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Magic Number Three

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Three wins in a row, and in the same week. It feels good, doesn't it? In years past, we've aimed for 10-game winning streaks, and then, 10 game unbeaten, and now, well, we're just happy to see a few W's on the board. Bologna-Juventus review after the jump.

ITALY SOCCER SERIE A
Little did I know Diego's smile could capture the recent feelings of my SOUL!

LE PAGELLE:

Buffon: 6- Perhaps he could have saved Busce's goal, but it'd be wrong to hold it against him. Looked secure and made a few decent saves.

Grygera: 6.5- Gets an extra .5 for his sliding tackle that may have saved Gimenez's effort from off the line, I've looked at it a few times and I still can't exactly tell whether it would have gone in or not. An average outing, at times he didn't look comfortable in a 3-man backline, but I think it was more a return to the first-team having been out for a while. I think he's a better option than Zebina back there.
Legrottaglie: 6.5- Used his experience to control Bologna's attack. There were a few moments where he risked losing the ball, but by-in-large, he had a solid afternoon and should be satisfied with his game.
Chiellini: 6.7- I gave him a little boost because he deserves to be above Legrottaglie and Grygera, but not quite an imperious enough display for a 7. Looked comfortable, even though Zalayeta was playing a pretty good game, he had him locked up most of the time.

ITALY SOCCER SERIE A

Salihamidzic: 5- Mediocre display, a lot of running but not much product. Not too much of a contribution up front, and didn't protect the flanks that well, it was an off game for someone who can reliably play well enough.
Felipe Melo: 6.5- It appears Melo is rounding back into some semblance of form. Didn't give away the ball, the only mistake he made all game was the handball outside of the box that Adailton hit the crossbar with. He won back several balls and had a decent offensive contribution as well. Encouraging.
Marchisio: 6.5- Held his ground, took a few decent shots, and had some nice plays to open up the game, a solid game all around. He plays much better in the center.
De Ceglie: 5- Bit of a step backward from the Ajax game, but as La Stampa says, he "probably was paying for his tiredness." Ran a lot, didn't cross much or have that much of an impact offensively, and was partially at fault for Bologna's goal, should have been covering Busce better. That said, it was a strange cross and everyone- Busce, Buffon, and clearly De Ceglie, expected someone more advanced to get to it first. Busce didn't even really intend to score it.

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Finish up boys, there's two Italians comin' in

Diego: 6.5- Excellent run to score the first goal, and slotted it away nicely, though his impact diminished on the game. He's improving and Zaccheroni thinks he's starting to settle into Serie A well, and the understanding with Del Piero is solidifying.

Del Piero: 6.5- ADP is rounding into some great form, and a brilliant assist for the 2nd goal.
Amauri: 6- Worked hard up front and bought some space for Diego and Del Piero by battling with the Bologna defenders.

Zaccheroni: 6- It's another win, although like Ajax and Genoa, no one will be watching this game on the Vintage Calcio lineup. Rested some key players after a tiring week.
Sissoko: 5- Never really imposed himself on the game and gave the ball away cheaply.
Candreva: 6.5- Took his goal well, and aside from a missed chance, looked plenty lively in place of Diego.

ITALY SOCCER SERIE A
Coaches being civil to each other? Holy shit, don't tell Mourinho, he'll rage about the Bologna-Juve conspiracy.

Things I think I think:
#1- La Banda degli Onesti struck again, this weekend. I don't get it at all. Mourinho makes a handcuff gesture, and then laughs at a referee decision. That's fair and all, if they were debatable decisions. They aren't, and I don't know why, but Tagliavento is taking a lot of heat. He should receive praise: that was a nasty match, it was a pressure-cooker, and he made the right, yet difficult calls. Here's the difference between Perdienti and a real man:

When it was still goalless, Paulo Vitor Barreto appeared to be pushed over in the box by Daniele Bonera. “It’s a shame we didn’t get that early penalty. Looking at the replays it does seem like a spot-kick and Bonera was already on a card, so the game would’ve changed.” However, Ventura resisted the kind of controversial reaction that Jose Mourinho had after last night’s Inter game.

“That’s football. I agree with Sampdoria general manager Beppe Marotta that we should all try to calm down, focus on football and accept mistakes. There needs to be a balance, as if every time there’s an error we get WWIII and then straight after the team that moaned receives the benefit of the doubt, it creates a vicious cycle.

#2- Per Roberto's last post, Mauro is back, bitches. Can't wait. Hopefully Gio gets back soon, then we'll learn whether Zaccheroni will ignore him or not.
#3- Ariaudo made Goal.com's team-of-the-week, then again, a CB who didn't get sent off is probably a pretty good choice. I was surprised, last I had checked he wasn't getting any minutes. Will he be back next season? Cagliari have the right to sign him, in full, for an estimated 7.5million euros or so. Expect them to move for the option...but it's Ariaudo's call ultimately.
#4- USA 5-3 Canada, baby...just throwing it out there. But seriously, I said a few days ago about how NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics sucked, and here in the US, this game wasn't on NBC. That's right, it was on their cable news network, MSNBC. (which I don't get, so I had to stream the game) What could possibly be more important than a Canada-USA grudge hockey match? Ice dancing, a "sport" I didn't even know existed until I flipped on the TV with a cold Molson already open. Sonofabitch, NBC.

felipemelo
"EVERYBODY STOP! I feel like something very bad is about to happen"

#5- Felipe Melo classed it up in his post-game interview, declaring that the Bologna win was "dedicated to Ferrara." He stated that "the media always said that we were fighting, and that I didn't wish him well, but it was totally the opposite. He was one who helped me a lot in Turin, and I thank him." Felipe Melo seems like the kinda guy who is a douchebag on the pitch, but is actually pretty nice off of it.
#6- Nocerino says, "Clearly, the game this weekend will not be like any others for me. I spent 10 years in Turin, and I learned a lot. However, I will of course play this game looking for the victory." Apparently Nocerino is doing quite well in Palermo, after sort of a difficult introduction, and I am glad he is not in Bianconero right now, but could you please have an off day this weekend? I'm tired of former Juventini kicking our asses.
#7- Ranocchia's father confirmed Inter and Genoa were in talks, though he denied that a deal had already been done, saying his son and his agent probably would have known. Good, there is still hope. Juventus, Milan, and Inter all have aging center-backs, so Bonucci, Ranocchia, Bocchetti, maybe Ariaudo....they're are all going to be in high demand.
#8- Lastly, I started a tradition two weeks ago or so. For lunch before games (or the night before, if it's morning) I eat the other cities food, symbolically devouring the other team. Two nights ago was some simple rotini with Bolognese sauce, against Genoa I had pesto linguine, etc. Cagliari, we're gonna bust out the maggot cheese. However, I am not looking forward to the Milan sides- polenta and risotto? Io non sono polentone.
#9- Did you know Giancarlo Abete is a Juventino? Neither did I. Cue Inter crying.

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#10- Kidding. One more thought, and that's on our defense. We conceded one goal to Bologna, Ajax, and two to Genoa. The defensive back three can't be blamed for any of them as a unit- Ajax, it was Zebina's head exploding, Bologna was a wingback failing to follow his man, and the two against Genoa were a Buffon papera and defensive midfielders not following their man into the box. This needs to improve, but I think with the wingbacks playing a bit forward, clean sheets are going to be more of a rare thing than typical. That's classic Zaccheroni, but what the hell- as long as we win, I don't care.

That is all from me, gentlemen, Sofia, and Kasia. Have a great week.