Saturday, 16 May 2009

Serie B - Week 40: Weekend Review

Cittadella 2-2 ParmaFriday 15 May
Pisa 1-3 Piacenza
Pisa suffered a potentially disastrous 3-1 home defeat to Piacenza in a battle to avoid being sucked back into the relegation zone. The visitors could not have asked for a better start, as within 45 seconds Moscardelli had waltzed through a distracted defence. Considering Piacenza were unbeaten in six, it was an uphill struggle for Pisa. Moscardelli nearly got a second when he hit the crossbar, but Cassano was under increasing pressure and capitulated on the half-hour mark to a stunning Genevier screamer. Joelson wasted a golden opportunity moments later and lived to regret it. Riccio again pounced on poor defending to restore Piacenza’s advantage and soon after D'Anna saw red to leave Pisa with 10 men. Calderoni finished off the match by meeting Riccio's assist. The tension escalated and Bini was also sent off, evening out the teams.

Saturday 16 May
Cittadella 2-2 Parma
Parma threw away a 2-0 lead against 10-man Cittadella, but the point is still enough to secure their return to Serie A. The Gialloblu fans decamped to this away game and were immediately celebrating when Alessandro Budel's screamer was parried on to Emanuele Pesoli, whose attempted clearance turned into an own goal. There was a huge scare when in the space of 120 seconds Federico Gerardi had a shot cleared off the line and hit the upright. Parma doubled their lead against the run of play with Julio Cesar de Leon drawing the defence away to create space for Reginaldo. However, Cittadella fought back in the second half with Riccardo Meggiorini's left-foot rocket and a desperate save on Marco Carparelli. Matteo Teoldi was sent off for bringing down Reginaldo clear on goal, but the 10-men still equalised when Luca Di Matteo's shot was pushed into the path of Meggiorini. Nonetheless, both sides could celebrate, as Parma are back in Serie A.

[Parma bounce back]

Bari 4-1 Modena
Bari celebrated their promotion in style by thumping struggling Modena at a packed Stadio San Nicola. Stefano Guberti got the party started by tapping in at the back post and Davide Lanzafame took advantage of poor defending to chip Paolo Castelli. Salvatore Bruno pulled the Canarini back into it by dummying Andrea Ranocchia, but moments later Vitali Kutuzov restored the cushion on the counter created by Paulo Vitor Barreto. In the second half Castelli saw red for a challenge that allowed Barreto to convert the fourth from the spot. The Galletti still need a point to secure the Serie B title.

Sassuolo 2-3 Livorno
Livorno left it very late indeed to win this five-goal thriller that was effectively a play-off for the play-offs. The visitors seemed to have the result in their pockets with two goals in 120 seconds, as Miglionico nodded in from a corner and Tavano cheekily set up Danilevicius. However, as is often the case with the Amaranto, they risked throwing it all away. Zampagna smashed in from the edge of the box to stun substitute Mazzoni, who had only just replaced injured goalkeeper De Lucia, then Martinetti flicked on a long ball for Noselli's left-foot finish. It seemed over, but deep into stoppages Danilevicius bundled a loose ball over the line from close range.

Mantova 1-1 Empoli
Mantova would be safe from the threat of relegation with a victory, but missed out on that target by a handful of seconds. Corona got on the end of a free kick to give them the lead, while both goalkeepers were kept busy by Godeas, Corvia and Marzoratti. Empoli seemed done for, but in stoppages Lodi's spectacular volley extended their unbeaten run to nine games.

Triestina 1-0 Ancona
An own goal proved the difference between these teams on opposite ends of the table. Triestina continue their push for a play-off position thanks to Catinali accidentally turning the ball into his own net just shy of the hour mark. Granoche hit the woodwork and brought a tough save out of Da Costa, but Ancona remain in the danger zone.

Albinoleffe 1-2 Rimini
Rimini continue their curious unbeaten record at the Stadio Azzurri d'Italia and lift themselves back out of the danger zone. Ruopolo had given Leffe the lead almost immediately, but Pagano nodded in to level the scores. The home side had the better of the play and saw more of the ball, but Garlini hit the woodwork and they were punished by La Camera's counter-attack.

Vicenza 0-1 Frosinone
Vicenza are already safe and thanks to this result Frosinone could well follow them. Eder took his seasonal tally up to 14 goals with a trademark free kick, although Botta came close to an equaliser when he hit the woodwork three minutes later.

Ascoli 0-2 Salernitana
Salernitana surprised a struggling Ascoli to keep their hopes of safety alive. The difference in motivation was evident at the Del Duca and Ganci took control with two goals in seven minutes - his third in the last two games.

Avellino 1-0 Treviso
Avellino postpone relegation for another week with this victory over the already-relegated Treviso. Doudou was brought down for an early penalty, but Ciotola saw his effort remarkably ricochet off the inside of both uprights. In the second half Koman took over the spot-kick duties and converted for three very precious points indeed.

Monday 18 May
Grosseto 2-1 Brescia
Grosseto entered the play-off zone with a crucial win over fourth-placed Brescia at the Stadio Carlo Zecchini. Mora opened the scoring after just three minutes with a strike from outside the box that beat Viviano to his left. Just before the break, Pichlmann doubled the lead as Sansovini left Mora's cross for the Austrian ace to convert expertly. Cordova nearly made it 3-0 when his free-kick struck the woodwork. Brescia got a lifeline when Possanzini poken in the rebound after Polito had pushed Rispoli's strike on to the bar. But it was too little too late and Grosseto won what may be a play-off dress rehearsal.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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