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Author Archive for Paolo Bandini

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Moise Kean’s explosive return offers Juve secret weapon against Atlético

Two goals against Udinese suggest Juventus’s forgotten wonderkid may just be their Champions League saviourAt a glance, Juventus’s preparations for a season-defining showdown with Atlético Madrid appear almost ideal. After losing 2-0 at the Wanda Metro…

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Lazio’s Inzaghi forces inquest upon Roma after derby thrashing

A handsome Rome derby victory for Lazio piles the pressure on Roma’s Eusebio Di FrancescoSimone Inzaghi could not allow himself to celebrate right away. The Rome derby was 12 minutes old when Felipe Caicedo rounded Robin Olsen and rolled home the openi…

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Fiorentina and Inter play a little but watch a lot of VAR in frantic draw

With 101 minutes between goals a draw was the fair result but the bigger concern was more VAR disruptionThe first goal arrived after 17 seconds, the last in the 101st minute. There were six in total, including a gorgeous left-foot finish by Matteo Poli…

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Mauro Icardi, Internazionale and the return of unwelcome headlines | Paolo Bandini

Inter dug deep to see off Sampdoria, but without their forward after he was stripped of the captaincyThe first time the big screen cut to Mauro Icardi, it stayed with him for only a few seconds. He had arrived just before kick-off for Inter’s game agai…

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Milan’s Piatek and Paquetá milk it after Cagliari get blocked by farmers | Paolo Bandini

Away games against Milan are a daunting prospect at the best of times, let alone when you’re stuck in the middle of a protestIt began like so many other Saturdays at Cagliari’s practice facility, the manager Rolando Maran coming in from training to upd…

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Juventus are well clear in Serie A, albeit with mounting sense of concern | Paolo Bandini

It feels absurd to say of a team that has dropped six points in 22 games, but Juve have not been playing well for some timeNine points clear at the top of Serie A, Juventus are on the cusp of a crisis. Well, that’s what the papers say. Even La Repubbli…

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Tom Brady ignores brickbats and glimpses Super Bowl glory once again | Paolo Bandini

The 41-year-old New England Patriot will contest Sunday’s Super Bowl for a record ninth time, against Los Angeles RamsAs usual Tom Brady had the final word. More than 35,000 fans had turned up to the pep rally hosted by the New England Patriots before …

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Serie A’s weekend of thrills topped by great entertainers Atalanta again | Paolo Bandini

Other matches featured seven goals, two penalties and red cards but Atalanta’s comeback against Roma beat the lotIt was one of those days in Serie A. Oh, you know the sort: when the lunchtime kick-off features seven goals, two penalties, and a red card…

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Serie A returns with a reminder that it can be beautiful too | Paolo Bandini

After its grim end to 2018, Serie A returned from the winter break with an entertaining round of gamesThe crowd at San Siro was the smallest it had been for any game in this Serie A season, yet also perhaps the most uplifting. Inter’s match against Sas…

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Serie A sees out 2018 with division, controversy and a relentless Juventus | Paolo Bandini

Their was support, if not united, for Kalidou Koulibaly in Naples, while VAR issues clouded the final games of the yearKalidou Koulibaly was suspended for Napoli’s final game of 2018. He will miss the first league fixture of next year, too. He had been…

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One death, alleged racist abuse and a Boxing Day of shame in Serie A

A fan was killed before the Inter v Napoli match while Kalidou Koulibaly faced alleged racist abuse from the stands during itIt should have been an occasion to celebrate. For the first time since 1971, a round of Serie A fixtures was being played on 26…

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Radja Nainggolan takes fall for Inter’s struggles but is not solely responsible | Paolo Bandini

Inter have made a statement with suspending the Belgian but they should have been more diligent before paying €24m plus two quality players for his servicesRadja Nainggolan crashed his car on the day he came to Inter. A tyre burst on his Ferrari Lusso …

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Roma woes find temporary relief with win amid Pallotta protests | Paolo Bandini

Before the unconvincing win over Genoa, banners and posters appeared all over the city telling Roma’s president to ‘go home’It is sometimes said, in a sporting context, that winning cures all ills. But not in Italy’s capital city. Roma beat Genoa 3-2 a…

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Napoli gear up for Anfield in style amid flurry of Serie A late shows | Paolo Bandini

Truth be told, this was a weekend of high drama but only modest consequence for most of Serie AThis was not a good weekend for those Serie A fans who prefer to leave a game early and beat the traffic. Cagliari salvaged a point at home to Roma with a go…

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Roma and Totti rage against machine after VAR malfunction saves Inter

A baffling decision not to review a clear foul on Nicolò Zaniolo cost Roma a penalty and added to frustration with technology“There’s nothing to say,” lamented Francesco Totti. And then he said it anyway. “We’re all here asking ourselves how the guys i…

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Genoa and Sampdoria give wounded city a brief window of escape | Paolo Bandini

For one evening the Stadio Luigi Ferraris was a world unto itself in a city still recovering from the Morandi bridge disaster The noise rolling down from the stands of the Stadio Luigi Ferraris was cacophonous, but TV microphones still picked up Ivan J…

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Gonzalo Higuaín suffers Milan meltdown as Juve push him over the edge | Paolo Bandini

Gattuso warned the striker to stay calm but a missed penalty sent the former Juve talisman spiralling towards a red cardHad Gennaro Gattuso noticed something in training, the first tremors that foretell the eruption of an emotional volcano? Milan’s mat…

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The reinvention of João Mário and how Inter have found a new spirit | Paolo Bandini

In the summer, the midfielder said he did not want to play for Inter again. On Saturday, he was at the heart of their 5-0 winJoão Mário sounded so certain. Interviewed by Gazzetta dello Sport at the start of June – just after he had completed a success…

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Milan find their groove as two No 9s equal success against Sampdoria

Patrick Cutrone and Gonzalo Higuaín are forming an unlikely partnership after both scored to boost Gennaro GattusoOld habits die hard for Silvio Berlusconi. It is more than a year since he sold Milan, and barely a month since he completed a takeover of…

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Mauro Icardi lives up to Higuaín’s hype as Milan derby rocks with hope

Inter’s lethal finisher scored an injury-time winner in a derby notable for the feelgood factor among both sets of fans“An assassin.” That was how Gonzalo Higuaín described Mauro Icardi in the build-up to Sunday’s Derby della Madonnina. Invited by Gazz…