Sunday, 29 March 2009

Serie B - Week 33: Weekend Review

Pisa 0-1 BariSunday 29 March
Pisa 0-1 Bari
Bari have extended their lead at the top of the table to four points - nine over third place - after their rivals all slipped up earlier this afternoon. They knew this opportunity was in their hands for the evening game and came out fighting with Guberti’s series of chances before he finally broke through 10 minutes in, tapping in a Rivas cross at the back post. Pisa hit back immediately as Gillet needed a reaction save to deny Gasparetto and another great parry on Job’s angled drive, while Ranocchia, Degano and Donda missed by inches. Late on Bari resumed control and threatened a second with saves on Kamata and Barreto hitting the upright with a free kick.

Brescia 2-2 Livorno
It was a highly entertaining promotion showdown between two teams who have recently been dropping too many points. It certainly got off to a blistering start, as in the opening 60 seconds Brescia took the lead when Possanzini – returning after his one-year doping ban was frozen pending an appeal – held up the ball for Caracciolo’s angled drive. Moments later Tavano had struck back by skipping past his marker and smashing in a right-foot finish. Caracciolo and Diamanti saw efforts smothered by the goalkeepers before Tavano turned the game around at the dawn of the second half with his looping header. The referee pointed to the spot when Antonio Filippini brought down Taddei, allowing Caracciolo to convert the penalty. Both sides wanted to win it and in the final minutes saves were forced on Okaka and Rosi, the Under-21 striker’s header shaving a coat of paint off the woodwork.

Parma 1-1 Piacenza
Parma will rue not making the most of home advantage in this game against mid-table Piacenza, just as they were closing in on the leaders. The torrential rain at the Tardini made play very difficult and the ball was repeatedly caught in giant puddles. Castellini and Guzman had attempts saved early on, while Budel missed a sitter from point-blank range. He made up for it soon after with a left-footed strike into the top corner to give Parma a deserved lead. Piacenza goalkeeper Cassano performed heroics to deny Troest and that proved crucial, as on the hour mark Graffiedi equalised by nodding in Moscardelli’s cross. Volpato’s diving header threatened a Piace lead were it not for Pavarini’s save, but in the final stages it was all Parma as Cassano kept out Castellini and Vantaggiato’s follow-up, Paci’s looping header and a Cristiano Lucarelli stoppage-time effort.

Albinoleffe 2-0 Treviso
Treviso’s revival was short-lived following Luca Gotti’s return to the bench, but they can be credited with holding out at the Azzurri d’Italia for 80 minutes. Laner confirmed his current fine form with a header under the bar and then set up Ruopolo’s stoppage-time strike to put Albinoleffe in strong contention for a play-off place.

Ancona 1-2 Empoli
Empoli are back in business and seem to have found their feet after a disastrous period of form. Pozzi rose to meet Tosto’s cross in the opening stages and it was nearly 2-0, but Da Costa performed a crucial goalline clearance to deny Saudati’s angled drive. Ancona were barely in the game and the Tuscans dominated proceedings, as Musacci wasted a great opportunity from close range – again cleared by Da Costa – before Corvia turned in Vannucchi’s pass at the back post. Eusepi got little more than a consolation header in stoppages.

Grosseto 1-1 Mantova
Elio Gustinetti made his comeback on the Grosseto bench this week, but was only able to pick up a point against fellow strugglers Mantova. Sansovini had put his rather nervous side in front just before the break when he was at full stretch to toe-poke a Stendardo free kick past Bellodi. The Mantova goalkeeper did well to deny Freddi’s diving header a second and that proved decisive, as Sedivec equalised on a classic counter-attack.

Frosinone 2-2 Triestina
Triestina were in crisis after three consecutive defeats and threw away another two points in the final minute, as they were twice pegged back. They broke through somewhat against the run of play when Antonelli’s through ball surprised Elsneg to reach Granoche. Allegretti’s free kick was kept out before substitute Tavares netted within eight minutes of coming on, meeting Eder’s cross. Gorgone restored Triestina’s advantage from a corner kick, but the home side kept pushing and earned a point late on through Antonazzo at the back post. In fact, a stoppage-time Agazzi save denied Eder the winner for Frosinone.

Vicenza 2-0 Salernitana
The Biancorossi came out on top in this relegation dogfight with all the action localised in the fiery second half. Fragello brought a tough save out of Frison early on, but Sgrigna opened the scoring with an angled drive from just inside the box. Di Napoli had an equaliser correctly ruled offside and it all went wrong for Salernitana moments later. Cardinale foolishly cleared Bjelanovic’s shot off the line with his hand and saw red, although Berni kept his side in it by saving Sgrigna’s penalty. It didn’t last long, as 60 seconds later Forestieri’s solo effort doubled Vicenza’s lead and 10-man Salernitana couldn’t get back into the game.

Cittadella 4-0 Modena
Cittadella demolished the Canarini in this relegation dogfight. Oliveira opened the rout when he sprung the offside trap to place an angled drive past the goalkeeper. Meggiorini has been their star this season and took his tally to 14 goals thanks to a solo effort and pouncing on a defensive error. Modena’s best chance from Troiano was kept out by the woodwork and Bonvissuto sealed the poker late on from a corner.

Monday 30 March
Rimini 0-1 Ascoli
Rimini missed a penalty and rattled the bar but fell to defeat against Ascoli in a mid-table battle.Soncin put Ascoli ahead with a blasted effort against the run of play and minutes after Cipriani had headed just wide. Giallombardo conceded a penalty when he brought Docente down in the box on the stroke of half-time. But Rimini stayed ahead as Guarna made an incredible save to deny Pagano diving to the right! The hosts were left to rue that miss as they couldn't find a way through in the second half despite Cipriani hitting the bar.

Tuesday 14 April
Sassuolo P-P Avellino
This match was postponed from the original Sunday 29 March date because of international call-ups. It was rescheduled by the Lega Calcio for Tuesday 14 April. [Match Review]

Source: C4 Football Italia

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