By: Faisal Ahmed
A Social-Media specialist at Humber College.
February, 27, 2015.
Nightmares, has been haunting Serie A clubs in European competition,. Lega Calcio teams had been struggling mainly in the Europa League. The last time Italy celebrated winning this trophy, was back in 1999 with Parma, when it was still known as the UEFA cup.
Round 32 of this year, saw highly competitive sides, displays of great will and desire to win, accompanied with dramatic events, keeping crowds on their toes.
Italy can finally see some progress, after witnessing all five Italian contenders advance through in the UEFA Europa League competition, to the final 16. Clubs included: A.S Roma, Inter Milan, Napoli, Fiorintina, and Torino, who managed to knock out Feneryood, Celtic, Trabzonspor, Tottenham and Athletico Bilbao in respect.
A.S. Roma, and Rudi Garcia’s men, possess great team work abilities, technical skills, and more importantly, desire to win, which is event on the field, every time we see the men step on the field.
The first leg of round 32 saw Giallorossa encountering Feneryood in the capital city of Rome, which resulted in a 1-1 draw, putting the capital city team in a unsteady position for the return leg.
When the second leg approached, Roma played their football, and managed to control the game, which saw Ljajić score the first goal just after the 45th minute mark, giving Rudi Garcia’s men a room to breathe going into halftime.
Ten minutes after 2nd half had kicked off, the host team lacked discipline, having been reduced to 9 men, by the 59th minute, Gerivinho scored the second, finishing the fixture 3-2 on aggregate knocking out the Dutch side out of the competition.
However, Roma’s recent form has been worrying the Giallorossa supporters, especially in Serie A, having won only two games, in their last 10.
Another Serie A club in Fiorintina, a force written off by everyone, especially after the departure of Cuadrado. A player of his class, who was transferred to Chelsea F.C, would certainly make viewers to think that Fiorintina would not be able to execute their football, without their main midfielder.
However, n return, La Viola have signed Mohammed Salah from Chelsea, whom since his arrival, netted 4 goals in 6 games, one of them was against Tottenham in the previous UEFA Europa League fixture, one that saw Fiorintina qualify to last 16 in a great fashion. The young Egyptian has been a great sensation for Montella’s side. Making fans and manager, forget about Cuadrado’s departure, instantly.
The first leg, saw La Viola, holding the spurs to a 1-1 draw, giving the away goal advantage to Montella’s side, at the White Hart Lane Stadium in London. The second tie was still open, for both teams, thus seal the qualification ticket to the next round. However, Fiorintina managed to cap the victory with an impressive 2-0 in Florence, Italy, keeping a clean sheet, With Mario Gomez and Mohammed Salah on the score sheet. Giving La Viola a 3-1 win on aggregate over the London team.
Roma and Fiorintina will now face each other, in the final 16 of UEFA Europa League, the two Italians will clash in the hopes of winning the trophy on March 12 thand 19th.
Inter Milan has been dreaming of getting back into Europe’s most prestigious competition, the UEFA champions league.
Inter could only participate in elite European competition, next season, by either making top 3 in Serie A, or winning the UEFA Europa League. Table states 10 points difference between Inter, and Napoli who sits 3rd.
With Napoli’s current form, it is difficult for Inter to climb to third with 13 games remaining. However, with football, anything can happen.
Inter Milan faced Celtic in the Europa League, were Inter first played away at Celtic Park Stadium, a game will be remembered with a high intensity accompanied with dramatic episodes and many goals.
The first leg saw the Milanese giant take a two goal lead, early on the game in the Celtic park, however, not so long after so, the Scottish force exploited a sloppy Inter defense, scoring two goals within three minutes.
Although inter did regain the lead again, at 2-3, the Scottish side was able to expose Inter Milan’s inconsistent defense again finishing the game with a vivid 3-3 draw.
Note that inter had been conceding many goals during the final minutes, just showing how vulnerable their defense line is.
Inter then played the second leg at home, where Inter had a different approach to the game, being more caution pushing men forward.
A game ended with a narrow 1-0 win, Freddy Guarin drove a shot from 30 yards firing behind Gordon’s net. Gordon who had a series of impressive saves throughout the game, was finally beaten by the in form Colombian.
The Milanese giant showed great control of the match, creating multiple chances, if it wasn’t for Gordons great form, the final result would have far more than 1-0.
The Nerazzurri will face an in-form team in Wolfsburg. The German underdogs were able to beat Bayern Munich 4-1 not so long ago.
Which means Inter cannot afford to keep reiterating the same mistakes defensively, as it could cost their Europa League campaign to end and especially against a clinical team in front of goal like Wolfsburg.
With the expectancy of Hanadnovic’s return, Inter will have better chances in keeping clean sheets in their upcoming fixtures, putting into the field a solid, more compact defensive line.
Napoli, is another Serie A club, managed by Rafa Benitez, who was able to blow Trabzonspor, quite comfortably, where the first leg saw the Italian force cruise in Turkish soil, scoring 4 past them, and another 1-0 victory in Naples. Giving the Italians a broad victory, of 5-0 on aggregate.
Napoli now will have to face a strong team, in FC Dinamo Moskva, an unpredictable team.
The Russians were able to knock out Anderlecht, another heavyweight team. Dinamo has a mix of young and experienced players, which mean Rafa’s men have no margin for errors, which we saw the Spaniard manager commit in many occasions.
Serie A teams can reach far in UEFA Europa League After all five Italian contenders had qualified. Winning this trophy means lots of hard work. Throughout this season, we saw, inconsistent Italians this year, but more determined, with little time to prepare for upcoming fixtures. How should each Serie A club approach their next games?