Monday, August 02, 2010

Inter Milan 3 - 0 Manchester City: Match Report

I've never been a big fan of these type of events and this match will do nothing to change my usual practice of not attending pre-season friendlies. While there were some moments of genuine skill and it was a pleasure to see some players in the flesh for the first time (Sammy Eto'o, Gareth Barry, Joe Hart, you know), for the most part it was an exercise in frustration.

As has been the case with a few of these games in the U.S. this summer, the referee once again needlessly altered the shape of the match with a straight red for Patrick Vieira after the Frenchman's forearm collided with his former teammate Marco Materazzi's forehead.

Mancini waits his turn...

Marco took the opportunity to act like he'd been shot with a nailgun and off went Pat. Down to 10 men, City fought hard but Inter were far more composed and emerged deserved 3-0 winners.

Goalmouth action. Note attention of "supporters" focused to the right where fellow "supporters" are hiding a soccer ball from security...

When the teams emerged from the tunnel below us, my "friends" with whom I'd traveled to the event held me back to prevent any untoward behavior directed at one Emmanuel Adebayor. I had a beer ready to drench the wanker upon his emergence but thankfully (??) cooler heads prevailed.

Cooler heads...?

I was forced to resign myself to booing the twat every time he touched the ball. The fact that he played about as well as Keanu Reeves acts made me a happy man. Expect him to end up in Dubai, Australia or Blackburn within five years.

Nigeria's Victor Obinna was involved in the first two Inter goals. The first was a beautifully angled rocket across the grass that left Hart with no chance. The second required a bit of luck via a deflection off City defender Jolean Lescott. I think some twat from City (Shaun Wright-Phillips?) hit the post at some point but the match was over when a kid who looked like he was 13 years of age (Cristiano Biraghi) hit an absolute laser from some distance that left Shay Given flapping at air. Others who impressed were Adam Johnson, Iván Córdoba, Zanetti (duh), Coutinho and Stephen Ireland.

I'd never been inside M&T Bank Stadium and it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. After enjoying quite a nice array of beer choices at Nationals Park in D.C. the night before, the selection you might find on an airplane that M&T had on offer was a major bummer. That said, since I was able to enjoy lunch at Chaps earlier that day, I really should not complain. And the seats were close to the pitch, which was nice. And the scoreboard was massive and of high-quality. So perhaps is wasn't so bad. But really, I don't believe Bud or Bud Light offers me any sort of "choice."

Another oddity was the lack of Inter Milan merchandise for sale. You'd think the Champions of Europe and Italy would use the trip to the States to boost their name recognition and engender some support. Perhaps their merch ended up with Portsmouth's kits -- I don't know. The bottom line is the club missed a good opportunity to enhance its brand. In terms of representation, I'd say it was 60-40 Inter. There were certainly some City fans in attendance, but the majority seemed to be supporting the Italian side. Beyond that, the usual Liverpool, United, Arsenal, Milan, Madrid and Wigan (yes, I saw someone in a Wigan jersey) supporters milled about.

But perhaps my biggest complaint was with those in the crowd of 36,569 who decided that after 25 minutes of soccer it would be more fun to focus on doing the wave than watching the match. The intensity that some members of the audience showed in being able to follow a group of people standing up, throwing their hands in the air, and returning to their seats was astounding. Almost as shocking was how riveted those in attendance were when the ball went into the stands and those in possession refused to return it. The 10-minute saga of security officials scouring the rows in search of the ball would have garnered high ratings than the series finale of Seinfeld, for Christ's sake. My new idea is to rent a stadium, charge $50 per seat, and let everyone just do the wave and hide soccer balls from security. Brilliant, right?

The EPL kicks off in less than two weeks.


Materazzi calls it a night...

How do you sleep at night, Ade..?


Bobbie BS said...

You think a Wigan shirt is weird? I once saw a guy in a Jacksonville Jaguars jersey! Nice report, sounds like a typical preseason friendly crapfest. I'm not surprised that City lost- it's got to be hard to keep a clean sheet when 75% of your roster is made up of strikers. As with all stupid megateams that lack someone of Fergie or Mourinho's authority, watching the bickering over places and playing time as well as the huge problems that await due to the 25 man roster and "local" talen requirements is going to be hilarious. If those requirements stick then you can expect our friends in Manchester to head the queue to form a breakaway mega league.

Soccer Uniforms said...

This event was really a great fun, i also become a fan of this and i am sure there will be a huge list of his fans after some days.

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