Friday, 6 April 2007

Serie B Wk 33: Review

Friday 6 April
Juventus 1-1 Albinoleffe
The pressure is growing on Didier Deschamps after this embarrassing stalemate with mid-table minnows Albinoleffe. The Turin giants had to do without captain Del Piero due to a muscular problem, but welcomed back Trezeguet from his ban. Albinoleffe certainly did not come to the Olimpico ready to be sacrificial lambs for the leaders, as in the opening three minutes Buffon and his defence scrambled to clear a dangerous Innocenti cross. When the Bianconeri did find a way through the ‘Leffe brick wall, goalkeeper Marchetti was on stunning form with a double point-blank save on Balzaretti and then Palladino’s follow-up. Yet it was ex-Torino Coach Emiliano Mondonico’s side that took the shock lead against the run of play. Former Parma youngster Ruopolo was left totally unmarked to turn past Buffon with the outside of his right foot. It lasted just six minutes, though, as Marchetti’s punched clearance only fell to Balzaretti for a spectacular lob from 30 metres into the empty net.

After the break Trezeguet nodded a Nedved cross wide and Marchetti rushed out to close down the Czech veteran on Palladino’s assist. Palladino and Trezeguet had other chances off target, as despite vastly increasing the pressure in the second half, they had trouble finding the net. Deschamps flung on more attacking players and it turned into a siege with Bojinov’s header thumping the inside of the upright on 83 minutes and another of the Bulgarian’s aerial efforts well saved. Yet this desperation left space at the back and only Boumsong’s intervention for a corner prevented Cellini from finalising a counter-attack. Despite the late surge, Juve could not find a way through.

Bari 1-1 Frosinone
Frosinone were given an unorthodox welcome, as overnight they had medical supplies, team strips and footballs stolen from the bus. They still held out at the Stadio San Nicola for the first time in their history, having lost all three previous trips here, as Bari’s winless home streak stretches to four months. Sgrigna tested Zappino with an angled drive and Pianu nodded Carozza’s free kick over before Tabbiani’s header clipped the woodwork. The Galletti finally broke through when Cannarsa brought down Vignaroli for Sgrigna’s spot-kick. However, this only fired up Frosinone, in particular Margiotta. He rattled the crossbar and set up Castillo’s easy tap-in before the break. The best chance of the second half fell to Scaglia, but he was denied by Antonioli’s goalline clearance.

Bologna 2-3 Napoli
This was a promotion showdown between two of the four teams that were tied in third place going into this Easter weekend round and certainly lived up to expectations. Bologna had ex-Napoli boss Renzo Ulivieri at the helm, but striker Bellucci wasn’t even fit enough for the bench. It was a blistering start, as within three minutes Maldonado’s error had sent Marazzina clear, goalkeeper Iezzo denying him with a fine save. Napoli survived the scare and opened the scoring when Sosa held up a free kick for Domizzi’s volley. Feel for poor Terzi, whose goalline clearance only ricocheted into the net off ‘keeper Antonioli’s back!

The Rossoblu could’ve equalised if Meghni had made the most of a poor Iezzo clearance, but instead Maldonado’s towering header from Bogliacino’s corner doubled the away side’s advantage. Bologna continued to shoot themselves in the foot, with Fantini incredibly firing over an open goal after a lucky deflection. Once again, they paid the price, as four minutes later CalaiĆ² nodded in Trotta’s cross at the near post.

Ulivieri must’ve shaken the locker room walls with his half-time speech, as his team came out more determined. Meghni’s effort was turned out for a corner and Marazzina wasted a great chance before their first goal. Meghni dispossessed Dalla Bona and spread the play for Fantini to set up Marazzina’s tap-in. The ex-Chievo centre-forward was leading the line and he fired in Smit’s cross to make it 3-2 at the Stadio Dall’Ara. Marazzina almost completed his hat-trick on 81 minutes, as his diving header smashed against the upright with Iezzo beaten. The under-fire Napoli goalkeeper turned Meghni’s free kick round the post.

Brescia 1-0 Arezzo
Serse Cosmi’s boys grab their first win since beating Juventus on March 10 and ensure Arezzo stay rooted to the foot of the table. The Stadio Rigamonti was opened up to season ticket holders after reconstruction work and they didn’t have to wait long for some action. Bremec clattered into Del Nero to stop his run, so the penalty and red card were inevitable. Hamsik coolly converted past the new man for his sixth goal of the campaign. Substitute goalkeeper Lanza managed to keep the scoreline down with a series of saves on Mannini, Santacroce, Del Nero and Jadid. Even 10-man Arezzo managed to go close through a Floro Flores free kick.

Cesena 1-0 Modena
Salvetti was the pivotal figure in this match and confirmed Modena’s appalling away record of 11 defeats in 16 trips. It took just 120 seconds for the Cesena captain to curl one of his trademark free kicks into the top corner, but as he was preparing to celebrate his brace, Frezzolini stood his ground to save the penalty awarded for Antonazzo’s foul on Bracaletti. Salvetti dominated the first half with a series of chances and assists, but they couldn’t turn that pressure into a more comforting scoreline. Modena came out fighting after the break and Sarti had to deny Bruno’s angled drive, while Giglioli wasted a great opportunity to equalise late on and Colacone saw red. This result keeps Cesena in the play-off race and Modena in the drop zone

Crotone 1-3 Lecce
January signing Tiribocchi was the hero with a hat-trick, as 10-man Crotone remain in the bottom three. He could’ve opened the scoring a lot earlier when he sprung the offside trap, but incredibly fired straight at the goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation. The home side shot themselves in the foot as Fusco hacked down Valdes for his second bookable offence after just 31 minutes. Tiribocchi made the most of it moments later, flicking on a Tesser cross with his head. After the break the former Chievo striker pounced on Zamboni’s error from Juliano’s centre and despite substitute Espinal giving Crotone hope on the counter, Tiribocchi completed his treble from Valdes’ chipped assist

Pescara 2-0 Triestina
Pescara’s unlikely bid to stay in Serie B received a massive boost this afternoon thanks to a 2-0 win over Triestina. The home side netted the three points with late goals at the end of each half. Gonnella fired his outfit in front on 42 minutes before the visitors were handed a golden opportunity from the spot, only for Allegretti to see his effort stopped by Polito. Pescara made the game safe in injury time through Martini.

Piacenza 3-4 Mantova
Mantova collected only their second away win of the season in style by coming from 3-0 down to beat Piacenza 4-3. The home boys looked like they had already wrapped up the three points by the 26th minute, before hat-trick hero Godeas turned the game on its head at the Garilli.

Piacenza stormed into the lead after Olivi took advantage of a goalmouth scramble to side-foot home, before Cacia slotted in a penalty and then a cool header which seemed to spell game over. However, a diagonal drive by Caridi just two minutes later sparked life into Mantova who amazingly ended the half all square. Godeas got his first with a beautiful left-footed drive and then a penalty. The second period was a much calmer affair, but Mantova snatched the victory as Godeas’ accurate header swooped over Coppola.

Spezia 1-2 Genoa
Second placed Genoa are now just four points behind leaders Juventus after winning the derby against Spezia. The tie was a pretty balanced encounter from the start with both defences underlining their worth, but Genoa went in front on the half hour mark. A corner found Di Vaio, who made no mistake in dispatching it into the net from close range.

Second placed Genoa are now just four points behind leaders Juventus after winning the derby against Spezia. The tie was a pretty balanced encounter from the start with both defences underlining their worth, but Genoa went in front on the half hour mark. A corner found Di Vaio, who made no mistake in dispatching it into the net from close range.

To their credit, Spezia got back into the tie with a wonderful Do Prado free-kick which found the top corner. Genoa held on for the points even if they did lose some players. Goalkeeper Rubinho was replaced after his head struck the post as he tried to stop the goal, while Adailton got a knee in the face which saw the Grifoni terminate the game with just 10 men.

Treviso 1-1 Vicenza
Treviso are still in dangerous waters after they could only snatch a 1-1 draw with a late goal by Acquafresca – despite being reduced to 10 men. Treviso certainly had the better of the first half in the Venetian derby and should have ended the opening period with a one goal advantage. It was Beghetto who wasted a golden opportunity in minute 43 when his header sailed over the bar. The second half was nothing to remember as it looked as if the game would end as it started. But it all kicked off in the last 10 minutes as Raimondi took advantage of a Cordaz mistake to tuck the ball into the net. But Treviso, despite having Viali dismissed, equalised with a splendid free kick from their young attacking sensation.

Verona 1-0 Rimini
Verona continue to climb up the table after a surprise win over promotion contenders Rimini. The only goal of the game arrived just seven minutes in, as William unleashed a fierce right-foot drive into the bottom corner from distance. Nonetheless, Man of the Match status went to Hellas goalkeeper Pegolo, who performed at least four decisive saves. He denied Ricchiuti with an outstretched foot, parried a Jeda effort, turned Porchia’s free kick out for a corner and in the final minute flew to palm away Moscardelli’s header.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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