Saturday, 4 November 2006

Serie B Wk 10: Review

Friday 3 November
Modena 1-2 Piacenza
Piacenza stunned the Canarini on home turf with a local derby victory that puts them in a strong position for promotion, but leaves Modena’s hopes in tatters. Cacia took advantage of a defensive mix-up to fire in a cross from the left, but Centurioni got on the end of a free kick to equalise after the break. The decisive moment came on 68 minutes with Riccio’s fantastic strike from 30 metres to seal the points.

Saturday 4 November
Arezzo 0-1 Lecce
Changing Coach didn’t help sorry Arezzo, as they fell to their fifth defeat on Maurizio Sarri’s debut. Lecce were quick to take the lead with a header from Tulli after just four minutes. The home side’s best chance to earn a point was neutralised by Angelo’s goalline clearance on a Conte shot. The Granata are still stuck at the bottom of the table, while these three points helped Lecce to skip up a few positions and revive their play-off hopes

Bari 2-0 Spezia
Another good result for Bari, who are now very close to the play-off positions. The Biancorossi are doing well and this match only served to reinforce their ambitions, though for Spezia the situation continues to get more complicated. Bari had a stunning start with Santoruovo drilling home the opening right-foot strike within six minutes of kick-off. Spezia didn’t have a proper reaction to their opponents’ early goal, and in the second half Santoruvo was denied a second by the woodwork. After dominating the match Bari nearly ruined it all, but BaĆ¹’s left-shoot skimmed the bar. Then Carrus did the job with a close-range effort to make the points safe.

Frosinone 2-1 Bologna
Serie B newcomers Frosinone stunned promotion chasers Bologna with this remarkable comeback. The Rossoblu had taken the lead when Bellucci earned a penalty with a dinking run and converted it too, but Pagani flicked on a corner kick for Di Nardo’s tap-in just before the break. Castillo caused all sorts of problems for the Bologna defence and Di Nardo limped off with a suspected thigh strain, but they still managed to snatch victory with a splendid Lodi strike. He controlled the ball with his chest and placed a precise lob with the outside of his left foot. Della Rocca could’ve earned a point at the death, only to nod on to the side-netting.

Genoa 1-1 Crotone
Genoa were held to their second consecutive defeat, the first at Marassi, by Coach Gasperini’s old club. The Serie B leaders poured forward from the start, as usual, firing wide with Sculli and Adailton, but it was little Crotone who took a shock lead. Cariello’s free kick found Borghetti unmarked at the back post for a right-foot finish. The pressure was intensified further after the break with two Sculli headers – one palmed away, the other stopped short by the crossbar.

Veron’s handling offence in the fray allowed Adailton to convert the penalty and equalise. The visitors focused only on the counter-attack and still went close to a winner with Lopez ballooning over from close range, but Genoa were kicking themselves at the 87th minute when Longo’s long-range strike cannoned off the bar. De Rosa saw red for a second bookable offence, as the Grifone’s march on the top flight hits an unexpected bump.

Mantova 4-3 Cesena
Mantova pipped Cesena to the post in this spectacular play-off battle that certainly kept the fans entertained. The home side had a blistering start with Caridi thumping the woodwork before Bernacci turned in Sommese’s deflected cross and Doga converted a penalty, both goals helped by Ficagna errors. Salvetti pulled one back, also from the spot, but Caridi’s tap-in and a Bernacci volley put Mantova 4-1 up going into the break. Game over? Not quite. Cesena staged a valiant fightback through Virdis’ angled drive and Pelle nodding in Lazzari’s cross. Lazzari’s dismissal for dissent knocked the wind out of their sails, although the 10-man visitors still nearly grabbed an equaliser in stoppages, as Virdis was kept out only by the frame of the goal.

Pescara 2-2 Treviso
It was an entertaining match between these relegation battlers at the Stadio Adriatico. Remarkably, 10-man Pescara managed to get a point after being two goals down at half time and insulted by the fans. The defence looked particularly shaky when Spadavecchia pushed Acquafresca’s shot into the path of Beghetto, while Acquafresca’s stunning left-foot volley seemed to close the match, especially after Zoppetti’s dismissal for a horrible tackle. However, Martini got them back into it with a right-foot strike on the bounce, Pescara’s first goal in 637 minutes of football. Amazingly Martini netted the equaliser in the final minutes, completing his brace by running on to De Falco’s searching pass and beating the goalkeeper as he ran out. Gimenez almost snatched victory for the 10-man outfit in stoppages, but turned his header over the bar.

Rimini 1-1 Albinoleffe
Rimini had the opportunity to catch Genoa at the top of the table, but instead they drop down to third place following this disappointing stalemate. Pagano hit the crossbar in the first half and Jeda had the chance to give the home side the lead, but his penalty was saved by Acerbis. Albinoleffe took advantage and broke through with substitute Belingheri’s angled drive, but Jeda made up for his earlier error with a fine solo effort into the top corner to earn a point.

Triestina 0-0 Brescia
Brescia’s promotion hopes have been hit this week, as after a 2-0 defeat at Juventus on Wednesday evening, they were held in Trieste. The home side had the best opportunities with Peccarisi and Allegretti, but Possanzini and Serafini threatened to give the Rondinelle victory in the final stages.

Vicenza 0-1 Verona
Verona snatched victory in the local Veneto derby, but Vicenza’s crisis seems to know no bounds. The Biancorossi had a good start with Schwoch hitting the post, but at the 21st minute Iunco sprung the off-side trap on Pulzetti’s pass to net the winning goal. Schwoch had a good opportunity and Raimondi’s free kick thumped the bar, but there was no way back for Vicenza.

Monday 6 November
Napoli 1-1 Juventus
Napoli denied Juventus a ninth consecutive League victory when they came from behind to grab a 1-1 draw in the Monday night Second Division clash. Alessandro Del Piero fired his side into the lead with more set-piece magic, before Mariano Bogliacino netted an equaliser just six minutes later.

The biggest game of the Serie B season kicked-off with Napoli looking for their first League win over the Old Lady since Diego Maradona scored twice in a 3-1 win back in 1989-90. The Azzurri started the game with Sam Dalla Bona and Roberto De Zerbi on the bench, while the away side arrived without a host of first team players such as Jean-Alain Boumsong, Robert Kovac, Pavel Nedved, Marco Marchionni and David Trezeguet.

The first half was a relatively even affair with the home side struggling to live up to the expectations of the 65,000 fans at the Stadio San Paolo, while Juve themselves only offered limited threats.

It was the visitors who took the lead with a Del Piero classic. The No 10 scored his 203rd Juve goal by floating his free-kick over the wall and into the back of the net. With the Turin giants taking the lead, was it game over? No way as that goal sparked Napoli into life. Buffon had already denied Calaio and substitute De Zerbi, before the San Paolo erupted with joy. Bogliacino was the catalyst as he netted a 73rd minute equaliser to become the first man to score past Buffon in the League since Week 2.

Juventus move on to 17 points, three behind leaders Genoa, while Napoli are just a point shy of the Bianconeri on 16.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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