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Discussion Starter #1
Italy should have lost. Italy fielded the lamest midfield I've seen so far this tournament and most of the time in the first half Del Piero and Montella were ABSOLUTELY isolated in front.
Di Biagio and Ambrosini ? Horrible.
Pessotto and Di Livio ? Laughable.
Maldini, Ferrara and Negro ? Had obvious problems coping with Larsson, Osmanovski and Ljungbergs running behind the wing backs.
Toldo ? Marvellous at the right times, but seemed insecure at several crosses.
Iuliano ? Didn't do squat for offense but he was strong in defence.
Montella, Del Piero ? To be honest I was disappointed that they didn't work harder, but they always looked dangerous when they received the ball to theri feet instead of those lame punts from the defence.

Things looked a little better when Nesta replaced an injured Maldini, because he made the defence look better.
Del Piero curled in a corner and Di Biagio made his only good action in the game when he put a strong header in the back of the net 7 minutes from half time.
In the second Sweden fought well and andersson created a lot of problems for Italy's defence even if Cannavaro had also come on.
Fiore FINALLY replaced Di livio and Italy looked like a team again, as there was now a midfielder who wanted to support the attack.
Di Biagio gifted the Swede's a deserved equalizer as he made an XXXXX mistake allowing Kenneth andersson to give Henka Larsson a run at goal which he calmly took advantage of.
Del Piero killed the game in the 88th with a great goal. He took advantage of a poor defensive clearance, faked one of the defenders and put a hard left footed shot in the top of the net behind Hedman.

Italy ratings:

Toldo: 7
Ferrara: 5,5
Iuliano: 6,5
Nesta: 7
Cannavaro:6,5
Maldini: 6
Negro: 5,5
Pessotto: 5
Di Livio: 5,5
Ambrosini: 5
Di Biagio: 5
Fiore: 6,5
Montella: 6,5
Del Piero: 7
 

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Yeah but Italy is in 1/4 finals and is the best team right now. They won Sweden with reserve team today !
 

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I agree with most of your post, but I actually think that Montella had a better game than Del Piero. He really impressed me today. He just looked more dangerous and created some good chances for himself and for Del Piero. Del Piero also played alright, but I just feel he was to eager to prove that he belongs in the starting eleven. He looked quite frustrated at times during the match and it didn't really work out for him until he scored. But it surely was a great goal, so a good performance from him even though I have no idea how he missed that huge chance in the final minutes.
After seeing Montella tonight I really believe he should be given another chance. He's miles better than Inzaghi and should start with either Totti or Del Piero.
The midfield, though, wasn't exactly the most flashy Zoff could field, was it? Di Biagio scored, but didn't do much the rest of the match. Ambrosini wasn't that bad. He won a lot of balls for Italy, but of course did not create much. None of the midfielders did, but then again it's not exactly what these particular players usually do.
Italy did just enough to win even though it wasn't deserved, but it promises well for the rest of the tournament that they are able to win even when they are fielding are slighty weaker team and not playing that well.
 

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Once again, Zoff showed EVERYONE what an idiot he is! I was happy to see Del Piero start for once, but for what!?!? He and Montella had absolutely no support from the mid-field, if you can even call that a mid-field! I thought it was a serious injustice to both of them to have to play up front by themselves. They certainly looked a lot better with all of the substitutions that were made, though. Maybe Zoff will find some sense somewhere in his thick skull to finally start Del Piero with a REAL squad in the quarters... then maybe he'll see what Del Piero can REALLY do!
 
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Why are you sooooooooooo pessimistic Glen:(:(? First time I see a post like that come form you. (not insulting, just giving my opinion).

All i know is:

WHAT A GREAT GOAL BY DP!!!!

In the News back here in South America we got:

DEL PIERO IS BACK AT LAST...HE PROVED TODAY THAT HIS GUPOWDER ISN'T SOAKED. IT HAS BEEN CONFIRMED: THE SPELL ON DEL PIERO IS OVER. (I suppose the spell of not scoring goals from open play).

he deserves to be in the starting XI, he deserves to be captain!!!!!


FORZA PINTURICCHIO DEL PIERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):):):)
 
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So who would you start?

Glen - I can't remember if you are from Sweden. If so, then you must be disappointed in their performance or lack of results in this tournament.

That midfield Zoff selected is terrible. I still think it is missing our boy Tacch. I never was impressed with Di Biagio and Ambrosini has not shown me much at all. Even with that midfield, we still found a way to win. That is good news.

Unfortunately, here in the States, we do not get the matches automatically. I did see the highlights on RAI International. Those of you who watched the match, should Zoff play Alex and possibly Montella ahead of Totti and Inzaghi? I was not impressed with Totti's play against Belgium. He could not make any passes that reached his mates nor make any dangerous runs. And he does not fight for the ball when he drops back. How he was named MOM for the Belgian match has me baffled. Too much emphasis on the fact that he scored.
 

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Italy's midfield was non-existant and were very lucky not to concede several goals. Negro, Pessotto, and Ambrosini were NOWHERE. Anything could have happened in that game. However Italy did quite well considering that they were fielding a reserve squad, but were quite lucky to win the game when anything really could have happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Falc; I'm from Denmark and I suppose most of us Scandinavians love to support the team playing against our neighbours, but yestarday I almost wanted Sweden to win because they tried so hard and only a coupple of super saves from Toldo and super misses from the Swedish players kept Italy in the game.

You ask who I would have fielded. Actually that's not my point as I would propably hae picked more or less the same team, but it's pathetic to see that Italy of all nations have only Fiore, Totti, Zambrotta and Conte who can contribute to offence from midfield. I was simply so disappointed seing that Italy didn't give a damn about their reputation when they had already qualified. You would have thought that the players who won't get to play later on in the tournament would have liked to show their skills, but unfortunately noone but Montella and Del Piero tried to take that chance. Montella ran alot more than DP, but I still think that DP did well as he was involved in EVERY Italian opportunity- struck the corner for Di Biagio and finished with that superb strike.

Supergeo; I may be coloured when watching Juve, but normally I only dig on teams who are flashy and TRIES to create. Italy yesterday didn't give a rats as* about their performance as Italy had already qualified. I think it's a disgraze to all the Italian fans who've paid alot to support their team.

Ciao.
 
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