Inter to test Juve’s title defense claims

Updated 03 November 2012
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Inter to test Juve’s title defense claims

Milan, Italy: Champions Juventus face a test of their title-defending credentials today when a resurgent Inter Milan travel to Turin with a real chance of reducing their four-point deficit to the leaders.
Juventus extended their unbeaten streak to 49 matches after a late Paul Pogba header helped secure a 2-1 win away to Bologna Wednesday as Napoli slipped up at Atalanta and Inter moved up to second with a 3-1 win at home to Sampdoria.
A 50th match without defeat — Juve’s last reverse came against Parma in May 2011 — will be expected by fans of the Old Lady, but Inter’s resurgence has slashed the odds.
Inter’s sixth win on the trot came in convincing and timely fashion ahead of a fixture billed as the ‘Derby d’Italia’.
Indeed, Inter have peaked so well for this game conspiracy theorists might suggest that canny 36-year-old coach Andrea Stramaccioni, who recently waved off comparisons with Jose ‘The Special One’ Mourinho, had timed it deliberately.
Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso admits Juve’s “good run” deserved applause, but said Inter’s good form is a reflection of their high expectations.
While Inter seem to be relishing the challenge, Juve could be suspected of feeling the pinch ahead of a possible 50th match without defeat.
On Thursday it was announced coach Angelo Alessio, the caretaker in the absence of the suspended Antonio Conte, would not be talking to the press prior to the game — the second such decision this week on the part of the club.
Juve defender Andrea Barzagli was not scared to admit Stramaccioni’s Inter, boasting the attacking talents of Diego Milito, Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio, have made them sit up and take notice.
Fixtures (all times GMT)
Saturday: Milan v Chievo (1600), Juventus v Inter Milan (1845)
Sunday: Perscara v Parma (1030), Bologna v Udinese, Catania v Lazio, Fiorentina v Cagliari, Sampdoria v Atalanta, Siena v Genoa, Napoli v Torino (all 1300), Roma v Palermo (1845).



Juventus’s defense has leaked only five goals, the meanest in the league, in 10 games, to Inter’s nine.
On Saturday Milan, 12th at 17 points adrift of Juve, host Chievo at the San Siro with only one thing on their minds: “We have to beat Chievo if we are to start climbing up the table,” said midfielder Kevin Constant.
Napoli, who dropped to third at six points behind Juve, could yet be without top striker Edinson Cavani when Torino visit on Sunday, the Uruguayan having missed the trip to Bergamo due to an injury niggle.
After a sluggish start to the season Fiorentina are enjoying a purple patch and moved up to fifth thanks to a 1-0 win away to Genoa Thursday, three days ahead of hosting Cagliria.
Zdenek Zeman’s Roma, meanwhile, host Palermo in Sunday’s late match hoping to put their recent setbacks behind them.
Two consecutive 3-2 defeats, to Udinese then Parma on Wednesday, have left the Giallorossi seventh, 14 points adrift of Juve and for many their defense is to blame.
While Roma, along with Juventus, have scored a league-topping 22 goals they have conceded the most goals, at 19.
Fixtures (all times GMT)
Saturday:
Milan v Chievo (1600), Juventus v Inter Milan (1845)
Sunday: Perscara v Parma (1030), Bologna v Udinese, Catania v Lazio, Fiorentina v Cagliari, Sampdoria v Atalanta, Siena v Genoa, Napoli v Torino (all 1300), Roma v Palermo (1845)


Ramadel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina star as stylish Colombia break Polish hearts

Updated 25 June 2018
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Ramadel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina star as stylish Colombia break Polish hearts

  • The disappointing Poland became the first European side eliminated from the tournament
  • The South Americans’ bid for a place in the last 16 will be determined by the results from their final game with Senegal

KAZAN: Radamel Falcao, Yerry Mina and Juan Cuadrado scored as stylish Colombia boosted their World Cup last 16 hopes with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Poland on Sunday.
In a match destined to see the loser sent home after the group stages, Colombia overcame a nervous start against Adam Nawalka’s men to move up to third place in Group H, one point behind Japan and Senegal.
The disappointing Poland became the first European side eliminated from the tournament.
“I’m very sorry and very sad about the result, but tomorrow’s another day and we have to come to terms with things,” said Poland coach Adam Nawalka.
“Our players did their best until the end of the game. We lost to a very strong team and this is something we have to accept.
“I extend my congratulations to Colombia.”
The South Americans’ bid for a place in the last 16 will be determined by the results from their final game with Senegal, who drew 2-2 with Japan earlier in the day.
Colombia’s march to the quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago came thanks to James Rodriguez’s six-goal tally for Los Cafeteros.
And days after a troublesome calf injury restricted him to a half-hour cameo role as 10-man Colombia stumbled to a 2-1 defeat against Japan, the Bayern Munich midfielder was back to his best.
Starting alongside Juan Quintero and Cuadrado on the right, Colombia’s ultra-offensive starting line-up was a forewarning.
After riding a tense start that forced Mina and then Wilmar Barrios to react quickly to thwart early threats from Robert Lewandowski, Colombia eventually got into their stride.
Cuadrado was wasteful on several occasions when finding space deep on the right flank.
The Juventus winger’s trickery would eventually pay dividends, but it was Falcao — who has dreamed all his life of scoring a World Cup goal — who turned on the style, dancing through the Polish defense to win the corner that led to Colombia’s opener.
Rodriguez’s short corner eventually found Quintero, whose smart through ball back to Rodriguez gave him time and space to curl a perfect left-footed cross that Mina rose to header powerfully past Szczesny on 40 minutes.
Colombia resumed in positive fashion, Cuadrado holding up well to set up Falcao for a first-time drive that sailed over Szczesny’s crossbar.
A Colombia counter saw Falcao’s drive from the edge of the area deflected out for a corner.
Nawalka replaced Dawid Kownacki with the more experienced Kamil Grosicki and the switch almost paid dividends.
Only the bravery of goalkeeper David Ospina saved Colombia from conceding what looked like the equalizer when he rushed out to block from Lewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker did well to get a shot away from a long ball from midfield.
Poland threatened again, but when Lewandowski got his head to a cross into the area he was marked by both Mina and Davinson Sanchez.
Colombia, however, were not to be denied.
When right-back Sanitago Arias found Quintero, the midfielder sliced Poland’s defense apart with a low pass that found Falcao on the run before he beat Szczesny down low with the outside of his right boot.
Five minutes later, Rodriguez produced arguably the assist of the night, drawing several Polish players on the left flank before somehow finding Cuadrado on the run with a superb cross-field pass that the pacey winger tucked away.