Friday 16 March
Bologna 1-1 Mantova
A last-gasp Bellucci goal saved Bologna from a costly home defeat to fellow promotion hopefuls Mantova. Noselli broke through almost immediately for the visitors, as Spinale got away from Manfredini down the right flank and crossed for a precise header. Godeas and a Noselli overhead kick failed to put the result behind doubt, while the Rossoblu had a penalty shout for a handling offence. Bologna threw on Danilevicius and stepped up a gear in the second half with Marazzina and another Brioschi spot-kick appeal for Di Cesare’s challenge. In stoppages Bellucci came to the rescue with a poacher’s goal to snatch a point. Notari saw red for dissent.
Saturday 17 March
Albinoleffe 1-1 Verona
Verona left Bergamo with a vital point thanks to an injury time goal, saving the Gialloblù from a more than deserved defeat. The locals will no doubt be regretting all the chances missed during the game, but Mondonico’s men were by far the best team on the day. At the 18th minute Bonazzi’s free kick was saved by Pegolo, then at the 33rd Belingheri’s powerful shot missed the target by a few inches. Soon after the restart, the home team found the goal with Bonazzi, who tapped it in after his first shot was deflected by Pegolo. Verona boss Ventura was sent off by the referee, but the Scaligeri didn’t surrender and went close to the equaliser with Perticone’s header at the 55th. However, Hellas midfielder Iunco saw red just a few minutes later and the game seemed to be over. Belingheri’s dismissal evened out the situation and deep into stoppages Turkish ace Akanguduz equalised through Ferrante’s assist.
Brescia 0-2 Rimini
Serse Cosmi’s honeymoon period is definitely over, as Brescia suffered a humiliating home defeat that sends Rimini into the top four. Ricchiuti went close with a powerful strike before Matri made the most of a lucky ricochet to place a right-foot finish into the net despite Lima’s desperate attempts at a goalline clearance. The Rondinelle’s best chance to get back into the running came when Possanzini thumped the woodwork, but for the rest it was all Rimini. Matri completed his brace on the counter to toe-poke past Viviani and Moscardelli almost made it three in the final stages.
Cesena 2-1 Genoa
Despite a succession of injuries, this late victory keeps the home side’s play-off dreams alive and dampens Genoa’s hopes. Cesena lost star striker Papa Waigo after just five minutes with a right thigh strain and teammate Piccoli followed with a sprained knee, but his replacement Pellè would prove decisive. The first half was an even if patchy affair with chances from Leon set-pieces, a deflected Rossi effort and a fierce Anastasi strike from 30 metres.
After the break Leon’s free kick set up Gasparetto to balloon over from point-blank range, while at the other end De Feudis did not make the most of a poor Rubinho clearance. However, just moments after Gasparetto slipped at the crucial moment clear on goal, Cesena took the lead against the run of play, as Pellè was left unmarked for a free header from Bracaletti’s cross. Genoa fought back vehemently and Greco took nine minutes to draw level by sliding on to a low Fabiano assist across the face of goal. The Grifoni were determined to win it, but that only left more space at the back for Pellicori to restore Cesena’s advantage with a powerful rising right-foot effort.
Crotone 2-1 Napoli
Napoli’s four-month unbeaten run came to a surprise end at third-from-bottom Crotone. Edy Reja’s men got off to a terrible start, as in the opening 18 minutes Sedivec had dribbled past both Giubilato and goalkeeper Iezzo to place an angled drive into the far corner and – after Giubilato’s header hit the woodwork for Napoli – Giampaolo sprung the offside trap to beat the helpless Iezzo. Cannavaro nodded just off target, but was visibly angry to be replaced for tactical reasons after just 21 minutes.
Sedivec was a constant danger, but the visitors were given a leg back into the game when former Napoli man Zamboni accidentally turned a De Zerbi free kick into his own net. Bau’s goal was correctly disallowed for offside and substitute Calaio was extremely lucky to hit the post twice during the same individual move. The frame of the goal was also shaking around Iezzo thanks to a Sedivec cross-shot and the goalkeeper required a reaction save with an outstretched foot to stop the lively Crotone star. Napoli are beaten after 18 games without defeat in Serie B.
Lecce 1-0 Modena
This result sent Modena into the relegation zone and took Lecce a little further away from danger. The Salentini had a bright start with Tiribocchi drilling over in the first 60 seconds and Pinardi testing Rosati’s reflexes. It was Chilean Valdes who decided the match, going on a slalom through the Canarini defence and blasting a right-foot shot under the crossbar. Tiribocchi nearly made the result safe, but Modena pushed hard in the final stages and went closest to an equaliser through Abate.
Piacenza 3-0 Frosinone
Cacia was the hero of the hour with a perfect hat-trick to sink Frosinone in a totally one-sided encounter. He opened his personal show with a right-foot angled drive from a lucky ricochet, then rose to nod in a corner kick. After the break Stamilla took advantage of the visitors’ attempts to reduce the gap by launching a rapid counter-attack concluded with Cacia’s left-foot volley.
Spezia 3-1 Arezzo
It was an entertaining victory for Spezia at the Stadio Picco, which means Arezzo are still at the bottom of the table despite Coach Antonio Conte’s return this week. After only three minutes Guidetti’s effort hit the bar and it was an easy job for Varricchio to make it 1-0. Arezzo had a positive reaction and Capelli equalised with a short range touch, but it was just an illusion since Spezia took control of the game once again. Guidetti made it 2-1 just before the end of the first half and a furious Conte was sent off by the referee. The second period was still dominated by the locals, and Guidetti was again involved. His shot was deflected by Bremec and Varricchio was in the right place at the right time, making it 3-1. It was too much for the Amaranto to take and Pecorari saw red. Volpato tried to net a consolation goal, but was denied by the woodwork.
Treviso 0-0 Bari
It was a goalless draw at the Stadio Tenni, but Bari will be happy to finally get a positive result. Giuseppe Materazzi’s men were solid and the home side couldn’t do much more. Acquafresca, Pianu’s header, a Music strike that skimmed the woodwork and a stoppage-time Scrigna screamer were the best chances. Treviso maintain their safe mid-table position while Bari are still involved in the relegation battle being sixth from the bottom with 31 points.
Vicenza 1-0 Pescara
Vicenza gained an important victory thanks to an extraordinary goal by Cavalli, but it was a tough task for Grecucci’s men. Pescara deserved more, and their position in the table is increasingly desperate. The first half was balanced with both teams being very careful not to get caught on the break. Pescara’s Vantaggiato was denied a few times by goalkeeper Zancopè and Schwoch nearly scored for the Biancorossi. Aquilani saw red and 14 minutes later Cavalli scored, but the referee disallowed for offside. Vicenza accepted the decision and after another 60 seconds Cavalli made it stick with his wonderful left-foot shot from the edge of the box. A goal worthy of the three points.
Monday 19 March
Juventus 5-1 Triestina
Raffaele Palladino struck his first Juventus hat-trick as the Old Lady of Italian football thumped Triestina 5-1 in the Monday night game. The young striker stole the show at the Olimpico as the rampant Bianconeri moved six points clear of Napoli and eight ahead of third-placed Piacenza.
With promotion rivals Napoli and Genoa falling to shock defeats, Juventus had a chance to increase their advantage at the top of the table. However, their evening got off to the worst possible start after Triestina took the lead after seven minutes. A Peana diagonal shot was not held by Gigi Buffon and it was all too easy for Piovaccari to make it 1-0 on the rebound.
Juventus responded immediately though as Mauro Camoranesi, despite some jeers from the home faithful, headed in the equaliser from a Federico Balzaretti cross within 60 seconds. The Turin giants went close to netting again with Palladino and Alex Del Piero, whose shot rattled the bar.
However, the second wasn’t long in coming even if Triestina did threaten with Allegretti on a couple of occasions. It was Under-21 ace Palladino who made it 2-1 after seating Generoso Rossi before slotting home. The youngster then got his second in first half injury time after he tucked away a Matteo Paro cross.With a two-goal advantage Juventus started the second period by controlling the game and looking dangerous when going forward. After a few more forward forays, Palladino got his third after a Del Piero assist. The scoring hero was deservedly handed a standing ovation when boss Didier Deschamps withdrew him from the field of play in minute 72.
The points may have been safe but Juve pushed on for goal number five. Jonathan Zebina went close, before Del Piero was denied his 16th of the Serie B season with 14 minutes left. A fifth goal was on the cards and it duly arrived. A Pavel Nedved cross was met by a flying Valeri Bojinov header which rippled the net yet again in the closing stages.
Source: C4 Football Italia