Unruly Totti's moment of madness unlikely to impress Lippi

The Italian Cup final was shown in 3D in selected cinemas in Milan and Rome and the viewers must have felt as battered and bruised as the players at the full-time whistle.

There were Avatar moments aplenty as players fell pole-axed at the slightest touch while others went flying through the air as the studs flew and boots waded in for real.

Quite a few of the audience must have ducked during the many phlegm-filled moments when the protagonists gobbed-off to one and other - and covered their ears as one foul-mouth rant followed another.

Referee Nicola Rizzoli demonstrated sterling resilience in not brandishing the red card more than just the once but it must have been some sight in all its high-technology glory especially as the recipient was the unruly Francesco Totti.

It was brutal enough watching the game on HD and no doubt those wearing the funny glasses are receiving the appropriate counselling - much as those faint-hearted souls who first witnessed the Exorcist film were calmed down. 

Yes, it was riveting at times but it was also traumatic and certainly not for lovers of the beautiful game or even the mildly-attractive for that matter.

In fact, it was pretty much a horror show all round and it was Totti who had heads spinning with his snarling and down-right shocking foul on Mario Balotelli who he then booted in the head when the young lad was face down on the turf.

For such a mean-spirited act the Roma man should be banned from selection for the World Cup, although his lumbering performance as a second-half substitute will probably not have Marcello Lippi reaching to make the phone call anyway.

Luca Toni is another old crock who should be putting his feet up this summer after his grappling match with Marco Materazzi was only brought to an end when Walter Samuel came on and sorted the two old bean-poles out – removing his team-mate from the fray to go and stand in the middle of the penalty area while he put lame Luca in his place.

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Every few of those involved left the field of conflict with their good name intact: Nicolas Burdisso could easily have been sent-off in the first-half and his first challenge of the evening after less than sixty second left Wesley Sneijder unable to walk.

The Dutchman hobbled off soon after, leaving the only real touch of class to come from Diego Milito whose crisp strike at the end of a quick break was enough to seal stage one of ‘The Treble’ quest.

No doubt the events of Sunday in the same Olympic Stadium effected the ‘home side’ – surely it is time to move the game to a neutral venue if the Roman clubs reach the final again – and there was a poisonous atmosphere hanging around the stadium.

What we can take from the game is that Jose Mourinho will probably employ the same game-plan in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, which he will no doubt defend as 'the ends justify the means'.

Once they had gone a goal ahead, Inter looked to kill the contest off and there was still another half to play.

When the ball went out - even when it was thrown back quickly - it still took an age for the sphere to find its way out of the thrower’s hands and back onto the pitch.

Free-kicks were also treated as an opportunity for an extended discussion on how far away the wall was while other blatant time-wasting tactics became the order of the day.

Then when everyone was just about to scream in exasperation ìget on with itî, suddenly the Nerazzurri midfield would spring into life and Milito, Samuel Eto’o along with the very impressive Balotelli would scurrying off into the danger-zone to create mayhem in the opposition defence.

After spending the first 45 minutes lofting the ball towards the inert Toni, Roma returned for the second-half attempting to move the ball forward quickly along the ground - but just like Barcelona they floundered in a sea of black and blue shirts in the final third of the pitch.

There was half-chance here and there but as the clock ticked down so Roman frustration turned to hysteria which made for utterly unpleasant viewing no matter if it was in 3D or not.

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