Saturday, December 20, 2008
Siena 1 Inter 2: The End of Watch Another League Month
The final ten minutes of this one consisted of attack after attack on the Inter goal by the likes of Maccarone and Kharja, interspersed every couple of minutes with further visual evidence, complete with unnecessary digital offside markers, for what anyone with a brain stem and two eyes would have recognized as a criminally-offside Maicon goal, scored in an offside position, set up by Samuel in an offside position, astride an entire Inter forward line in an offside position.
Siena wins the moral victory, Inter wins the game, time marches on.
Siena are in fifteen place, but had you walked in on the last half hour of this one you'd be forgiven for confusing the bianconeri with Juventus. Inter were ont he backheel for almost the entire final thirty. This should have been a rugged one-all draw, but now Inter are a full nine points ahead of Juve, poised to vacuum up another scudetto and to almost certainly get knocked out of the Champions League in the first round against Manchester United.
Mourinho adhered to 4-3-1-2 with Jiminez meant to feed Ballotelli and Ibrahimovic, but the fact that the former two were subbed off in the fifty-fifth minute revealed the on-again/off-again nature of Inter's key players. Had Maicon not been off on a tear, and if Zanetti hadn't finally gotten off his arse to defend properly in the second half, Siena would have probably knocked in more than one. Cambiasso and Ibra had borderline shockers.
The thing is, Mourinho's placed everyone properly, his defenders expertly cancelling out the wings much as he did with Chelsea. But once he has to face a team like United with incredible flexibility between attack and defense, as opposed to some of the lower teams in Italy who defend deeply with only two or three players pushing up on the break, Inter will leak goals. Cancel out Ibra and bob's your uncle. Whether Mourinho will survive the fallout from their early Champion's League exit is anyone's guess...
This has been a fantastic month. I've thoroughly enjoyed Serie A and will now have to deal with following two leagues full-time, something I'm sure my fiance will have no problems with whatsoever. As for AMSL, expect regular updates as I'm home for the holidays...Villa are in third doncha know!