Franco Lerda's return as Torino manager was a successful one as they enjoyed an emphatic 4-0 victory away at Ascoli, and gave their fans renewed hope of achieving a playoff birth. After a miserable one month period, in which Torino had lost four consecutive games, sacked two managers, and then rehired Franco Lerda, the man they had previously sacked, Torino's stylish return to winning ways was unexpected but long overdue.
Torino got off to an ideal start, with Rolando Bianchi ending his mini goal drought when he headed home after just seven minutes. On the stroke of half time, Torino doubled their lead, when Luciano Zavagno's fine cross found Bianchi whose bullet header gave the home goalkeeper no chance. Just sixty seconds into the second half, Torino got their third goal in fortunate circumstances after Alessandro Budel's free kick was diverted into his own net by Vasco Faísca.
However, the game was not over just yet, and Ascoli had an opportunity to gain a foothold in the match just one minute later when Claudio Rivalta's handball gave them a penalty. However, Luigi Giorgi saw his spot kick saved by Rubinho in the Torino goal, and when Mirco Antenucci added a fourth goal with a outstanding curling effort, the result was beyond doubt.
Whilst it would be wrong to ignore all the problems that led to Torino losing four consecutive games in the first place, this result will certainly give renewed hope that all may not be lost in this season. As things stand, Torino are just one point away from the final playoff position, and if the team can display the same degree of team spirit and quality that was shown in this match in their remaining fixtures, then there is no reason why they can't reach the playoffs.