Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Serie B Wk 30: Review

Tuesday 1 May
Frosinone 0-2 Juventus

Juventus have moved closer to their mathematic return to Serie A, after Marcelo Zalayeta’s brace against Frosinone. The Bianconeri went close after three minutes with Pavel Nedved, whose left-foot shot from the penalty spot ended wide. The home side however was not intimidated, despite the following attempts by Mauro Camoranesi and Zalayeta, who failed to finish a perfect assist served by the Argentine-born midfielder. The world champion was again close to breaking the deadlock, but he failed to net Nedved’s cross. No changes were made after the break, and the Bianconeri immediately started to attack, with Nedved one of the most dangerous players on the pitch.

Deschamps decided to replace Raffaele Palladino with Alex Del Piero and Juventus immediately took the lead with Zalayeta, who took advantage of Camoranesi’s unintentional cross, heading the ball into the net. Juventus continued to push and managed to double their lead two minutes into stoppage time, again with Zalayeta, sealing Frosinone’s third straight defeat and maintaining their lead clear at the top of the table.

Arezzo 3-0 Cesena
Arezzo are really aiming for an improbable comeback from the depths of the relegation zone after notching up their third consecutive victory. Cesena have all but given up on their promotion credentials now and had no response for their less illustrious opponents after Pelle’s early header was well saved by Bremec. Floro Flores ran on to Volpato’s assist to toe-poke it past the goalkeeper and the two combined again, this time the Juventus-owned starlet tapping in the loose ball originally parried from Floro Flores.

Sabato brought down Bondi and Floro Flores had the chance to kill the match, but Sarti saved the penalty. That is the seventh spot-kick Arezzo have missed this season. Volpato secured the 3-0 scoreline after the break by volleying in Bondi’s set-piece. Cesena’s only real chance was when Salvetti rattled the woodwork six minutes from time.

Bari 1-2 Piacenza
Piacenza got back on track with an entertaining victory at the Stadio San Nicola, but Bari were left kicking themselves at the final whistle. The Southerners thought they had added to Piace’s crisis when Carrus smashed an angled drive past Coppola straight after the restart, but even without injured hitman Cacia, the visitors managed to draw level with substitute Simon nodding in Patrascu’s free kick. Bari kept pushing forward and had several chances to win it, but instead Degano hooked Stamilla’s searching pass and flicked it in at the near post to give Piacenza a last-gasp victory.

Genoa 3-1 Verona
Genoa were eager to win precious points as they continue the race towards Serie A, having dropped into third place one point behind Napoli in the past few weeks and achieved a record ninth consecutive home victory. The Grifoni were the only side on the pitch in the first half and were close to breaking the deadlock with Marco Di Vaio, who was kept out by the woodwork. The Rossoblu then took the lead on 47 minutes thanks to Manuel Coppola, whose great shot beat Gianluca Pegolo, allowing the Grifoni to go into the break with a deserved lead. Verona Coach Giampiero Ventura replaced Andrea Cossu with Claudio Ferrarese and Ivan Pedrelli with Aniello Cutolo, in the attempt to create trouble, but Genoa doubled their lead thanks to Giuseppe Greco, who ran on to Leon’s perfect pass, firing the ball past Pegolo. Genoa were close to scoring their third goal with Francesco Galeoto, but were denied by an excellent save from the Verona goalkeeper just minutes before the Gialloblu scored with former Genoa man Federico Nieto. Greco was close to scoring a brace, hitting the woodwork with a long-distance shot, but the Grifoni finally made it 3-1 with a stunning goal by Stefano Botta, who dribbled past two opponents, slamming the ball into the net and securing the side’s eight-point lead over fourth-placed Rimini.

Mantova 0-0 Treviso
Mantova’s play-off bid has taken a bit of a tumble recently and they faced this match without the suspended Rizzi, Donazzan and Coach Mimmo Di Carlo. Treviso had the first chances, as after five minutes Brivio performed a stunning point-blank reaction save on Mezzano and then kept out Music with some difficulty. The home side slowly got themselves back in the running as Godeas slid on to Caridi’s cross to test Avramov and a last-ditch Mezzano tackle denied Spinale. Treviso battened down the hatches and waited for the final whistle, succeeding in keeping their bunker protected for a point.

Modena 1-0 Brescia
Brescia had put themselves back in the play-off hunt with five wins and a draw from their last six games, but this defeat to the relegation-battling minnows is a heavy blow. Serafini and Mannini had long-range attempts for the Rondinelle, but the second half was all Modena. Gilioli replaced Colacone and two minutes later had scored the winner, a fantastic right-foot drive from the edge of the area. Serse Cosmi’s hopes of a comeback were further dented by Santacroce’s second bookable offence, while match-winner Gilioli also saw red in stoppages.

Napoli 1-0 Albinoleffe
Napoli notch up their 10th 1-0 victory of the season to hold on to second place. Emiliano Mondonico returned to the San Paolo, where he was a Coach in 2000-01, hoping to replicate Albinoleffe’s 1-0 win earlier this season. The Azzurri had a blistering start, as within 16 seconds Garics had an effort deflected inches wide of the upright and Bogliacino held up the ball for Sosa’s volley. On 33 minutes they broke through with Domizzi’s cross for a classic Sosa header across the face of goal. The Argentine celebrated by unveiling a T-Shirt dedicated to Diego Armando Maradona, who is undergoing treatment for a series of health problems.

Napoli may have taken the lead, but they were far from dominant and remained fairly ineffective upfront. Albinoleffe began to push in the second half and Cellini incredibly turned his free header off target before the same player went on a dangerous counter-attack that neither Colombo nor Belingheri could finalise. Both sides had goals disallowed for offside, as Pia and Ferrari were caught out. Del Prato only received a yellow card for his penalty appeals and in stoppages Iezzo’s fantastic save prevented Cellini’s right-foot drive earning a point for Albinoleffe.

Pescara 0-2 Spezia
Spezia burst clear of the danger zone with their second crucial away win on the trot, but Pescara are now permanently lodged at the foot of the table. Soda’s boys got off to a great start with Colombo touching on Saverino’s free kick for a close-range Guzman finish. Just four minutes later it was 2-0 as Colombo rose to nod in Padoin’s cross from the right. Pescara were unlucky, as Vantaggiato’s header was off target and Mora saw his set-piece stop at the upright.

Rimini 1-0 Crotone
Rimini continue their surprising march on the play-offs with this slender victory over struggling Crotone. The visitors, who are close to Serie C sitting second from bottom, almost took a shock early lead when Galardo’s effort from the edge of the box smashed against the frame of the goal. Ricchiuti took control after the break, as he first tested Soviero at the end of a run that had started from his own half, then finalised Bischeri’s assist from close range to earn the points.

Triestina 2-3 Lecce

Lecce performed an extraordinary feat by fighting back to win in Trieste despite playing in 10 men for the entire match. Goalkeeper Pavarini lasted just five minutes at the Stadio Nereo Rocco, seeing red for rushing out to stop Testini. Inevitably the home side was buoyed by this turn of events and opened the scoring through Marchesetti’s strike – set up by former Salentini star Pivotto – but five minutes later Lecce were level thanks to a fierce Valdes effort from distance. Coach Giuseppe Papadopulo was also dismissed by referee Romeo for dissent and before the break Pesaresi curled in a free kick to restore Triestina’s lead.

Incredibly, it was in the second half that 10-man Lecce prospered. Munari got his head to a corner kick and nine minutes from time Osvaldo sealed the win with a splendid solo run, skipping past two defenders. It could have been four, but Tiribocchi was denied by the woodwork.

Vicenza 1-1 Bologna
Bologna continue to slow down in their play-off push, but considering they were reduced to 10 men for almost an hour, this last-gasp point is a valuable one. Bellucci had tested Zancopè with an early strike, but Costa was shown a straight red card for his mistimed tackle on Rigoni after just 36 minutes. Vicenza decided to take advantage and would have been ahead earlier had Raimondi not somehow managed to balloon over from a couple of yards undisturbed. He made up for it 10 minutes later, rising to nod in a Paonessa corner kick. Antonioli kept his men in it by parrying a Schwoch header and that intervention proved decisive, as in the final minute Fissore’s foolish handling offence allowed Bellucci to convert the penalty.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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