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Wednesday, 17 October 2012 09:51

Coach & Players Talk About Denmark Victory

He had asked the three points and three points have arrived. But Cesare Prandelli may also be satisfied by the character shown by his boys, who have suffered in the first minutes after Denmark were able to move to 2-0 and keep a cool head after being subjected to the goal of 2-1 at half-time and have remained outnumbered a few seconds after the shooting.

"We found some initial difficulties - admitted the coach - they palleggiavano very low and we do not expect the transition. Then we played good football, we deserved the two goals and took the end of time a network that could complicate the race. With a man down we spent a lot, but we risked almost nothing. I saw a great spirit in ten we fought with determination and order. And for this I have to congratulate the boys. "

Italy is the first in the ranking in the group with four points ahead of second. But the road to Brazil is still very long: "We are a bit 'more relaxed, but we have to improve a lot. Balotelli? Must play well on generosity. And then he has incredible quality. "

And Balotelli was the big star of the evening, the author of a convincing performance from every point of view: "I was hoping to win this game - he said - we went ahead and the race then it is a bit 'complicated. My goal was instinct, I just tried to anticipate the goalkeeper and was a major network. To play these games you need to have great friends, I feel very important for Italy as well as all my friends. " When it leaves the field of the public Meazza stadium that saw him make his debut in Serie A for Inter, has bestowed a standing ovation: "This stage is the most beautiful of all, it gives more emotion of all. English is a different atmosphere in the stadiums, but the Meazza is beautiful. With both the National and the City I'm always busy and I'm improving a lot, this humility I've got a bit 'and I can continue to have it. "

After being among the best in the field Friday in Armenia, Riccardo Montolivo sealed with the goal to provide another very positive: "The coach does not ask me to score, ask me to give balance to the team. If, however, comes not hurt and now arrived at a turning point, after which Denmark has put a little 'difficulty. Play time in ten at these levels is difficult, the expulsion has complicated a race that already was difficult. " The AC Milan midfielder at the first goal has used a great play by Balotelli: "If Mario is why we are in good shape, he had a great race."

To defend the blue door after Buffon's injury we thought Morgan De Sancti s, which is made ​​to be ready especially on some of the conclusions from the distance: "This morning after waking up muscle Gigi (Buffon, ed) said that he did not the felt, felt even a slight discomfort and I was informed that I would play. There was a sudden choice and I had the chance to prepare mentally and technically the game. Today, as during the race with Armenia, was an important appointment because if you have to fill the squares must first win these games. "

Giorgio Chiellini has relied on his experience leaving very few occasions to Bendtner, team-mate at Juventus: "We were a bit 'complicated life, then came out of the great character of this team and we were good to share with the invention of Pirlo and Balotelli's goal. These two victories begin to create a big gap in the standings. "

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Published in News
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 09:44

10 Men Italy Wins It 3-1 Against Denmark

Italy strengthened their grip on top spot of Group B by making light of the dismissal of Pablo Osvaldo to defeat Denmark 3-1 at San Siro on Tuesday night.

Having withstood intense early pressure, the Azzurri stunned the visitors with two goals in the space of four minutes through Riccardo Montolivo and Daniele De Rossi, to put themselves in a commanding position with half-time looming.

However, William Kvist halved the home side's advantage with a volley before Osvaldo gave the Danes further reason for optimism by getting himself dismissed early in the second-half.

Mario Balotelli came to the Azzurri's aid, though, converting a terrific pass from the equally influential Andrea Pirlo to clinch a win that saw the Euro 2012 runners-up make it 10 points from a possible 12 so far in Group B.

Cesare Prandelli made four changes to the defence that had started in Armenia, which could perhaps explain why the hosts looked so shaky at the back inside the opening quarter. However, it was more down to the fact that the Danish midfield overran their Azzurri counterparts early on, allowing them to fully exploit Andrea Barzagli’s total inability to deal with Nicklas Bendtner in the air.

Indeed, the on-loan Juventus man really should have done better after being picked out by the marauding Lars Jacobsen inside the opening three minutes. Christian Eriksen then stung the palms of Morgan De Sanctis with a terrific drive from distance as the visitors continued to dominate. But, Italy gradually began to gain a foothold in the game and were desperately unfortunate not to open the scoring 18 minutes in, when Claudio Marchisio unleashed a sublime curling effort from the edge of the area that seemed destined for the top corner until Simon Kjaer popped up to block on the line.

Moments later, though, De Sanctis came to the Azzurri’s rescue again, somehow managing to keep out a low drive from Kvist with his knees. It was a highly unorthodox but undeniably crucial intervention from the Napoli goalkeeper, because Italy broke the deadlock with their next attack. Montolivo arrowed a ball into the bottom corner of the Danish net after latching onto a sublime lay-off from Balotelli.

Denmark were still coming to terms with that setback when Italy struck again, with Pirlo outfoxing Michael Silberbaeur on the right-hand side before crossing for De Rossi to head home.

The visitors were well and truly reeling, but they deservedly dragged themselves back into contention right on the stroke of half-time when the impressive Kvist guided a side-footed volley, from a deflected Jacobsen cross, past De Sanctis.

The Danes then sensed a famous win on Italian soil when Osvaldo stupidly got himself sent off for lashing out at Nicolai Stokholm less than 40 seconds after the interval. However, the loss of a man actually seemed to galvanise the Azzurri, and Balotelli in particular.

Indeed, the enigmatic forward played the lone forward role to great effect and got his just rewards for doing so when Pirlo picked out his well-timed run in behind the Denmark defence with a typically measured pass, allowing Balotelli to deftly flick the ball past Stephan Andersen.

There was no way back for Denmark thereafter, meaning their hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup are now hanging by a thread, with just two points to their name after three games played. Italy, by contrast, are already well on the way to Rio.

www.goal.com

Published in News
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 15:25

Buffon Misses Denmark Clash

Italy will have to make do without the services of Gianluigi Buffon against Denmark after the goalkeeper failed to pass fitness tests ahead of the match.

The Juventus glovesman featured for the full 90 minutes in Friday's 3-1 away win over Armenia, but an adductor injury had kept him out of training since then.

Buffon was initially hopeful that he would shake off the knock in time to start against the Danes, but Italy's medical team have now made the decision that he is not fit enough to participate at San Siro.

The 34-year-old's absence means that Napoli shot stopper Morgan De Sanctis will now get the chance to prove his worth between the sticks.

Italy currently sit top Group B with seven points from three games, while Denmark are the pool's fifth-placed side with two points from as many matches.

Tuesday's encounter is scheduled to kick off at 20:45CET.

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Published in News

Emanuele Giaccherini has highlighted the threat his Juventus team-mate Nicklas Bendtner poses to Italy before they face Denmark on Tuesday in a World Cup qualifier.

The 27-year-old Bianconeri winger is sure the Danish striker will be an important figure for both his club and country in the near future.

"Nicklas is a major player, with Arsenal he proved that he can score goals," Giaccherini said to a press conference.

"For Juventus he could become important [because] he has different qualities and characteristics from other attackers at the club."

Bendtner has said he feels on top of his game and is determined to maintain his good form against Cesare Prandelli's men regardless of who is in goals for the Azzurri.

He said: "The other night I played 90 minutes against Bulgaria, I scored and at the end I was not tired," the striker told reporters.

"I do not care who will play in goal. Italy are one of the strongest national teams in Europe."

www.goal.com

Published in News
Monday, 15 October 2012 13:23

Italy Against Denmark in History

Italy played 11 official games against Denmark that first one was a 5-3 lose on 05/08/1948 and last one was a 0-0 draw on 14/06/2004.

Italy record 7 wins, 1 draws and 3 loses versus Denmark.

05/08/1948 London Denmark 5:3 (1:0) Italy
05/12/1964 Bologna Italy 3:1 (0:1) Denmark
22/09/1976 Copenhagen Denmark 0:1 (0:1) Italy
01/11/1980 Rome Italy 2:0 (1:0) Denmark
03/06/1981 Copenhagen Denmark 3:1 (0:0) Italy
17/06/1988 Cologne Italy 2:0 (0:0) Denmark
22/02/1989 Pisa Italy 1:0 (0:0) Denmark
12/06/1991 Malmö Italy 2:0 a.e.t. Denmark
27/03/1999 Copenhagen Denmark 1:2 Italy
08/09/1999 Naples Italy 2:3 Denmark
14/06/2004 Guimaraes Denmark 0:0 Italy
16/10/2012 Milan Italy - Denmark
Published in News
Monday, 15 October 2012 12:25

Buffon: I'm Trying To Be Ready For Denmark

Captain Buffon picked up a muscular problem against Armenia, that kept him out from training in previous days.

It's not a serious injury and I'm sure that I'll be ready by 2-3 days while team doctors working with me to prepare me, Buffon says.

He Added Morgan De Sanctis will play if he don't be ready for Tuesday.

I'm very focused on national team right now and after Denmark game, will think about next week match against Napoli, Buffon answered reporters.

Published in News
Saturday, 06 October 2012 10:24

Pirlo Plans to Play in 2014 World Cup

Cesare Prandelli says he expects Andrea Pirlo to be on the plane that takes Italy to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The Juventus midfielder, who was pivotal in guiding his team to this year’s European Championship final, will be 35-years-old in two years' time, but age is not a factor in the eyes of his national coach.

"Andrea has to decide for himself and in good time what he wants to do in the future and he still feels the desire to be a key player in the position," Prandelli told Raisport. "He wants to play to the World Cup and for us he'll always be important."

Pirlo has made 91 appearances for the national team and has scored 10 goals in that period. Prandelli has indicated that he will look to bring a number of younger players into the squad as he looks to find a balance between experienced heads and exciting prospects.

He has already first international call-ups to 19-year-old AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy and 21-year-old Roma forward Mattia Destro since the European Championships.

"We've got to renew and plot our future," he added.

"We can't think about getting to such a tournament without making changes. The younger players need patience but the quality is there."

www.goal.com

Published in Players
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 09:22

Italy Won Malta 2-0 With Destro & Peluso Goals

Italy racked up their first 2014 World Cup qualification win in Modena on Tuesday night, but in the most underwhelming fashion, Cesare Prandelli's men stuttering their way to a 2-0 win over Group B minnows Malta.

Mattia Destro opened the scoring with just over five minutes gone but the Azzurri failed dismally to build on their early advantage and struggled terribly to break down a side ranked 139th in the world.

Indeed, Federico Peluso's last-gasp header was scarcely deserved in light of such an insipid display from the Euro 2012 runners-up.

While Italy had looked very vulnerable in their 2-2 draw with Bulgaria last Friday, that they performed so poorly against Malta was surprising given they could not have hoped for a better start.

Indeed, less than six minutes had elapsed when Claudio Marchisio split the Malta defence with a measured ball from the middle of the park that Destro allowed to drift across him before coolly prodding past Andrew Hogg in the Malta goal.

With the Euro 2012 runners-up having made such an early breakthrough, a rout looked a distinct possibility and the Azzurri quickly set about trying to secure a two-goal cushion.

Pablo Osvaldo threatened twice either side of a well-struck Alessandro Diamanti free-kick that Hogg did well to turn over the bar, the Roma striker first heading wide from a corner before then being denied by a splendidly timed last-gasp challenge from Luke Dimech.

However, Italy soon ran out of ideas and Malta even began to threaten on the counterattack as a half which had begun so brightly quickly fizzled out.

Cesare Prandelli unsurprisingly responded to his side’s lacklustre offensive display by replacing the dreadfully ineffective Diamanti with Lorenzo Insigne, who injected some badly needed excitement into the game.

Indeed, the Napoli forward’s quick feet and direct running caused the Maltese defence no end of trouble and it was from an Insigne pass that fellow substitute Giampaolo Pazzini should have doubled Italy’s advantage. However, the in-form AC Milan striker could only side-foot the ball wide from the edge of the six-yard area.

Pazzini, who proved far more of a handful than the man he had replaced, Osvaldo, threatened twice more before Italy finally grabbed a second right at the death, with Peluso's near-post header from an Andrea Pirlo corner somehow finding its way past Hogg.

That goal, though, could not paper over the cracks that have been evident in Italy's opening two games in Group B and a massive improvement is needed ahead of next month's trip to Armenia and subsequent home game against Denmark.

www.goal.com

Published in News
Monday, 10 September 2012 21:20

Prandelli named his lineup against Malta

Cesare Prandelli named his first 11 starting players for Tuesday match against Malta from World Cup 2014 Brazil qualification games.

Azzurri will play 4-3-1-2 with some changes compare to last week disappointing game against Bulgaria that ended 2-2.

Confirmed lineup: 1 Buffon; 5 Cassani, 15 Barzagli, 19 Bonucci, 3 Peluso; 23 Nocerino, 21 Pirlo, 8 Marchisio; 22 Diamanti; 20 Destro, 9 Osvaldo.

Published in News

Italy were held to a 2-2 draw by Bulgaria in their opening 2014 World Cup qualifier after an absorbing Group B clash in Sofia on Friday night.

Stanislav Manolev put the home side ahead with a long-distance drive that Azzurri goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made a mess of, but it was a the visitors who led at the interval courtesy of Pablo Osvaldo's first goals in international football.

However, Bulgaria claimed a fully merited draw when Georgi Milanov struck midway through the second half of a game that really could have gone either way.

While Bulgaria lined out in a defensive-looking 4-5-1, Emil Gargorov actually ended up playing just in behind lone striker Ivelin Popov, and the hosts played their part in a surprisingly open and entertaining first half.

Lubo Penev’s men were not only compact, and consequently comfortable, at the back in the early exchanges, restricting the Azzurri to nothing more than a tame header from Osvaldo, they also posed a serious threat on the counterattack, as well as set-pieces.

Indeed, they very nearly took the lead midway through the first half but Gianluigi Buffon reacted well to a Gargorov free-kick from wide on the right-hand side which eluded everyone in the area - and very nearly the Azzurri skipper too.

However, it was Buffon who was to blame for Italy falling behind on the half-hour mark, the Juventus ace being deceived by the bounce of the ball after Manolev had chanced his arm from all of 30 metres out.

Given the paucity of their performance up until that point, Italy appeared to be in a really tight spot. However, they had turned the game around by the interval, albeit in very scrappy fashion.

Osvaldo drew the visitors level after scuffing a shot past Nikolay Mihaylov, after Claudio Marchisio’s knockdown had dropped for him in the area, via a slight deflection off Sebastian Giovinco.

The Roma man’s second goal for his adopted nation was even more fortuitous, Osvaldo beating Mihaylov with a header that had come off his shoulder before then striking Ivan Ivanov to give the Bulgarian goalkeeper absolutely no chance.

Osvaldo’s could even have completed a hat-trick by the break but his best strike of the half was beaten away by Mihaylov. At that stage, that save looked inconsequential, particularly with Italy looking a far more potent force at the start of the second period, with Giovinco bringing another good stop out of the home side’s keeper after collecting a tidy layoff from Osvaldo.

However, Bulgaria regained their composure and had already threatened Buffon’s goal on a couple of occasions before they deservedly drew level on 66 minutes, substitute Iliyan Mitsanski cutting the ball back for Milanov, who calmly controlled it before sweeping it past Buffon.

Both sides had chances to win it late, with Manolev and Osvaldo both seeing decent strikes well saved, but a draw was arguably the right result and Bulgaria and Italy will go into their respective clashes with Armenia and Malta next week on one point apiece.

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Published in News
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