Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Torino 2-0 Chievo

Torino kept their slim hopes of European qualification alive with a 2-0 victory over Chievo on Sunday afternoon.

Giampiero Ventura gave rare starts to Pontus Jansson and Gaston Silva in defence, whilst Josef Martinez replaced the injured Fabio Quagliarella upfront.

Former Torino striker Riccardo Meggiorini almost opened the scoring for Chievo, but he blazed his shot over the bar from a difficult angle.

Josef Martinez twice came close to giving Toro the lead, but the Venezuelan was narrowly close from long range on both occasions.

An excellent through ball from Omar El Kaddouri put Martinez through on goal, but this time he was denied by Chievo keeper Francesco Bardi.

However, moments later, former Chievo striker Maxi Lopez gave Toro a deserved lead after he headed home following a goalmouth scramble.

Toro doubled their lead when a long clearance from substitute Kamil Glik put Maxi Lopez in a foot race against Bostjan Cesar, and the Argentine was able to keep his composure and score.

With two games remaining, the Granata are now five points away from 6th place and the final Europa League place - however, if Genoa are denied a Uefa license, then much like last season, Toro could qualify for Europe with a 7th placed finish.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Torino v Chievo Preview

Torino will look to rebound from Monday's disappointing 5-1 defeat against Genoa when they face Chievo on Sunday afternoon.

Toro's hopes for European football took a huge blow in that game, but a victory against Chievo should help secure a top 10 finish.

The Granata are without the suspended Bruno Peres, whilst Fabio Quagliarella is injured so Primavera product Simone Rosso is included in the squad.

Chievo are safe from relegation and set for a mid-table finish and are currently on a six match unbeaten run.

Prediction
Torino 2-1 Chievo

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Genoa 5-1 Torino

Torino saw their European dreams shattered on Monday evening as three late goals helped Genoa to an impressive 5-1 victory.

Cristian Molinaro was surprisingly preferred to Matteo Darmian at left wing back, whilst Maxi Lopez partnered Fabio Quagliarella upfront.

The Granata had a great chance at the start of the game when Molinaro cut the ball back for Quagliarella, but the former Sampdoria man blazed the ball over the bar.

Genoa then took the lead moments later, as great work from M'Baye Niang and Marco Borriello allowed Iago Falque to fire home and continue his recent goalscoring run.

It took until the hour mark for Torino to find an equaliser, but they did so in style thanks to Omar El Kaddouri's fantastic free kick. However, parity lasted less than ten minutes as the home side took the lead thanks to substitute Tino Costa's deflected free kick.

Giampiero Ventura brought on Alexander Farnerud and Amauri in attempt to find an equaliser that may have prolonged Toro's European quest, but Andrea Bertolacci's fine curling shot meant the points would stay in Genoa.

With Toro knowing the game was over, Genoa took advantage in injury time with Leonardo Pavoletti and the Tino Costa both scoring to make the final score somewhat flattering.

However, there was no denying that Genoa were the better side, and they will now go on to try and secure European football in the final three games of the season. For Toro, this was an embarrassing result and one that meant there would be no repeat of this season's European adventure.

But after a victory at San Mames against Athletic Bilbao, a 5-1 victory in Copenhagen and a derby victory over Juventus - I think all Toro fans would agree that this season has been a rather successful one.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Genoa v Torino Preview


Torino will look to rebound from Wednesday's disappointing defeat against Empoli when they travel to face Europa League rivals Genoa on Monday evening.

Sampdoria's victory against Udinese on Sunday afternoon means that the Granata are currently six points away from 6th place, albeit with a game in hand. That means, that for Toro to have any chance of securing European football next season, nothing but a victory will suffice.

Bruno Peres and Maxi Lopez should both return to the Torino starting eleven after not starting last time out, whilst Marco Benassi should also replace Alvaro Gonzalez in midfield.

Genoa are two points above Toro, and are therefore also in the race for 6th place, despite being denied a license to compete in European football earlier this week, a decision that they have already appealed.

Prediction
Genoa 1-1 Torino

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Torino 0-1 Empoli

Torino suffered a set back in their quest for European football after Daniele Padelli's comedy own goal succumbed them to a narrow defeat against Empoli.

Alvaro Gonzalez made his first start for Torino in midfield, whilst Cristian Molinaro was surprisingly preferred to Bruno Peres in defence.

After just three minutes, Toro made the worst possible start as Daniele Padelli somehow managed to mis-kick a tame back pass from Emiliano Moretti into his own net.

Toro struggled to recovered from that set back, but could have been level when Omar El Kaddouri found space in the area, but his effort was denied by Luigi Sepe.

Empoli almost doubled their lead on the half hour mark, but Riccardo Saponara's header rebounded off the crossbar.

Toro improved in the second half, but Kamil Glik was unable to add to his impressive goal tally as his hooked volley went over the bar.

Fabio Quagliarella almost earned a point for the Granata, but Toro's top scorer was twice denied by the impressive Sepe, as Toro's hopes of a second successive season of European football was dealt a blow.

Forza Toro

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Torino V Empoli Preview

Torino can move into the Europa League places for the first time this season when they face Empoli at the Stadio Olimpio tomorrow afternoon.

This game was moved to the rather ridiculous kick off time off of 3pm local time on Wednesday afternoon due to Juventus' progression in the Champions League, and only a limited number of Toro fans will be able to attend the game due to crowd trouble at last months' Derby Della Mole.

Emiliano Moretti and Alessandro Gazzi are both back in the squad following suspension and should come straight back into the starting eleven - but Nikola Maksimovic and Maxi Lopez are both doubts.

Empoli are eleven points clear of the bottom three and last week's impressive 4-2 victory over Napoli has almost certainly guaranteed their Serie A status for next season. However, the Tuscan side have conceded at least two goals in their last five outings - which suggests their may be goals.

Forza Toro

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Palermo 2-2 Torino

Maxi Lopez had a late goal controversially ruled out as Torino followed up their derby victory with a well-earned point at Palermo.

Giampiero Ventura made six changes from the side that started against Juventus, as Cesare Bovo, Gaston Silva, Cristian Molinaro, Alexander Farnerud, Giuseppe Vives and Josef Martinez all came into the side.

The Granata made a poor start and were behind after only ten minutes when Roberto Vitiello stabbed home from close range following a corner. However, Palermo held the lead only temporarily as Bruno Peres equalised for Toro two minutes later with a fine finish from ten yards out.

Former Toro stopper Stefano Sorrentino had to turn a Josef Martinez half volley over the bar as Toro began to get into the game. But on twenty-five minutes, the home side re-gained the lead when Luca Rigoni was somehow left unmarked in the area to volley home.

It could have been worse for Torino, as just before half time, Siniša Andelkovic's bullet header rattled off the bar.

Omar El Kaddouri and Maxi Lopez both came off the bench as Toro looked for an equaliser, and the two combined instantly as the former's floating cross was turned in by the Argentine striker.

Paulo Dybala somehow missed an excellent chance for the Rosanero but the highly rated striker turned his effort wide of the post.

In the dying minutes, Toro thought they had found a winning goal as once again El Kaddouri found Maxi Lopez, who headed home, but the former Catania striker was harshly penalised for a foul on the defender.

This was a decent result by a Granata side still recovering from their exploits in the derby, and are now only two points away from the final Europa League place.

Forza Toro