Friday 12 January
Spezia 3-3 Piacenza
Piacenza’s hopes of breaking away at the top of the table were hit by this thoroughly entertaining draw. Degano got the party started by tapping in the ricochet off the upright and, moments after Confalone’s equaliser redirected a wayward ball, the Piacenza man struck again with a curling free kick. The second half was even more dramatic. Guidetti drew Spezia level once more with a spectacular volley, but again it lasted 60 seconds until Cacia nutmegged the goalkeeper. Piacenza looked to be coasting towards victory, but in the final minutes Under-21 international Padoin nodded in a corner kick.
Saturday 13 January
Mantova 1-0 Juventus
The Bianconeri were unbeaten going into this match and – with a game in hand – just one point off the leaders. However, they received a nasty shock at the Stadio Martelli against fellow promotion hopefuls Mantova and lost Gianluigi Buffon to injury.
Bernacci had the best chances of the first half for the home side, facing Juve for the first time in 34 years, turning an angled drive wide and firing Caridi’s cross inches over the bar, while Alessandro Del Piero’s volley and a Matteo Paro header threatened for Juve. Bernacci finally got on the scoresheet after the break when he combined with Caridi to beat Buffon, although it may have taken a touch off Robert Kovac.
The Bianconeri poured forward, Marcelo Zalayeta hitting the side-netting and David Trezeguet tapping wide with only the goalkeeper to beat, but new Mantova signing Denis Godeas nearly made it 2-0 on 72 minutes when his spectacular volley smashed against the bar.
Only a goalline clearance kept out Trezeguet moments later, but Juve’s injury crisis intensified as Buffon went off with a back problem after he rushed out to close down Tarana. Del Piero almost snatched an equaliser at the death with a splendid solo effort that only skimmed the frame of the goal, but the captain couldn’t prevent Juve’s first ever Serie B defeat.
Bari 0-0 Albinoleffe
This tie ended goalless at the Stadio San Nicola. It wasn’t without incident, though, as within the opening 60 seconds Acerbis was forced to parry Vantaggiato’s shot. Belingheri was kept out at the other end by Gillet and Cellini thumped the woodwork for Albinoleffe.
Bologna 0-0 Treviso
Bologna dominated this match and had 16 corner kicks, but failed to find the breakthrough they needed to go top of the table. Bellucci, Castellini and Mingazzini went closest, the latter thumping both the crossbar and the inside of the upright. Ex-Livorno striker Danilevicius made his debut.
Cesena 0-0 Lecce
New Lecce Coach Giuseppe Papadopulo picked up a creditable point on his debut following Zdenek Zeman’s pre-Christmas sacking, but Cesena felt they deserved a penalty for Diamoutene’s handling offence in the first half. Valdes and new signing Tiribocchi were kept out by some fine Turci saves, while Del Core’s effort whistled past the post for the home side.
Frosinone 1-1 Crotone
The spoils were shared at the Matusa, although Elio Gustinetti’s men can feel they perhaps deserved more. Crotone had a bright start with Sedivec and Cariello, but Frosinone broke through thanks to Margiotta’s precise right-foot finish. In first half stoppages, Giampaolo held up the ball for Cariello to equalise.
Napoli 1-0 Verona
This has always been a fiery fixture in the Italian League and being in Serie B has not dulled their rivalry with two red cards at the San Paolo. It was a disappointing debut for new Verona Coach Giampiero Ventura, a former Napoli boss. Bucchi nodded over and Dalla Bona drilled off target, but Napoli were left in 10 men before the break when striker Calaio clattered into Pulzetti in midfield, perhaps a bit of a harsh decision for a straight red.
Guarente curled his free kick inches past the upright, but it was the home side that had the best chances in the second half with Bogliacino wreaking havoc and Bucchi turning just wide. Goalkeeper Pegolo had to parry Maldonado’s sliding finish from point-blank range, although at the other end Iezzo denied William. Verona also had Iunco sent off for striking out at Domizzi and Napoli quickly made the most of this new found equality. Magliochetti’s defensive error was compounded by a foul on Bogliacino and Bucchi converted the resulting penalty.
Pescara 2-1 Genoa
Genoa’s promotion hopes took a heavy blow in this shock defeat to bottom of the table Pescara, who up until now hadn’t earned a single victory. The Adriatico outfit had in fact been the only Italian side of the 132 teams in professional Leagues yet to win this season. Adailton, Milanetto and Fabiano were sorely missed by the Rossoblu and they struggled to create chances, so Rigoni converted to put Pescara ahead when De Rosa handled in the area. Genoa thought they’d picked up a point with 16-year-old Forestrieri’s poacher’s goal from close range, but the referee pointed to the spot again for Rigoni’s winner.
Triestina 1-0 Modena
Triestina struggled to notch up full points from this fixture. The deadlock was broken on 23 minutes when Frezzolini performed a desperate save on Graffiedi, but could do nothing on Allegretti’s follow-up. They nearly added to their tally with Graffiedi and Ruopolo, although Modena poured forward in the closing stages and threatened with Sforzini, Pivotto’s looping header and a Cossu strike.
Vicenza 1-3 Brescia
Brescia fought back from a goal down to hammer the Biancorossi and push themselves back into the promotion race. Schwoch had put Vicenza ahead from the penalty spot, having earned the kick himself from a Mareco foul, but Possanzini sprung to life with a goal either side of the break. First he redirected Mareco’s header that had come off the upright, then he was allowed a free header. Del Nero threaded through for Mannini’s powerful finish to complete the rout.
Monday 15 January
Arezzo 4-1 Rimini
Serie B strugglers Arezzo have collected a sensational 4-1 win over now former leaders Rimini. The home boys entertained the high-flyers in the Monday night game and came away with an unexpected victory. Arezzo stormed into a two-goal lead after Floro Flores and a Martinetti penalty put them in control of the tie. Rimini came back into contention though with Moscardelli rippling the net in minute 37. But Martinetti soon restored their healthy advantage just six minutes after the restart and Bondi finished the rout by grabbing a fourth. Arezzo have now moved off the bottom of the table at the expense of Pescara. Rimini are in joint third, one point behind Piacenza and two shy of Napoli.
Source: C4 Football Italia