Good morning, Fear the Wall.
There’s a lot of news to cover, so I’ll get right into it:
Napoli win the Coppa Italia
Congratulations to Napoli for defeating Juventus in the Coppa Italia, Italy’s version of the DFB Pokal. Although Napoli have had a disappointing season in Serie A, currently sitting at sixth place, they now have a major trophy to lift over the heads as a consolation prize. I couldn’t watch most of the match because of the Dortmund game, but I did turn in to the penalty shootout, and Juventus sure did make a mess of it. The first shooter to step up, Paolo Dybala, had a decent attempt but Napoli keeper Alex Meret made a strong save. Then, Danilo smashed one over the bar, and Napoli were up by two. Gigi Buffon, whose stellar performance that far was basically the sole reason Juve had even gotten to the penalty shootout in the first place, couldn’t keep any remaining Napoli shots out, and the underdogs were victorious with one kick from Arkadiusz Milik.
The highlight of the match was undoubtedly this save from Gigi Buffon in stoppage time:
VAR? What VAR?
Here in the Bundesliga, we may have our problems with VAR. I would’ve liked Jerome Boateng’s handball, for instance, to have been called back. If you’re a longtime EPL viewer like I am, you know that the Premier League somehow does VAR significantly worse than the Bundesliga. The EPL marked its return to the footballing world yesterday, and almost immediately became embroiled in yet another VAR controversy. This time it was between Sheffield United and Aston Villa. A long shot off a dead ball from Sheffield appeared to go all the way across the goal line while inside the arms Aston Villa keeper Orjan Nyland. Apparently, the combination of the post, Nyland’s body, and another Villa defender prevented the goal line technology system’s camera array from functioning, and it therefore couldn’t signal to the referee that it was a goal. Even though the following play went on for more than 60 seconds, giving ample time for the video assistant referee to call the play dead, the play went on.
“I think he was in the Holte End when he caught it” - Chris Wilder.— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) June 17, 2020
The talking point from today’s game pic.twitter.com/ICaDyhJ2dP
The game eventually ended 0-0. Sheffield were incensed, and rightfully so. They had scored a goal! It’s not as if this game is meaningless for Sheffield either. They’ve drastically overperformed this season, and are right in the thick of things in the race for the final Champions League spot. If they had won, they would be in 5th place, one point above Manchester United and two points behind Chelsea in the final Champions League spot. If the season ends with Sheffield being within a one or two point margin, then Sheffield could take up a legitimate grievance with the Football Association. The situation is such a debacle that Hawkeye, the company that makes the goal line decision system, issued an apology:
Hawk-Eye statement on the goal line incident during Aston Villa v Sheffield match this evening. pic.twitter.com/I2u5lqKMqe— Hawk-Eye Innovations (@Hawkeye_view) June 17, 2020
Again, even after the technology malfunctioned, the play could’ve been called dead by the video assistant referee. You’ve got to give it to the Premier League: they’re never boring.
Timo Werner to Chelsea Confirmed
Speaking of the Premier League, one of the Bundesliga’s star players will be moving to England. For only €50M, RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner will be moving to Stamford Bridge to play for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. It’s a surprisingly small fee for a player that many consider to be one of the best strikers in the world.
As a BVB fan, I’m glad to see that RB Leipzig might be taking a step back next season, but as a Bundesliga fan, it kind of annoys me to see one of the League’s best players go to the Premier League for pennies on the dollar. And as a Tottenham fan, well... I can’t say what I think about this, but anyone who’s been to Cartilage Free Captain will know what I think.
The Daily Buzz
What do you think of Timo Werner’s move to Chelsea?