Tuesday 17 April
Juventus 0-0 Rimini
Rimini have succeeded in twice emerging unbeaten against Juventus, though there was controversy for Federico Balzaretti’s dismissal. The Bianconeri got a nasty introduction to Serie B when they were held 1-1 at Rimini in their opening game, but were now top of the table and brought two tough saves out of Handanovic early on with Nedved’s piledriver, a point-blank Del Piero header from a corner and a Camoranesi low effort. Trezeguet had a golden opportunity to open the scoring on the stroke of half-time, but scuffed his finish. Moments later his header thumped the crossbar and Nedved had penalty appeals waved away. Balzaretti was furious with that decision and was sent off during the break for insulting the referee in the tunnel.
Despite playing in 10 men, Juventus continued to push forward, but ran a big risk four minutes after the restart with Moscardelli just failing to get on the end of a Valiani cross that needed only the barest touch to turn it in from a yard. Handanovic continued to impress in the Rimini goal, performing a truly spectacular save to tip Del Piero’s free kick out of the very top corner. The Bianconeri captain’s solo effort was also denied by the former Udinese shot-stopper, while at the other end Valiani volleyed past the near post from six yards.
It was a wide open game right to the end, as substitute Matri was booked for dissent when he wanted a penalty, but Chiellini could be in trouble as he seemed to kick out at the Rimini man when he was on the ground. Handanovic was giant to the last, performing a fingertip save on Palladino’s slalom in stoppages, though Birindelli ballooned the follow-up off target.
Albinoleffe 0-0 Lecce
The spoils were shared in Bergamo, but it was far from a dull encounter. Lecce came out fighting as Valdes forced Marchetti into a difficult save within the opening 60 seconds. Tiribocchi also skimmed the woodwork, while Ruopolo, Cellini and Donadoni had the best chances for Albinoleffe in the second half.
Bari 2-1 Crotone
A brace from Sgrigna sent Crotone hurtling towards relegation. Both goalkeepers were in action in the first half with Soviero flying to palm a Strambelli free kick over and Gillet’s gloves were warmed by a Maietta set-piece. The game turned on the hour mark, when Piocelle brought down Tabbiani and Sgrigna converted from the spot. Former Bari star Giampaolo left his mark on his old club with the equaliser from Palmieri’s cross, but Sgrigna ensured the victory as he acrobatically skipped round Soviero and deposited into an empty net.
Bologna 2-1 Pescara
New Bologna boss Luca Cecconi began his career with a crucial victory that relaunches their play-off hopes after Renzo Ulivieri’s dismissal. The assistant manager was promoted to the main job following three consecutive defeats and it didn’t start well as De Falco gave Pescara the lead at the Dall’Ara by smashing Moscardi’s pass into the top corner. The Rossoblu got back into it with Brioschi’s header from a Smit cross, though Meghni irritated the crowd by wasting several good chances. Fantini and Marazzina rattled the bar after the restart and Pescara eventually succumbed to Marazzina’s strike. Zoppetti was booked for a foul on Marazzina and then got his second card moments later for dissent.
Frosinone 2-0 Triestina
Frosinone are feeling more secure in mid-table following this important win. It was clear how much they wanted the points, as not even 45 seconds had passed before the home side broke through with Di Nardo’s left-foot drive. Lodi had several chances to double their tally and Rossi parried Margiotta’s header. The result was sealed after the restart with one of Lodi’s trademark curling free kicks and Triestina were never really in the game.
Genoa 2-0 Vicenza
The Grifoni consolidate second place with their fifth consecutive victory, though it was Vicenza who had the best start at Marassi with chances for Zeytulaev and Schwoch. Di Vaio wasted a great chance to put the home side ahead when he somehow managed to blast a left—foot finish wide from six yards from Galeoto’s ball across the face of goal. Just three minutes later Carobbio took that goal off his conscience by giving Genoa the lead with a fierce free kick that went in off the post. Schwoch wasted another couple of opportunities for Vicenza and Foti had a goal disallowed for a foul on Galeoto. After the break Carobbio and Galeoto failed to complete the good build-up work, so Genoa pounced again. Zancope was able to perform a splendid one-handed save on Coppola, but could do nothing on Gasparetto’s follow-up.
Mantova 1-1 Arezzo
Arezzo drag themselves off the foot of the table, albeit on goal difference, but the point does little to boost Mantova’s play-off ambitions. Godeas opened the scoring for the home side with a trademark header into the bottom corner past Bremec, but the minnows never looked like giving up. Floro Flores found space down the right and rolled across for Martinetti to waste with a horrible finish, though Vigna saved his blushes by tapping in the loose ball. In fact, after Grauso saw red on 76 minutes, Arezzo even risked snatching a shock victory.
Piacenza 1-2 Brescia
Piacenza’s crisis continues as they again lost a lead for a fourth consecutive defeat. The Biancorossi had seemed more determined at the outset by pinning Brescia back into their own half and going particularly close with a save on Rantier, Patrascu’s piledriver and a Riccio shot on the bounce. Cacia eventually found the back of the net by nodding in Gemiti’s cross. Padalino wasted a good chance to extend their lead in the second half and that gave Brescia a lifeline. In the space of six minutes, the game had been turned around completely with Lima’s fizzing effort from distance and a Hamsik penalty awarded for Nef’s foul on Possanzini. Piacenza valiantly tried to avoid defeat, but the crossbar kept out Iorio’s last-minute header.
Treviso 0-3 Napoli
Napoli stay hot on Genoa’s heels as they race for automatic promotion. Edy Reja’s men were jeered by the crowd following a slender 1-0 win over Pescara at the weekend, so wasted no time in making their presence felt here. Within four minutes Inacio Pia’s powerful strike fizzed in from the edge of the area. Pia caused more problems soon after with a couple of inspired solo efforts, but Treviso forward Beghetto was halted for a debatable offside flag and the same player had penalty appeals for Domizzi’s shirt tug. Beghetto continued to lead the Treviso fightback and after the break his header brought a splendid save out of Iezzo, but on 55 minutes Calaiò rose to nod in Savini’s cross from the left. The home side didn’t give in, although Fava’s header and even a Beghetto penalty for another Domizzi tug could not get the better of goalkeeper Iezzo. Instead Montervino made it 3-0 in stoppages with a precise lob.
Verona 1-1 Modena
These two sides are hovering just above the relegation zone, so it was a six-pointer at the Stadio Bentegodi. Modena took a surprise lead when Pinardi made the most of Gilioli’s assist and goalkeeper Frezzolini kept that scoreline intact towards half-time with saves on Iunco and William. However, the shot-stopper was unlucky when it came to the equaliser, as Babu’s free kick came off the upright and ricocheted into the net off his back. Sforzini saw red late on for dissent.
Source: C4 Football Italia
Week 22: Cesena 1-0 Spezia (Feb 2) >>>