Friday 19 December
Brescia 1-0 Grosseto
Brescia managed to defeat former leaders Grosseto despite playing the entire second half with 10 men and temporarily shoot to the top of the standings. The visitors have struggled recently and this result makes it one point from four games, but went close when Carparelli’s header hit the bar and penalty appeals for a Rispoli handling offence were waved away. The Rondinelle broke through as Caracciolo skipped past both Porchia and goalkeeper Caparco to deposit into an empty net. Jadid saw red straight after the restart for a second bookable offence, but Brescia held on as Grosseto’s lack of confidence was evident.
Parma 1-0 Cittadella
Paloschi’s late strike gave 10-man Parma a precious victory over giant-killers Cittadella to end 2008 on a high. The Gialloblu’s 13-match unbeaten run was ended last week and it looked to be another stumble when the minnows had the better of the first half with Bonvissuto going close, Reginaldo picking up an injury and Falcone’s dismissal for a reaction foul on Meggiorini. Parma survived Volpe’s header thanks to a stunning Pavarini save and moments later Paloschi ended his goal drought by nodding in Antonelli’s cross at the back post.
Saturday 20 December
Livorno 3-2 Sassuolo
Leaders Sassuolo fought back from 2-0 down against fellow promotion candidates Livorno, but Tavano brought them down at the last minute. It took 120 seconds for the home side to take the lead through Loviso's long-range snapshot that bounced just in front of the goalkeeper. Noselli skimmed the woodwork and Tavano was brought down, but he was prevented from converting the penalty by Bressan's save. Soon after he got his goal, set up by Loviso dispossessing a midfielder. Sassuolo's comeback was sparked by Zampagna's free header just before the break and the Livorno defence was again poor as it let Masucci meet a cross from the right. The final minutes were chaotic with both sides going for the win, as Volpe failed to get on the end of a parried Tavano effort and Bressan parried Loviso's free kick. Tavano sent a looping header over Bressan deep into stoppages to make it 3-2 for Livorno, but it still wasn't over as Sassuolo hit the woodwork!
Empoli 1-1 Mantova
Empoli earned a point despite playing with 10 men for an hour and are top of the table with another four sides. Vannucchi put his side under pressure when he saw red for an off the ball foul on Sacchetti and moments later Corona gave Mantova the lead. However, substitute Saudati rose above the crowd to nod in the equaliser 11 minutes from time.
Modena 0-2 Bari
Bari are one point off the top of the table thanks to this comfortable away victory. Barreto converted a penalty and then set up Caputo's strike late on, but in between the two Bolano was dismissed.
Rimini 1-1 Albinoleffe
The action was all contained in a 60-second bubble at the Stadio Neri. Rimini had the better of the first half with Frara and Docente, but it was Albinoleffe who opened the scoring. Madonna pounced on a defensive error and beat the goalkeeper with a half-volley. Less than a minute later Vantaggiato placed his left-foot angled drive into the corner to secure a point apiece and send him to the top of the Capocannoniere charts. Cipriani almost won it at the death, but his effort hit the woodwork.
Piacenza 1-0 Pisa
Piacenza ended their run of four straight defeats with an important win over mid-table Pisa thanks to a stoppage-time penalty save. Aspas and Joelson went close, while Zavagno flung himself at Nainggolan's strike. Guzman pounced on a Braiati defensive error only to skim the woodwork, but he got on the scoresheet moments later with a precise free kick that curled round the wall. Pisa fought back, but Cassano had his palms stung by a Genevier screamer and Piacenza risked a second when Moscardelli's lob skimmed the bar. Pisa thought they'd got their point in injury time when Greco was brought down, but his penalty was saved and Buzzegoli hit the follow-up on to the post!
Ancona 2-1 Triestina
Ancona caused an upset by defeating Triestina at the Stadio del Conero, but curiously both goals were scored by defenders. Rincon opened the scoring and Vanigli closed it four minutes from time, ensuring Ardemagni's flick on an Allegretti free kick was futile. The home side had not won in three rounds.
Salernitana 1-2 Ascoli
Both clubs replaced their tacticians recently and of the two Ascoli have certainly benefited the most. Soncin converted a contested early penalty and Cani made it 2-0 soon after with a precise header. Salernitana struggled to make much of an impact on the game and couldn't get back into it even after Gerardi's goal. Salernitana are without a win in nine games.
Treviso 2-1 Avellino
Treviso's win allows them to leapfrog over Avellino in the standings. Musetti opened the scoring 100 seconds in and Pepe equalised with a screamer from 30 metres, but Guigou's free kick proved decisive. Pepe also saw red in stoppages.
Sunday 21 December
Frosinone 0-0 Vicenza
This match was postponed to Sunday afternoon as a sign of respect after the death of honorary Frosinone President Benito Stirpe. The home side put in a solid performance, preventing Vicenza from joining the scrum of sides at the top of the table. Teenager Elsneg tested Fortin early on and hit the post when his shot squirmed through the goalkeeper’s legs, but Vicenza also had chances with Sgrigna, Raimondi and a parried Bjelanovic volley.
Source: C4 Football Italia