Friday 13 April
Arezzo 2-1 Vicenza
Arezzo notched up only their fifth win of the campaign against 10-man Vicenza. The visitors had taken the lead with Raimondi, but in the space of 10 minutes goals from Floro Flores and Martinetti had turned the game around. Former Juventus star Antonio Conte’s team was boosted when Padoin’s foul halted a clear scoring opportunity for Floro Flores, leading to an inevitable red card just 33 minutes in. Arezzo were unable to add to their tally and remain at the foot of the table despite getting all three points for the first time in seven rounds.
Genoa 3-0 Bologna
Genoa have confirmed their status as the second power in Serie B with this crushing victory over fellow promotion candidates Bologna. There was only ever one team in it at Marassi, as Di Vaio finally scored his first goal for the club on home turf. Before that the ex-Juventus star set up the opener just three minutes into the match, pouncing on ex-Genoa midfielder Daino’s error and rolling across for Leon, who could not miss his strike into the roof of the net. The Rossoblu were unfortunate not to receive a penalty soon after, as the referee waved play on despite Stellini’s handling offence, and were felled by a quick one-two before the break. Di Vaio’s precise header from a Rossi centre was immediately followed by Gasparetto nodding in Genoa’s third. Renzo Ulivieri’s men struggled to make an impact in the second half, although Marazzina wasted their best chance by firing straight at Rubinho when clear on goal. Marazzina later limped off and was replaced by Zauli, making his first appearance in a month.
Saturday 14 April
Lecce 1-3 Juventus
Didier Deschamps travelled to the sold out Stadio Via del Mare without the suspended Del Piero, Giannichedda and Marchisio, as well as injured Boumsong, Tudor, Zanetti, Paro and Trezeguet. Lecce were unbeaten in a month and wasted no time, Valdes firing at Buffon in the opening 18 seconds. Yet it was the Bianconeri who broke through with a fine team move involving Camoranesi, Palladino, Nedved’s dummy and the chipped finish from Marchionni. Just four minutes later Lecce equalised, as Polenghi got in front of Zebina to nod in a free kick.
It was a blistering start to the match, as in the next five minutes Marchionni pounced on a dreadful Polenghi backpass and got round the goalkeeper only to hit the side-netting of an open goal, then the referee waved play on when Giuliatto seemed to block Marchionni’s shot with his hand. Referee Pantana was brought in at the last minute after original official Tagliavento was named in the new Calciopoli investigation into Juve’s match-fixing allegations.
Buffon rushed out to close down two Tiribocchi counter-attacks and Marchionni’s header tested Pavarini. The visitors restored their lead straight after the restart, as Palladino set up Zalayeta with his back to goal, but the Salentini defence allowed him far too much space to turn and shoot. There was further controversy, this time at the other end, when Tiribocchi was booked for scoring after an incorrect offside decision. The Juventus offside trap was regularly torn to shreds and when Tiribocchi managed to get round Buffon, the angle was too narrow and the ‘keeper was able to recover.
Referee Pantana was criticised when only booking Chiellini for a horribly dangerous tackle that hit Osvaldo in the head as he was running towards goal on 58 minutes. In an increasingly tense encounter with scuffles breaking out around the field, Camoranesi waltzed through three players down the right to smash a left-foot strike into the far top corner. Former Lecce star Bojinov played the final minutes in his old hunting ground, but there were no more goals.
Albinoleffe 2-0 Piacenza
Piacenza’s promotion bid hit the skids after a third consecutive defeat, confirming the Biancorossi’s terrible away record this season. Albinoleffe are now in a safe mid-table position and Coach Emiliano Mondonio will most likely be satisfied. Santos could have scored after 20 minutes but his header was saved on the line by ‘keeper Coppola. After a disappointing first-half, Ruopolo put the locals ahead with a wonderful lob over the goalkeeper’s head. Then an outstanding Rabito skipped past Nef and smashed a powerful right-foot shot straight into the net. Piacenza’s reaction was poor while the Bergamaschi controlled the game safely. Lazzari had a great chance to put the visitors back into the running when Rantier was tackled in the box, but Marchetti saved both his penalty kick and the rebound.
Crotone 0-0 Brescia
The Rondinelle were held to a goalless draw that further rules them out of the play-off race. In fact, Crotone had a bright start and Viviano parried Veron’s right-foot screamer. Despite increasing their influence on the game, Brescia rarely threatened with Jadid, Mannini and Zoboli missing the target. The best real opportunities came in the final minutes. Cariello’s free kick thumped the frame of the goal and late on Soviero tipped a Stankevicius header over the bar.
Mantova 1-1 Frosinone
Mantova left it very late indeed to snatch a point off 10-man Frosinone and slip behind the front-runners for automatic promotion. Mezzanotti gave the visitors the advantage when he accidentally turned a Lodi effort into his own net. Di Venanzio almost made it 2-0 by testing Bellodi and Lodi’s counter-attack. Mantova had the opportunity to get on level terms when Bocchetti brought down Sommese, but Godeas ballooned his penalty over the bar. They poured forward in the final stages and, after Zappini was sent off for a second bookable offence – handling the ball outside the box – deep into stoppages Altinier tapped in the equaliser.
Modena 4-0 Spezia
Spezia were hammered at the Stadio Braglia by their relegation rivals who, thanks to this six-pointer victory, have closed right up on their position. With just one point now separating them, Spezia are in a very dangerous place. The Canarini had a great start and Gilioli scored the opener with a left-foot angled drive after having skipped past Giuliano and Fusco. Guidetti tried to equalise at the end of the first half with a powerful strike from outside the box, but Frezzolini made a fine save. In the second half it was Pinardi-show, as the talented youngster bagged a brace with his left and right foot, including a spectacular slalom from midfield. At the 67th minute Gilioli was fouled and Bruno converted the penalty despite Santoni getting a hand to it.
Napoli 1-0 Pescara
Napoli had to get back on track following their defeat to Juventus if they were to keep up with second placed Genoa. De Zerbi, Dalla Bona and Capparella were out of action, as minnows Pescara had the first chance for Martini charged down by Cannavaro and Domizzi’s free kick skimmed the bar. The Partenopei took the lead 13 minutes in with Calaio’s strike parried by Polito into the path of the attentive Bogliacino.
Moscardi stung Iezzo’s palms with a fierce effort from distance and Napoli could’ve made it 2-0 before the break were it not for Trotta’s splendid angled drive thumping the upright. Inacio Pià came on for the second half and almost immediately scored, his header from a corner bringing a sensational reaction save out of Polito.
However, Pescara almost snatched a shock equaliser at the San Paolo late on with a tricky Iezzo block at the near post from Rigoni and Luci’s volley skimming the upright.
Rimini 1-0 Cesena
Rimini climbed into fourth place with this hard-fought victory. It took just 120 seconds to open the scoring, as a free kick was floated over the defence for Matri to smash home. Regonesi’s set-piece brought a save out of Sarti and Matri fired wide. Cesena were more aggressive after the break, as De Feudis drilled past the upright and Pelle’s effort was blocked by Cristiano. Del Core insisted his shot had been deflected by a handling offence, but took his penalty protests too far and saw red.
Triestina 1-0 Bari
Triestina escaped the relegation zone with a tight victory over ten men Bari at the Stadio Nereo Rocco. The Pugliesi are now only one position above Verona. The locals had a good start with Piovaccari, but his strike hit the side of the net. Piovaccari had another glorious chance to score at the 20th minute, when in front of an open goal his shot thumped the upright. At the end of the first half Pesaresi scored a deserved opener with a free kick that Gillet could only watch going into the net. Materazzi’s men had a good reaction, but Triestina could have gone 2-0 ahead when Gillet made a fantastic save to rebuff Allegretti’s penalty. Allegretti is at his third penalty miss in a row, the fifth that Triestina have failed this term. At the 81st minute Scaglia was red-carded for a bad tackle over Marchesetti and for Bari it was all over.
Verona 0-0 Treviso
In the Veneto Derby Verona and Treviso failed to break through in a goalless draw at the Stadio Bentegodi. The Gialloblu dominated the game, but the visitors went closer to actually scoring. During the first half Fava had a good chance, but his header was wide. Music missed an incredible opportunity, shooting off target in front of Pegolo. The second half didn’t offer much more, as the locals had the only good chance with Iunco but the striker didn’t manage to head in a cross by Pulzetti. This draw, however, will most probably please both teams.
Source: C4 Football Italia