Azzurri Pagelle Thread

Discussion in 'Italy: National Teams' started by Sempre, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Country:
    Italy
    sono grulli.....
     
    jerrito repped this.
  2. totti fan

    totti fan Member+

    Jun 24, 2010
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Country:
    Italy
    ITALY 2-1 ENGLAND

    (Marchisio, Balotelli; Sturridge)

    Italy continually attacked down the right, a problem England never entirely solved

    [​IMG]

    Italy prosper down the right

    This match was all about the battle in one particular zone – England’s left-back position, and Italy’s right flank. From the opening stages, with Italy unsurprisingly dominating possession, it was clear they were continually looking to work the ball down that side. They made inroads there shortly before their opener, and the game’s three goals can all be traced back to this battle.

    It was ironic that Roy Hodgson decided not to use Wayne Rooney centrally (with Raheem Sterling in that position – he was England’s best player) because of fears about his defensive discipline against Andrea Pirlo. In the end, he would have been up against Daniele De Rossi anyway, and he actually had far more defensive responsibilities on the left.

    That’s because Italy’s right-back Matteo Darmian took up extremely advanced positions, with left-sided Giorgio Chiellini staying at home. Darmian was continually free on the overlap for diagonal balls, with Pirlo, De Rossi and Verratti all capable of hitting good passes to that side.

    [​IMG]

    Rooney was part of the problem, certainly, but great credit must go to Antonio Candreva, a highly intelligent footballer who boasts great spatial awareness. He played somewhere between a right-wing and a number ten role – starting in the former, drifting into the latter. England had no idea how to deal with this – Leighton Baines was being dragged inside, Steven Gerrard couldn’t cope with a man darting in behind him. The major beneficiary, of course, was Darmian.

    [​IMG]

    Such was the space on that flank, Claudio Marchisio actually moved across a couple of times to further overload England. In fact, it was a Marchisio-Candreva combination on the right that won the corner leading up to Marchisio’s excellent long-range strike.

    But Darmian’s positional aggression was risky, and while Rooney’s defensive shortcomings were causing England problems, it actually helped them get back into the game. Shortly after the opener, Darmian darted forward down the right but Italy’s passing move broke down, which meant Rooney was allowed to break into space in the Italian right-back zone. Sterling found him, Rooney provided a cross, and Daniel Sturridge converted. Darmian’s attacking intentions were both a strength and a weakness for Italy – although the former certainly outweighed the latter.

    Such was England’s struggles down the left, Hodgson switched Rooney and Danny Welbeck, a more diligent defensive worker, at half-time. But this didn’t solve the problem – five minutes after the break, Welbeck didn’t track back with Darmian, who supplied Candreva. He sold Baines a dummy, then crossed for Balotelli to head in at the far post.

    This, of course, is the problem with use four outright attacking players. Hodgson was previously seen as a solid 4-4-2 man, favouring hard workers in wide positions. This front four was exciting and inventive – and not far off a 4-2-4 at times – but the obvious downside is the lack of balance, and protection for the full-backs. James Milner, for example, would have tracked Darmian perfectly. Hodgson has widely been praised for gambling with young attacking players, but there are risks.

    Balotelli

    The matchwinner was another key player. Balotelli’s movement throughout this game was excellent, and he’s at his best when unpredictable with his movement. In the first half he was happy moving towards play or sprinting in behind – going close to a goal by chipping the ball over Joe Hart, cleared off the line by Phil Jagielka.

    But his movement when the ball was wide seemed lazy, and that’s what improved in the second half. Rather than positioning himself between Jagielka and Gary Cahil for crosses, he varied his runs – for the goal, he hung back towards the far post, and nodded in. He was inches away from grabbing a second when darting towards the near post for another right-wing cross. We’re always told that Balotelli’s level of interest is the thing which impacts upon his performance, and this is unquestionably true, but it’s most obvious in the nature of his runs.
     
  3. phat

    phat Viking

    Feb 13, 2006
    Montreal
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    This proves was I was thinking. Chiellini wasn't a wingback and usually doesn't play that role. But the role he played here was something he often has done. In other words critiquing him for his form in the game on the left is erroneous if based around is attacking performance. That was not his primary duty.
     
    jerrito repped this.
  4. totti fan

    totti fan Member+

    Jun 24, 2010
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Country:
    Italy
    Looking at the match reports that is the side that Costa Rica are most likely to attack from. Will De Sciglio have sufficient discipline to provide the same defensive cover?
     
  5. AmericanKaka

    AmericanKaka Member+

    Dec 30, 2006
    I love ZM but I think they overlook how much joy England found down Chiellini's side. He was not in fact defensively disciplined at all. England just couldn't manage to score from the mutliple times they broke through in that area.
     
  6. jerrito

    jerrito Member+

    Jun 22, 2006
    America
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Country:
    Italy
    I agree they were having an easy a time on his side. It just shows he is better as a center back. Hopefully DeSciglio will solve this problem.
     
  7. totti fan

    totti fan Member+

    Jun 24, 2010
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Country:
    Italy
    Or make it worse
     
  8. totti fan

    totti fan Member+

    Jun 24, 2010
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Country:
    Italy
    Azzurri: titoli e pagelle (Italia-Costa Rica)

    [​IMG]


    I tre maggiori quotidiani sportivi italiani (La Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere dello Sport e Tuttosport) hanno così giudicato la prova degli Azzurri nella seconda partita del Gruppo D persa ieri contro la Costa Rica 0-1.

    TITOLI

    (GS) La Gazzetta dello Sport – Cotti e mangiati

    (CS) Corriere dello Sport – Crediamoci!

    (T) Tuttosport – Che pena!

    PAGELLE

    Buffon (GS 6 CS 6 T 5,5) Media: 6-

    Abate (GS 4 CS 4 T 5) Media: 4+

    Barzagli (GS 6 CS 6 T 6) Media: 6

    Chiellini (GS 4 CS 4,5 T 5) Media: 4,5

    Darmian (GS 5,5 CS 6 T 6) Media: 6-

    De Rossi (GS 5 CS 5 T 6) Media: 5+

    Candreva (GS 4 CS 4 T 5) Media: 4+

    Thiago Motta (GS 4 CS 5 T 4,5) Media: 4,5

    Pirlo (GS 6 CS 6,5 T 6) Media: 6+

    Marchisio (GS 4,5 CS 5,5 T 6) Media: 5++

    Balotelli (GS 4 CS 4 T 4,5) Media: 4+



    Cassano (GS 4 CS 5 T 4,5) Media: 4,5

    Insigne (GS 5 CS 4,5 T 4,5) Media: 4/5

    Cerci (GS 5 CS 5 T 5) Media: 5



    All. Prandelli (GS 5 CS 4,5 T 5) Media: 5-
     
  9. totti fan

    totti fan Member+

    Jun 24, 2010
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Country:
    Italy
    COSTA RICA 1-0 ITALY
    (Ruiz)


    An extraordinary upset. Costa Rica rode their luck in the first half but were comfortable after the break – they’re through to the knockout stage after just two group games

    [​IMG]

    Costa Rica press

    The most notable feature of the first half was the Costa Rican press, which was extremely aggressive. They came into the tournament with a reputation as a very defensive side that stayed very deep, and while we saw that towards the end of this match, they were flexible enough to push up, get tight to Italy, and stop them dominating the game in the centre of midfield in the early stages.

    An obvious example was when Gigi Buffon was taking goal-kicks. Italy wanted to pass the ball out from the back, but Costa Rica would move forward, with their front three pressing the centre-backs and Daniele De Rossi, and the wing-backs in a position to move forward onto the Italian full-backs. Buffon was scared to play out from the back, and therefore launched downfield instead – Costa Rica often won the second balls, and Italy were unable to stamp their authority upon the game.

    Tight in midfield

    Costa Rica also pressed the Italian midfield in open play, pushing their two central midfielders high up the pitch onto Andrea Pirlo and Thiago Motta, refusing to let them play incisive passes towards the three Italian attackers. Because there was a risk of Antonio Candreva and Claudio Marchisio drifting infield between the lines, as they’d done to such devastating effect against England, the Costa Rican defence had to stay extremely high up the pitch, denying space in that zone.

    This brought risks, but also offered rewards. On the positive side, Costa Rica often won possession high up the pitch and launched quick counter-attacks with clever passing combinations, using the pace of Joel Campbell and Christian Bolanos against an uncertain Italian backline.

    Balotelli chances

    The problem came after around 25 minutes when the game settled down, the Italians found more time and space in midfield, yet the Costa Rica defence remained high up the pitch. It invited Italy to launch balls over the top for Balotelli, and there were three examples of this – first Motta played a good pass to Balotelli into the right-hand channel, forcing Giancarlo Gonzalez into a dramatic covering tackle. Seven minutes later Pirlo hit a classic pass in behind for Balotelli, this time free of the last defender, and he missed a good one-on-one chance. Three minutes after that, there was a hybrid of the two previous incidents – a Pirlo forward pass, a Motta flick, and Balotelli in behind again.

    While Costa Rica’s gameplan worked overall, had Balotelli taken one of these chances, we would have been criticising them for playing extremely naively against such a quick forward, and they rode their luck at times. Italy didn’t take these opportunities, though, and their offside awareness was incredibly bad – Italy were caught offside eleven times (as often as they attempted a shot) which shows their determination to sprint in behind.

    [​IMG]

    It’s also worth questioning why Pirlo is being played in this left-of-centre role, higher up the pitch than the proper deep-lying position he favours at Juventus – he surely would have received more time in a deeper position, and it made more sense to have De Rossi and Motta battling against Celso Borges and Yeltsin Tejeda, with Pirlo as the free player ahead of the defence.

    Costa Rica attacks

    Costa Rica didn’t park the bus – they attacked with speed. When possession was won, they moved the ball forward quickly without resorting to long balls, with clever combinations out to a wing-back charging forward. And when the ball was wide, they got numbers into the box too, which was impressive considering they had few players naturally stationed in attacking positions. Ruiz scored the winner from a Junior Diaz cross, shortly after Italy had received a warning from a similar left-wing delivery. Christian Gamboa was Costa Rica’s star performer in the opening game, but this time Diaz took command from the opposite side.

    Costa Rica also took advantages of set-pieces, taking an age to actually deliver the corners and free-kicks, slowing the game down and disturbing the rhythm of the game. Like against Uruguay, the centre-backs were a constant threat in the air and Buffon looked uncomfortable.

    That’s the standard ‘underdog’ approach, but Costa Rica’s gameplan also involved good, intelligent attacking in open play. Campbell got the better of his duel with Giorgio Chiellini, and was unlucky not to win a penalty when the Juventus defender bundled him over shortly before the opener. Daniele De Rossi had a terrible game in the holding role, moving forward to support his midfield colleagues but missing tackles and leaving a gaping hole between the lines, exploited by both Bolanos and Ruiz drifting inside.

    Second half

    Prandelli immediately changed things at half-time, bringing on Antonio Cassano for Thiago Motta, and moving to more of a 4-4-2 (or 4-2-2-2) shape. But this played into the hands of the back three, and it was surprising Prandelli didn’t introduce another player capable of sprinting in behind the defence, or at least offering width.

    In fairness, by this stage Costa Rica had decided to drop much deeper, with Jorge Luis Pinto recognising the high line had repeatedly been breached in the first half, even if Costa Rica’s clean sheet was intact.

    But there was no second half onslaught, and Italy were incredibly passive. Lorenzo Insigne and Alessio Cerci replaced the two wide players and offered dribbling and speed in wide areas, but the shape didn’t change and there was no obvious alteration in approach. There genuinely wasn’t much for Costa Rica to do, other than to sit deep, invite the Italian full-backs forward, then shut down men between the lines and clear crosses.

    Balotelli’s movement was non-existent, and he was invisible after half-time (the opposite of his display against England) while Pirlo spread play well but could no longer provide incisive balls against such a deep defence.

    [​IMG]

    By the end, Costa Rica were surprisingly comfortable.
     
  10. Falc

    Falc Member+

    Jul 29, 2006
    Maryland
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Country:
    Italy
    It’s also worth questioning why Pirlo is being played in this left-of-centre role, higher up the pitch than the proper deep-lying position he favours at Juventus – he surely would have received more time in a deeper position, and it made more sense to have De Rossi and Motta battling against Celso Borges and Yeltsin Tejeda, with Pirlo as the free player ahead of the defence.​

    The genius of Prandelli.
     
  11. totti fan

    totti fan Member+

    Jun 24, 2010
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Country:
    Italy
    Azzurri: titoli e pagelle (Italia-Uruguay)

    [​IMG]

    I tre maggiori quotidiani sportivi italiani (La Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere dello Sport e Tuttosport) hanno così giudicato la prova degli Azzurri nella terza partita del Gruppo D persa ieri contro l’Uruguay 0-1.

    TITOLI

    (GS) La Gazzetta dello Sport – L’Italia a casa, un fallimento. Lo sfascio

    (CS) Corriere dello Sport – Azzerati

    (T) Tuttosport – Brandelli

    PAGELLE

    Buffon (GS 7 CS 7 T 8) Media: 7++

    Barzagli (GS 6,5 CS 6 T 6) Media: 6+

    Bonucci (GS 6 CS 5,5 T 6) Media: 6-

    Chiellini (GS 6,5 CS 6 T 7) Media: 6,5

    Darmian (GS 5 CS 6 T 6) Media: 5/6

    Verratti (GS 6,5 CS 7 T 6,5) Media: 6/7

    Pirlo (GS 5,5 CS 6 T 6,5) Media: 6

    Marchisio (GS 5 CS 5,5 T 5,5) Media: 5+

    De Sciglio (GS 5 CS 6 T 5) Media: 5+

    Balotelli (GS 4 CS 4 T 4) Media: 4

    Immobile (GS 5 CS 4,5 T 5,5) Media: 5



    Parolo (GS 5,5 CS 5,5 T 5,5) Media: 5,5

    Cassano (GS 5 CS 5,5 T 4) Media: 4/5

    Thiago Motta (GS 5 CS s.v. T s.v.) Media: s.v.



    All. Prandelli (GS 4,5 CS 4,5 T 4) Media: 4++
     
  12. totti fan

    totti fan Member+

    Jun 24, 2010
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Country:
    Italy
    URUGUAY 1-0 ITALY
    (Godin)


    A boring first half, a highly dramatic second half, and Diego Godin scoring another crucial goal

    [​IMG]

    Italy switch to a back three, Uruguay follow

    Having played their first two matches with a four-man defence, both sides switched to a back three for this decisive group game. This was almost certainly Italy changing to a back three proactively, and Uruguay doing so in response. Cesare Prandelli’s team selection, with three natural centre-backs and two full-backs/wing-backs, suggested this was his plan all along – but Oscar Tabarez had kept an unchanged side from the victory over England, when he used a midfield diamond.

    Tabarez is generally a very reactive manager, however, and upon seeing Italy’s teamsheet probably decided he wanted a spare man at the back, against the pace of Mario Balotelli and Ciro Immobile, so Martin Caceres was moved inside and Alvaro Gonzalez played the unfamiliar position of wing-back. The only reason Gonzalez would be selected to play as a wing-back, rather than the more natural Maxi Pereira, is if there was a late shift from Tabarez, having already name his XI. Had he intended to play this way, he surely would have played Pereira from the start – in the end, he brought him on at half-time.

    3-5-2 v 3-5-2

    You can’t judge any match purely – or even primarily by formations alone. But if there’s one formation match-up that should be avoided at all costs, it might be 3-5-2 against 3-5-2. It tends to produce slow, frustrating matches with neither side capable of finding space in the opposition half – both sides have a spare man at the back, the wing-backs run up and down the line with one another all game so there’s no outlet on the flanks, and the midfields tend to cancel each other out.

    That’s roughly what happened here, although it wasn’t purely down to the formations. There was also the heat and humidity of Natal, which created a slow contest, and the fact neither side wanted to force the issue in the first half. Italy were understandably patient considering they were content with a draw, while Uruguay didn’t want to leave themselves vulnerable to the pace of Italy’s front two.

    Even then, the game was scrappy. Neither side had an obvious advantage in any one area, and some of the passing was very sloppy. Edinson Cavani dropped onto Andrea Pirlo, as he’d done on Steven Gerrard, stifling Italy’s passing.

    Second half

    Things brightened up in the second half. Uruguay pushed higher up the pitch, with Maxi Pereira a more natural wing-back, driving forward down the right. Italy, meanwhile, made a defensive shift with Marco Paolo on for Balotelli (who seemed to have picked up a knock, and was on a booking) and tried to clog up the midfield.

    Uruguay’s only good moves in the game came from two similar situations, with one-twos down the left flank. On 32 minutes, Cristian Rodriguez cut in from the left, found Suarez, and he played a clever exchange with Nicolas Lodeiro before forcing Gigi Buffon to race out of his goal to close down the angle. On 57 minutes, Rodriguez played a great one-two with Suarez, before firing wide of the far post. There was a strong emphasis on Uruguay working the left flank throughout the game.

    [​IMG]

    11 v 10

    Then came Claudio Marchisio’s red card, which meant the game took a different turn. Italy now played a defensive 5-3-1 formation, so Tabarez immediately turned to an extra forward. Christian Stuani replaced Alvaro Pereira – although it was strange Pereira was replaced, because he’s the ideal left-back when playing against ten men and needing a goal. Caceres moved out there instead, but didn’t offer much thrust.

    While Uruguay eventually found the winner, they did a surprisingly poor job of getting back into the game with an extra man. They didn’t stretch the play, their build-up play was extremely slow, and for long periods Cavani, Stuani and Luis Suarez waited up against Italy’s back five. Considering their ability in deeper positions, they surely should have been dropping deeper to help create opportunities.

    Prandelli’s decision to send on Antonio Cassano in place of Immobile was strange. Surely, as your lone striker with ten men, you want someone who will run their legs off for 15 minutes? Cassano at least offered more ball retention potential, which rather summarises Prandelli’s overall approach.

    In the end it took a set-piece for Uruguay to grab their goal, with Diego Godin making the breakthrough with a rather fortunate ‘header’ that actually came off his back, although his run and positioning was identical to his crucial, title-winning header at the Camp Nou recently.

    Italy went gung ho, chucking Gigi Buffon up the pitch late on, but to no avail.
     
  13. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Country:
    Italy
  14. pindal

    pindal Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Why is this thread sticky?
    @moderators : It should be unsticked!
     

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