barca, the Spanish midfielder suffered a slight pain after the first game against Chelsea and needed more rest.

The deadlock of the match was opened in the 59th minute with a goal of Perez after a mixed play in the penalty area. In the 86th minute, Spainish team double the gap.

Perez scored the second goal with a decisive corner.  It is also a masterpiece. After receiving the ball on the left edge of the penalty area, he shot like a guy who only decided to win for Barca.

Coach Valverde also unleashed rookie Griezmann in the first place. Perez’s convincing performance was really the opposite of what Griezmann showed. Like the debut (losing to Chelsea 1-2), rookie priced at 135 million USD cannot find a common voice with teammates. The best chance came to Griezmann in the 11th minute, when he stood empty in the penalty area, but Riqui Puig hit the ball instead of passing the ball. Before leaving the field at the end of the first half, Griezmann miss the ball from Sergio Busquets.

While Antoine Griezmann, the expensive new rookie, failed to score, Carles Perez explained why coach Ernesto Valverde pulled him from Team B to join the A-team tour. The 21-year-old striker only takes 14 minutes to score. He turned on the wall with Malcom, before defeating the opponent with a shot.