Saturday, 20 January 2007

Serie B Wk 20: Review

Friday 19 January
Genoa 2-1 Mantova
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 20 January
Juventus 4-2 Bari
Juventus recovered from a shock start to secure a morale-boosting victory, as Del Piero scored on the day of his 500th appearance for the club and Nedved marked his comeback with a brace.

Bari had taken a surprise lead after less than a minute, as Santoruvo took advantage of some chaotic defending from Birindelli and Giannichedda. Gillet kept the Bianconeri at bay with saves on Del Piero, Nedved and Trezeguet before the captain floated in a perfect cross for the Frenchman to tap in. Nedved completed the comeback with a splendid solo effort running from midfield and firing in at the second attempt, highlighting his hunger following a five-match ban.

Substitute Sgrigna wasted a good chance to get Bari level, but Juve ran away with the game in the second half. Del Piero celebrated his 500th match for the club by meeting Marchionni’s assist, then with a delightful dummy set up Nedved’s strike. Yet the defensive frailties shown this season continue to cause concern, as once again Juve were caught napping by Gervasoni’s header into the ground.

Albinoleffe 1-1 Frosinone
Albinoleffe threw away a good opportunity to reduce the gap to the top spots after Frosinone caught them in the second half. The locals had a good start with Zappino saves on Cellini and Rabito, but Di Venanzio went close for their opponents with a shot from just outside the box at the 14th minute. However Albinoleffe seemed more convinced of their capabilities and were rewarded by Cellini, who faced Zappino one to one and put the ball into the net. In the second half Frosinone tried their best to get back in the game. Their chances seemed to vanish at the 57th minute when Castillo missed an open goal, but he made up for the mistake by meeting Lodi’s assist.

Brescia 2-1 Pescara
Brescia got full points but struggled to see off Pescara. The home side had the better of the first half and eventually broke through when Santacroce got his header to a corner kick. Serafini and Possanzini could have made it 2-0, but Tardioli performed some crucial saves. A few minutes later Pescara’s central defender Delli Carri went forward and nodded in the equaliser. Brescia were shaken out of their slumber when Colombo missed a great chance, but it was Stankevicius who gave them the victory. The Lithuanian ace netted with a clinical right-foot shot in the bottom left hand corner of Tardioli’s goal.

Crotone 0-0 Bologna
The Rossoblu slide down the standings with a third consecutive stalemate and lose contact with the top spots. Losing top scorer Bellucci to injury after 30 minutes, when he clashed heads with Smit, proved a costly blow. Danilevicius and new Crotone signing Dionigi had the best chances, but Antonioli earned Bologna a point

Lecce 1-1 Napoli
The Derby del Sud has always been a fiery occasion and here it was more than ever a question of pride, as the leaders travelled to a side that has been desperately disappointing and fired Coach Zdenek Zeman before the Christmas break. Juliano somehow failed to convert a classic counter-attack in the opening minutes and Polenghi was rather more accurate with his header from a corner kick. However, Napoli fought back and equalised through De Zerbi’s left-foot strike from 10 metres, although he nearly completed a brace with a stunning volley from the edge of the area that shaved the upright and had a goal disallowed. Deep into stoppages, Pavarini performed a decisive save on the inspirational De Zerbi to earn Lecce a prestigious point. The visitors dominated the second half, as Bogliacino incredibly hit the woodwork twice in the same move, then De Zerbi wasted a great chance.

Piacenza 0-3 Vicenza
Piacenza were the Serie B leaders at Christmas, but this embarrassing shock defeat to relegation strugglers Vicenza knocks them down the standings. It was one-way traffic at the Stadio Garilli, as Schwoch set up Padoin’s right-foot opener, then new signing Foti tapped in another assist from the Biancorossi veteran. Schwoch completed his inspirational performance by dribbling past half the Piacenza defence and depositing the ball past Coppola

Rimini 1-1 Triestina
Rimini stumbled again to lose sight of the leadership, although they could’ve easily lost this match. Triestina opened the scoring against the run of play through Abruzzese’s header, but the home side fought back with a desperate save on Moscardelli and soon after the same player equalised at the end of a fine solo run. The Alabardati thought they’d go into the break in the lead when the referee pointed to the spot, but Handanovic did well to parry Graffiedi’s penalty. The goalkeepers were also in the thick of the action in the second half with spectacular saves on Cascione, Cossu and Peccarisi.

Treviso 3-0 Spezia
It was Acquafresca’s day at the Stadio Nereo Rocco with his memorable hat-trick putting Treviso three points clear of Spezia. It took him only four minutes to score with a right-foot tap in, then put his header past Santoni. The Bianconeri simply weren’t good enough and their only effort was a free-kick by Do Prado which skimmed the woodwork. In the second half the pattern didn’t really change, as Acquafresca scored again with a left-foot volley. At the 89th minute Spezia could’ve made the result a bit less crushing, but Padoin’s header was deflected and hit the bar.

Verona 2-1 Cesena
Unlucky Cesena were shocked at the Stadio Bentegodi by a solid Verona, who made it clear that they have no intention of getting relegated this season. The Bianconeri couldn’t have had a worse start when Ferrarese crossed from the right flank and Cutolo reacted quickest. The Veneti dominated the whole of the first half and nearly went two ahead, but then Perticone decided to make his teammates’ lives a bit more complicated by being sent off due to a useless and terrible tackle. During the second half Cesena boss Castori tried to turn the match around with Pellè and Salvetti, but it was Verona’s Da Silva who scored with a fantastic solo effort running from midfield. Former Hellas star Papa Waigo scored with a left-foot free kick and gave hope to the visitors. At this point the Romagnoli believed they could make it, but Pellè was incredibly unlucky to hit the post twice at the 71st and 82nd minute.

Monday 22 January
Modena 1-1 Arezzo
Serie B strugglers Modena and Arezzo shared the points in the Monday night game. Both sides were desperate for the victory as the home boys looked to pull away from the danger zone, while Arezzo were keen to get out of trouble. The away side have been in fine form of late and, after beating Milan 1-0 in the Coppa Italia, they took the lead in minute 19 through Martinetti. However, Daniele Zoratto’s side hit back before half-time when Bruno rippled the net. That proved to be the last goal of the night as Modena - who hit the post through Campedelli on two occasions - move on to 20 points, Arezzo are now on 11

Source: C4 Football Italia

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