Friday 30 March
Genoa 1-0 Albinoleffe
Genoa are keeping the pressure on leaders Juventus with this win, but continue to struggle in front of the net. Albinoleffe had some good early opportunities with Cellini and ex-Parma youngster Ruopolo, but their defence let them down when leaving Gasparetto unmarked to meet Rossi’s cross just before half-time. It should have been at least 2-0, but after Santos brought down Gasparetto, Di Vaio aimed a weak penalty straight at Acerbis. The January signing’s poor form continues, as he is yet to score at Marassi. Garlini picked up a second booking and put an end to ‘Leffe’s hopes of a comeback.
Vicenza 1-0 Spezia
A Stefan Schwoch strike proved enough to put Vicenza back on track after their controversial derby defeat to Verona. Spezia had the first chance with Colombo’s header testing Zancopè, but the turning point came just before the break. Pecorari saw red for bringing down Schwoch and moments later the striker opened the scoring with a precise angled drive. There were no more goals, but the game came to life in the second half with Cavalli wasting two great opportunities to extend the lead and 10-man Spezia with a couple of penalty appeals. Both tacticians were sent off for dissent.
Saturday 31 March
Pescara 0-1 Juventus
Despite seeing Del Piero’s penalty saved, Juventus eventually scraped a 1-0 victory away to little Pescara. The break for international duty did not do the Bianconeri good, as the first half at the Stadio Adriatico was a sluggish affair. Zalayeta failed to make the most of a defensive error and then Polito turned his right-foot strike just past the post. Juventus thought they would take the lead before half-time when Marchionni’s shot was charged down by an arm, but Pescara goalkeeper Polito performed a fantastic save to deny World Cup winner Del Piero’s penalty.
Didier Deschamps must have shaken the walls with his talk, as it was a different team that came back out. Nedved fired two chances inches off target and Polito again saved from a Del Piero left-foot strike. Juve were pouring forward and finally found a way past the impressive Polito when substitute Birindelli got in front of Paponetti to meet Palladino’s corner kick 16 minutes from time. Rigoni tried to snatch a shock equaliser from a free kick, but Polito kept out Del Piero again in stoppages.
Arezzo 1-1 Bologna
This draw satisfies neither side, although Bologna can certainly be disappointed at being held by the bottom of the table club. Arezzo’s Floro Flores was suspended and the visitors lost Bellucci to injury, but the goals all came on the stroke of half-time. A splendid Marazzina glancing header on Filippini’s cross ricocheted in off the inside of the far post and moments later Danilevicius wasted a good chance. It proved decisive, as in stoppages Martinetti skipped past Manfredini and smashed a right-foot finish past Antonioli. The best second half opportunity fell to Bondi, whose free kick thumped the woodwork, while saves denied Martinetti, Volpato and Marazzina nodded just wide.
Frosinone 4-1 Cesena
Frosinone brought a run of six winless games to an end in style at the Matusa and all but demolished Cesena’s faint play-off hopes. The hosts looked the more menacing from the off and went ahead when Margiotta connected with a Lodi cross just before the half hour mark. Cesena struck back minutes later thanks to Bracaletti’s sparkling strike from just outside the box, but on the stroke of half-time the Canarini restored their lead when on-loan Argentine Castillo took the ball down on his chest in the area and slotted past Sarti.Cesena poured forward in the second period in search of an equaliser, but left themselves vulnerable on the break. The inspirational Lodi broke through to make the game safe after 69 minutes with a cool finish and bagged his brace 10 minutes later with another clinical strike on the counter-attack. Cesena’s afternoon was further soured by the dismissal of midfielder Anastasi in stoppage time.
Lecce 1-0 Piacenza
Piacenza’s promotion hopes will depend on improving their dreadful away record, as only 16 of their 50 points have been earned on their travels. Lecce had a very strong start with three great chances in the opening 12 minutes, as Coppola parried a Tiribocchi effort and they rattled the crossbar. Tesser rushed into the area and, with the defence focused on him, threaded through for Tiribocchi’s cool tap-in. Valdes went close to doubling their lead as his strike thumped the upright, while Piacenza’s best opportunities came from Nocerino, Rantier and Campagnolo. Nocerino saw red in stoppages for a second bookable offence.
Mantova 2-1 Brescia
Brescia President Gino Corioni was so angry at Luca Palanca’s refereeing that at the final whistle he had to be restrained as he hurled insults. The Rondinelle had taken the lead when Possanzini waltzed through the Mantova defence for a precise angled drive from six yards. Corioni’s ire was raised when Dallamano saw red for a second bookable offence on Sommese and soon after Caridi’s glancing header redirected Tarana’s cross from the left. Caridi confirmed his status as Mantova’s top scorer by smashing a penalty into the top corner for a debatable Stankevicius nudge on Godeas. Brescia boss Serse Cosmi was also sent off for dissent and Mantova ended a run of five straight draws.
Modena 3-2 Crotone
Modena leapfrog Crotone after this thrilling win at the Stadio Braglia and increased their chances of forcing a relegation play-out. It was do or die for the Canarini and they had to battle from behind after Lopez fired home from distance to put Crotone ahead against the run of play. Modena continued to press and got their reward with two minutes of the first half remaining when Colacone latched on to an Antonazzo cross to volley past Soviero.
The visitors looked lively at the start of the second half and thought they were ahead through Juve-owned defender Maietta, but he was a fraction offside. With just under 20 minutes remaining the Gialloblu took the lead as Colacone blasted home for his brace, inspiring a grandstand finish. The impressive Lopez was unlucky not to put Crotone back on level terms six minutes from time when he rounded Frezzolini only to see his shot blocked on the line by Tamburini. As the clock ran down Pinardi was dismissed for Modena, yet the hosts responded by finding a crucial third goal from Sforzini, who beat Soviero and slotted home. Deep into injury time Lopez managed to find his second goal, pouncing on the rebound after Fusco’s strike hit the bar, but it was too little too late for the Calabrians.
Napoli 1-1 Bari
The Stadio San Paolo was finally re-opened to all fans after renovation work, but Napoli continued to slip and slide in these final months of the campaign. A Bari side decimated by injuries without Bellavista, Ganci, Carrus, Santoruvo and Scaglia stunned the Partenopei. Maldonado was denied by a Belmonte goalline clearance early on, Calaio wasted a couple of easy chances and Bucchi’s free kick skimmed the woodwork. However, it was Bari who broke through on 38 minutes with a classic Eramo counter-attack fired into the top corner.
Sgrigna’s long-range effort was well saved and, although Napoli dominated the midfield, they rarely really threatened Gillet. Instead Cannavaro needed a goalline clearance to keep out Vignaroli when Iezzo had already been left behind. The deserved equaliser finally arrived when Calaio held up the ball for Bogliacino’s splendid left-foot rocket. However, seconds later Grava saw red for a scuffle with Micolucci, leaving Edy Reja’s team in 10 men. Napoli still pushed on looking for the victory with Amodio firing over.
Rimini 2-0 Treviso
Rimini’s amazing promotion charge continues after a comfortable win over struggling Treviso. The Riminesi didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock and did so from the penalty spot. Treviso ‘keeper Avramov brought down Matri and Jeda stepped up to slot his third penalty of the season. The visitors spurned a golden chance to equalise 10 minutes into the second period when Quadrini jinked his way through the Rimini defence but blasted wide from close range. The miss proved to be costly as a close-range Matri header doubled the hosts’ advantage 10 minutes later. Matri nearly added a third soon after when his strike rapped the post but the points were safe at the Stadio Romeo Neri.
Triestina 1-1 Verona
Verona extended their unbeaten run to eight games with an entertaining draw at mid-table Triestina. Triestina should’ve been ahead in the 18th minute when Testini beat the offside trap, but he squandered the chance when confronted by ‘keeper Pegolo. Eight minutes later the Alabardati were made to rue Testini’s miss when Mastini midfielder Guarente hit a rasping left-footed strike from 20 yards and bulged the net. Triestina pushed forward with Piovaccari causing headaches for the Scaligeri defence. He rounded Pegolo on 31 minutes but found the angle too acute to hit the target and minutes later his enterprising bicycle kick was tipped away for a corner. The Giuliani did finally draw level at the end of a hectic first period when the omnipresent Piovaccari was felled by Comazzi and Allegretti converted the spot-kick. Verona seemed happy with a point after the break and despite a deflected effort from Allegretti and a one-on-one for Nigerian striker Eliakwu they secured it.
Source: C4 Football Italia