Tuesday, September 18, 2018

FC Internazionale Milano U19

FC Internazionale Milano U19 1 Tottenham Hotspur U19 1 - UEFA Youth League, Group Stage

Milan is the capital of the region of Lombady and of the province of Milan. The city was founded under the name of Medhlan, by the Insubres, Celtic people. It was later captured by the Romans in 222 BC, and the city became very successful under the Roman Empire. Later Milan was ruled by the Visconti, the Sforza, the Spanish in the 16th century and the Austrians in the 18th century. In 1796, Milan was conquered by Napoleon I and he made it the capital of his Kingdom of Italy in 1805. The city has been recognised as the world’s fashion capital and the world's design capital, thanks to several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, which are currently among the world's biggest in terms of revenue, visitors and growth. Milan hosted the Universal Exposition in 1906 and 2015. The city hosts numerous cultural institutions, academies and universities, with 11% of the national total enrolled students.

The Campo Comunale Ernesto Breda a multi-use stadium in Sesto San Giovanni. It is mainly used for football matches and is the home ground of AC Pro Sesto. The stadium has a spectator capacity of 4,500. The local railway stations are in the northernmost regions of the Milan Metro system.

The repetitive nature of the Champions League, has the ability to limit the options for visiting new grounds. The visit to Stadio Giuseppe Meazza for the evening match was my 4th excursion to that venue. A wonderful stadium we are informed, but not necessarily the best experience for visiting supporters. The UEFA Youth League, which runs parallel with the main tournament, does offer new grounds to those interested and it was good that the TV scheduling for both matches allowed plenty of time in between, in order to comfortably get from one to the other.

It was relatively easy to get to this stadium by public transport and less than a ten minute stroll from the nearest metro station meant I was in the ground with around 45 minutes before the scheduled 14:00 kick-off. The ground is compact and tidy with seated stands on both sides of the pitch and behind one of the goals. Only the main stand is covered and it was this structure that accommodated all of the spectators at this match.

The remaining end of the ground is just a flat grassed area with a few trees providing the backdrop. Refreshment facilities were situated at one end of the main stand and this Pieman enjoyed a salami roll washed down with a cold, if somewhat unspectacular, beer. Team sheets were distributed freely to those assembled (not always so straightforward at these matches).

This match saw an exceptionally fussy referee almost spoil a really good day for the young Spurs side. I believe that being on live television for the man from Finland, helped him crave the spotlight. Having gone 1-0 down on the counter-attack through Facundo Colidio during the first half, Spurs fought back to level, before the man who won the spot-kick, striker Troy Parrott, was sent off for a second yellow card following a challenge on goalkeeper Vladan Dekic. It was Jack Roles that scored the penalty for the visitors on a balmy Milan afternoon.

They came from afar
After the match I had time to go back to my hotel before the onward journey to the main match. A designated metro station, conveniently situated near to the section for away supporters now serves the main stadium. Air conditioned trains on the new line were also a bonus on this warm day.

Attendance: ?
Admission: 5 Euros
Programme: None

Click here for a full set of match photographs

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