Friday 1 December
Genoa 1-1 Juventus
It was a dramatic 1-1 draw between Genoa and Juventus as Gianluigi Buffon saved a penalty and Pavel Nedved saw red. The Stadio Ferraris was packed out for this clash of the fallen giants and head to head promotion battle, but Genoa were coming off a five-match winless streak and the Bianconeri had Alessandro Del Piero, Cristiano Zanetti and David Trezeguet out injured. The visitors had a goal disallowed within the opening four minutes, as Raffaele Palladino redirected a Federico Balzaretti effort, but a debatable offside flag was raised. At the other end Gigi Buffon parried a Coppola strike and Balzaretti cleared from Gaetano De Rosa just in front of the line.
There was further controversy on the half-hour mark when the referee pointed to the spot for Alessandro Birindelli’s shirt-tug on Longo, a decision that infuriated the Juve bench. Nonetheless, Genoa were prevented from taking the lead when self-confirmed Grifone fan Buffon pushed Adailton’s penalty on to the upright. Barasso rushed out to pluck Palladino’s flick off the foot of Valeri Bojinov, while Greco and Fabiano went close. After the break Buffon confirmed his status as the world’s best goalkeeper with a stunning save, flicking away Coppola’s finish with his trailing hand. Juve were under pressure, but threatened on 70 minutes when Barasso parried a Pavel Nedved header from Mauro Camoranesi’s cross. Moments later the Czech managed to beat his rival with a fierce left-foot free kick that took a deflection off Juric.
The forward made up for that mistake soon after, as he equalised for Genoa by flicking Greco’s pass past Buffon with the outside of his left foot. The Rossoblu were pouring forward in the final stages and only a Boumsong goalline clearance stopped Adailton’s corner kick turning the game around.
There was tension in stoppages as Nedved saw red for an apparent stamp on Bega’s ankle, causing a brief scuffle between the two teams.
Saturday 2 December
Albinoleffe 3-3 Cesena
With a last minute goal Albinoleffe managed to get a point out of this spectacular game that seemed compromised for them after going two down. Cesena were left very disappointed, as by winning this game they could have reached the top of the Serie B table alongside Juventus and Napoli, but they couldn’t end Leffe’s unbeaten home record. The Bergamo side started well, but were punished by Papa Waigo’s brace on the counter-attack. Albinoleffe reacted well, as after only four minutes Cellini made it 1-2 with a tap-in. The second half seemed to be a repeat of the first, with Albinoleffe dominating but Cesena ready to score on the break. Yet Bianconeri bomber Pellè took advantage of another error from the home team’s defence and Rabito’s free-kick gave hope to the locals. At the last minute the unexpected daisy-cutter from Bonazzi made it all square.
Arezzo 4-1 Pescara
In this bottom of the table clash, Pescara were simply destroyed by Arezzo in their first win of the campaign. The Amaranto, who are suffering from a six-point deduction, finally managed to see the light. Arezzo had a great start with Volpato, who scored with a powerful left-foot shot from distance. The former Juventus striker was inspired and found the net again at the 35th minute, but his goal was disallowed for an offside position. During the second-half Pescara found the equaliser with defender Gonnella’s spectacular volley. It didn’t last long, as four minutes later Volpato broke into the box and was brought down by Gautieri, converting the resulting penalty. Having failed to score in 477 minutes going into this game, Arezzo ran riot with Capelli’s header and a Floro Flores counter.
Crotone 0-0 Piacenza
Piacenza missed an opportunity to close up on the leaders with this disappointing stalemate. Crotone had the better of the first half, forcing Soviero into a tough save, but the home side was left in 10 men when Sedivec was sent off for dissent. Despite that incident, Crotone held on for a point.
Mantova 0-0 Bari
Both these teams were hoping to catch up with the front runners, but this result ends up slowing down their mutual progress. Most of the chances arrived in the second half, as Caridi’s long-range strike thumped the upright and at the other end Carrus’ header skimmed the frame of the goal.
Modena 1-0 Treviso
Thanks to a tight 1-0 victory, Modena overtook Treviso in the table and also moved away from the relegation positions. The first half lacked excitement, though the locals went close with a header from Tamburini and Russotto had Treviso’s only attempt. Modena went ahead just at the beginning of the second half with Campedelli, who was quick to tap in a corner kick. At the 80th minute Frezzolini tipped a long-range Moro shot over the bar, then Quadrini’s effort was deflected off target, but it wasn’t enough to earn a point.
Napoli 1-1 Frosinone
Napoli keep hold of the Serie B leadership, but are set to face serious sanctions after crowd trouble interrupted this match twice. The club had already been warned this week that further fan problems would result in a ban on the Stadio San Paolo. Despite several warnings, flares and fireworks continued to explode and play was halted at the start of the second half, then again after 66 minutes. Napoli President Aurellio De Laurentis came down on to the pitch to talk to the referee and urge him not to give the minority of hooligans victory.
Pia, Castillo and Grava went close early on before Zappino’s fine save turned a Calaio effort on to the upright. After the break Frosinone also threatened with Iezzo parrying a close-range Lodi strike. Substitute Bucchi had a good chance, but it was the visitors who took the lead when Maldonado brought down Castillo. The midfielder saw red and Lodi converted the debatable penalty. The 10-man Azzurri didn’t give in and Bogliacino rose to nod in the equaliser seven minutes from time.
Rimini 1-1 Vicenza
Rimini’s promotion hopes were hit by this surprise draw against struggling Vicenza. The home side threatened early on with two great Zancope’ saves on Cascione, but all the action came in first half stoppages. Moscardelli’s tap-in seemed to give Rimini the lead over the break, but instead moments later Rigoni met Schwoch’s pass to equalise. Neither outfit could snatch it, as Handanovic parried Fissore’s header and Zancope’ again denied Cascione.
Triestina 2-1 Spezia
High-flying Triestina picked up their fourth victory in the last three games, but for Spezia this is the second consecutive defeat. Saverino put Spezia ahead with a left-foot strike from just outside the box, practically their only scoring opportunity. Triestina poured forward and were unlucky when Piovaccari hit the post at the 47th minute, but it was just a question of time. At the 62nd Lima made it even with a wonderful left-foot half-volley At this point Spezia were really struggling and ‘keeper Santoni was fantastic on a few occasions. However there was nothing he could do when Graffiedi fired in the winning goal in the closing stages, which gave a deserved victory to Triestina.
Verona 0-1 Bologna
Bologna continue their march back up the table with a victory at the Bentegodi, but Verona face a battle to avoid relegation at this rate. Antonioli performed a crucial early save as Manfredini deflected Cutolo’s effort and soon after the Rossoblu took the lead through Marazzina’s splendid left-foot volley. Meghni’s solo attempt was turned on to the upright, but the Bologna goalkeeper was again key on Cossu’s free kick. Verona were unlucky with Guarente’s screamer from 35 metres thumping the post.
Monday 4 December
Lecce 2-1 Brescia
Lecce left it late but netted three valuable points by beating Brescia 2-1 in the Monday night Serie B game. Zdenek Zeman was looking to get his side’s season back on track against Brescia – a club he briefly bossed towards the end of last season before he failed to guide them into the play-offs. And they started well by taking the lead on 15 minutes, even if assistant referee Iannello had a massive hand in it. The latter gave a goal even though Osvaldo’s header didn’t seem to cross the line before it was diverted clear by Viviano. A fuming Brescia did go into the break all square though thanks to Possanzini. He took advantage of some poor Via Del Mare defending to go around ‘keeper Benussi and slide in the equaliser. Brescia were looking dangerous in attack and almost took the lead after the interval with a Mannini header which Benussi expertly palmed to safety. Although Brescia threatened on a few more occasions, the Giallorossi stole the points in injury time through Osvaldo again. Brescia remain on 20 points, Lecce stay on the right-hand side of the table but move on to 17 points.
Source: C4 Football Italia