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Lega Pro Special – End Of Season Review

The regular season in Italy’s third and fourth tiers came to an exciting climax last weekend and while some players can pack their Louis Vuitton wash bags and head to the beach, others are left to sweat it out in the end of season play-offs and play-outs – where survival could mean the difference between professional football next season and disappearance into the abyss of the amateur ranks.
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Scotland 1-4 Italy U21s – Azzurrini cause Scotland to scream blue murder

Edinburgh 25 April 2012

Ciro Ferrara brought his young squad to a very cold Easter Road for a last friendly before they resume their qualifiers next month against Ireland.  There were a number of noticeable absentees due to the rescheduling of Serie A fixtures following the tragic death of Piermario Morosini, such as Stephane El Shaarawy and Mattia Destro.  However, it is fair to say that their replacements took their chance to shine, playing well in difficult conditions to run out 4-1 winners against Scotland.
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Lega Pro Special – Tension Rising In Season’s Final Stages

A fabulously entertaining season in Italy’s third and fourth tiers enters its final few weeks of competition and for many clubs there is still everything to play for.

Vigor Lamezia within reach of the most unlikely title

Vigor Lamezia within reach of the most unlikely title in Lega Pro 2B


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Cesena suffer a difficult second Serie A season

Cesena were one of last season’s most loved upstarts, but after a catastrophic second season in the top flight look almost certain to remain rooted to the bottom of the table and return to the purgatory of Serie B.

The club had not featured in the top flight since the early 90s when they were relegated while under the guidance of a young Marcello Lippi, but following two promotions in three seasons their overflowing and vivacious fans would be unleashed on Serie A once more. Whether it was after their whirlwind defeat of Milan – a club whose wage bill was over 16 times greater – or after Emmanuele Giaccherini’s scuffed, deflected, safety-securing goal against Brescia, lowly Cesena were admired by many in Serie A last season.
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Milan-Juventus: What on Earth have you done now?

Here we are, almost a week after the fact, still scratching our heads and trying to work out what on Earth went wrong during Milan-Juventus. Commenting now is like turning up at half-past seven in the morning to a house party. The whole place smells of vodka, the living room is covered in empty bottles, there is vomit all over the stairs – Estigarribia, probably, he’s only small bless him – the upstairs bathroom door has been smashed in – I’m looking at you Mark Van Bommel – and some poor soul has had their head drawn on with permanent marker – Antonio Conte, eh?

Serie A recoils from its own form of vandalism

Serie A recoils from its own form of vandalism

Milan versus Juventus was supposed to be a title decider, in February. It would be the game from which the winner would march boldly towards another league title. Instead it was a phoney war, the presenting of arms in the week leading up to it racked up the tension and the shots fired from both sides after the match turned a good game into an irrelevant chain of disgraceful events.
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Trouble at Lazio for Edy Reja and Lotito

“I don’t know how long I can go on for” were the words uttered by Edy Reja just under a year ago upon receiving a hail of abuse from the fans following a 1-1 draw against Cesena, and it wasn’t to be the first or last time that the Lazio boss would threaten to quit the Rome club.

Lazio's brave eagles have had a very confused week

Lazio's brave eagles have had a very confused week

The last week has been beyond farcical in Rome with the coach tendering a resignation before having it thrown back in his face. All is not well at the club and while the relationship between Edy Reja and Claudio Lotito has been super-glued back together, a departure now feels inevitable.
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The problem with Wesley Sneijder

“Inter collapse, now it’s a real crisis” reads the headline in La Repubblica over the match report from the San Siro on Friday night, with Diego Costa beginning the piece saying “Inter are a side who are lost”. Fabrizio Bocca, also La Rep, allowed himself a single word to describe the result, “Amen”. That is to say, that while the current run is shocking it is completely believable and somewhat unsurprising. The root causes of the problems affecting the Milan club are numerous, and well documented elsewhere, but throughout this season and more specifically the recent poor run one aspect of the Inter team has been particularly interesting to follow: the deployment of Wesley Sneijder.

It's been a while since the San Siro held a party in black and blue
It’s been a while since the San Siro held a party in black and blue (Image via Flickr)


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