Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea: both sides vulnerable down their left

September 29, 2012
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea: both sides vulnerable down their left

Chelsea stay at the top of the table after scoring two goals from free-kicks.

Arsene Wenger went with the pace of Gervinho rather than the physicality of Olivier Giroud upfront, and continued with Aaron Ramsey on the right – although he had to shuffle into the middle after Abou Diaby’s injury.

Roberto Di Matteo left out Frank Lampard and continued with the front four that failed to click against Stoke last weekend, with three versatile playmakers behind Fernando Torres.

This wasn’t an inspiring game – none of the playmakers were on top form, and neither side played good football. Read more »

Napoli 3-0 Lazio: Cavani x 3

September 28, 2012
Napoli 3-0 Lazio: Cavani x 3

Edinson Cavani hit a hattrick – and missed a penalty – as Napoli stormed to victory.

Walter Mazzarri started Alessandro Gamberini rather than Salvatore Aronica in defence and Valon Behrami ahead of Blerim Dzemaili in midfield.

Vladimir Petkovic moved back to his 4-1-4-1 / 4-3-3 after an unsuccessful experimentation with 4-4-2 against Genoa, with Miroslav Klose returning upfront, Stefano Mauri moved inside and Senad Lulic out on the left.

Despite Klose’s early disallowed goal (struck off because he admitted punching the ball into the net), this was a fairly simple game. Napoli were more forceful, energetic and direct than Lazio – they won the battle in the midfield and counter-attacked swiftly. Read more »

Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus: home side dominate in a clash of similar systems

September 25, 2012
Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus: home side dominate in a clash of similar systems

3-5-2 versus 3-5-2, and one point apiece.

Vincenzo Montella made three changes. The most significant involved him selecting the industry of Romulo over the creativity of Mati Fernandez. Adem Ljajic came in for Haris Seferovic, and Manuel Pasqual for Mattia Cassani.

Antonio Conte and Massimo Carrera decided to rest Claudio Marchisio, with Emanuele Giaccherini starting instead. Fabio Quagliarella replaced Mirko Vucinic after his impressive impact in the last couple of games.

Fiorentina were the better side but struggled in front of goal, with Juventus seemingly happy with a point. Read more »