Serie B 2012-13 Review: Week 14
Friday 9th November
Grosseto 1 – 1 Spezia
Saturday 10th November
Ascoli 1 – 4 Livorno
Cesena 1 – 3 Brescia
Cittadella 2 – 2 Vicenza
Crotone 3 – 2 Empoli
Juve Stabia 2 – 1 Virtus Lanciano
Pro Vercelli 1 – 2 Modena
Sassuolo 2 – 0 Novara
Ternana 0 – 0 Verona
Varese 3 – 0 Padova
Monday 12th November
It was a case of ‘as you were’ at the top of the Serie B table after the latest round of fixtures, with each of the top three emerging victorious over their respective opponents.
Sassuolo were able to shake off the effects of Monday night’s narrow defeat to title rivals Verona, picking up all three points against a Novara side whose season continues to go from bad to worse. The visitors started brightly but almost fell behind shortly before the break, with Simone Pesce having to clear a Paolo Bianco header off the line. The Neroverdi were gifted an opportunity to open the scoring with an hour played as Lorenzo Del Prete hauled down Andrea Catellani in the box, with Emanuele Terranova making no mistake from the spot. The points were made safe just three minutes later when Domenico Barardi curled a superb free kick into the top corner from the edge of the area, leaving Novara keeper Francesco Bardi with no chance.
It was a similar story for second place Verona, who began on the back foot before two second half goals saw off a spirited Ternana. The match turned on a debatable second half decision, with Pasquale Daniele Fazio shown a straight red card having been adjudged to have brought down Daniele Cacia in the area, with replays suggesting that the Ternana defender’s last ditch tackle was perfectly timed. Nevertheless, Cacia planted home the resulting penalty before seeing red himself following a second yellow card. The hosts pushed for an equaliser, but an injury time breakaway saw Raphael Martinho steer home through the legs of Stefano Ambrosi and secure another three points for the Gialloblu.
Livorno made it a hat-trick of wins for the top three with a flurry of second half goals seeing them emerge with a 4-1 triumph from their trip to Ascoli. An uneventful encounter came to life on the hour mark when Pasquale Schiattarella volleyed the visitors ahead from close range. Ascoli were reduced to ten men soon after with Manuel Scalise picking up his second yellow of the afternoon for simulation, before Paulinho doubled the Amaranto’s lead with a clinical strike from the edge of the box. Robert Feczesin pulled one back a minute later with a fine volley, before a straight red for Vasco Faisca saw Ascoli’s numbers reduced to nine. Luca Siligardi grabbed Livorno’s third from the spot, before Simone Dell’Agnello steered home the fourth with three minutes remaining. There was still time for Vincenzo Fiorillo to add to his burgeoning reputation by saving Feczesin’s injury time spot kick, as Livorno celebrated their biggest win of the campaign so far.
Elsewhere, Modena moved into fourth with a 2-1 away win over Pro Vercelli. Dejan Lazarevic headed the visitors in the 33rd minute, before adding a second with a fine run and finish late in the second half. Pietro Iemmello pulled one back in the third minute of injury time, but it was too late to have any bearing on the result.
Brescia made it back to back wins for the first time this season, with a 3-1 victory over Cesena also giving them their biggest win of the campaign so far. The home side dominated the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead after 20 minutes through Andre Gregoire Defrel’s close range strike. However a fierce effort from Alessandro Budel drew Brescia level ten minutes before the break, with Daniele Corvia’s blistering spot kick edging them ahead in first half injury time. The visitors turned up the heat on their opponents in the second half and deservedly added a third through Vitor Saba’s sensational strike from the edge of the area with ten minutes remaining.
Juve Stabia moved back into the play off places meanwhile, with Riccardo Improta’s injury time goal giving them a 2-1 win over Virtus Lanciano. A terrific header from Manuel Turchi saw Virtus Lanciano take a first half lead completely against the run of play. However the Vespe’s incessant pressure finally paid off ten minutes from time when Tomas Danilevicius headed them level, and though Ivano Baldanzeddu was shown a straight red card soon after for a ridiculous punch to the back of Luigi Falcone, a defensive mistake allowed Riccardo Improta to fire in a last minute winner off the underside of the bar.
Further down the table, Empoli’s fine recent run came to an end with a 3-2 defeat at Crotone. The Tuscans went ahead through Massimo Maccarone’s close range strike, but were pegged back moments before half time thanks to Denilson Gabionetta’s powerful diving header. A disgraceful high footed challenge from Franco Signorelli on Antonio Mazzotta saw Empoli reduced to ten men in first half injury time, and they were behind soon after the break when Gabionetta grabbed his second on the half volley. A red card for Mazzotta levelled the numbers in the 70th minute and allowed Francesco Tavano to draw Empoli level from the spot, but Crotone’s Brazilian forward Caetano had the final say with a close range effort ten minutes from time.
Bottom club Grosseto picked up a point at home to Spezia on Friday evening, but they were denied all three when Stefano Okaka’s late back-heel cancelled out Ferdinando Sforzini’s first half header. A late equaliser from Matteo Gentili meanwhile gave Vicenza a share of the spoils against high flying Cittadella. Dominique Malonga fired the visitors ahead on the stroke of half time, before a Niccolo Giannetti header and a Daniele Gasparetto strike turned the game on its head. Cittadella pushed for a third, but it was Gentili who grabbed the game’s final goal from close range as it finished all square.
Finally, a 3-0 rout of Padova saw Varese pick up their first win in nine games. A first half double from Neto Pereira set the side on course for a welcome three points, whilst Daniele Martinetti’s strike from six yards out put the result beyond doubt for a rampant Varese five minutes before half time.
Player of the Week: Neto Pereira (Varese)
Varese began the season in fine form, with four wins and a draw from their opening five putting them among the early season promotion candidates. However, with no wins from the previous nine games prior to this weekend’s win over Padova, the side from Lombardy have plummeted down the table in recent weeks. A superb centre forward’s performance from Brazilian Neto Pereira set his side on course for a much needed three points though, grabbing his side’s first with a terrific close range volley, before blasting a second beyond Padova keeper Luca Anania three minutes later.
Goal of the Week: Vitor Saba (Brescia)
Brescia are slowly stirring into life following a slow start to the season, climbing up to fifth having finally recorded their first back to back wins of the campaign. The third goal in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Cesena was a stunner, with Vitor Saba shifting the ball from his right to his left before curling a tremendous effort beyond the reach of Emanuele Belardi and into the top corner.
Save of the Week: Rafael Andrade (Verona)
Although the Gialloblu emerged as 2-0 winners on their trip to Ternana, they were given arguably one of their toughest afternoons of the campaign so far. Having gone ahead through Daniele Cacia’s second half penalty, Ternana pushed hard for an equaliser, and would have had it but for the intervention of Rafael Andrade, whose point blank save denied Luigi Vitale’s blistering close range strike.
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