Sunday, 10 June 2007

Serie B Play-out: Spezia v Verona

Former Juventus captain Antonio Conte has blamed the lazy "disrespectful" Bianconeri for dooming his Arezzo side to relegation.

The Tuscans, deducted six points for their involvement in the Calciopoli scandal, needed to beat Treviso and hope either Spezia did not win in Turin or Verona lost at home to Bari if they were to avoid the drop.

While Verona were winning easily, Spezia's 3-2 win at the Stadio Olimpico saw them enter the play-outs, sending Arezzo straight down to Serie C1.

"There is immense disappointment and bitterness," said coach Conte. "I have a great deal of respect for the Juventus fans, but very little respect for the squad."

Since securing the top spot in Serie B, the Turin giants have lost both their matches under caretaker tactician Giancarlo Corradini.

"It is painful to be relegated this way, but it helps me to understand things I already knew," added former midfielder Conte. "In sport there is so much talk and everyone made it seem as if the rot had been removed to clean up the game. If this is clean football…"

Spezia’s win in Turin was only snatched in the final minute when Padoin took advantage of an error from Jean-Alain Boumsong.

"When someone is very disappointed, he can say things that he will probably regret later," replied Juventus general manager Jean Claude Blanc. "I think that whoever saw this match can have no doubts. If we have to give football a different image, then before making statements like that people should think long and hard."

Spezia had taken the lead twice before in the match, but in both occasions Juve had equalised within 90 seconds.

Spezia will now play-out with Verona to stay in Serie B. The Gialloblu dropped into the play-out zone after they conceded two late goals against Bari.

They led 4-0 and while Triestina were not winning at Piacenza, they would have stayed up. But the two Bari goals in the last 25 minutes means Verona will now have to fight for their Serie B status in a two-legged play-out match.

The other two sides who were danger of entering the play-out zone on the final day, Modena and Vicenza, both won, 2-1 at home to Frosinone and 1-0 at Crotone respectively.

Play-out First Leg:
Friday 15 June
Spezia v Verona

Play-out Second Leg:
Friday 22 June
Verona v Spezia

[Serie B - Week 42 Review]

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