Never like this year the Europa League and Conference are an opportunity for Italian teams
Suspended between the championship and the return of the cups, the 22nd day of Serie A lends itself to a double interpretation, with the national perspective that cannot be separated from the European one. And it’s not just a question of measuring strength and turnover, but also of motivations that in the end could have a heavy impact on the end-of-season budgets. Let’s take Juventus for example, who were right yesterday after a tough match played on the nerves (8 yellow cards, various “outbreaks” to keep referee Fabbri’s attention) of a tough Fiorentina, but how is it often happened, ticked.
On the one hand, the black and whites have given continuity to the victory in Salerno, climbing to 29, which then without the 15 penalty points would be 44 and would be worth the momentary solitary second place in the standings; on the other, they warmed up their engines in the right way in view of the match against Nantes on Thursday, bearing in mind that the Europa League will never be a goal to be pursued with the utmost commitment as this year, as indeed is the Italian Cup. All in all, while noting the final sufferings that not for nothing made him mad, Massimiliano Allegri can be satisfied with how his feelings are about him coming out of the -15 beating, which could cause – and in fact caused them – skidding. While awaiting the definitive verdicts that will arrive from the courts, the players must remain concentrated as if they were in that area of relative tranquility represented by the eye of a storm and the coach from Livorno is working with all his experience to make this happen. Helped in his work by the champions who have finally returned to their standards – such as Angel Di Maria, a distant relative of the pre-World Cup ghost – or those who have reunited or are reuniting after injuries or loss of form – Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa – or even those who, in the very year in which their contracts expire, are playing what is by far the best season in black and white (true, monsieur Rabiot?).
OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPLOIT
As for Fiorentina, who will face off against Braga in the Conference League on Thursday, the European opportunity must absolutely be exploited to make sense of a season that has so far been in deficit. Yesterday too, Vincenzo Italiano’s line-up offered a proactive, even captivating game for large stretches of the match: on the other hand, there is no shortage of good feet, as well as heart, lungs and physical qualities, the problem, as we said, is above all who scores . And nevertheless, if in the league it is now difficult to obtain particular satisfactions, in Europe, where we start from scratch, everything is still to be written: like the Italian Cup (in which it is in the semifinals), the Conference constitutes the arena where the club Viola can try to balance the technical balance of the season.
After all, despite finding himself in a decidedly more comfortable position in the standings, José Mourinho himself looks to the Europa League as a great opportunity to make his Roma make a further leap in quality and to fuel his legend as a “tituli” coach , bearing in mind that one, the Italian Cup, has already been played. And Lazio, for its part, has no intention of neglecting the Conference, which could indeed become the most concrete objective. Certainly, Milan who tomorrow face an apparently battered Tottenham can find the momentum to definitively emerge from its darkest moment. The championship and the cups are, as we can see, linked by a double or triple thread, waiting for Napoli and Inter to enter the scene next week.
By the way, yesterday in the “rematch” with Cremonese, Luciano Spalletti’s Azzurri gave yet another overwhelming demonstration of strength and condition, reaching +16 over Inter, engaged tonight against Sampdoria. And this while Eintracht, their next opponent in the Champions League, was hitting them heavily. But let’s stop here…
February 13, 2023 (change February 13, 2023 | 08:20)
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