Friday 8 December
Spezia 2-1 Crotone
Spezia ended a run of two consecutive defeats to get back into the play-off race, as Saverino was hero and villain. Torrential rain in Liguria made play very difficult for the two sides and it was Crotone who had the first chance after 90 seconds with Dante Lopez cracking a shot against the crossbar. The home side opened the scoring with former Crotone man Scarlato tapping in from a parried Guidetti effort, but after the break Saverino handed the visitors an equaliser by deflecting Veron’s shot into his own net. He made up for that unlucky rror by netting the winner with a right-foot drive that picked up pace on the slick surface. Piocelle and Maietta saw red for Crotone late on.
Saturday 9 December
Juventus 1-0 Verona
Mauro Camoranesi scraped a precious victory for Juventus that maintains their bid to be top of the table by Christmas. Alessandro Del Piero returned from injury, but was only fit for the bench, while David Trezeguet, Cristiano Zanetti and the suspended Pavel Nedved remained sidelined.
Pegolo rushed out to close down both Valeri Bojinov and Raffaele Palladino, though he was saved by the woodwork when the Under-21 international cracked a shot against the bar from 25 metres. Marcelo Zalayeta also went close, but Verona’s Iunco had a goal disallowed for offside.
The deadlock was broken soon after half-time, when Giorgio Chiellini spread the play for Palladino, whose cross from the left was met by a Camoranesi header. Hellas hit back with Vincenzo Italiano’s free kick flashing across the face of goal. Del Piero made his comeback after a month out and almost immediately set up two great chances for Camoranesi and Matteo Paro with a delightful backheel before bringing a tough save out of Pegolo with a left-foot finish.
Bari 1-0 Modena
Bari snatched victory, but Modena shot themselves in the foot at the Stadio San Nicola. Pianu scored the winner after 36 minutes when he was quickest to react to a loose ball in the area. Sforzini came on as a substitute to spark up the Canarini and had the opportunity to equalise in the final stages, but his penalty was well saved by Gillet.
Bologna 3-1 Lecce
Bologna and Juventus temporarily top the table awaiting Napoli’s Monday night game with this confident victory over a Lecce side in dire straits. All the Rossoblu goals came in the 13 minutes approaching half-time, as Bellucci took advantage of a defensive error to fire in a left-footed finish, then Zauli cut in from the right for a daisy-cutter on the counter-attack. Bellucci completed his brace with a tap-in from Marazzina’s assist. Although Valdes got one back for Lecce from distance, it was all Bologna and primarily Bellucci, who hit the woodwork twice through a lob and corner kick.
Frosinone 2-1 Brescia
New boys Frosinone grabbed a shock scalp, stretching their unbeaten run to four games. Zoboli’s early header and a Possanzini drive were well saved for Brescia, but it was the home side who took the lead through Lodi taking advantage of a lucky ricochet on Fialdini’s assist. The Rondinelle were furious when Colombo’s equaliser was disallowed for a dubious offisde ruling and Maccan met a corner kick to draw them level. However, six minutes from time Fialdini met Di Venanzio’s pass to secure the surprise victory. The drama still wasn’t over, as in stoppages Del Nero’s header hit the bar for Brescia.
Mantova 0-0 Albinoleffe
Mantova’s promotion push slowed down with another disappointing stalemate at the Martelli. Caridi nodded wide, Graziani brought a great save out of the Albinoleffe goalkeeper and Noselli’s goal was disallowed for a debatable offside position.
Pescara 0-5 Rimini
Rimini continue their excellent period of form with this crushing 5-0 away victory at crisis-hit Pescara. Valiani, Vitiello’s header, a Cascione right-foot finish, Ricchiuti’s penalty and a Bischeri strike found no answer at the Stadio Adriatico.
Piacenza 1-0 Arezzo
Piacenza resumed their march on the top spots after scraping past bottom of the table Arezzo. Lombardi brought down Nef, allowing Cacia to convert an early penalty, but Bressan kept the scoreline down with saves on Degano. It was Piace goalkeeper Coppola who proved decisive in the second half, flying to push Bondi’s free kick out from under the crossbar.
Treviso 2-3 Genoa
Genoa registered their first victory in six weeks at the end of an extremely tense firecracker of a match. Treviso dominated the first half with Valdez tapping in a corner kick and Poli thumped the upright, but De Rosa equalised straight after the break on the counter-attack from Moro’s wasted opportunity at the other end. The game well and truly kicked off at this point, in every sense of the phrase. Quadrini’s free kick restored Treviso’s lead, only for the the ball to come off the upright and into the path of Criscito two minutes later. Quadrini saw red for a second bookable offence and the Grifoni took advantage of the extra man to go in front for the first time through Botta. In a fiery finale, Fava, Valdez and Rossi were all sent off.
Vicenza 3-0 Triestina
Vicenza climbed out of the relegation zone with this unexpected victory over their high-flying rivals. A Nastos header broke through, soon followed by Zanini’s strike, although Triestina failed to successfully convert several chances with Ruopolo and Paonessa. Crovari saw red for a tackle from behind, but the 10-man home side still extended their lead through Schwoch.
Monday 11 December
Cesena 1-1 Napoli
Napoli missed out on the opportunity of returning to the top of Serie B after being held to a 1-1 draw at Cesena in the Monday night game. The Azzurri were looking to leapfrog both Juventus and Bologna, but were forced to share the points against their fellow promotion hopefuls.
Both sides enjoyed decent chances in the opening 45 minutes and it was the Azzurri who took the lead. Calaio headed his side in front as he collected a Trotta cross to loop the ball in. Yet that advantage lasted for just two minutes as Papa Waigo broke the offside trap to slot his right-footed shot into the back of the net.
The second half was a much quieter affair in front of goal. Napoli went the closest in minute 84 as substitute Sosa saw ‘keeper Turci divert his header on to the bar. That was before the away side were reduced to 10 men as Calaio’ was dismissed for two yellow cards. Napoli, who also saw Domizzi strike the bar with an incredible free-kick in injury time, are now third with 27 points. Cesena are just three points further back.
Source: C4 Football Italia