Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Made in Italy - brief update
Italian teams continue to be the experts in this field. In this morning's Milan v. Benfica game, Pippo Inzaghi's goal was a masterpiece of the genre, a true "goal to frame", as Johan Cruyff liked to say.
Again, the move was divided into a series of beautifully logical steps:
1. The run out of defence
This time it was Kaka, stealing the ball in his own defensive third and then advancing with that purposeful stride of his. Before long, it was three-on-three in the Benfica third. But then:
2. The extra man
Kaka, Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi were already involved in the attack, but Andrea Pirlo (who, now that Dennis Bergkamp and Gianfranco Zola have retired, is probably the player in world football I most enjoy watching), sneaked in on the right, while Seedorf made a clever little decoy run to the left. Kaka played Pirlo in adroitly.
3. The misdirection of the defence
When the Benfica defenders realized that Pirlo was in the picture, all three of them rushed to the Milan playmaker. Pirlo waited just long enough to be sure that they had committed themselves, before sending a deft little ball across to Inzaghi - who had, as always, positioned himself ingeniously.
4. The finish
Whatever you think of his antics, there are few people in the world you'd rather have on the end of a chance in the penalty-box than Pippo Inzaghi. His volley was immaculate.
It's goals like that which remind me why I love this game so much.
Kaka's run and Inzaghi's finish was great but for Pirlo's play was the brilliancy in this goal.
No one's hurried, no one snatches at the at the ball. that was a hell of a nice goal.