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Inter Milan holds on for Serie A title

Zlatan_ibrahimovic_5_ap

Zlatan Ibrahimovic came back just in time. The Swedish striker returned from injury to score a pair of goals to help Inter Milan score a 2-0 victory against Parma on Sunday that clinched the Serie A title for the third straight season.

The final weekend of the Italian season provided its share of drama, with Roma falling short in its bid to catch Inter as Catania scored a dramatic equalizer to tie Roma and avoid relegation. And for those of you who haven’t been keeping track, former New England Revolution head coach Walter Zenga is Catania’s manager.

Parma’s loss to Inter means relegation for the once mighty club, which joined Livorno and Empol as the three teams heading to Serie B.

The close call at the end makes it easy to forget just how dominant Inter Milan was in the first half of the season. The second half of the season was far more troublesome and  might ultimately be the reason Inter manager Roberto Mancini leaves (I’m calling a Jose Mourinho-Deco arrival this summer).

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the season’s end was watching AC Milan settle for a UEFA Cup place as the mighty club ultimately paid for its awful start to the season. You remember the first few months right? When Milan couldn’t win at home?

Kudos to Juventus for a strong return to the Serie A, finishing a respectable third.

What did you think of how the Serie A season played out? What surprised you the most? What players impressed you? What was the biggest disappointment? Share your thoughts below

17 comments
  • Seisco

    Del Piero impressed me and had a strong season. He’s still playing at a very high level even for his age.

    Like

  • gel65

    hey ives,im disappointed milan wont be in the champions league. i was most impressed with mario balotelli the 17yr old from inter and pato from milan.these are gonna be two great strikers for years to come.who do you see coming to milan as a second striker in place of ronaldo to go with pato? camoranesi is probably the best midfielder in serie a in my opinion,if he didnt miss so much time juventus might have made a run at the scudetto.do you see guiseppe rossi moving to serie a this next season?

    Like

  • Chris

    One thing that surprised me are how well the promoted teams did this season. Sure there’s Juve who finished 3rd (I expected them to have a decent year, but not to do that well – I’m actually kinda upset about how much success they had this term), but Napoli and Genoa also finished in the top half of the table. You expect that you go into a match against a just promoted team and it will be a fairly easy encounter. Not this season. In fact there were very few easy teams at all this term. At various times teams would have dips in form, but even “minnows” would put out some impressive performances (today Catania looked great against Roma).

    Del Piero had an amazing season. Weren’t we talking not too long ago about clubs in MLS trying to make him their DP. He ended up being arguably the best player in one of the top leagues in Europe. And at a pretty advanced age. You watch him play though and you would not be able to tell how old he was. Inspired play by him all season (and it the biggest reason Juve had the successful season they had).

    I was surprised how Inter imploded at the end. They had built a big enough lead in the first half of the season and had plenty of depth so that when there was a problem with this player or that they still had a lot of quality that they could put out there. Still, with the way they started things off it really was shocking that it got as close as it got (and that if the matches ended at halftime today it would have been Roma in first and Inter second).

    I’m not surprised that Milan are out of the CL. My Fiorentina finished with more points that them last season as well. We missed out on playing in the CL because of the point deductions at the begining of that season. And Milan this term really didn’t do much to fix their problems. They need a pretty major overhaul to get back to the point where they can compete at the top level week after week (right now they can at times rise to the occasion, but can’t do it every time they step on the field). I do hope that in the offseason my Fiorentina make some purchases. We lack depth and that really hurt us in the end of the season where due to fatigue we stuttered across the finish line (and allowed Milan to make a competition out of it). In truth we had more players than we played (and foolishly sold some that we really could have used during the winter transfer season), but the coach Prandelli surprisingly didn’t rotate the squad as much as he should have. Regardless, we got the CL spot in the end. We’ll need some strengthening if we want to advance in it and at the same time do well in Serie A.

    And those that think Serie A soccer is all defensive don’t watch Serie A. Very entertaining matches all season long.

    Like

  • fred

    Yo Ives–Looks like our boy Juan Vargas will be leaving Catania soon enough. Barca, Juve & Sevilla are among the rumored suitors. Let’s hope he takes care of business against Spain & Mexico. Arriba Peru!

    Like

  • Steve B

    For those of you who didn’t know it, Ives has hit it big time with the rest of US sports, with the TNT NBA Playoffs advertising on his site. Congrats Ives!

    🙂

    Like

  • Chris

    Regarding Vargas, there’re a lot of teams interested in him it seems. In addition to the teams you mentioned, I just read a quote from Catania’s coach saying that they were in negotiations with Fiorentina and Real Madrid regarding him.

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  • Joe D

    oh yeah, and Del Piero has become only the 2nd person ever to go back-to-back years as the Serie B and Serie A top goalscorer. The only other man to do that was Paolo Rossi for Vicenza in 1977 and 1978.

    if Del Piero gets called up to the Italian Euro Squad, that could mean that Italy will have the top goalscorer in Serie A and the Bundesliga during Euro….

    Like

  • Pete

    Absolutely gutted Roma didn’t win the title. The late equalizer they surrendered at the San Siro will haunt me all summer, and probably for years to come. It will be interesting to see what they do during the transfer window; they really need to strengthen, as one would expect Juve to improve in their second season back in Serie A, Milan will not be as poor as they were this year, and Inter may very well have Mourinho as manager. All the rumors I heard during the season, however, had players leaving Rome rather than the other way around. I fear that this was their chance.

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  • Homey Boehme

    @ Andrew – Except AC Milan’s average age is twice as high as Munich’s. 🙂

    Like

  • Chris

    Joe D. Regarding Italy brining to the Euros the top scorers of two of the top leagues in Europe (Toni tops in BL and Del Piero tops in Serie A), I remember on year when going into one of those major competitions (I believe it was going into WC 2002, but it could have been Euro 2004) France was going in with Henry haveing just lead the EPL in scoring and Trezeguet leading Serie A. However those two never worked out well together (they seemed to take each others game away when they were on the field together). Having two top scorers on a team together doesn’t neccisarily mean success.

    Like

  • alexandre

    speaking of barça. did u see how they were up 5-1 and in like 2 min they were only 3-1. they’ve been so inconsistent. Dos Santos had a pretty sick hat-trick tho.

    Like

  • HE from NJ

    I feel sad for Milan, this is going to hit them hard. But I think it will pay off in the long run. I think they will be forced to find younger talent, and not so much the bigger/older names they have grown accustomed to signing. This can be good as they will be forced to find really good players from more obscure parts of the world. Almost surely guaranteeing some youth injected into the squad.

    Where is Vargas going Ives? barca, juve, & sevilla? Where r u getting this from fred?

    Like

  • HE from NJ

    I feel sad for Milan, this is going to hit them hard. But I think it will pay off in the long run. I think they will be forced to find younger talent, and not so much the bigger/older names they have grown accustomed to signing. This can be good as they will be forced to find really good players from more obscure parts of the world. Almost surely guaranteeing some youth injected into the squad.

    Where is Vargas going Ives? barca, juve, & sevilla? Where r u getting this from fred?

    Like

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