Friday 26 January
Pescara 2-1 Lecce
Bottom of the table Pescara grabbed their second win of the season, dragging Lecce back down the standings. Although Martini fired inches over the bar for the home side, it was ex-Chievo striker Tiribocchi who gave the Salentini the lead with a scuffed volley. It lasted three minutes until Martini tapped in Mora’s cross from the left to equalise. The Stadio Adriatico outfit was the better side and after a save on La Vista, Antonelli managed to turn the game around with a free kick.
Saturday 27 January
Spezia 1-1 Juventus
Juventus are the Winter Champions, although if Napoli beat Genoa on Monday, they’ll have to share that crown with the Southerners. It took a stoppage-time Pavel Nedved screamer to secure a point at little Spezia after Giuliano Giannichedda’s dismissal.
Both sides were forced to reshuffle their central defence due to injuries and it was a focused first half with few chances for either team. David Trezeguet’s header was saved, penalty appeals waved away for a Giuliano handling offence and Mauro Camoranesi’s weak finish wasted a good opportunity, but it was Spezia who took the lead when Confalone put a precise header past Gianluigi Buffon from a Do Prado cross. Moments later it could’ve been 2-0, but Buffon was alert to Saverino’s dummies as he faced the goalkeeper one-on-one.
After the break Juve came out fighting and Santoni performed a fine save on Trezeguet’s volley, but Confalone was again transfixed by Buffon and fired straight at the ‘keeper. The Turin giants poured forward and tested Santoni repeatedly with Camoranesi, Federico Balzaretti and Nedved. Bau’s goal for Spezia was disallowed for offside and the injury woes continues with Alessandro Birindelli limping off.
To make matters worse, Giannichedda – playing as a makeshift central defender – received a second booking for a foul on Varricchio and left Juve to play the final 11 minutes in 10 men. The minnows tried to put the seal on the victory with Buffon parrying attempts from Bau and Confalone’s long-range effort, but deep into stoppages Nedved slammed in a missile from the edge of the area to earn the Bianconeri a point.
Arezzo 1-2 Treviso
Treviso were made to sweat to win this battle of two resurgent sides and secure the 100th victory of Coach Ezio Rossi’s career, leaving Arezzo rooted to the foot of the table. A frenzied start to the game saw Fava open the scoring for the visitors after eight minutes when he coolly slotted past Bremec before the Tuscans levelled when Croce got on the end of a Bondi cross – the first goal conceded by Treviso in 370 minutes of play. Martinetti saw a goal chalked off for a push 10 minutes after the break, but it was the away side who struck through Fava’s slotted finish with 11 minutes remaining. There was to be a dramatic finish, as a Squillace error handed Martinetti a chance to level from the penalty spot, but his kick was smartly saved by Avramov. It's the sixth penalty Arezzo have failed to convert this season.
Bari 0-1 Verona
Verona seem rejuvenated under new boss Giampietro Ventura and recorded their second consecutive victory at the expense of a Bari side on poor form. Ferrante marked his arrival from Pescara with the decisive goal when he found himself alone in the Bari box and slotted past Gillet while the Galletti players waited in vain for an offside flag. Shocked into action, Bari threatened through Tabbiani’s long range blast stopped by Pegolo and a Carrus effort which went just wide. The home side continued to press after the break with ex-Verona man Gervasoni and Santoruvo looking dangerous, but the Gialloblu held firm for a victory that moves them away from the foot of the table. Bari are now five games without a win and the late dismissal of substitute Cazzola for a second bookable offence rubbed salt in the wound.
Bologna 1-0 Albinoleffe
January signing Danilevicius from Livorno made the difference as Bologna climbed to second place. The Lithuanian international scored the only goal of the game after six minutes, nodding in Bellucci’s cross from the right for his first goal in a Rossoblu jersey. Albinoleffe fought back with Antonioli rushing out to close down Cellini and Colombo saw his equaliser disallowed for offside – the same fate that befell substitute Marazzina’s strike for Bologna, while Bellucci’s effort stung Acerbis’ palms.
Cesena 2-1 Brescia
Cesena win the battle of the promotion has-beens, as neither looks likely to break into the top spots at the moment. Salvetti opened the scoring after just one minute by sprinting into the area and unleashing a precise left-foot drive. Papa Waigo secured the points on the counter-attack, nutmegging goalkeeper Viviano to finish off the move, and Brescia’s goal from Cortellini’s free kick was too late to claw a way back.
Frosinone 0-0 Modena
Frosinone and Modena conspired to inflict a miserable stalemate on the fans at the Matusa in this mid-table clash. The Canarini had the best early chances with Argentine marksman Castillo heading wide in the third minute and Argilli seeing his goal disallowed for a push. Modena also had a goal ruled out when Bruno was dubiously judged offside. Chiodini had to be on top form in the Frosinone goal to deny Bruno and Abate after the break, but Modena remain goal-shy away from home and are in danger of dropping into a relegation battle after this draw.
Mantova 2-1 Rimini
Mantova resumed their promotion push with this crucial victory, but Rimini are still without a win in 2007. It had started so well for the visitors, who took the lead with Moscardelli nutmegging the goalkeeper for his eighth goal of the season. However, De Cesare tapped in Bernacci’s assist and, when Moscardelli went off injured in the second half, Rimini retreated. It was a mistake to allow Mantova forward and after two penalty appeals Peccarisi brought down Noselli for Caridi’s spot-kick. Both sides hit the woodwork in the final stages.
Triestina 0-0 Piacenza
Piacenza miss another opportunity to close in on the leaders at the Stadio Nereo Rocco. They had shown promise with Rantier and Patrascu thumping the woodwork and goalkeeper Rossi performing a series of crucial saves, but Triestina also threatened on the counter-attack with Marchesetti and through Piovaccari’s piledriver.
Vicenza 1-0 Crotone
Vicenza edged out Crotone in what could prove to be a relegation six-pointer at the Stadio Romeo Menti. New Vicenza signing Foti nearly opened the scoring after just three minutes, but Soviero stopped with his feet. The Berici eventually went ahead when Rigoni found Padoin to slot home on the half hour mark. Padoin nearly put the game beyond doubt after the break, but his shot flashed wide. Crotone showed little sign of grabbing what would’ve been a sixth consecutive draw and had Rossi dismissed in the dying seconds for diving in the Vicenza box.
Monday 29 January
Napoli 1-1 Genoa
A spectacular late Leon free-kick saw Genoa collect a 1-1 draw at Napoli in the Monday night Serie B game. The Azzurri had looked as if they would join Juventus as Winter Champions, until the Grifoni grabbed a deserved equaliser with just three minutes remaining.
The game failed to live up to expectations in the first half. Although 60,000 turned up at the San Paolo, there was relatively little to get excited about in a tension filled 45 minutes. Bogliacino went close to giving the Azzurri a 31st minute lead when his free-kick was tipped over by Rubinho. Genoa responded through new signing Marco Di Vaio without any luck either.
The game remained tight after the break, but Genoa did create three good chances which Di Vaio failed to capitalise on. But it was the home boys who took the lead with a Calaiò penalty after Rubinho brought down Bogliacino. However, that advantage lasted for just three minutes as Leon drew his side level. The January signing from Reggina curled in a 25-yard free-kick which ensured a share of the points – even if then Genoa struck the bar in injury time through Stellini.
Source: C4 Football Italia