Juventus gets 3 points away at Palermo. A mediocre performance is worth a lucky 1-0 and the top of the table retention. The necessity to give Dybala some rest pushed Allegri to select Mario Mandžukić up front with Higuain on a 2 striker experiment that did not pan out as good as he was hoping for. Mandžukić was the most dangerous player on the pitch, provided that two harmless shots can be labeled as danger. He also saw a goal disallowed following to a blatant offside. When Rugani came out injured, Juventus switched to an unusual 4-3-3 forcing him to gravitate on the left. The former Bayern star did overall fare sufficiently without impressing, but more worryingly did not matched up well with the Argentinian striker. It was as if they two were playing for two different teams. Though it was only the first time they played together the manager will probably think twice before combining them again.
Marko Pjaca was an unused substitute. The former Dinamo star was initially reported as a likely starter following to the news about Dybala about to miss the match then the manager eventually opted for the most established players. We will see if he gets more minutes in Zagreb this Tuesday when Juventus face Dinamo in Champions League.
Josip Posavec was not at fault for the conceded goal. A decisive and unpredictable deflection deceived him. Other than that, he made two safe saves on Mandžukić, a good deflection on Lemina, though his most impressive display was on Higuain who stopped a long lob pass to target the goal. The former Inter goalkeeper anticipated what was going to happen and blocked the Argentinian with courage to show good rapidity skills and more importantly understanding of the game.
La Gazzetta dello sport ratings: Mandžukić: 5,5 “He’s the one up front with the worst movements yet the most dangerous. There is no mutual understanding with Higuain.” Posavec 7 (MOTM): “What a good young goalie. 3 remarkable interventions. He is the owner of the box. Only surrenders to his teammate Goldaniga.”
Inter lost 2 points at home following their 1-1 home draw versus Bologna on Sunday. Ivan Perišić was a starter for the nerazzurri and went the distance. The former Wolsburg star was one of the most active players for the entire match and showed his presence in both sides of the field. Having already missed one chance in the first half, the Croatian winger scored the equalizer in the first half. Perišić did attack with more consistency in the second half creating chance after chance for his teammates and almost scored a brace with a header. His form kept on as in the 91 minute he made himself available on a throw in and crossed for Icardi who incredibly missed the ball. With only 10 seconds to go another one of his crosses hit Ranocchia for a sitter, though the defender headed it out for everyone’s desperation. A great performance for Ivan who definitely played his best match of the season and topped the level he is used to with the national team.
Ivan Perišić goal
Marcelo Brozović missed his third match in a row following a disciplinary suspension. Geoffrey Kongdobia, who played due to Joao Mario’s unavailability, was subbed off in the 29 minute and Ronald De Boer admitted that the first replacement should have been Brozović had he not been suspended. However he insisted that the ban was the correct decision as all players must respect internal rules. “I will speak with him tomorrow” the dutch manager said. “He needs to show me that his attitude has changed. It’s not sure that he will be reinstated for the Europa league match. We will see,” his final words.
La Gazzetta dello sport ratings:Ivan Perišić 7 “Mostly for his goal. When Candreva is subbed he starts to cross in and almost manages two assists.”
Fiorentina and Milan collected one point each following a scoreless draw on Sunday night. Hrvoje Milić, Milan Badelj and Nikola Kalinić were all selected in the starting eleven for la viola. The former Hajduk fullback was free from defensive duties, as Paulo Sousa accepted a 3-vs-3 in defense vs Milan forwards. Nonethelessis first half is not impressive and his passing questionable. Gets yellow carded in the second half and risks a subsequent red a couple times, but his offensive support grows with time. Milan Badelj turned on the light when assisted Ilicic to start the play that resulted in a penalty that the same Slovenian missed. The former Homburg star also had a good chance from outside the box but his shot missed the top bar by a mile. Also managed to save almost on the goal line on Suso, after he himself had lost a simple ball in the middle. His passing was less precise than usual and was less present and solid than Sanchez. Came out in the 73 minute.
Nikola Kalinić fought the whole night with Paletta and his runs covered the whole attacking front to create spaces for his teammates. The former Dnipro star worked a lot for the team but in terms of conclusions he was only there twice. Missed the ball the first time on the play that was worth the penalty, then tests Donnarumma with his left foot but his shot turned out to be too weak. Mario Pašalić was an unused substitute for Montella.
La Gazzetta dello sport ratings: Hrvoje Milić 6,5 “Starts well, then not much for 30 minutes. Better in the second half.”
Milan Badelj 5,5 “Maybe a bit touched having almost moved to AC Milan this summer. Good pass for Ilicic but lost a couple balls he shouldn’t have.”
Nikola Kalinić 5,5 “If he wasn’t a striker could be a distance runner: runs a lot around Milan defense in search of the right hole to exploit. Rarely manages to.”
Napoli beat Chievo 2-0 on Saturday to remain unbeaten in the season. Ivan Strinić was an unused substitute. Marko Rog sat on the bench the whole evening and has yet to play a single minute in the season. For those who do not know who Napoli’s manager is, “tactic maniac” is the description that best fits in. He aims at having his players fully integrated into his game play before giving them a run. Only two out of six new summer acquisitions have been given playing time so far at Napoli. Milik, who was someway forced in due to the lack of form that Gabbiadini had shown before scoring on Saturday and Zielinski who, not by chance, already played with the manager at Empoli two years ago and at such was immediately deemed ready. Maksimović, Tonelli, Giaccherini and Rog have all been sitting on the bench while training hard to familiarize with the manager demands. Maurizio Sarri was asked what the current situation is with the Croatian international as everyone are curious to understand what he can bring to the team. “Rog did first train with us on the 9th of September” The former Empoli manager said. “He is still in the process of understanding where he is now and how the team plays. It’s too early to judge him. It would be as if we judged a new arrival on the 20th of July” he added. “I hope to be able to field him after the next international break’ his conclusion.
Udinese lost 1-0 to Sassuolo. Stipe Perica came on in 62 minute to help the team equalize. Sassuolo was defending so Iachini decided to substitute an evanescent Penaranda with the young Croatian. Again a positive performance where substance meets pragmatism for the former Zadar striker. Almost scored his third of the season but his shot was deflected before hitting the top bar. Though not equipped with the potential talent that Penaranda has, nor the experience of Therau or the power of Zapata, Perica once again showed that he can be relied on and at the moment clearly deserves more minutes that he is being given. Andrija Balić watched the match from the bench.
La Gazzetta dello sport ratings: Stipe Perica 7 (MOTM) “Forces Sassuolo to defend with his runs. Almost causes an own goal and creates a good chance for Zapata. Changes the match. He is a lion.”
Ante Budimir to start for Sampdoria tonight @ Cagliari.
Ante Rebic played the final thirty minutes for Eintracht Frankfurt in their exciting 3-3 draw with Hertha Berlin on Saturday. Rebic assisted on Frankfurt’s 90th minute equalizer and picked up a yellow card in the 85th minute. Frankfurt have picked up ten points in their first five matches, good enough for a tie for 4th in the Bundesliga.
Andrej Kramaric scored for Hoffenheim in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Schalke. Kramaric got on the board in the 17th minute, heading home a cross into the bottom right corner of the net. Hoffenheim have seven points after five matches, putting them safely mid-table.
Alen Halilovic was a healthy scratch for Hamburg as they fell 1-0 at Freiburg on Saturday. Hamburg have just one point after five points and have already dug themselves a hole they must get out in order to remain in the Bundesliga for another year.
Tin Jedvaj was not in the squad for Bayer Leverkeusen on Saturday as they won 3-2 against thanks to a 90th minute Chicharito goal. Bayer have been off to a slow start to the year, and sit 10th in the Bundesliga with seven points in five matches. They will face Danijel Subasic and AS Monaco midweek in the Champions League.
Danijel Subasic was in net on Saturday as Monaco won 2-1 at home against Angers. Subasic made four solid saves and was not at fault for Angers’ goal. Monaco are 2nd in Ligue 1 with 16 points through 7 matches.
Save: 0:35, 0:48, Goal: 1:25, Save: 2:50
Vedran Corluka was subbed off at halftime as Lokomotiv fell 1-0 at Rostov on Saturday. Corluka was subbed off after picking up an injury in the first half and is questionable for Croatia’s upcoming fixtures. Lokomotiv have only 7 points from eight matches and are only one point out of the relegation zone.
Domagoj Vida was given the captain’s armband for the first time as Dynamo Kyiv won 4-0 at Olimpik Donetsk on Saturday. Kyiv has 19 points in nine matches, good for third in the Ukrainian Premier League.
It was a mediocre week in Madrid for Real as Los Blancos dropped their first points of the season, drawing Villareal 1-1 on Wednesday and duplicating the result on Saturday with a 2-2 draw at Las Palmas. Mateo Kovačić played the full match versus Villareal while Luka Modrić got the day off and Modrić played 90 minutes against Las Palmas while Kovačić remained on the bench. With the two draws, Real Madrid remain in first place in La Liga, but now have Barcelona only one point behind.
Ivan Rakitić was given the day off Saturday as Barcelona spanked Sporting Gijon 5-0. The win puts Barcelona back within striking range of leaders Real Madrid with Champions League matches resuming this week. Sporting Gijon’s Duje Čop got the start but was subbed off after 68 minutes. Šime Vrsaljko rode the bench on Sunday as Atletico Madrid skimmed by Deportivo 1-0. With the win, Atletico sit two points behind Real Madrid.
Dejan Lovren sat out Liverpool’s 5-1 victory over Hull City Saturday due to a bug he picked up earlier in the week. It’s nothing serious and Lovren should return to the squad later this week. With the win, Liverpool sit in fourth place; with 13 points through the first six matches of the season.
Bayer Leverkusen at Monaco(Champions League), Real Madrid at Borussia Dortmund(Champions League), Juventus at Dinamo Zagreb(Champions League),
Dynamo Kyiv at Beşiktaş(Champions League), Benfica at Napoli(Champions League), Barcelona at Borussia Mönchengladbach(Champions League), Bayern München at Atlético Madrid(Champions League),
Internazionale at Sparta Praha, Qarabağ at Fiorentina,
Liverpool at Swansea City, Monaco at Metz, Hamburger SV at Hertha BSC, Hoffenheim at Ingolstadt, Frankfurt at Freiburg, Borussia Dortmund at Bayer Leverkusen, Lazio at Udinese, Arsenal Tula at Lokomotiv Moskva
Juventus at Empoli, Napoli at Atalanta, Fiorentina at Torino, Internazionale at Roma, Atlético Madrid at Valencia, Eibar at Real Madrid, Barcelona at Celta de Vigo, Zirka at Dynamo Kyiv
~Ante Kvartuč reporting from sunny Southern California, Zach Gilfix reporting from Minneapolis, MN and Salvatore Cagnazzi reporting from Italy
Labbadia, the coach who didn’t even put Halilovic on the bench Saturday, was fired yesterday. Halilovic probably gets a second chance to prove himself with the new coach.
Hamburg already bought Halilović from Barcelona. He’s not on loan.
If Hamburg ever wants to sell him, Barcelona gets first refusal rights.
So, the reason Halilović isn’t playing is because he’s probably being the same old Halilo-bitch that he’s been being the past few years.
But whatever, I’m sure it’s all Mamić and Čačić who are at fault for this. 😉
Halilovic is on loan. Players that are on loan are lower on the pecking order because of the investment value they bring. Maybe Halilovic has something in his deal that says if he plays x amount of games, they have to pay him this much more.
With Hamburg knowing that this kid will eventually go back to Barcelona, they have a priority on developing their own vs developing a rental. I’m not worried about it. For all we know, Hamburg is trying to drive his stock down so they can buy him from Barcelona for cheap.
Dinamo is not rubbish. To qualify this year once again for CL play is an accomplishment by them.
Can we get junior fernandes a cro passport? We need a guy with dreadlocks in the team. Word
Never mind, dinamo are rubbish just a talent/money factory. That’s coming from a dinamo fan…
Nevermind, all the tickets are sold out.
Think I might go to the Dinamo game if my cousin is up for it
guys besides not playing last year in england really kramaric has barely missed a beat
was on that tear back in cro and now doing his thing as he continued last year in germany….
he’s got to get some serious playing time
Yeah, Badelj does what he does, but we don’t need what he does against ALL teams in this group. Especially with Srna gone (who was an offensively aggressive RB)
I still support Mandzukic more than anyone on this site…but I get the Mandzukic hate. I still don’t think he has been utilized properly eg 442 Kramaric->Badelj.
who really thinking Perisic is a top class player?
first the player should play in a big club like Barcelona Madrid Bayern then he almost in starting 11 for their club!
the average club such as Inter Milan will never get attention for their players. My mom doesn’t know who is Rakitic Perisic Mandzukic but she knows modric lewandowski Bale Ibrahimovic. So I consider to put some name like Suker Boban Prosinecki Boksic modric as a superstar aka top class players!
I respect Mandzukic as much as the next Croat but even in his Bayern days he was never world class.
Why does he get an unquestioned starting spot?
Modric is the captain.
Everyone else can start or not start.
Kramaric is exactly what we need right now up top.
When was the last time Mario scored a goal like krama did today???????? I don’t remember. Jedvaj is our most underrated young guy .
as i like to say , bo knows football and kramaric scores goals
not only that, but so far he has really not had a tap in goal . instead all his goals and assists have been pretty hard earned. on a side note, he nearly has a sweet assist at the end of the game, but his teammate choked
against kosovo and finland, we will likely be dominant. so i could see cacic possibly forsaking the defensive holding midfielder like badelj and putting some more firepower up front and adding kramaric into the mix.
it will remain really hard to push mandzo from that starting spot…and kramaric still has more to prove
but i cringe at the thought of a 32-33 year mandzukic starting up top at the world cup (assuming we make it)
Krama gonna take Hoffenheim to top of Bundesliga (or at least top of bottom fourth)…another goal.
Perišić is world class.
His left foot is as good as his right !
Put Kramaric up top and let’s get some attacking movement against Kosovo and bang in some goals.
Great goal from Perisic
Napoli beat Chievo 2-0 yesterday, and Rog was on the bench–AGAIN!
If there is one thing I hate more than overpaying for my car insurance, it’s seeing a Hrvat on the Bench. Rog has yet to touch a blade of grass this season for the Partenopei. I mean what they heck did they pay 15 million Euros for they guy if they’re gonna keep ‘im on the bench!
If this continues, I could easily see him loaned out in the winter.
Posavec played pretty well today vs Juve. Only let in an own goal, which was not his fault. Other than that, he would have been man of the match. He even stopped a nice volley from Mandzukic.
I dont know if we woudlve lost 3-0
i said above:
@King of the north did you mean Dejan Lovren or Davor Lovren? Still young and unknown?
And what strikes me is the wording used – specifically, unknown
That’s exactly what Lovren brings, the unknown, everytime he plays. You never know if he’s gonna be great and score a goal or fuck up badly and cost us two. It’s entirely unknown. Nobody knows. And that’s the risk.
If Lovren played against Portugal, we would’ve lost 3-0
I don’t think Lovren and Ćorluka have any chemistry. However, we do need to experiment with our back four and include Lovren in there.
RB should always be Vrsaljko or Jedvaj.
LB should only really be Pivarić or Vida (maybe experiment with Jedvaj there). Strinić needs to stay on the bench.
CB can be any combination of Ćorluka, Vida, Lovren or Jedvaj.
It’s a small group of defenders, but there are probably at least two capable four-man combinations in there. You just have to find them.
Also don’t pick on Vida, guy actually put himself in positions to score v Portugal, he was one of our best attacking threats which is to be lauded for a defender, i thank him for his efforts and for doing what others werent – he was actually trying to make shit happen, which is more than you can say for half the team
man Rhesus Factor is so cool haha
they had a soldier with Za Dom in this clip too
i encourage all you cunts to listen to their music, or better yet, goto my youtube channel (click my name) and the euro 2016 qualifying tribute which has their music attached to us smashing wankers 😀
Nah Poglavnik is right, Vida’s better.
That being said, if there’s a way to shuffle Lovren in that defensive line and get Strinic out, i’m all for it. I’m not au fait with how that would happen or who goes where but im happy for it to happen.
@ Soul Champ
I remember saying Lovren is our best striker hehe.. i also called for Pletikosa to play striker at one stage and Modric goalie though lmao so it’s hard to tell when im just trolling
i agree poglavnik but I still say if lovren had a shot at one of those headers vida has had against Portugal maybe it’s back of goal
However one could argue if he would work as hard as vida did to make em happen
If you’re not mature at 28 it’s probably never happening.
Lovren is 28
Or maybe because he does carpool karaoke?(!)
Seems to be a pretty vain dude.
Maybe cuz he’s a tatted up fashionista that’s mistake prone and selfish? Give me Vida any day.
That Lovren video was hilarious. Still don’t understand why he garners so much hate from the site. Cool dude.
Okay, replace “butt hurt” with “confidence shaken” for those of you who are butt hurt by my comment.
Guys I understand thoughtful comments but making fun of players representing us doesn’t make any sense.
It sounds like Halilovic was left out because he has not proven that he deserves a place during training. This is what I’m reading in the German media.
This is a pretty sad statement given that Hamburg is not in the top echelon of European teams. Perhaps there is some disciplinary issue that is being kept quiet, but not sure this would be much better.
I think Halilovic has tremendous talent, but it’s time for the kid to become a man and start proving that he belongs on the field at Hamburg. I worry that he has regressed over the last 6-9 months. Maybe he’s a bit butt hurt at being left off the team for the Euros, but he should be out on the training ground every day trying to prove his worth.
Does anyone knows why halilovic was left off the squad list can bayern today?
Stipe Perica could start for Udinese @ Sassuolo
Ante Budimir to start for Sampdoria @ Cagliari
Midweek news reported that Dybala should be given a rest this wekeend and so the hype about Pjaca coming in for him started. Today’s news is that Mario Mandžukić is the most likely partner for Higuain upfront tonight. We’ll see.
I understand your concern about Pjaca being used too little, but if I were you I would not be worried. Allegri sure has a plan for the guy. To me, he is just givinng the kid time to adapt while keeping him out of criticism and pressure. As soon as he feels the kid is ready, he will be in the rotation. Juventus only have 4 forwards and his time will come for sure.
Davor is a beast and with his pace and dynamic dribble is definitely one to watch.
You also did like the way Dejan Lovren scores.
I remember you calling for him to play striker.
I myself saw him as a CDM for us when we were burning out Modric with defensive duties.
Mateo is progressing well at Real Madrid.
Learning from Zidane and being with Modric is a blessing.
Now with Casemiro out he will get even more consistent minutes.
He is stronger than ever and could play in any of the three vertical zones up the spine of midfield.
For us I like him as that true #10 attacking midfielder. He is so quick and dynamic. He just needs to develop confidence in his scoring ability and then he will be a world beater.
@ King of the North
Really insightful post. I like the way you frame 18 month plan for World Cup 2018. We do need to focus on qualifying as we have a tough group and a sub par head coach.
Pjaca comes in for a few bit minutes at Juve. I would not qualify that has good chances.
Hopefully he plays more this weekend.
My worry about Pjaca is that he is getting good chances at club & country, but nothing is going in. We all played with reslly talented guys that can do everything but consistently capitalize on great chances.
I hope he is not one of those guys.
@King of the north did you mean Dejan Lovren or Davor Lovren? Still young and unknown?
The lost man on this team is Ziva Istina. Has he followed Sammir and Jelavic to China?
The lost man on this team is Ziva Istina? Has he followed Sammir and Jelavic to China?
Kovacic isn’t exactly lost. He is a starter playing a lot of minutes on the world’s best club, filling the valuable role occupied previously by Casemiro. He is rivaling Milan Badelj’s claim to the holding midfield position on the repka. He might even be our most underrated player.
Agree about these players. Also I just read on the hns website that fabian benko has chosen to represent croatia. Is this true? Can anyone confirm?
there is a certain way weekend soccer must be watched as it concerns the national team. what we mainly care about, is the change of a players contribution so we must focus on the young players most importantly because that is the only area for the national team to improve. we all already know what modric, rakitic etc provide
here’s my list of important of how i look at the stat lines
1) andrej kramaric: the most potential game changing piece for the repka based on his performance. the jury is still out. but if he snags somewhere between 20 goals and assists combined this year, you are looking at a player that should start and can be an improvement over recent form
2) marko pjaca: like it or not, he’s seemed to have claimed his winger spot on the team. word is he will start this weekend for juventus. with nearly 2 years to go to the world cup, seeing dramatic improvement in him would up the team potential big time
3) dejan lovren: still young and still unknown. his weekly games will still give us a lot of info about whether he can help us or not
4) alen halilovic: like pjaca, we are still 2 years away from the world cup, which will put halivoci around 22 years of age, which finally makes him a realistic contributor. don’t count him out yet
5) mateo kovacic: the lost man. both on madrid and the repka. still has talent. still young. can he find his way?
Watch the rest of players like modric, rakitic, perisic etc does not really matter. we know what we ahve and what they’ll give. we only watch for a drop in form