Brescia have the advantage in their Serie B play-off semi-final against Albinoleffe after a controversial 1-0 win over the 10-man visitors.
BRESCIA 1-0 ALBINOLEFFE
Stadio Rigamonti, Brescia
The Rondinelle deserved the victory, but they benefited from the highly controversial dismissal of Leffe’s star striker Massimo Cellini at the Stadio Rigamonti.
The Bergamo-based visitors arrived still reeling from the resignation of Coach Elio Gustinetti and a period of poor form.
And Brescia, who were cheered on by a large Lombardy crowd, took the early initiative and dominated proceedings.
But the crucial moment came in the 38th minute when Albinoleffe were cruelly reduced to 10 men.
Emiliano Viviano made a superb save to deny Azzurri hitman Francesco Ruopolo only for the ball to fall to Marco Gori who found Cellini in the box.
Just as the 23-goal striker was about to fire home, he was felled by Brescia’s Lithuanian international Marius Stankevicius, but the referee interpreted it as a dive and showed Cellini a second yellow card instead of pointing to the spot.
Leffe were stunned and within minutes Brescia were ahead when Andrea Caracciolo met a pinpoint Marco Zambelli cross.
It could’ve been worse for Albinoleffe as Serse Cosmi’s men poured forward smelling blood.
Alessio Tacchinardi had a goal ruled out and efforts from Riccardo Taddei and Victor Mareco were rebuffed by the ‘keeper.
But Brescia have a lead to take to the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia while Leffe have to find a replacement for Cellini, who is suspended for Sunday’s second leg.
Source: C4 Football Italia