Created in 2001 by the TIM company (Telecom Italia Mobile), the Trofeo TIM reunites every year the three most decorated football clubs of Serie A, Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter Milan, in a three-way 45-minute match tournament (or as it’s commonly known in the peninsula: the triangolare).
The TIM Trophy has become a regular feature of pre-season soccer in Italy, giving us a tasty appetizer of upcoming big Serie A clashes, as well as the opportunity for these three Italian soccer giants to playtest their latest Summer mercato signings.
The tournament format is as follows: each team plays each other once, in a 45-minute mini-match. If the score is tied at the end of regulation time, the match will proceed to a penalty shootout. Points in the standings will be allotted as follows:
• Win within regular time = 3 pts.
• Win after penalty shootout = 2 pts.
• Loss after penalty shootout = 1 pt.
• Loss within regular time = 0 pts.
Point tie-breakers are (in order): head-to-head record, goal differential, and goals scored.
During its 10-year run so far, Inter have won the trophy 6 times, followed by AC Milan (3), and Juventus (1). Massimo Moratti keeps his 6 Trofeo Tim cups well within sight at Corso Vittorio Emanuele. It is accepted by critics worldwide their (Inter)ior decorator did wonders in arranging a beautiful, concentric pattern around Inter’s paper-Scudetto that is both feng shui and exquisite in taste.
This year’s edition of the Trofeo TIM takes place at Stadio San Nicola of Bari, and according to reports the 43,000 tickets made available to the public have been completely sold out!
As usual for your viewing pleasure, JuventiKnows will have in-depth match reports of the event, but for the very first time we will try to update this post as the event unfolds, posting an updated Play-by-Play at the end of each mini-match. In the meantime, feel free to use the comments sections for discussions, cheers, and pub banter!
KICK-OFF at 20:45 CET. Here’s the match program.
|#2||21:45 CET||AC Milan||vs.||Loser #1|
|#3||22:45 CET||Winner #1||vs.||AC Milan|
Juventus vs. Internazionale
|•||Inter playing with Castellazzi – Ranocchia, Samuel, Chivu – Jonathan, Stankovic, Thiago Motta, Obi – Sneijder – Pazzini, Pandev|
|•||Juve in pink (common in this pre-season it seems). Inter in nerazzurro.|
|•||The referee trio wearing yellow shirts with a really cool “tricolore” pattern in V. Man, I want that shirt!|
|1′||First good play for Juve: Vucinic through in space and into the box, Samuel using muscular means to stop him. Too muscular, yet no foul and no penalty.|
|3′||Sideline report: Conte being very vocal with his players as usual. Not so much with what they do with the ball, but rather their movements OFF the ball and whenever JUve don’t have possession|
|5′||Good corner-kick for Juventus, Vucinic header just inches away from the post!!! So close!|
|9′||GOAL JUVENTUS!!! 1-0!! Mirko Vucinic!!! Fantastic one-time left-footed through ball by Pirlo for Vucinic, through on goal on the right wing, beats Castellazzi on the right post.|
|10′||Chivu injured. Zanetti coming on in his place.|
|13′||Fantastic DOUBLE SAVE by Marco Storari, first on an Obi bullet, then on Pazzini!! But the whistle had gone!|
|14′||Now Krasic!!! close quarters exchange on the edge of the box and Milos is through on the right wing!! Milos cannonball shot with a tight angle, narrowly wide!! Could have delicately touched it for Pasquato and an almost sure goal…|
|15′||Forget the Super Copa, this game is where it’s at!!!! VERY entertaining encounter.|
|16′||Goal Inter. 1-1. Ranocchia. Off a corner-kick, he gets rid of Bonucci’s attention and lands his header over Storari.|
|17′||Krasic again!! Great ball for Milos from ADP, Krasic tries the instep left-footed volley. Too weak to trouble Castellazzi!|
|18′||HOWITZER free-kick by Sneijder. 2 yards away from Storari’s left post.|
|19′||Haha wow!! Del Piero burns Samuel on speed!! Great through ball from Marchisio to ADP, tries a left-footed effort wide of the mark.|
|22′||Fantastic counter-attack by Juventus. Literally 6 vs. 3 pushing forward at full steam ahead! The cross by Krasic gets cleared into corner.|
|24′||Long-range shot by Stankovic. Low, Storari gets down and parries it into CK.|
|25′||ANOTHER lightning counter by Juve!! 4 vs. 3 following a corner-kick. ADP advances through the central area, doesn’t pass to the open wings, but his step-overs earn him a foul from 25 yards.|
|26′||Pasquato from the free-kick!! Straight into the wall.|
|27′||Inter are having an extremely hard time containing Juve on the counter. Better when they have possession.|
|28′||Accurate delivery from a Sneijder FK to Pazzini on the far post; tries to redirect it towards the center, Storari saves into CK.|
|28′||Ranocchia again off the CK!! Wide! But the Juventus defenders can’t manage to get to these balls first!|
|29′||Good effort by Krasic on the right. First he loses the ball trying to dribble Obi. Then wins it back and obtains a foul.|
|30′||ADP FK. Ranocchia clears. Krasic on the half-volley. Wide.|
|31′||Vucinic through, tackled by Samuel. CK. Off the CK, another dangerous situation and Juve obtain a second CK.|
|32′||Now on the play development, a good ADP ball for Vucinic finds Mirko just a tad short.|
|33′||Sideline report: Gasperini extremely unhappy with his team right now. “Siamo messi male, siamo messi malissimo” he says (“we are badly, extremely badly in place”)|
|36′||Sneijder from long range again. Good effort, but no problem for Storari.|
|38′||PIRLO TACKLE!! PIRLO TACKLE!! Cleanly disposesses Jonathan off the ball, into throw-in.|
|39′||Ugh. Krasic feeds a Lichtsteiner overlap with too wide a pass. Stephan has to go chase after it and his cross to find Milos again isn’t great.|
|40′||Now ADP-Thiago Motta with stern words for each other. Yellow card for both.|
|41′||Now Samuel earns a yellow as well, for a rough come-from-behind foul on Del Piero.|
|44′||Obi cross from the left, Bonucci gifts Inter with a corner-kick.|
|45′||Ranocchia yet again!! Goddamnit, someone mark this guy properly! Over the bar.|
|46′||Juventus end the game in Inter’s half. Referee calls full-time and sends the two teams to a penalty shootout.|
|•||While both teams get their share of isotonic drinks, the AC Milan players take the field for a warm-up.|
|•||Inter will shoot first. It’s Pazzini.|
|#1||Storari guesses correctly, but Il Pazzo’s shot is too powerful. 1-0 Inter.|
|•||Del Piero vs. Castellazzi. Sends him the wrong way. 1-1.|
|#2||Thiago Motta nowM. To the left, Storari to the right. 2-1 Inter.|
|•||Pasquato for Juve. Slow run and powerful shot. Off the crossbar! 2-1 Inter still.|
|#3||Pandev… angled shot on the right and Storari saves it!! 2-1 Inter still.|
|•||Bonucci… instep shot towards the bottom-right corner. Too angled for Castellazzi to reach. 2-2.|
|#4||Sneijder… top-left corner. Storari almost parries over the bar. 3-2 Inter.|
|•||Vucinic… top-left corner as well. Sends keeper the other way. 3-3.|
|#5||Stankovic for Inter. To the right, and Storari to the left. 4-3 Inter.|
|•||Pirlo for Juve’s last shot. Low shot on the left. Castellazzi guesses, but can’t reach. 4-4.|
|#6||Into sudden death PKs. Ranocchia for Inter. With a bit of luck, off the crossbar and in. 5-4 Inter.|
|•||Lichtsteiner with a central run. Opens his foot and scores. 5-5.|
|#7||Samuel… central and with power. 6-5 Inter.|
|•||Barzagli… off the crossbar and out. Inter wins the first match.|
|GOALSCORERS: 9′ Vucinic (J), 16′ Ranocchia (I)
| JUVENTUS (4-2-4): Storari – Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, De Ceglie – Marchisio, Pirlo – Krasic, Vucinic, Del Piero, Pasquato. Coach: Conte
(UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: Buffon, Manninger, Motta, Pazienza, Ziegler, Vidal, Matri, Sorensen, Marrone, Ruggiero, Libertazzi, Spinazzola.
(UNAVAILABLE: Chiellini, Pepe, Martinez, Quagliarella, Toni all due to injury)
(REMAINED IN TURIN: Grygera, Grosso, Ekdal, Almirón, Amauri)
| INTER (3-4-3): Castellazzi – Ranocchia, Samuel, Chivu (11′ J.Zanetti) – Jonathan, Thiago Motta, Stankovic, Obi – Pandev, Pazzini, Sneijder. Coach: Gasperini. (UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: Orlandoni, Cincilla, Lucio, Alvarez, Caldirola, Cambiasso, Milito, Castaignos, Faraoni, Santon, Bianchetti, Crisetig, Muntari)
| PENALTY SHOOTOUT: Pazzini (goal), Del Piero (goal), Thiago Motta (goal), Pasquato (crossbar), Pandev (saved), Bonucci (goal), Sneijder (goal), Vucinic (goal), Stankovic (goal), Pirlo (goal), Ranocchia (goal), Lichtsteiner (goal), Samuel (goal), Barzagli (crossbar).
Juventus vs. AC Milan
|•||Juve changing their shirts to traditional Black & White. Milan in rossonero.|
|•||Milan playing with Roma – Antonini, Nesta, Ely, Taiwo – Gattuso, Van Bommel, De Sciglio – Boateng – Cassano, Comi. No Zlatan for Milan, who got hurt in their friendly vs. Malmö. Also missing tonight: Abbiati, Seedorf, Pato, Robinho, among others.|
|•|| Pirlo featuring for the very first time against his former club.|
|2′||Juve seemingly playing with a… 4-2-3-1 formation.|
|3′||Very strangely, Conte is asking Vidal to play almost on the same line as… Matri! And the poor lad seems rather lost out there so far.|
|5′||Sideline report: Conte yelling at Krasic to stay wide. Milos moving towards the center too often for Antonio’s taste.|
|8′||Van Bommel, ensuing a good play by Cassano on the left, tries a hazardous half-volley that leaves Storari in no trouble.|
|9′||Great through ball by Vidal towards Matri on the left. Matri attempts to find someone with the cross. Intercepted by the Rossoneri defense.|
|11′||Boateng with an angled mid-range effort. Far wide.|
|11′||First change of the game: Ruggiero coming on for Krasic at right wing. Remember these are 45-minute matches and Krasic already played a full 45. Subbing off in the 10th means nothing (pretty decent effort by Krasic tonight by the way).|
|13′||Goal Milan. 0-1. Vidal loses the ball in Milan’s half, and allows the Rossoneri to hit off the counter. Cassano through on goal after an instantaneous pass by Boateng. Skips past Bonucci and beats Storari. Too casual Bonucci here.|
|15′||Milan almost with another goal. Cannonball by Boateng from the right wing. Parried by Storari into Cassano’s path, and only a last-second deflection by Motta can save the Bianconeri.|
|16′||Now Van Bommel howitzer. Just wide of the post.|
|18′||Juve having a very tough time now, much unlike their first game. Boateng being particularly vibrant. His powerful diagonal shot finds Ziegler’s foot who clears.|
|21′||GOAL JUVENTUS!!! 1-1 It’s ARTURO VIDAL with a fantastic goal out of nowhere!!! (and some help by Flavio Roma). About 30 yards out on the left, he lets it rip from long range and surprises the Milan keeper low inside the left post!!!|
|23′||Pirlo comes off for Marrone. Big round of applause from him.|
|25′||Another Primavera about to make an appearance. It’s Spinazzola.|
|26′||Pasquato with a lively percussion down the center. Gets blocked. Now Pazienza with a great sliding tackle and wins the ball back for Juve. Vidal’s touch for Pasquato is too deep, but Juve win a corner.|
|27′||Spinazzola comes on for Pasquato.|
|28′||Nice exchange between Matri & Spinazzola, but Matri’s pass is too long to complete the 1-2.|
|29′||Juve still struggling to construct anything substantial up front. The lack of a second prima punta is evident. Why didn’t Conte switch Pasquato to fill that role previously?|
|31′||Sorensen comes on for Bonucci. Leonardo didn’t appear particularly brilliant tonight, leaving Ranocchia then Cassano to score their goals.|
|32′||Vucinic comes back in for Ruggiero (who decidedly didn’t feature very long). Yet a re-shuffling of our current formation was absolutely necessary. Vidal yet still somewhat playing out of position, right midfielder.|
|33′||Cassano now with a very dangerous incursion inside Juventus territory. Instead of passing it to Simone-Andrea Ganz (yes, he’s the son of THAT Ganz…. Maurizio Ganz) he runs parallel to the goal, and is forced by Barzagli to a poor shot wide.|
|35′||VIDAL!!!!!!! Hooks up the ball at the penalty spot completely unmarked and onside!!! His first left-foot effort is parried away, he gets a second chance and arms a cannonball half-volley!! It skims off Antonini’s head onto the crossbar!!!!!!! What a great chance for Juve!!|
|36′||Now FANTASTIC run by Matri left to center, spins around and is almost through on goal by Gattuso brings him down!! At the very least a yellow card, ref decides against it in light of the friendly nature of the match.|
|38′||Vidal with a great run into space on the right!! He’s not fast enough though and Nesta intercepts. But wait, Vidal stays with him and tackles the ball straight onto Nesta’s shins!! Juve win a throw-in!! Grinta aplenty from the Chilean midfielder!!!|
|39′||Juve are looking much much better now, in particular offensively.|
|40′||Cassano with his cleats on Motta. Also yellow card-worthy if this were a competitive game.|
|41′||Another great ball for Juve. Spinazzola squares it for Vucinic 7 yards near the goal, his instep finish is wide though.|
|43′||MATRI with yet another opportunity following a Vidal pass. But he “loses” the ball due to a poor first touch.|
|44′||Ganz mid-range effort. Storari doesn’t risk it and parries it wide, Ziegler retrieves it. Now Antonini’s effort is easy for Marco.|
|45′||Two minutes of injury time. The spectators really enjoying themselves in the meantime. A Mexican wave further illuminates the San Nicola, but not as much as the spectacle that’s being provided on the pitch!|
|47′||GOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL JUVE!!! Last minute of play!! 2-1 JUVE!! It’s Alessandro Matri, powerful, angled header from a… VIDAL cross from the right!!! What a game by Matri & Vidal!!!!|
|47′||And the match is over!! 2-1 Juventus at full-time, jumps to 1st spot of the tournament ranking.|
|•||Conte interview: “dobbiamo lavorare, sempre lavorare“. Hahahaha I expected no less. He also talks about Juve’s defense: well on open play, worse on set plays. On Vidal: “let’s not forget he’s been with us only for a few days of training, he’s a skilled player who is well able to insert himself into space, good purchase by Marotta & Paratici.”|
|GOALSCORERS: 13′ Cassano (M), 21′ Vidal (J), 47′ Matri (J).
| JUVENTUS (4-2-3-1): Storari – Motta, Barzagli, Bonucci (31′ Sorensen), Ziegler – Pazienza, Pirlo (23′ Marrone) – Krasic (11′ Ruggiero, 32′ Vucinic), Vidal, Pasquato (27′ Spinazzola) – Matri. Coach: Conte
(UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: Buffon, Manninger, Lichtsteiner, Marchisio, De Ceglie, Del Piero, Libertazzi).
(UNAVAILABLE: Chiellini, Pepe, Martinez, Quagliarella, Toni all due to injury)
(REMAINED IN TURIN: Grygera, Grosso, Ekdal, Almirón, Amauri)
| MILAN (4-3-1-2): Roma – Antonini, Nesta, Ely, Taiwo – Gattuso, Van Bommel De Sciglio – K.P.Boateng – Comi (32′ Ganz), Cassano. Coach: Allegri. (UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: Amelia, Piscitelli, Abate, Bonera, Oddo, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Emanuelson, Flamini, Sampirisi, Fossati, Kingsley Boateng)
AC Milan vs. Internazionale
|•||Last match of the night. If Milan beat Inter, Juventus have won the trophy.|
|•||Inter with Castellazzi – Faraoni, Ranocchia, Lucio, J.Zanetti – Jonathan Thiago Motta, Cambiasso, Alvarez – Castaignos, D.Milito|
|•||Unfortunately I missed part of AC Milan’s formation. Seems like Amelia – Abate, Bonera, Oddo, Zambrotta – Gattuso, Ambrosini, Van Bommel, Emanuelson – K.Boateng, Cassano. It’s not Kevin-Prince Boateng, but rather Kingsley Boateng a Primavera product (also from Ghana).|
|2′||Good run by Milito on the left. But he’s offside.|
|3′||Milito again, misses the opportunity to go through, well closed down by Bonera.|
|6′||Milan seems to be playing a 3-pronged attack formation actually. Cassano lone striker with Kings.Boateng/Emanuelson right/left wing respectively.|
|8′||Good push down the right by Abate, tries to find Kingsley Boateng but the pass is behind him.|
|10′||Fantastic turn by Cassano to clear Ranocchia!! Slides it towards Emanuelson on the left who wastes a great chance with a very weak effort.|
|11′||Cassano now literally bear-hugs Castellazzi who was shielding the ball into goal-kick, and brings him down to the ground NFL-style. Haha so crazy Fantantonio. All in good fun. They’re both laughing it off.|
|12′||Inter FK. Milito…. off the crossbar!!!|
|13′||Lovely one-time aerial pass by Milito to Castaignos. Through on goal and Amelia gets down to save. But it was offside anyway.|
|17′||Abate with a silver platter delivery onto the head of Kingsley Boateng!!! Point-blank range with no pressure, straight onto Castellazzi who parries away!|
|20′||Flamini comes on for Van Bommel in the Rossoneri ranks.|
|22′||Milito through the center, sidesteps Bonera who brings him down. A yellow card for a tackle, at last, this evening.|
|25′||Simone-Andrea Ganz back in the game for Milan. He replaces Antonio Cassano who, predictably, gets a standing ovation from the public of Bari.|
|28′||Goal Inter. 1-0. It’s Diego Milito who exploits a great Cambiasso long ball and runs on goal behind the defense, beating Amelia with a deft outside-touch.|
|30′||Inter: Sneijder comes in for Thiago Motta.|
|33′||Ganz with a great opportunity down the right wing, good effort but the flag goes up.|
|35′||Faraoni with a good cross towards Milito. Oddo-the-CB-version deflects it away.|
|37′||Sneijder long ball for Castaignos… he seems to be through on goal, but the bounce is deceiving. The Milan defense retrieves it.|
|38′||Milan struggling to hold possession. They also don’t seem very productive in the final third these last few minutes.|
|39′||Immediately the Rossoneri prove me wrong!! 17 year-old Ganz holds off Ranocchia and lets the ball slide through for himself. Ranocchia brings him down. Yellow card and excellent FK opportunity for Milan just outside the box.|
|40′||Oddo’s FK is straight into the wall. Where’s Pirlo when you need him? Oh right…|
|42′||Ambrosini earns a foul 35 yards out. Quickly taken, tries a long-range effort that goes horrendously wide.|
|45′||Dying minutes of the game. Not much happening on either end.|
|46′|| After 1 minute of injury time, referee blows the full-time whistle. Tournament final ranking: Inter 5 pts, Juve 4, Milan 0.|
|GOALSCORERS: 28′ Milito.
| MILAN (4-2-3-1): Amelia – Abate, Oddo, Bonera, Zambrotta – Ambrosini, Van Bommel (20′ Flamini) – Kingsley Boateng, Emanuelson, Fossati (34′ Sampirisi) – Cassano (25′ Ganz) Coach: Allegri
(UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: Roma, Piscitelli, Antonini, Nesta, Taiwo, De Sciglio, Ely, Gattuso, Comi, K.P.Boateng).
| INTER (3-4-3): Castellazzi – Lucio, Ranocchia, J.Zanetti – Jonathan, Thiago Motta (30′ Sneijder), Cambiasso, Faraoni – Alvarez, Milito, Castaignos. Coach: Gasperini.
(UNUSED SUBSTITUTES: Orlandoni, Cincilla, Caldirola, Samuel, Santon, Bianchetti, Stankovic, Obi, Crisetig, Muntari, Pazzini, Pandev)
And so Inter win yet another meaningless trophy. As for Juventus, Antonio Conte can be satisfied with his boys tonight. Particularly with how they performed throughout against Internazionale, as well as how the squad responded to the tactical readjustment vs. AC Milan.
In the first game, Juventus were absolutely brilliant with their counter-attacks. As recognized by Gasperini, Inter’s defending immediately following an offensive corner-kick was woeful, yet we can’t take anything away from the Bianconeri who attacked the opposing goal with verve and determination, often culminating their turn-overs with overmanned (6v4 or 4v3) opportunities. Shining above the rest? Andrea Pirlo, who just makes me (and many other Juventini as well, I’m sure) love him more and more, not just because of his genius passing (that vertical assist for Vucinic was beyond spectacular) but also because of the effort he gives during the defensive phase. Whoever the fu** said “old”? Also great? Mirko Vucinic, constantly provoking opponents one-on-one with his dribbles. In the end, we lost on penalties but who cares? We most definitely looked the better team of the two.
In the second game, a rather disastrous what-the-fu**-were-you-thinking moment when Conte decided to veer off with a 4-2-3-1 formation (I’m not even sure that’s what it was), putting Vidal in a Zinedine Zidane role and telling him to play almost alongside Matri. Arturo looked completely lost for the first half-hour, yet somehow managed to get on the scoreboard during that time (30-yard effort which surprised Flavio Roma, a classic goalkeeper papera if you will). Vidal wasn’t the only suffering from the strange formation though: Juventus not only had trouble keeping possession, they has all sorts of problems in midfield/defense as well. Cassano in particular was having a field day, and promptly exploited the welcome mat extended for him by Bonucci to score Milan’s opener.
Following the entrance of Vucinic, the Bianconeri reverted back to 4-2-4 and we finally set the boat straight, getting organized defensively and in midfield, all the while Alessandro Matri, who finally had a striking partner again, was at last able to turn on the turbo. First he almost took the entire Milan backline by himself and was brought down on the edge of the box, then scored a lovely, accurate header exploiting a Vidal cross from the right. Just before that? Vidal almost scored his second of the night, timing his run to perfection and hooking the ball completely in the clear.
Other than sheer statistics (1 goal, 1 assist for 45 minutes of essentially his first Juve game), Arturo Vidal‘s performance was very interesting particularly because of where Conte asked him to play. The trequartista experiment is something that, hopefully, we will never ever see again yet, his contribution as vice-Krasic deputy gave very productive results. He certainly knows how to time his runs, he just doesn’t have the required speed to fulfill that role to the fullest. Evidently Conte’s thought-process was to try alternative solutions and give Pazienza a full 45 minutes in center midfield.
At any rate, I can’t wait to see what Vidal can do for Juventus in his natural, central position.