Tags Posts tagged with "Buffon"

Buffon

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois wants a career as long as Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon.

The Belgian star told Standard Sport: “To see Buffon playing to such a level at this age is great. I’m 25 and he is 14 years older than me. Obviously if I can still play at the level he is in 14 years’ time, I will be very satisfied”.

“Obviously I hope nothing happens — injuries can always change the future. But I love football, I enjoy being on the training pitch, in the stadium. I guess I will still feel the same in 10 to 15 years’ time and I hope in that moment I can still produce and be at this level.”

“If you watched Juventus’ win over Barcelona in the Champions League (3-0 on aggregate), the Barcelona players were forcing a lot to score”. 

“You felt the ball was never going to go in and maybe that had something to do with his aura. If it was another keeper, maybe they would have shot easier on target and scored”. 

“If you’re a great keeper you have that quality. – Courtois ended – I have it in a way already, but Buffon and Iker Casillas still have something special and are a different category of goalkeeper.”

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Andros Townsend scored a stunning equaliser late on

England remain unbeaten in their nine games this season after a late equaliser secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Italy in Turin.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle put the home side ahead after his headed Giorgio Chiellini’s cross past Joe Hart, but an excellent strike from substitute Andros Townsend secured a draw for the Three Lions with just over 10 minutes to spare.

England manager Roy Hodgson made five changes to the side that beat Lithuania 4-0 at Wembley on Friday, with Tottenham striker Harry Kane getting his first senior start. Chelsea defender Gary Cahill was one of the five dropped to the bench.

In a relatively empty stadium in Turin, Italy looked to bounce back from a disappointing 2-2 draw against Bulgaria in their recent European Qualifier despite being unbeaten since the World Cup. This was despite being without the injured Claudio Marchisio, whose injury prompted the sending of death threats to Italy manager Antonio Conte in the days leading up to the game.

The home side would have been happy with their energetic start, a 25-yard shot from Marco Parolo forcing a good save from England goalkeeper Joe Hart. Italy went even closer after a quarter of an hour. Nathaniel Clyne was beaten hands down for pace by Matteo Darmian, and his piercing drive ended in the full-back squaring the pass to Pelle, but a brilliant interception from Phil Jagielka ensured the score stayed 0-0.

However, four minutes later, England saw their best chance of the first half. Fabian Delph’s cross was met by Kane, whose header was only cleared as far as Wayne Rooney. His shot took a small deflection off of an Italian defender, hit the crossbar and went away.

But, England’s near miss counted for nothing as after half an hour, Pelle put Italy ahead. A clever cut inside and pinpoint cross from Juventus defender Chiellini was met by Pelle, his glancing header going past the static Hart. For Pelle, who plays for Southampton, it was his second goal in three internationals, despite not scoring for the Saints in 2015.

A handful of substitutions from England at half-time almost paid off as Harry Kane stung Gianluigi Buffon’s gloves. But Italy had a golden chance to extend the lead just three minutes into the second half. Eder, who scored his first goal for Italy to salvage a point against Bulgaria, forced a fine one-handed save from Joe Hart. The ball fell to Pelle, who could only put the golden chance wide of the post.

But most inside the stadium may have felt that this near miss started to spur England on. Kane fired a good chance wide, Rooney couldn’t finish a finely constructed move and Ross Barkley was starting to pull the strings in midfield. And, with 12 minutes remaining, substitute Townsend drew England level. Fellow Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason gave him the ball 25 yards out, Townsend skipping one challenge and going on to unleash an excellent rising shot which flew past the despairing Buffon.

Rooney then forced another good stop from the veteran Buffon as he was played through, but the Manchester United talisman will rue the chances he has missed over the past two games, still being two goals away from breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record. Then, with seven minutes left, Italy almost made England regret their missed opportunities. Substitute Luca Antonelli left Jagielka chasing shadows, and his low shot gave Hart no chance. The Manchester City keeper would have been relieved to see the fizzing shot fly across the far post, and that was the last meaningful action of a relatively forgettable friendly.

Full Time: Italy 1-1 England

Lineups:

Italy: Buffon, Bonucci, Ranocchia, Chiellini (Moretti, 72′), Darmian (Antonelli, 73′), Soriano, Valdifiori (Verrati, 67′), Parolo, Florenzi (Abate, 60′), Eder (Vazquez, 61′), Pelle (Immobile, 61′)

England: Hart, Clyne (Walker, 45′), Smalling (Carrick, 43′), Jagielka, Gibbs (Bertrand, 88′), Jones, Delph (Townsend, 70′), Walcott (Barkley, 55′), Rooney, Henderson (Mason, 74′), Kane

Subs:

Italy: Sirigu, Abate, Antonelli, Candreva, Zaza, Immobile, Verratti, Cerci, Barzagli, Gabbiadini, Vazquez, Moretti, Santon, Marchetti

England: Butland, Cahill, Walker, Carrick, Townsend, Mason, Bertrand, Barkley, Green

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

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