Saturday, 28 February 2009

Serie B - Week 28: Weekend Review

Mantova 0-2 BariFriday 27 February
Livorno 0-0 Empoli
Livorno failed to build on their leadership of Serie B after a stalemate with struggling local rivals Empoli. The crisis-hit Azzurri had lost two on the trot, but gave Flachi his debut after a two-year ban for cocaine use. Moro, Diamanti and Pulzetti had early efforts saved, while Rossini wasted a couple of very promising opportunities for the home side. A corner was not cleared effectively for Rosi to drill just past the post and substitute Paulinho's header was weak. In stoppages Busce had the chance to win it for Empoli, but De Lucia performed a crucial save to keep Livorno on level terms.

Saturday 28 February
Mantova 0-2 Bari
Bari catch Livorno at the top of the table after this controversial victory away to crisis-hit Mantova. Guberti opened the scoring after the linesman had raised his offside flag, but the referee judged the run on Rivas' through ball to be valid. Corona took his protests too far and was sent off. Parisi sealed the scoreline in first half stoppages with a trademark left-foot free kick from distance. Bari Coach Antonio Conte also saw red in a tense encounter.

Modena 2-2 Parma
Parma waste the opportunity to go joint top after this local derby stalemate against a revived Modena. The Canarini came out fighting and opened the scoring just six minutes in with Bruno's long-range missile, while only the upright prevented Pinardi making it 2-0. The action was fast and furious leading into half-time. Mariga equalised with another screamer from 20 metres before Pinardi's header and a debatable Cristiano Lucarelli penalty came in the space of 120 seconds.

Treviso 2-3 Sassuolo
After Treviso's disastrous week - which saw Coach Luca Gotti fired, Abel Balbo hired, resign and come back in the space of 24 hours after the players and medical staff went on strike - defeat against promotion chasing Sassuolo was fairly inevitable. In the opening six minutes Scurto earned a spot-kick that Salvetti fired straight at Guardalben, but Poli ensured the visitors took the lead anyway with a precise right-foot strike. Another penalty was wasted, this time Quadrini hitting the woodwork for Treviso, before Pedrelli got them back into it. It didn't last long, as by half-time Sassuolo had broken away again through Martinetti and Rea's tap-in. Cafasso made it a less embarrassing 3-2 after the break, but it was not enough to stop another dismal stepping stone in Treviso's week.

Frosinone 0-3 Brescia
Brescia are right back in the thick of the promotion race thanks to the rediscovered Caracciolo. Dropped in recent weeks and lambasted by the fans, he bagged a brace with a shot deflected off Bocchetti and a late penalty. In-between, January signing Okaka ran on to Zambrelli's through ball. Frosinone could easily have lost by a wider margin, as Zambrella wasted two great chances.

Triestina 1-0 Pisa
A goalkeeping howler after three minutes proved enough to decide this encounter. Morello foolishly tried to dribble the ball out of danger, but was dispossessed by a grateful Della Rocca. Agazzi hit the crossbar and Granoche's goal was disallowed, but Pisa failed to make up for that initial error.

Vicenza 1-1 Cittadella
The local derby ends in a draw as Cittadella's fine away form continues. Meggiorini confirmed his top scorer status for the team with his 12th of the season, a wonderful solo effort. Sgrigna dominated the second half in both a positive and negative way. He equalised from close range, hit the bar and was sent off.

Rimini 2-1 Ancona
Rimini fought back for the three points after Soddimo had made the most of Colacone's assist early on. Cipriani's angled drive drew level and Basha turned it all around after the restart when Da Costa only parried the ball into his path.

Ascoli 2-1 Avellino
Both these sides have had two points taken off their tally due to financial irregularities, but Ascoli are dealing with it considerably better. Sommese's right-foot volley and a Belingheri snooker-shot made it 2-0, while Belingheri also hit the woodwork before half-time. Avellino mounted a comeback sparked by Sforzini's header, but a late potential equaliser was disallowed.

Salernitana 0-1 Piacenza
Piacenza caused an upset with this precious away victory that extends Salernitana's crisis. Anaclerio's goal was one of several chances the visitors created, as Moscardelli also went close and Riccio was only denied by the woodwork. To make matters worse, Salernitana lost striker Fava to injury early on.

Monday 2 March
Albinoleffe 4-1 Grosseto
Albinoleffe relaunched their play-off push at the expense of Grosseto's by demolishing the Tuscans 4-1. Pichlmann hit the post for Grosseto after 17 minutes with a header and soon after Ruopolo put Leffe ahead with a great header of his own. Cellini saw a goal dubiously disallowed for offside but three minutes later it was 2-0 courtesy of a Carobbio free-kick. Things got harder for Grosseto when Porchia was sent off for a second bookable offence before half-time. Rupolo made it 3-0 after the break with a neat finish, but Grosseto fought back through substitute Capone, who converted Pichlmann's assist. It started to become embarrassing for Grosseto as Madonna netted for 4-1 and Cellini missed a great chance for five.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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