Sunday 30 May
Lecce 0-0 Sassuolo
Lecce are back in Serie A after winning the title in a game that effectively suited both sides. They needed only a point to secure promotion, while that same result kept Sassuolo in a good play-off position. Defendi was a little too late to make the most of several Di Michele assists, while Sassuolo's Zampagna skimmed the woodwork. Young striker Marilungo wasted a couple of good chances by firing straight at the goalkeeper, then had a goal ruled offside. Goalkeeper Pompini performed crucial saves on Angelo's daisy-cutter and a rising Bergougnoux strike.
Piacenza 0-1 Cesena
Cesena have won promotion into Serie A after a dramatic final day turnaround in which they leapfrogged Brescia. It was no easy task, as Piacenza are their local rivals and were unbeaten here against their neighbours for 18 years. Malonga and Do Prado had chances rebuffed before the breakthrough at the dawn of the second half. Parolo’s long-distance screamer took Puggioni by surprise to secure victory. Moments later it was nearly 2-0, as Greco fired wide when one-on-one with the goalkeeper, while Giaccherini also had his effort saved. Cesena are back in the top flight for the first time since 1991.
Padova 2-1 Brescia
A victory here would’ve mathematically sent Brescia into Serie A, but a catastrophic result along with Cesena’s win means they must go through the play-offs. They had only one point advantage in second place going into the final weekend, but faced a Padova side desperate to avoid the drop and hadn’t won here in 19 years. It got off to the worst possible start for the Rondinelle, as within three minutes Di Nardo’s header had put the home team in front. Arcari needed extraordinary saves to deny Di Nardo and Italiano, but could do nothing on another Cuffa header. Soncin and Bovo again tested Arcari to keep Brescia in it and with 14 minutes left, Renzatti pushed Taddei for a Caracciolo penalty. The visitors poured forward, but left gaps at the back and it was nearly 3-1 when Di Nardo’s curler thumped the upright. The drama still wasn’t over, as in stoppages one of the sprinklers went off in the centre-circle and the referee had to give seven minutes of extra time, during which Rabito and Caracciolo skimmed the woodwork.
Ancona 2-2 Mantova
Mantova are relegated to Lega Pro after this four-goal thriller against an Ancona side that wasn’t yet entirely safe. Bellodi was terribly unlucky just nine minutes in, as a Mastronunzio shot hit the crossbar and ricocheted into the net off the back of the goalkeeper’s head. Pellicori struck twice to turn it around with his diving header and by redirecting a wayward Tarana effort. However, 120 seconds later Mastronunzio went on a solo run through the Mantova defence. The visitors leave Serie B after five years and, crippled by financial problems, are likely to go bankrupt.
Frosinone 2-2 Triestina
This was a direct head-to-head to avoid slipping into the relegation play-outs and the point was enough to salvage Frosinone. Troianiello broke through after 11 minutes with a right-foot strike from the tightest of angles, soon wiped out by Testini’s chest and volley. Stellone acrobatically fired in to restore the home side’s lead and Siligardi’s stoppage-time equaliser was not enough to keep Triestina clear of the play-outs.
Reggina 3-1 Albinoleffe
Reggina’s passionate first half performance secured their Serie B status for another season. Pagano was the star of the show, as his left-foot strike and an angled drive surrounded Missiroli’s tap-in. Albinoleffe did put the effort in, as Torri’s header came off the crossbar and just before the break he did get the ball into the net with his daisy-cutter.
Modena 3-2 Gallipoli
Modena thought they were doomed after going 2-0 down to already-relegated Gallipoli, but completed an extraordinary comeback to secure their safety. Della Penna pounced on a defensive error and Artistico lobbed the goalkeeper to give the visitors a shock lead, but within 60 seconds Bruno had sparked the comeback from close range. Giampà equalised with a diving header on Pinardi’s cross before Spezzani completed the turnaround thanks to an angled drive.
Salernitana 0-1 Vicenza
Vicenza made the most of already-relegated Salernitana to ensure they did not suffer the same fate. It almost started so well for the home team, as in the opening 15 seconds Giani required a goalline clearance on Dionisi. However, Gavazzi nodded in a corner and soon after Dionisi foolishly elbowed Di Cesare for a straight red card, so it was all over bar the shouting.
Torino 1-0 Cittadella
Both sides already knew they were in the promotion play-offs, so it was just a matter of position. Gorobsov’s powerful free kick was an early scare, but Belingheri ran on to a Scaglia pass to beat Pierobon with an angled drive after 18 minutes. Cittadella fought back with a save on Dalla Bona and the crossbar denying Volpe’s volley. The result means Toro leapfrog Cittadella to finish the season in fifth place.
Empoli 2-2 Grosseto
This was a local derby between two sides who had tasted promotion play-off status, but ultimately ended up mid-table. Tosto was playing his final game with an Empoli jersey and he opened the scoring by nodding in Vannucchi’s cross. Within three minutes Grosseto had turned the situation around, as Alfageme’s effort was parried into the path of Esposito and Carobbio blasted in a free kick. There could easily have been more goals, as Turati, Eder and Joelson rattled the woodwork. Eder finished off his season in style with a strike from the edge of the box into the top corner, securing his Capocannoniere title on 27 goals.
Crotone 1-2 Ascoli
Crotone paid the price for wasting a series of scoring opportunities, as they allowed Ascoli to come back for an improbable victory. Antenucci hit the crossbar after just 14 seconds, while Mendicino forced a fine save. Moments later Russotto broke through on the counter with a curling finish into the top corner. Bernacci got Ascoli back on track with their first real effort of the game, as Frezzolini continued to perform heroics to deny Grillo – who also hit the woodwork – and Degano. Ilari was more accurate and his solo effort secured the win. Crotone wasted yet another opportunity to draw level at the death, but Frezzolini parried Zito’s penalty.