‘There’s a God of football,’ says Gattuso after Napoli’s Italian Cup win

first_img Loading… Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo missed a chance to break the deadlock after five minutes, having also missed a penalty in a goalless semi-final, second leg match against AC Milan last weekend. “It’s unusual two 0-0 draws for us but that just shows the lack of sharpness after such a long break,” said Sarri. “Ronaldo’s in the same shape as the others, like Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa, he is lacking the sharpness to do what works best for him.” Napoli had the best chances of the first half with Lorenzo Insigne’s curling effort denied and Buffon clearing Diego Demme from close range. Juventus Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo has never won the Italian Cup trophy. The 61-year-old former Napoli coach had also been chasing his first coaching trophy in Italy, and second in his career after leading Chelsea to the Europa League last season. “There is disappointment for the lads, for the club, for the fans,” said Sarri. “At this moment we lack brilliance to make the game dangerous, and without that brilliance, it becomes more difficult.” – Ronaldo lacking sharpness – The final was played behind closed doors, in the silence of Rome’s Stadio Olimpico which should have hosted Italy versus Switzerland in Euro 2020 on June 17. Gennaro Gattuso hailed the ‘God of football’ after he lifted his first coaching trophy as Napoli beat Juventus 4-2 on penalties to win the Italian Cup for the sixth time on Wednesday. The final had ended 0-0 in an empty Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Paulo Dybala and Danilo both missed their spot-kicks for record 13-times Italian Cup champions Juventus with Arkadiusz Milik slotting in the winner for Napoli past veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon. It is the first trophy for the southerners since 2014, and also a maiden coaching trophy for Gattuso, who took over from Carlo Ancelotti in December. For former Italy World Cup winner Gattuso his first coaching success comes after the death of his 37-year-old sister Francesca from a rare illness. “In life you cannot accept some things, but football has given me a lot and a great passion,” said the 42-year-old former AC Milan great. “I feel I have a great responsibility. I know I cannot give up and I have never done in my career. “I saw a team tonight that wanted to win, we deserved it. “There’s a God of football, who makes you reap all that you’ve sown. “I am proud of what my lads have done. Now we must continue with this spirit also in the championship, to recover the disadvantage.” Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso (L) and club president Aurelio De Laurentiis (3rdL holding trophy) celebrate with players after winning the Italian Cup. Napoli have been reborn under Gattuso and are now sixth in the league table as they target the Champions League places when Serie A returns this weekend after a three-month absence due to the coronavirus. But the defeat was a worrying sign for Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus, who also lost the Italian SuperCup final last December to Lazio. Read Also: Ronaldo fails to lift Juve as Napoli claim Coppa Italia Buffon pulled off a last-minute save on Nikola Maksimovic to send the game into penalties with extra-time scrapped to minimise injuries after the coronavirus shutdown. Sarri said he hoped the players would now “put the anger and hunger from this disappointment” into their Serie A challenge with the eight-time reigning champions just one point ahead of second-placed Lazio in the table. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

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Syracuse can’t find the edge, more takeaways from No. 10 Virginia Tech’s win over SU

first_imgBLACKSBURG, Va. — No. 10 Virginia Tech (16-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) rode a hot-shooting start to stay perfect on its home court this season in a win over Syracuse (14-6, 5-2), 78-56. Coming off three-straight wins, SU had no answer on the defensive end and now no longer sits tied atop the ACC.Here are some takeaways from the Hokies’ win over the Orange.Mr. RobinsonJustin Robinson usually runs the show for Virginia Tech as its senior, lefty point guard. In the first half against Syracuse on Saturday night, he took scoring matters into his own hands.By halftime, Robinson had made seven 3s. That became his new career-high for a full game. Syracuse had 24 points at halftime, and so did Robinson.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe southpaw constantly busted the SU zone. VT used solid ball rotation to create open shot after open shot, and Robinson was often the beneficiary at the end of a drive-and-kick or a ball swing around the perimeter. The Hokies made 10 3s as a team in the first half.Syracuse limited Robinson out of the break, forcing him to pass off due to tight close outs. The Orange got back into the game, temporarily, to open the second half. Robinson didn’t hit a field goal for much of the second half, but he nailed a late 3 just as SU head coach Jim Boeheim sent three subs to the table. And then he hit one more, finishing with a career-high 35, and the VT fans chanted “J-Rob.”No edgeVirginia Tech entered the game with a top-100 defense, per Kenpom.com. But the Hokies gave SU as much trouble as any team this season early on, preventing Orange dribblers from finding any space to drive the ball. Each drive was met with quick sliding feet or a help defender. That forced Syracuse to fire up tough jump shots with time winding down in the shot clock.Entering halftime, SU had been called for three shot clock violations. That equaled the number of points Elijah Hughes, Syracuse’s second-leading scorer, had at the break. Hughes’ struggles continued, finishing 2-of-13 from the floor, including making just 2 for 9 from 3.That offensive flow changed to start the second half as the Orange tried to cut away at a big deficit. But then the Hokies rotations became crisp again. The Orange struggled to find an edge, allowing Virginia Tech needed to pull away.Breaking outComing out of the halftime break, Syracuse looked like a different team. The Orange scored the second half’s first 11 points by getting to the rim and getting stops.Battle drove for a floater. Brissett threw down a dunk. Paschal Chukwu had a putback. Brissett finished with the left after a hop step. That stretch also included three free throws.Isaiah Wilkins hit a reverse layup to end that stretch, but it got the Orange back into the ball game because they held the Hokies scoreless for almost five minutes, including two misses from the red-hot Robinson.But then the Hokies answered with a 14-1 run of their own, securing the ballgame. The Orange couldn’t make up a 21-point deficit with less than 10 minutes to play. Comments Published on January 26, 2019 at 10:19 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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