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Author Archive for Nicky Bandini

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Oronzo Canà set the pace in Serie A as an all-Italian Mike Bassett | Nicky Bandini

A 1984 Italian movie chronicles the tail-end of the innuendo-led era and, though it has a few dated scenes, it helped set an agenda in its own wayBefore Mike Bassett, there was Oronzo Canà. The former was a fictional English football manager, played by…

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My favourite game: Germany v Italy, 2006 World Cup semi-final | Nicky Bandini

An intense, relentless, brilliant encounter that exhausted those playing, watching and commentating False memories are a known psychological phenomenon. Sometimes, when we think back on past events, we remember incorrect details with certainty, our bra…

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Mourinho, tears and defiance: the story of Inter’s 2009-10 season | Nicky Bandini

How a manager banded together a collection of gifted rejects with a point to prove then defied history to win the lotOf all the enduring images from Inter’s triumph in the 2010 Champions League final, one stands apart from the rest. Inside the Santiago…

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Suspension of Lazio’s scudetto charge reveals scars of century-old dispute

Football feels insignificant with Italy in lockdown, but if the season is scrapped it will carry echoes of 1915 for LazioIt is the fate of Lazio supporters, according to the Italian voice actor Pino Insegno, to “suffer even in those moments when we wer…

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Dybala dazzles before empty stands as coronavirus forces fans to stay home | Nicky Bandini

Eerie atmospheres and uncertainty greeted Serie A sides, but the Juventus forward still conjured something specialPaulo Dybala did not require an audience. The Juventus forward was not thinking about the empty stand behind him as he accelerated down th…

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Doors will be closed for Juventus v Inter but the world will be watching

One of the most crucial ‘Italian derbies’ in decades will be played at an empty ground amid Italy’s coronavirus lockdownThe most keenly anticipated game of the Serie A season will play to an empty stadium on Sunday. It will be a relief to see it played…

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Serie A undercard stars but anger grows as postponements pile up | Nicky Bandini

A tally of 16 goals across the two Sunday games able to take place offered relief from conflict, confusion and coronavirusAtalanta and Lecce did their best to pick up the slack on a weekend missing its headline act. Cagliari and Roma, too. For the seco…

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Fixtures pile up and Inter fall behind as Serie A wrestles with coronavirus | Nicky Bandini

Four matches were called off in response to the crisis and games may take place behind closed doors as teams catch upMost players were already tucked up in bed by the time the decisions were taken. It was past midnight on Sunday morning but in Milan, T…

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Lazio cannot hide their title ambition after fighting back past Inter | Nicky Bandini

When the final whistle went, allowing Simone Inzaghi to charge the field at last, it felt as though we had entered a new chapterSimone Inzaghi finished Sunday night with a torn pair of trousers. The Lazio manager had been in perpetual motion through th…

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Lukaku upstages Ibrahimovic as Inter make most of Juve’s tragedy in Verona

Former Manchester United striker provides ‘Hollywood’ ending to dramatic Milan derby and leaves Inter joint top of Serie AWe ought to be talking about Verona. We ought to be talking about an astonishing week for the club with the lowest wage bill in Se…

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Paulo Fonseca has reason to worry after Roma are schooled by Sassuolo | Nicky Bandini

Manager needed to be calmed down by Edin Dzeko after a loss to an impressive Sassuolo that suggested Roma have problemsAt the end of a fractious match it is common enough to see a manager step in to dissuade one of his players from confronting the refe…

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Mahomes and Garoppolo’s Super Bowl clash signals changing of guard | Nicky Bandini

Two very different quarterbacks will take centre stage in what promises to be a compelling climax to the NFL seasonA new decade begins in the NFL with a Super Bowl that promises to tell a new story. For the first time since 2016, Tom Brady and the New …

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Ashley Young makes rapid Inter impact as Serie A title race heats up

Internazionale were held at home, but Lazio failed to capitalise in the Rome derby before Juve were rocked in NaplesOn his first weekend playing in Serie A, Ashley Young brought Inter back within touching distance of league leaders Juventus. OK, maybe …

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Ciro Immobile makes Sampdoria suffer as Lazio join Serie A title race | Nicky Bandini

With 23 goals in 19 Serie A games, the striker has scored more on his own than seven of the division’s 20 teamsFor Ciro Immobile, football is simple: either he scores, or he suffers. Speaking to Corriere della Sera in 2017, the Lazio striker insisted h…

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Juventus evolution goes beyond Sarri’s attire as they reach summit | Nicky Bandini

New clothes, ‘same dickhead’: for the third time in his career, Maurizio Sarri has his team in pole position at the halfway pointMaurizio Sarri had to update his wardrobe after taking over as manager of Juventus. A man who has always felt most comforta…

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History repeats itself for Balotelli and Inter at the start of 2020 in Serie A | Nicky Bandini

Balotelli scoring, Inter leading and racist abuse gave the new decade in Serie A an eerily familiar feel to the start of the 2010sFor Italian football, the decade began with a little bit of history repeating. It was Mario Balotelli who scored the first…

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Lazio’s Supercoppa triumph means a damp end to Juventus’s golden decade | Nicky Bandini

Sunday’s Saudi Arabia showpiece deepened concerns over Serie A’s serial champions. Inter and now Lazio are on their tailThe 2010s will be remembered, in Italian football, as a decade dominated by Juventus: winners of eight out of 10 Scudetti, four Copp…

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Lazio’s Supercoppa triumph means a damp end to Juventus’s golden decade | Nicky Bandini

Sunday’s Saudi Arabia showpiece deepened concerns over Serie A’s serial champions. Inter and now Lazio are on their tailThe 2010s will be remembered, in Italian football, as a decade dominated by Juventus: winners of eight out of 10 Scudetti, four Copp…

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Rapid ruin of Ancelotti’s Napoli leaves Gattuso with a mighty repair job

The outgoing coach oversaw a wretched half-season but the club’s problems run deep – as his replacement soon found outGennaro Gattuso’s debut as Napoli manager had to be delayed by half an hour on Saturday after pieces of the Stadio San Paolo’s roof br…

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Rapid ruin of Ancelotti’s Napoli leaves Gattuso with a mighty repair job

The outgoing coach oversaw a wretched half-season but the club’s problems run deep – as his replacement soon found outGennaro Gattuso’s debut as Napoli manager had to be delayed by half an hour on Saturday after pieces of the Stadio San Paolo’s roof br…