Saturday 21 April
Juventus 3-1 Genoa
Juventus extended their lead to seven points after this comfortable triumph over second-placed Genoa. It was a real showdown between the top two teams in Serie B and Napoli were watching attentively to sneak into one of the automatic promotion spots. Juve hit the back of the net after three minutes, but the Del Piero goal was correctly disallowed for a offside position. Moments later Genoa also had a strike ruled out, but in this case Gasparetto appeared to be level. Both sides had penalty appeals for a Chiellini push on Gasparetto and Masiello’s handling offence.
The visitors had a very aggressive start, but it was Nedved who opened the scoring, although much of the credit goes to Del Piero. The captain performed some tricky footwork at the byline to shrug off defenders and cut back for Nedved to side-foot in from seven yards. Birindelli ballooned a good chance over, but Trezeguet incredibly managed two misses of the season in the space of five seconds. He sprung the offside trap in midfield and was clear on goal, but his lob was too weak and Rubinho batted it away. Del Piero picked up the loose ball and was shooting in front of a totally open goal when Trezeguet snatched it off his foot and fired wide! Del Piero did not disguise his irritation at this moment of selfishness from the Frenchman.
The Bianconeri went 2-0 up soon after, as Chiellini came from the back for a powerful free header, ignored by the Genoa defence. Genoa were in shock, but picked their heads up before the break to pull one back. Buffon managed to parry Rossi’s point-blank cutback, but could do nothing on former Juventus star Di Vaio’s finish under the bar.
Zebina risked a dismissal as he reacted furiously to a yellow card, slamming the ball into the ground and shouting at the referee. The French defender made up for the error by creating a fine goal for fellow countryman Trezeguet. Zebina ran between three players and rolled a pass through for Trez to slide in the finish. Birindelli and Camoranesi went off with injuries, then Buffon fingertipped a Di Vaio drive over the bar.
Bologna 2-0 Verona
Bologna have now won both their games under Coach Luca Cecconi. Comazzi almost gave Verona the lead when he fired wide in a one-on-one with Antonioli, then Fantini scuffed an effort set up by Marazzina. Marazzina was more accurate when going alone, although he was denied by a stunning reaction save from Franzese’s feet, while Zauli was unable to make the most of a poor clearance. Bologna finally broke through on 38 minutes when Fantini sprung the offside trap to turn his right-foot shot in off the upright. Hellas had some hope of an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, though Antonioli tipped Greco’s screamer out for a corner.
Marazzina again acted as provider when he won back the ball and sent Filippini clear, but the former Lazio midfielder fired wide of an open goal. Filippini was again guilty of wasting a golden opportunity with his poor header. Bologna were in complete control, but could not add to their tally due to more poor finishing from Morosini and Marazzina. Only in the final minute did the Rossoblu make the points safe with Meghni’s counter-attack.
Brescia 1-0 Lecce
A single goal was enough to decide this match at the Stadio Rigamonti. The first half was disappointing overall and the only bright spark came from Hamsik, who pounced on a defensive error to slot home with his right foot. After the break the game was more open and Lecce threatened with three great scoring opportunities, above all Tiribocchi firing over the bar. Brescia restricted themselves to counter-attacks and almost added to their tally with Mannini.
Frosinone 1-2 Napoli
Napoli fought back from a goal down at Frosinone to climb into second place. Calaio scored almost immediately, although it did not count due to an offside flag, and Iezzo was tested by a Lodi snapshot. Bogliacino struck the side-netting and Cannavaro charged down Di Nardo’s effort, though the younger brother of World Cup winner Fabio had a great chance to score as well when he blasted Sosa’s headed assist wide.
The game changed when Castillo came on for Di Nardo and within five minutes he had given Frosinone the lead with a free header following some woeful defending. Margiotta also hit the woodwork for the home side, though the advantage was over almost before it began, as Napoli substitute Inacio Pia’ skipped past two down the left flank and crossed for Sosa’s left-foot finish. Frosinone shook the frame of the goal again with Dedic, but Napoli made the points safe in the final minute thanks to a spectacular Trotta volley from the edge of the area.
Pescara 1-2 Arezzo
Arezzo stunned Pescara at the Stadio Adriatico to keep their faint survival hopes alive and surely condemned the Delfini to life in Serie C. The Tuscans controlled this relegation six-pointer from the off and pinned the Biancoazzurri back in their own half. Inevitably it was the Aretini who broke the deadlock when Bondi broke down the wing and crossed for ex-Pescara man Croce to steer it home. Spurred into action, Pescara threatened, but Vantaggiato was twice denied by ‘keeper Bremec before the visitors doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time as Bondi again provided the ball for Capello to tuck away. After the interval the home side pressed but had to wait for the 80th minute to pull one back with Martini’s precise strike after a one-two with Vantaggiato. It proved too little too late for Pescara who now have a mountain to climb to make their great escape.
Piacenza 2-1 Crotone
Piacenza came from behind to rejuvenate their play-off bid and keep Crotone sliding towards the drop. After four defeats in a row the hosts needed a fast start, but instead saw key striker Cacia carried off with a suspected fractured tibia and the mood darkened further when Crotone struck first in first-half injury time through a precise Lopez strike. However, it was a different story after the break and the Biancorossi were level on 64 minutes through Argentine striker Simon’s angled drive from the right. Simon was also instrumental in the winner which came 15 minutes from time as he was felled in the box by defender Rossi and Degano converted the spot-kick.
Spezia 2-2 Triestina
Relegation-threatened Spezia left it very late to grab a precious point against mid-table Triestina in an exciting clash at the Alberto Picco. The game’s first goal came after just two minutes as an Allegretti screamer from outside the area nestled in the corner to put the visitors ahead. Minutes later the Alarbadati doubled their lead through Marchesetti’s delicious strike. However, the Ligurians refused to give up and pulled a goal back after 11 minutes with Alessi’s deflected free-kick. Marchesetti and Alessi came close to securing braces with the latter’s 30-yard effort skimming the bar. The hosts came closer still through Guidetti who hit the post from outside the area and were inexplicably denied a penalty when Colombo was felled in the box just seconds later.
After the break Spezia continued to push and Alessi saw a free-kick strike stopped by Rossi, who was also alert to deny Guidetti on 50 minutes. The outstanding Alessi came close again when his long range strike on the break was tipped away for a corner. Just as a sixth consecutive defeat loomed, the Bianconeri got their deserved equaliser with seconds left as Guidetti hit a rasping drive on the turn after Gorzegno’s deft flick-on.
Treviso 1-1 Modena
Struggling Modena needed a last minute penalty to avoid a costly defeat at the Stadio Omobono Tenni. A goalless first period saw Modena ‘keeper Frezzolini troubled most, including a superb double save from Russotto. The Canarini threatened through the ever-dangerous Pinardi, who forced a smart stop from Avramov after 36 minutes. On the stroke of half-time there was a moment of high controversy as Bruno rounded Avramov only to be brought down by Viali, but the referee waved away Modena penalty appeals and dismissed Coach Bortolo Mutti for his protests.
After the break Frezzolini was outstanding once more and made a miracle stop to keep out an Abate free-kick. The pressure mounted on the visitors and Acquafresca somehow blazed over from six yards after a Guigou cross before Fava wasted a chance on break. Finally the Trevigiani went ahead when Fava headed home a Gissi cross on 72 minutes, but the Gialloblu refused to give up. Virdis failed to capitalise on Avramov’s ill-advised wanderlust with five minutes remaining and was inches away on 89 minutes. With the clock running down, Modena’s siege finally paid off when Fietta tripped Bentivoglio in the area and Pinardi cooly slotted the penalty to snatch a point.
Vicenza 1-1 Rimini
Rimini’s play-off challenge slowed down with this slip-up at the Stadio Menti. Vicenza had the better of the first half and shook the crossbar with Martinelli’s missile early on, followed by chances for Padoin and Raimondi. The deadlock was broken just before the interval with Schwoch’s solo effort. Rimini fought back and pinned the Biancorossi into their own half, but only managed to equalise before the break with Moscardelli. The striker was also the centre of attention in stoppages, as he received a second booking for dissent.
Monday 23 April
Cesena 2-2 Albinoleffe
Ten-man Albinoleffe came back from 2-0 down to rescue a point against Cesena on Monday night. The home side looked good for the maximum points after star striker Papa Waigo underlined his ability. The attacker gave his side the lead on six minutes before adding a second from the spot on 23. The Lombard outfit hit back to make it 2-1 through Rabito soon after before their chances of a good result looked compromised with the dismissal of Donadoni for two yellows. However, Emiliano Mondonico’s men stayed compact and grabbed an equaliser through Dos Santos just after the break. Both teams stay attached to each other in the standings with 46 points.
Bari 0-1 Mantova
Mantova have underlined their play-off ambitions by netting a 1-0 win at mediocre Bari in a game which saw four men dismissed. A late penalty proved to be the only difference between the two sides at the San Nicola, but the home boys are still well placed to avoid relegation. The first period was a tight one which ended all square and it looked as if the game would finish as it started before the away team were awarded a spot-kick. Caridi stepped up to the mark to slot home the winner before four players were remarkably sent-off in an ill-tempered conclusion which also included a mini-brawl. Mantova have moved up to joint fourth with Bologna after overtaking Rimini.
Source: C4 Football Italia