Thursday, January 28, 2016

Italy January 2016

Three games in Italy including a Serie A game at Frosinone.

22nd January 2016  Salernitana 3 Brescia 0  Serie B  9,715  (c. 100 away)

I travelled to Napoli then took the train onto Salerno from where I took a bus from the seafront, south to my hotel near the Stadio Arechi.

Which is a sizeable two-tier ground, in contrast to the old Stadio Donato Vestuti that still remains, crumbling, close to the centre.
Salernitana get good support highlighted by their ultras who provided strong encouragement for their heroes.

The home side were under threat early on but they had a stroke of luck on 23 minutes when a cross was mishandled by the Brescia goalie and went in off defender Racine Coly for an o.g.

Much higher ranked Brescia then a had great chance to level when Andrea Caracciolo was put through but his effort was blocked by Terracciano.
That turned out to be a turning point as the home side went in one up and in confident mood.

Two more goals were added soon after the break, from striker Massimo Coda and a close range conversion by Michele Franco, that sealed the win.

It had been a bad night for Brescia who also had a strong shout for handball in the area turned down later on.

For Salernitana it was a welcome three points in their battle to remain in Serie B.

23rd January  Frosinone 0 Atalanta 0  Serie A   7,564 (c. 200 away)

The next day I took the metro back to the central station and went via Rome onto the town of Frosinone, some 75 km from the capital.

Frosinone didn’t seem like a town in which you might linger too long compared to so many others in Italy.
However I did stop at a pleasant cafe/bar on the way to the stadium where you could watch the excellent live Serie B show on Sky Calcio.

Up the road the small Stadio Matusa staged this goalless draw - a game that will not live long in the memory of those that witnessed it.

We saw an overhead kick go wide and two big chances, one for each side.
Dionisi spurned the one for Frosinone by screwing his effort wide and the tricky Argentinian Alejandro Gomez clipped the side netting when in a good position for the visitors.

Experienced striker German Denis appeared later for Atalanta but he failed to influence the outcome which looked likely some time before the final whistle.
Overall it was a useful point for relegation threatened Frosinone but probably an opportunity missed for Atalanta.

Afterwards your correspondent applied the ‘when in (near) Rome’ principle and settled for an excellent pizza and some vino rosso.

24th January  Perugia 0 Pescara 4  Serie B  9,373 (c. 500 away)

Up early I took the train back to Rome then onto Foligno.
Where I had plenty of time to stroll around the historic centre with its narrow streets, palazzo and cathedral.

Some coffee and pastry later I was on the train, through Assisi to Perugia.

The Stadio Renato Curi sees good crowds and on this very chilly evening in Umbria there was enthusiastic support from the home ultras and also from the large group from Pescara.

But only one set of fans could enjoy the result as the young visiting side eventually dominated the game.
Led by the excellent Ahmad Benali, who was well supported in mdfield by Lucas Torreira and Valerio Verre, Pescara controlled possession.

On 26 minutes they took the lead when a left wing cross caused panic in the home defence and the ball just went over the line off Marco Rossi for an own goal.

With Rodrigo Taddei and co. struggling to get to grips with the Pescara passing regime the visitors went in one up at the break.

Although Perugia started the second half by looking sharper they would eventually be well beaten.

Two easy finishes, both involving striker Gianluca Lapadula, came on 66 and 70 minutes to put the outcome beyond the home side.
Benali was able to enjoy scoring the third and he was also part of the move that capped off a superb night for Pescara.

That clincher was an excellently worked breakaway goal that culminated in Gianluca Caprari scoring right footed to seal the victory.

Despite all this the home ultras maintained their support although there were rumblings from the main stand.

While for the Pescara fans it would be a celebratory trip home and surely the strong possibility, on this evidence, of a return to Serie A.

I rushed to a nearby restaurant to warm up and enjoy some tempura and more vino.

The next day I returned to the UK via Rome Fiumicino.

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