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AC Milan continue to struggle for consistency in their performances, but they managed to get a 2-0 win over San Lorenzo in a friendly match.
This was one of the friendlies organised by the team in order to keep the players fit. The lack of any form of European football this season means that Milan play only one game per week. This is perfectly normal for clubs with a smaller squad, but not for a club like Milan. Further, the friendly matches proved the club with some form of revenue to compensate for the lack of up to £ 30 million available for appearing in the Champions League group stages.
Milan started the season extremely well, but they have not won in the last three league matches. This has pushed them to seventh in the table, although they remain in contention for the top three places. The club are up against Sampdoria this weekend before they take on arch rivals Inter Milan after the international break. These two matches will determine the competitive nature of the team going into the winter break. Midfielder Nigel de Jong has backed manager Inzaghi to turn the situation around, while he says that the former striker is not to blame for the club’s poor form.
“We didn’t have a good game against Palermo, but we must believe in our objective which could be third or fourth place.We must believe in our game, we win and lose together, we’re not looking for people to blame.We must improve in attack. It’s not Inzaghi’s fault if we lose a match, even if he did take responsibility. We must work a lot this week to stay on our path.We travel to Genoa (where they will next face Sampdoria) with confidence, even if it will be hard there,” said de Jong.
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The Spanish manager of Napoli, Rafael Benitez is no stranger to being put into a heated up position in a squad and being rumored with the possibility of getting sacked soon unless positive results start picking up.
Rafael Benitez has been sacked on a number of occasions during his managerial career which has seen him being sacked from coaching Real Valladolid after only managing to claim 2 victories in 23 matches. He was later sacked once more but this time with Osasuna after only being able to win 1 match in 9 games.
He has also been removed from the managerial position of Inter Milan and Liverpool after a series of disappointing results.
After having gone through so many sackings, Benitez knows what it’s like to be in the last few months or even weeks in charge of a club and this is what is happening with him in Napoli.
Rumors and reports emerging from Italy are claiming that the president of Napoli, Aurelio de Laurentiis is thinking about replacing Rafael Benitez with Vincenzo Montella although this depends on the results that the Spanish manager is able to secure in the remaining matches of this year.
The start of the season was a rocky road for Napoli after suffering successive defeats against Chievo Verona and Udinese but the team of Rafael Benitez have been collecting triumphs from there on out.
Napoli finished the previous season of the Italian League by snatching the 3rd spot which allowed them on competing in the Champions League but in this current season Napoli are located in the 7th position and securing a spot in the top spots of Serie A is starting to look far-fetched.
There still is time for Rafael Benitez to restore his confidence with the fans of Napoli and more importantly the confidence that the president has with the Spanish manager but the club has to start playing like they did in the past campaign with consistently impressive performances.
Online video Score: / 5
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Napoli have missed out on the Champions League group stages in the most stunning fashion after conceding three goals in the space of 13 minutes against Athletic club. After failing to reach the Champions League group stages through automatic qualification spots, Napoli have had to play in the play-off against Spanish club Athletic. This was viewed as a tough encounter given that Athletic also have the experience of playing in the Champions League proper. The first leg at Napoli was an even affair and it finished as a 1-1 draw, which gave Athletic an advantage of the away goal.
Napoli cancelled out the away goal in the return leg after midfielder Marek Hamsik scored just minutes into the second half. Just when it seemed that Napoli would hang on and reach the group stages, Athletic had a stunning 50 minutes in which they scored three goals. Aduriz scored a brace during this period while Ibai’s goal in the 74th minute put the result beyond doubt. After the match, Napoli boss Rafa Benitez has had to face a barrage of criticism. Accepting the blame, the manager said that he did not want to blame his players for this defeat.
Napoli will be hoping that the lack of Champions League will motivate them towards a potential league title. The team start the league campaign with an away match against Genoa.
“Athletic deserved to score in the first half and didn’t. We took the lead, but in a few minutes we made some important mistakes and lost control of the game. We made mistakes on all three goals. Those goals allowed Athletic to gain confidence and we lost ours. Do I blame anyone? No, mistakes happen – they are not normal, but they happened anyway. We had worked over the week on specifics like corners, but we still made mistakes and clearly we still have work to do,” said Benitez.
Online video Score: / five
Online video Rating: / five