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Author Archive for Paolo Bandini

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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…

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Cristiano Ronaldo scoring for Juventus is just a goal, nothing else | Paolo Bandini

The Ronaldo case is bringing out the worst aspects of football’s tribalism, with reactions driven by club loyalties over any consideration of the human beings involved Cristiano Ronaldo scored a goal on Saturday. Not one that is likely to be remembered…

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Juventus in daunting form as Ronaldo turns provider against Napoli | Paolo Bandini

The record signing rediscovered some old wing wizardry as the champions won 3-1 amid their best start to a season since 1930For a man who launched an app devoted to football tactics, Massimiliano Allegri does not always sound terribly fond of them. “We…

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Krzysztof Piatek’s glorious run goes on as Genoa swat aside Chievo

The Rossoblu spent just €4.5m on the Polish striker but he is comfortably outscoring more expensive summer signingsKrzysztof Piatek did not require any act of misdirection to save himself from getting mobbed at the airport when he arrived for his medic…

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Revamped Roma’s rapid decline leaves Di Francesco in line of fire | Paolo Bandini

Summer deals have left last season’s Champions League semi-finalists imbalanced and time is not on the manager’s sideFive games in, and the Serie A top scorers chart has a decidedly unfamiliar feel. Fans might have expected to see Cristiano Ronaldo in …

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Ronaldo and Costa steal limelight as Dimarco downs parent club Inter | Paolo Bandini

Inter began this season billed as the team most likely to deny Juve another Scudetto, but things already look gloomyCristiano Ronaldo’s first Serie A goal arrived right on schedule. Granted, it might not have felt that way to the Juventus supporters wh…

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Quagliarella caps bad night for Napoli as Juventus set Serie A pace | Paolo Bandini

Never before in this era of domestic domination have they established sole possession of first place so early in a campaignTime to release the confetti, pass out the champagne and discover what clunky social media pun Juventus have planned to follow on…

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Carlo Ancelotti shreds the Napoli narrative with comeback win over Milan

Napoli were supposed to be a team lost without the leadership of Maurizio Sarri but there 3-2 win suggests there could be a different tale to tell this seasonMaurizio Sarri can have few regrets over his decision to swap Serie A for the Premier League. …

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Carlo Ancelotti shreds the Napoli narrative with comeback win over Milan

Napoli were supposed to be a team lost without the leadership of Maurizio Sarri but there 3-2 win suggests there could be a different tale to tell this seasonMaurizio Sarri can have few regrets over his decision to swap Serie A for the Premier League. …

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Cristiano Ronaldo gets immediate induction to ‘fino alla fine’ at Juventus

On Ronaldo’s debut, the Bianconeri started fast at Chievo, lost their way in the middle but ultimately found a way to winAt last, the real thing. A month had passed since Cristiano Ronaldo touched down in Turin, placing Juventus and Serie A back at the…

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Juventus’s Cristiano Ronaldo heralds lift in Serie A mood for new season | Paolo Bandini

Transfer coup means Juve want to win the Champions League while Inter are likely to be their closest challengers at homeThis was supposed to be a grim summer for Italian football supporters. For the first time in six decades a World Cup was taking plac…

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Alisson: the bold and brave Brazilian with goalkeeping in his genes | Paolo Bandini

Liverpool’s £66.9m signing, who comes from a family of goalkeepers and models himself on Manuel Neuer, overcame a testing start at Roma to become the world’s most expensive keeperAlisson may be a little more cautious in his approach to learning a new l…

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Will former banker Maurizio Sarri reap dividends for Chelsea? | Paolo Bandini

The new coach at Stamford Bridge rarely surprised anyone with his tactics at Napoli, yet they often swept opponents asideAt last, Chelsea can see “a fumata bianca”. In the lexicon of Italian football journalism, that phrase – “white smoke” – is used to…

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Cristiano Ronaldo for €100m at 33? Indulgence or Juventus masterstroke? | Paolo Bandini

To pay such a sum for a player surely past his peak seems a risk but the Italian champions have not made many mistakes latelyCristiano Ronaldo described it in matter-of-fact terms as “the moment to begin a new cycle”. In Italy the headline writers went…