While Ronaldo remains scoreless, Napoli impresses again

first_imgReina and midfielder Jorginho — who followed Sarri to Chelsea — were the only significant departures for Napoli during the offseason, keeping together a unit that produced consistently spectacular football last season.“You can tell that we trust each other and have been together for many years,” defender Kalidou Koulibaly said. “We know that we can turn situations around, but at the same time we shouldn’t get ourselves in those positions in the first place.”DISAPPEARING ACTGennaro Gattuso was outcoached by Ancelotti, his former manager when he was a Milan player.“The biggest regret is that after (Napoli’s) goal for 2-1, we simply disappeared from the game,” Gattuso said. “I take full responsibility, because if the team is afraid, then that is the fault of the coach. We just switched off after the first mistake and that also happened many times last season.”Milan also showed an inability to set up prized acquisition Gonzalo Higuain with scoring chances.SCORELESS RONALDOWhile much has been made of Ronaldo’s inability to score in Juventus’ opening two matches, it’s worth remembering that he also didn’t score in Real Madrid’s opening three Spanish league matches last season — even though he did score in other competitions for Madrid during that spell.While Juventus players were given a day off following a 2-0 win over Lazio, Ronaldo was back at work. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner tweeted a picture of himself stretching in the gym on Sunday morning.DIGITAL DELAY Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Dazn, the online platform that has exclusive rights to three Serie A matches in Italy each round, is having trouble meeting the overwhelming demand for its services.Local media report that subscribers paying 9.99 euros per month have been hit with blurry pictures and delays.Dazn holds domestic rights to the coveted Saturday night matches, such as Napoli-AC Milan this past weekend.SERIE B BYE WEEKSSerie B began this weekend with 19 teams as opposed to the usual 22 due to the bankruptcies of Avellino, Bari and Cesena.As a result, one club will rest each round.The status of the second division prompted Italian Olympic Committee head Giovanni Malago to push this week for reducing Serie A from 20 to 16 clubs.“It seems to be that almost all football sporting directors in recent years have agreed reform of the leagues is the mother of all battles,” Malago said.“It’s not up to me to say whether we start from Serie A, Serie B or the minor leagues, but clearly the system cannot handle the number of teams that we got accustomed to. There are clubs that cannot sustain the costs of operating and it has a knock-on effect for the rest of the system.” “Ancelotti told us that this year every player will be used when he’s in good shape,” said Zielinski, who scored a brace against Milan. “I’m happy to have given my contribution so far.”Zielinski’s first goal against Milan was scored with his right foot and his second with his left.“Many people tell me I ought to shoot more with either foot and I will try to do that this season,” Zielinski said. “When I was a kid, I was right-footed, but my father made me use the left more to get it up to speed.”Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina was partly responsible for both of Milan’s goals, meaning Ancelotti may promote Orestis Karnezis for next weekend’s match at Sampdoria.Napoli signed goalkeeper Alex Meret from Udinese in July for a reported fee of 25 million euros (now $29 million) to replace the departed Pepe Reina but Meret remains out with an injured arm.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Asian Games: Philippines falls to South Korea anew, out of basketball medal race Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The southern club has come from behind to win both of its opening two matches, against quality opponents in Lazio and AC Milan.Carlo Ancelotti showed off his veteran coaching credentials with a change in tactics for the second half of a 3-2 win over Milan on Saturday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Dries Mertens was put on for midfielder Marek Hamsik as a fourth forward and scored the winner to cap a comeback from two goals down.Ancelotti also promoted Piotr Zielinski to a full starter role after the Poland midfielder was kept as a first-choice reserve all of last season under former coach Maurizio Sarri, who left for Chelsea. ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal View comments Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Lazio at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)ROME — While Cristiano Ronaldo is still figuring out how to score past Italian league defenders, Napoli is picking up right where it left off from last season.Only two rounds of Serie A are completed but Napoli is again shaping up as Juventus’ top challenger.ADVERTISEMENT Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs MOST READlast_img read more

Azkals: Everything we’ve got

first_imgMOST READ Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? “I like our team,” he said. “I like it very much, we have a lot of good football players and we are playing with a big heart. I’m proud of the team.”The Azkals proved compact and disciplined, tracking back when they lost possession against the Indonesians, but it may take more than that effort against Vietnam, especially with Sato, one of the team’s best defenders and a threat going forward, missing the semifinals.“We’ll really have to regroup and make sure we’re ready for Vietnam,” said Palami.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Playing four matches in 12 days in three different countries, the Azkals emerged unbeaten from Group B, picking up eight points, following wins over Singapore and Timor Leste and stalemates over Thailand and Indonesia.Five players have scored for the team so far in the tournament, but so many times in the group stage, the Azkals also left themselves exposed defensively. They’ve somehow done enough to cover mistakes that haunted the team in the past.In the goalless draw with Indonesia, the Azkals coped well against a counterattacking team that had plenty of pace on the wings, while surviving the absence of skipper Phil Younghusband, who sustained a cut and had to be substituted by Curt Dizon in the 25th minute.Younghusband said his cut took four stitches to close, but vowed he’ll be ready come the semifinals.“I think this time we’ve played with a lot of heart,” winger Patrick Reichelt said. “Everybody is fighting for the next guy. There’s a lot of communication on the pitch and positive screaming and encouragement, I feel this year we have a good group.”Only three weeks into the job, coach Sven Goran Eriksson hailed his squad’s “big heart.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The Philippines’ Patrick Reichelt controls the ball against Indonesia at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Sunday. The match ended in a goalless draw.JAKARTA—After surviving the AFF (Asean Football Federation) Suzuki Cup’s Group of Death for a fourth semifinal appearance in five tournaments, the Philippine Azkals have their work cut out for them even before they face Vietnam over two legs in the knockout round.As if toppling an in-form Vietnamese side isn’t an already difficult task, the Azkals will have to do it without left back Daisuke Sato, who has ruled himself out of the tournament after he was recalled by Romanian club Sepsi.ADVERTISEMENT Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award But the challenges that the Azkals managed to navigate and survive during the home-and-away group stage may be enough to prepare them for any complications in the semifinals starting with the first leg on Sunday at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.The second leg is slated four days later in Hanoi, but the Azkals are down to 19 players from an original 23-man team, following the departures of Sato, Neil Etheridge and Stephan Palla due to club commitments and Luke Woodland due to injury.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“It hasn’t been a smooth ride for us in terms of preparations,” Azkals manager Dan Palami admitted.“There have been some glitches and I think I have to credit the heart of our players who put everything aside and not think about the problems every time they are on the pitch. That has been the asset of our team. Once they’re on the pitch, they give everything. I think that’s how Filipinos are.” PSI preparations go full blast for 2019 PH SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more