Five Takeaways from European Midweek: Decisive Giroud, Inspiring Zaniolo

In the final round of the group stage, the Italian clubs came out with a mixed bag. The good news is that none of the football Seven representatives were eliminated from European competitions entirely, however, two of them were reduced to lower championships. So let’s summarize the most interesting procedure from the continental competitions related to Serie A clubs.

Vital Giroud

On Tuesday, Milan just needed to avoid defeat when they hosted Red Bull Salzburg at the San Siro to book their place in the Champions League Round of 16. Rossoneri They controlled the movement from start to finish, hitting their opponents with four unanswered goals.

First of all glory to Stefano Pioli who correctly led his forces forward instead of playing for a tie. He adopted the same approach in the final round of Serie A last season when his team needed just one point to win the Scudetto in Sassuolo.

And, reminiscent of that afternoon at Mapei Stadium, Olivier Giroud cemented himself as the team-maker on another big occasion.

Although Milan is blessed with a slew of talented newcomers, the 36-year-old’s extensive experience on the big stage remains extremely vital to the club, especially with Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the verge of retirement – just don’t say to his face!

Ibrahimovic throws grenades at Guardiola and Mbappe

Encouraging signs for Juventus?

While the San Siro fans were celebrating their well-deserved qualification, Juventus supporters at the Allianz Stadium bid farewell to the Champions League after their fifth defeat in six European matches.

In hindsight, the loss of the old lady’s house at the hands of PSG hardly offers positive fast food for the Italian giants. However, this is 2022, and Bianconeri They desperately need any kind of healing potion they can find.

Therefore, the team’s improved performance can be taken as an encouraging sign for Massimiliano Allegri’s men who arguably deserve better than the 1-2 final score would suggest.

At the end of the day, a decent exit against Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and his cohorts for a team barely devastated by injuries is a disaster for a team that has suffered some humiliating losses along the way. Indeed, it was undoubtedly an invaluable experience for the club’s youth team.

Bittersweet Enfield journey

Aside from Bayern Munich who finished the group stage with a perfect record, Napoli were easily the most impressive team in the Champions League so far, and their recent defeat at Anfield should not discourage Luciano Spalletti’s forces.

Despite the loss, the Parthenobi He went toe-to-toe with Liverpool before conceding two late goals, and they are still able to maintain their lead thanks to a superior record with the Premier League giants.

On Monday’s draw, very few people will enjoy a battle against the southern Italians.

Super Zaniolo

And on Thursday, Roma needed a win over Ludogarets to seal their place in the Europa League playoffs. Although the Bulgarian champions are an underrated team, one would have expected them to be Gelorossi To crush the rebellion with a strong showing at Stadio Olimpico.

But in typical Roman style, and lobby He made things unnecessarily complicated by conceding in the first half, as Jose Mourinho’s starting line-up looked somewhat lopsided.

Therefore, Special One wasted no time at all for ring changes, making three substitutions in the first half, including Nicolo Zaniolo’s introduction of ineffectual Andrea Belotti.

The change proved to be the game’s winning card, as the attacking midfielder turned the score on its head with two penalty kicks (converted by ice-cold Lorenzo Pellegrini) before putting the cherry on top of an unforgettable performance with a stunning solo effort that put the match in bedding.

So with Tammy Abraham not having his best time and Paul Dybala injured (expected), Zaniolo remains the primary X-factor and enduring savior of Roma.

A blessing in disguise for Sari?

Also on Thursday, Lazio had to escape with a draw with Rotterdam to reach the European League qualifiers, but they lost their nerve after they conceded a goal in the second half.

At the end of the day, Feyenoord secured a vital victory over BiancolocityGroup F ended oddly with all four teams at par with 8 points!

So after resorting to goal difference, the Italians finished third, a position that propelled them towards the next round of the Conference League.

It is now certain that Lazio president Claudio Lotito will struggle to see the bright side of elimination, as the third European competition brings in less revenue than the Europa League, but this could end up being a blessing in disguise for the capital’s side.

Truth be told, Maurizio Sarri’s men are unlikely to win the Premier League with better-equipped teams like Arsenal, Manchester United, Barcelona and perhaps even a revitalized Juventus – especially given the apparent lack of squad depth.

However, the Eagles may have a real chance of winning the Conference League and retaining the cup in Rome for a second year after the start of the latest competition in Europe.

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