Friday 9 March
Bologna 2-0 Bari
Bologna struggled to push past 10-man Bari, but eventually broke through when Bellucci ended his penalty curse. The striker had missed three on the trot, including two in the last two games, before he buried the spot-kick awarded for Esposito’s foul on Meghni. That proved a turning point, as Tabbiani saw red for taking his protests too far. Bari never really threatened even when they had all their men on the field and in stoppages Mingazzini’s towering header secured the 2-0 scoreline. It’s the Rossoblu’s second consecutive victory.
Saturday 10 March
Brescia 3-1 Juventus
Serse Cosmi’s arrival on the Brescia bench has certainly caused shockwaves, as a stunning display from hat-trick hero Serafini doomed Juventus to their second defeat of the season! The game was played at Mantova’s Stadio Martelli due to the lack of correct safety requirements at the Rigamonti, but ironically this is the same arena where Juve suffered their only other Serie B loss.
Right from the start, the Rondinelle meant business, as within four minutes Serafini opened the deadlock with a fantastic goal. Zebina allowed him to spring the offside trap just past the centre-circle and, spotting Buffon off his line, released a perfect lob. Juventus reacted fiercely and just five minutes later Del Piero had curled a free kick past everyone and into the far bottom corner.However, Serafini was inspired and performed an acrobatic overhead kick to turn Hamsik’s cross past a stunned Buffon from eight yards. Partly thanks to the forward’s incredible afternoon and another disastrous defensive display, Brescia dominated the first half. Serafini almost netted again before sealing his hat-trick just before the break, dispossessing Zebina and thumping an unstoppable right-foot screamer on the bounce to slam in off the inside of the upright.
Didier Deschamps had to make changes and threw on Marchionni for Camoranesi, but Zebina continued to make horrible mistakes at the back and almost granted Del Nero a fourth on the counter-attack. They switched to a three-man defence and Palladino supporting the forwards, but Nedved nodded a good chance off target. Despite Bojinov’s presence taking the number of strikers up to four, Juventus were too chaotic in their moves and failed to find a way through.
Arezzo 0-0 Genoa
Genoa’s hopes of catching the leaders took another blow with this dismal stalemate against the bottom of the table club. There was hardly a real shot on target from either side until the Rossoblu were harshly reduced to 10 men. The linesman considered Stellini’s shoulder charge on Floro Flores to be excessively dangerous and he was shown a straight red card. Despite the situation, Arezzo still couldn’t really make a dent in their defence and also had Goretti sent off in the final minute.
Crotone 0-1 Verona
Marco Turati was the hero again as Verona won their second consecutive relegation battle at the expense of Crotone. Hellas had dominated early on but created few clear-cut chances. Ferrante came closest to opening the scoring when he fired narrowly wide after 18 minutes in a dull first period. The second half was equally tight, but came to life with 10 minutes left. Crotone ‘keeper Soviero pulled off a smart double save from Ferrante, but could do nothing as Turati struck with his head from two yards out at the death to score his second late winner in a fortnight.
Lecce 5-0 Frosinone
Struggling Lecce hammered 10-man Frosinone at the Via Del Mare to avenge a Week 6 defeat and secure a confidence-boosting three points. Antonio Soda’s visitors started the stronger but went behind when Polenghi beat Chiodini with a placed header in the 13th minute. Still reeling from the blow, the Canarini’s problems worsened when Argilli gifted the ball to Munari, who made no mistake and slotted for 2-0. Frosinone heads went down and on 39 minutes Valdes beat his man to deliver a pinpoint cross for Munari to bag his brace.
Argilli’s nightmare day came to an end minutes later as he was sent off for a clumsy challenge on Valdes in the box, although replays suggest it may have been outside the area. The Chilean picked himself up and scored from the resultant penalty kick to make it 4-0 at the break. With the points won, the game slowed in the second period but Vascak further compounded the visitors’ misery with a long-range strike just minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Pescara 2-6 Modena
Pescara’s chances of avoiding the drop were dealt a severe blow as Modena hit them for six in this relegation six-pointer. Modena had only found the net twice on their travels all term before Tamburini rose to head home a Pinardi cross after 26 minutes. Things looked ominous for the hosts when just six minutes later Pinardi doubled the lead from the penalty spot after Demartis fouled Abate and the tie was put beyond doubt when Bruno slotted a third on the stroke of half-time.
The Biancoazzurri didn’t give up and pulled one back through the prolific Vantaggiato, who headed home from a Rigoni cross on the hour mark. However, Pinardi crushed any hope of a comeback when he struck from just outside the box with a free kick. A minute later Pescara saw Luci sent off for dissent to further rub salt into the wound. Sforzini made it five on 85 minutes and Tamburini concluded the tennis-style rout in stoppage time with Rigoni’s last-gasp strike a scant consolation for the beleaguered Pescaresi.
Piacenza 1-0 Treviso
Piacenza squeezed through to keep their play-off hopes alive, although there was a controversial finale at the Garilli. Russotto tested Coppola early on and Stamilla was unlucky at the other end to see his header come off the crossbar. The deadlock was finally broken when substitute Lazzari latched on to a Gemiti cross for the simple tap-in – his first goal for the club. However, after Fava had seen red for dissent and Vargas followed for a horrible high tackle, in the final minute Guigou’s free kick found Russotto’s header. A Coppola save only pushed it as far as Valdes to thump home, but the goal was disallowed for a very tight offside position.
Rimini 1-1 Napoli
Napoli extend their unbeaten run to 17 games, but are caught by Rimini and fail to take advantage of Juventus’ slip-up. The visitors had broken through at the Stadio Neri after 20 minutes when Handanovic’s brilliant save on a Domizzi header was cancelled out by Porchia’s clear shirt-tug on Maldonado. Calaio` converted the inevitable penalty with a left-foot finish. However, after Porchia’s free kick had tested Iezzo, Maldonado foolishly returned the favour by giving away a spot-kick with his handling offence to block Jeda’s header. Jeda stepped up for his first goal in three months. There was more bad news for Napoli, as four players will be suspended for Tuesday’s match with Vicenza – Cannavaro, Maldonado, Domizzi and Gatti.
Spezia 3-1 Albinoleffe
Spezia allayed fears of a relegation dogfight with a deserved win over 10-man Albinoleffe, hardly the 60th birthday present Coach Emiliano Mondonico was hoping for. The hosts were quick out of the blocks and Leffe ‘keeper Acerbis had to be at his best to stop them taking the lead on nine minutes when he denied Saverino and recovered to stop Scarlato tucking the rebound away. However, despite Spezia’s dominance it was the Bergamo side who took the lead when Garlini pounced on a poor defensive clearance to beat Santoni from distance. The advantage lasted just five minutes as Padoin crossed for Guidetti to net with a flying header to leave the game all-square at the break.
The Bianconeri took control after the interval and got their reward on 56 minutes when Colombo got through on goal and calmly beat the advancing Acerbis. The points were secured with 20 minutes remaining when Donadoni felled Colombo in the area and Saverino converted the spot-kick. Donadoni was dismissed with 11 minutes left, but the visitors nearly got back into it when Ferrari hit the bar.
Triestina 3-1 Cesena
Cesena continue to slide down the standings with another costly away defeat. Kyriazis broke through with the first real chance, allowed a free header from a corner kick. Allegretti skimmed the woodwork for Triestina and Salvetti forced a fine save out of Rossi, but the visitors equalised thanks to Papa Waigo meeting Salvetti’s cross. Pelle went close to turning the game around completely, only for Triestina to take control with Della Rocca’s tap-in and a stoppage-time Marchesetti counter-attack with the goalkeeper stranded after going up for a last-gasp corner.
Vicenza 0-0 Mantova
Mantova miss a golden opportunity to catch up to the leaders with this disappointing draw at the Stadio Menti. Although Vicenza had the better of the overall play, they never really came close to beating a solid defence. Helguera’s long-range strike was the best opportunity, although after Grauso’s second bookable offence, 10-man Mantova oddly seemed to step up a gear, threatening a winner through Tarana’s free kick and Mezzanotti.
Source: C4 Football Italia