Two late goals, six points, a big red&black heart: today we reviewed #GenoaMilan and #MilanChievo 👉🏻 bit.ly/season-review-genoa-chievo 🔍
Due reti negli ultimi minuti, sei punti, un grande cuore rossonero: oggi nella nostra Season Review analizziamo le vittorie contro Genoa e Chievo 👉🏻 bit.ly/review-genoa-chievo 🔍
What a year it was for Italian football. The proverbial, "you can not write this script" could not have been more apt to describe the way the season panned out. Italy had just won the world cup and the whole nation was in a state of euphoria, but it would not be Italy, without a bit of drama. But it was not just a bit of drama, it was a lot of drama.
No sooner had the celebration begun in earnest, than the nation was bracing itself for the scandal that had broken out prior to the world cup and was a to rock the football world .. The end result was catastrophic to Italian football in general and some clubs specifically. The initial ruling had Juventus demoted to serieB with a 30-point deficit and stripped off the 2 titles that won in 2004/05 and 2005/06. They were relegated along with Reggina, Fiorentina, Milan and Lazio.
But on appeal, Milan were reinstated but with an 8-point deficit, which meant they could qualify for the preliminary rounds of Champions league, Reggina, Lazio and Fiorentina were also reinstated but with points deficit. Juventus were still stripped of both titles and still demoted, as they were accused to have committed the most heinous offs but their point deduction was reduced to 9.
This meant Inter Milan was crowned SerieA champions, for the first time since season 1989/90, Chievo, by virtue of coming 6th in the league were promoted to 3rd and Champions league. (This decision later turned out to be crucial to both AC Milan and Chievo seasons). Roma, who came 5th were promoted to second as Fiorentina and Milan who were 4th and 3rd respectfully, after the points deduction, were demoted to lower positions. Fiorentina was actually in the relegation area, following the outcome of the decision. It will be the first ever serieA without its greatest and most successful club, Juventus.
Juventus had not only to contend with the humiliation of playing in serieB, they also saw their big stars leave to other clubs. This is a club that provided no fewer than 7 players in the world cup final itself between Italy and France. Players like Lillian Thuram, David Trezeguet, Patrick Vieira, Mauro Camoranesi, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta Alessandro Delpiero and Gianluigi Buffon all featured in the final. Following the decision, Thuram, Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Vieira, Adrian Mutu, Emerson, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all left to other clubs, much to the consternation of the fans.
Inter Milan profited in more ways than 1 by the decision to demote Juventus, in that they not only became champions after Juve were beaten, but they also acquitted Zlatan and Vieira from the Bianconeri. They also welcomed in players like Maxwell from Ajax, Fabio Grosso, (who had played a role in Italy's triumph, in fact, he scored the winning goal in the penalty shootout) who came from Palermo, Maicon came from Monaco and Hernan Crespo came on loan from Chelsea.
However the season did not start well for them, and there were calls in some quarters for Coach Roberto Mancini to be sacked. Thankfully did not happen and they went on to dominate SerieA. Along the way they equaled and then beat the number of consecutive wins in both serieA and in Europe's big 5, by going on a 17 match consecutive winning streak which started with a 4-1 thumping of Livorno and ended with a 1-1 draw against Udinese.
They were also involved in one of the best games of the season in any league in Europe, with their 4-2 defeat of city rivals AC Milan. It was a fantastic match from beginning to end. Inter had an almost perfect season, marred only by the death of Giacinto Facchetti, the 6-2 thumping they received at the hands of Roma in the cup final and their horrible behavior in the Champions league match against Valencia, were they players fighting, not to win, but actual brawling.
They went on to win serieA by a canter and defender Marco Materazzi was having a season to remember. He was Inter's most valuable player alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Inter were just too powerful for the opposition and they steamrollered the competition winning SerieA by 16 points in the end.
Another black spot of the season happened during the Friday evening game between Catania and Palermo. The game ended in a draw but will be remembered for the violence that ensued which led to the death of a policeman. This condemned in the banning of fans in stadia of every team. This decision was then relaxed to exclude teams with safety precautions and then after a while, things were back to normal.
Palermo were the early pace setters and at one time they were thinking of being crowned champions, but things took a turn for the worse when star striker Amauri, which they had just bought from Chievo got injured. This badly hurt their system and their season went downhill just managing to qualify for Europe.
Roma had a very good season and were among the most exciting teams to watch in the whole of Europe. They persevered with their unorthodox way of playing without strikers. World cup winner and Roma's favorite son, Francesco Totti being the heart of everything they did, ably assisted by the extremely talented Danielle De Rossi, Aquilani, Amartino Mancini, and Taddei.
They started the season by bringing in Mirko Vucinic, Max Tonetto, Marco Cassetti, David Pizarro and later on Tavano from Valencia They achieved the highest winning margin in serieA for a long time when they thumped Catania 7-0. The highlights of their season was defeating Lyon away 2-0, winning the Coppa Italia, and defeating Inter Milan 7-3 on aggregate, doing the double over Inter Milan in the league and defeating Milan at the San Siro. The obvious black marks were the humiliating defeats against Manchester United 7-1 in Champions league and 3-0 defeat by city rivals Lazio.
Lazio had a very good season, albeit playing very boring football; they did manage to come 3rd in the league. Their outstanding players were Cristian Ledesma and Tomasso Rocchi. They also lost club captain Massimo Oddo to AC Milan. This season also saw the retirement of 1 of Italy's greatest goal keepers, Angelo Perruzi.
AC Milan had a very strange season, following the fallout of the Callipolli; they seem to be feeling sorry for themselves initially. The exhaustion of some of their key players from the world cup may have also contributed to what was a disappointing season in serieA. Gennaro Gattusso and Andrea Pirlo were very instrumental in Italy's world cup win, while Fillipo Inzaghi and Alberto Gilardino also played in the world cup.
Another huge blow for them was the sale of Andriy Shevchencko to Chelsea; this affected their goal scoring in a very big way. They started season with only 1 major signing Ricardo Olivera from Real Betis. He turned out to be a major disappointment. They later bought in Massimo Oddo and Ronaldo from Real Madrid, these turned out to be far better signings. Ronaldo seems to revitalize their attack and thought out the best in kaka in serieA.
In the league, they had so many low points, like losing twice to Inter in the league for the first time in years, losing so many games at home and their chronic inability to score with Pippo Inzaghi, Gilardino and Oliveria having very poor seasons in the league. Their undated high point was winning the champions league for the 7th time.
Fiorentina also had a sluggish start, but they soon started to garner points and did extremely well to qualify for Europe. They had brought in players of the ilk of Adrian Mutu and others like Manuel Blasi and Reginaldo. Luca Toni was again instrumental with their climb up the ladder, weighing up with goals as Mutu. They played some very good stuff and without the scandals, they absolutely would have finished a lot higher. All in all, it was a very good season for Fiorentina.
Empoli enjoyed a fantastic season by their standards and managed to qualify for Europe by coming 6th. Reginna had in all probability, the most remarkable of all the teams in SerieA; they managed to somehow over an 11-point deficit against all the odds. They also had the best goal scoring pair in serieA with Nicola Amoruso and Rolando Bianchi excelling.
Chievo suffered from being in the champions league qualifiers, and never seemed to ever recover from being knocked out by a team as poor as Levtski Sofia. They went on to be relegated along with Messina and Ascoli.
All in all, it was a pretty poor season in SerieA, with so many unremarkable teams, no doubt the absence of such a giant as Juventus being a massive factor but also the lack of great foreign players. Fiorentina, Roma and the 2 Milan clubs apart, no club had a world renounced foreign player. Throughout the season you had clubs firing and rehiring Managers, thereby exposing the lack of good technicians working in SerieA.
Inter Milan were the undated team of the season but I will vote for Walter Mazzari, for his job at Reginna as the Manager of the season.
LIVE from Milanello, the first 2018/19 training session 🔴⚫️
Il primo allenamento della stagione LIVE da Milanello 🔴⚫️