Saturday, 10 February 2007

Serie B Wk 23: Review

Saturday 10 February
Vicenza 2-2 Juventus
Once again Juventus threw away a commanding lead as Vicenza fought back from 2-0 to 2-2 in the space of six minutes, although they remain top of Serie B on a par with Napoli.

Despite leaving Trezeguet on the bench, they took the lead early on at the Stadio Menti, which was open to fans as the capacity is less than 10,000, when Nedved’s long ball was hooked down and slotted in by Palladino. However, Buffon needed a world class save to prevent Padoin’s equaliser from a set-piece.

Zanetti drilled over the bar for the visitors before Del Piero – who is originally from this area – doubled their lead. Once again Nedved was involved, a right-foot finish from the captain beating Zancope’ as he rushed out.

However, Juve have shown an alarming tendency to run out of steam in the final stages this season and it was no different in Vicenza, throwing away a 2-0 lead in the space of six minutes! First Nastos rifled a fantastic strike into the top corner, then Under-21 international substitute Paonessa was allowed a free header. The Bianconeri fought back with Trezeguet thrown on and Zancope tipping over a Del Piero cross-shot, but it was not enough.

Arezzo 0-0 Frosinone
It was an uninspiring game at the Stadio Comunale between a desperate Arezzo and Frosinone. The home side, despite the support of its fans, was unable to pick up maximum points. Arezzo had possession of the ball for most of the game, but it wasn’t enough. The only opportunity for a goal came at the 16th minute, but Zappino showed good reflexes to stop Floro Flores’s header from a corner kick. During the rest of the match both teams were too busy trying to prevent any kind of danger and the final result was inevitable

Brescia 0-0 Bari
A goalless draw between Brescia and Bari was played out behind closed doors. Both teams will be very unhappy, as this result doesn’t move either of them up from their mid table positions, though the Pugliesi were perhaps the ones that played the better football. In the early stages Micolucci was unlucky when his lob went over the bar and Brescia responded with a header from Zoboli. Then Scrigna had two incredible chances, but the forward missed both of them when he was alone in front of Brescia ‘keeper Viviano. The second half was not as exciting, with just one chance apiece. Scrigna’s free-kick was deflected and then Belgian goalkeeper Gillet saved Bari from an undeserved defeat when he stopped Mareco’s effort at the 69th minute with his feet.

Crotone 1-2 Cesena
With this important away victory Cesena are now holding seventh place in the table next to Piacenza and only one point behind Genoa. Zaninelli scored Cesena’s opening goal when his splendid header, after a free-kick from Mezavilla, looped into the net. Crotone hit the bar with captain Maietta, but Cesena increased the gap with top scorer Pellè on the counter attack and Tisci’s magnificent free kick went into the top right corner for the 2-1. In the last few minutes Crotone was disallowed a goal by the referee, who was right to notice that Dionigi started the move from an offside position.

Lecce 2-0 Verona
These two sides have been suffering from a major crisis this season, closer to the drop zone than the play-offs, and Lecce pushed themselves to safety with their first win in two months. Ex-Chievo striker Tiribocchi had a couple of chances before substitute Tulli nodded in Giuliatto’s cross. Verona fought back, although Pulzetti wasted a golden opportunity and Biasi’s equaliser was disallowed for offside, so on the counter-attack Tiribocchi’s ambitious lob from distance caught Pegolo off his line.

Modena 0-3 Albinoleffe
Modena’s crisis continues as the Canarini were heavily defeated by Albinoleffe. The visitors are now very close to the play-off, while the Gialloblu are struggling in the relegation zone. Newly signed Parma youth product Ruopolo was the man of the match with two goals. At the 11th minute Bruno scored the 1-0, but his goal was disallowed for an apparently inexistent offside. Then Ruopolo was quick to beat Frezzolini with a right-foot shot from the middle of the box after a clever pass by Cellini. Modena’s reaction was furious, but the home team didn’t manage to score, but Acerbis held out both Campedelli and Longo. Just before the end of the first half, the visitors punished the Canarini when Ruopolo nodded in Gori’s scissor-kick assist. Bruno had the chance to score for Modena but his penalty, awarded for a Donadoni handling offence, was saved by Acerbis. Still Modena didn’t surrender, and Campedelli’s header was stopped on the line by defender Previtali. The match ended with Innocenti tapping in after Cellini’s powerful shot hit the bar.

Napoli 1-0 Piacenza
This promotion battle would have seen a packed Stadio San Paolo, but failure to meet stringent new security measures saw the game played in an empty arena. Nonetheless, the Azzurri earned all three points to catch Juve on top of the table.

Rantier and Nef caused problems for the home defence early on, though Calaio eventually managed to spring the offside trap only to fire over. Coppola twice used his feet to keep out efforts from Domizzi and Calaio, but Piacenza should have taken the lead on the hour mark when Riccio somehow turned his header off target from six yards. Napoli’s pressure finally paid off nine minutes from time when substitute Sosa rose to get his head to Grava’s cross. Calaio put a blight on his game as, after being substituted, he was sent off from the bench for dissent.

Pescara 0-0 Mantova
The relegation strugglers held Mantova in an empty Stadio Adriatico, one of several venues closed due to the strict new security laws introduced this week. Rigoni’s free kick and a goalline clearance on Russo prevented Pescara from taking a shock early lead, though Godeas and Altinier went close for the visitors in the second half.

Rimini 1-0 Genoa
The Stadio Neri was one of the few open to the fans on this unusual weekend and hosted a top of the table showdown between promotion hopefuls. Rimini had a strong start and after Pagano’s snapshot was saved, Ricchiuti took advantage of a midfield error to send Baccin clear on goal. Genoa shot themselves in the foot again moments later with Bega’s dismissal for a very late tackle on Ricchiuti. Baccin almost had a second truly spectacular goal when he juggled the ball on his foot and knee to get between two defenders and unleashed a rocket that smashed against the upright. The same player skimmed the woodwork twice either side of the break.

Yet 10-man Genoa improved in the second half and Di Vaio had a dangerous effort charged down, while Leon almost pounced on a Handanovic hesitation. Jeda fired straight at the goalkeeper from close range, but the Rossoblu thumped the frame of the goal with Leon’s free kick and went close with a late Criscito header.

Spezia 2-0 Bologna
Bologna tumbled down the table following this surprise defeat at giant-killers Spezia’s Stadio Picco. Varricchio’s header was off target and Guidetti thumped the upright before he scored a splendid solo effort, slaloming through the Rossoblu shirts. Bologna struggled to make an impact and when Bellucci did hit the back of the net, it was disallowed for offside. Varricchio ensured the points were safe by springing the offside trap and waltzing past a helpless Antonioli.

Triestina 1-2 Treviso
Treviso collected their second away victory in a row and are rapidly climbing the table, catching Triestina in the table. Fava and Allegretti went close early on, but Acquafresca opened his account by intercepting Lima’s backpass and volleying past Rossi. The visitors continued to have the best chances with Quadrini before Aquafresca struck again on the counter-attack. New Triestina signing Silva Ceron gave his side hope by meeting a corner kick, but Allegretti, Della Rocca, Music and Quadrini failed to find the net

Source: C4 Football Italia

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