Friday 23 February
Lecce 1-1 Treviso
This fiery match at the Stadio Via del Mare – currently open only to season ticket holders – ended in a draw that does little to boost either side. Treviso were on target for a fifth consecutive victory when Quadrini’s left-foot drive gave the visitors the lead after just seven minutes, but ex-Lecce man Camorani’s second bookable offence dented their chances. Although Munari and Tulli went close, Lecce could not get back into the game until Valdes floated in a cross for Tulli’s header. The red card count was also equal, as Zanchetta was sent off for a late tackle. The Southerners have now won just once in six games.
Saturday 24 February
Arezzo 2-1 Albinoleffe
Arezzo’s resurgence continues with a hard-earned victory over Albinoleffe. The Tuscans went ahead after just six minutes when Volpato put Floro Flores through and the ex-Napoli man easily beat goalkeeper Acerbis. Volpato nearly doubled their lead minutes later when he found himself unmarked in the centre of the box, but his hesitation proved costly as he was dispossessed. The Bergamo side nearly struck before the break when Rabito went close to converting a Colombo cross. Arezzo continued to threaten after the interval and a Floro Flores penalty appeal was waved away before a shot from the irrepressible Volpato was parried into the path of Vigna, who slotted home. Just as the game seemed to be fading away, Albinoleffe pulled a goal back when last weekend’s goal heroes Peluso and Ferrari combined for the latter to beat Bremec from close range. Leffe went in search of the equaliser but couldn’t turn possession into chances.
Brescia 0-0 Verona
There was frustration all round at the Stadio Rigamonti after a derby stalemate that sees Brescia rooted in mid-table and Verona sucked into the relegation mire. The hosts missed three early chances to take the lead with Possanzini coming closest when his 25th minute strike was deflected wide. Mannini narrowly failed to turn a pinpoint Santacroce cross home 10 minutes before the interval, but the Rondinelle had nothing to show for their first half dominance. Verona started the second period with greater urgency, but neither side created any clear-cut chances. As the tension increased the challenges began to fly in and Lima was dismissed for a second late tackle. Hellas boss Ventura introduced Cutolo, who nearly stole the points with five minutes left, but his shot grazed the post and the Mastini’s nightmare continues.
Crotone 2-1 Mantova
Mantova suffered a shock defeat against relegation battlers Crotone and slide down the standings. Cariello broke through on the stroke of half-time with a right-foot daisy-cutter from the edge of the area and Bau doubled the lead through a trademark free kick from 30 metres. Although Spinale was able to score a low drive, it was too little too late for the visitors.
Pescara 1-0 Cesena
New signing Vantaggiato was the hero again for Pescara as the Delfini extended their unbeaten run to four games with a win over high-flying Cesena. The home side pinned their play-off chasing opponents back in the opening stages and could easily have led were it not for two controversial decisions. Martini saw a goal harshly disallowed for offside after just 12 minutes and the hosts were further aggrieved when an apparent Anastasi handball in the area went unpunished. The Biancoazzurri’s luck was out again on the half hour mark when Vantaggiato hit the post after a superb ball from Mora. However, after the break Cesena midfielder Mezavilla was dismissed for dissent and the pressure eventually told when Vantaggiato headed home form a Mora free-kick to hand the strugglers a deserved victory. To add insult to injury, the visitors finished the game with nine men when Lauro received a second yellow card for foul and abusive language in stoppage time.
Piacenza 3-1 Genoa
Piacenza leapfrogged Genoa into third place, as the Grifoni continue to struggle on their travels. It was a balanced first half, but two woeful defensive errors turned the game. Cacia took advantage of a poor clearance to volley in with his left foot, then Stamilla pounced on a Criscito howler. Genoa poured forward after the break and went close with De Rosa, Coppola and Leon before Patrascu’s handling offence granted Di Vaio a penalty – his first goal for the club. Cacia’s stunning half-volley smashed against the crossbar and Nef secured the points with a free header from a corner kick.
Rimini 0-0 Bologna
The scoreline did not reflect a passionate local derby where only the crossbar and a missed penalty prevented the goals. With Zauli and Ricchiuti suspended, both sides were inevitably weakened in attack, although Bologna hit the woodwork with Smit’s header from a Jeda cross. Handanovic kept out Mingazzini and Smit, although Rimini had penalty appeals for an Amoroso handling offence and threatened with Regonesi and Moscardelli. The best opportunity fell to the Rossoblu when Bellucci was held back, but the top scorer is without a goal since December 16 and ballooned his penalty off target.
Spezia 1-1 Frosinone
These two sides have impressed since earning promotion from Serie C1 in the summer and split the points. Frosinone have been a revelation this season and took the lead after just three minutes when Di Deo out-jumped everyone to head in a corner kick. However, Spezia snatched a draw in the second half with Guidetti’s sixth goal of the campaign, springing the offside trap.
Triestina 1-3 Napoli
Napoli rediscovered their form and with it star player De Zerbi, as they fought back to sink former Coach Andrea Agostinelli’s Triestina in their first away win since November. The home side had taken the lead early on when Eliakwu’s counter-attack was finalised by Silva Ceron. Domizzi’s free kick was cleared off the line before De Zerbi took control, his corner nodded in by Cannavaro and another set-piece chested down and volleyed by Bucchi at the back post. Triestina almost equalised, but Pivotto was kept out by the woodwork, so De Zerbi completed his man of the match performance with a delightful lob. It’s Napoli’s first win at the Stadio Rocco since 1964, but only the Triestina season ticket holders were there to witness it.
Vicenza 3-0 Bari
Bari boss Rolando Maran’s job is hanging by a thread after a crushing 3-0 reverse at the hands of Vicenza. The visiting Galletti haven’t won since December and never looked likely to change that as Vicenza dominated from start to finish. The Berici’s opener came courtesy of a left-footed Foti strike from outside the box and seemed to demoralise Bari, who offered no resistance in a one-sided first half. After the restart, Vicenza captain Schwoch was at his lethal best. After a warning shot which flashed past the post from distance, the veteran marksman rounded ‘keeper Gillet to slot home. Paonessa completed the rout with a sparkling individual effort beating two defenders and firing into the top corner.
Monday 26 February
Modena 0-1 Juventus
Juventus have moved back to the top of Serie B after a late own goal saw them collect a crucial 1-0 win at Modena. It had looked like an inspired goalkeeping performance by Sergio Frezzolini would have to see Juve make do with a 0-0 draw, but Didier Deschamps’ men wrapped up the points with just minutes left. The Bianconeri went into the game desperate for a victory which would not only see them re-take top spot from Napoli, but also increase their advantage over Piacenza in third to a healthy five points. However, it proved to be a frustrating night for the Old Lady until Centurioni own goal with just four minutes remaining.
Source: C4 Football Italia