Sunday, 10 April 2011

Albinoleffe 1-2 Torino

Torino's hopes of gaining a place in the playoffs are now in their own hands, after a hard fought victory at Albinoleffe, that gave Franco Lerda's team a third consecutive victory, and saw them move into fifth position.

Torino were dealt a blow before kick off, as captain and top scorer Rolando Bianchi was absent from the squad due to a slight muscle strain, whilst the injury is not thought to be a serious one, he was not risked as a precautionary measure. Bianchi's absence would have given Albinoleffe a boost, and it was the hosts that started the brightest, and Brazilian keeper Rubinho, who has been in sparkling form as of late was forced to make a great save from Pierre Giorgio Regonesi's long range free kick with just three minutes gone.

Torino's first opportunity fell to Mirco Antenucci, fresh from scoring the winner in Toro's last outing at home to Grosseto, but saw his effort saved by Luca Tomasig. Torino opened the scoring soon afterwards, via Biagio Pagano's fantastic looping header that narrowly beat the dive of Tomasig in the Albinoleffe goal. Albinoleffe equalised soon after half time, and despite his recent form, Rubinho will probably have to take the blame for the goal as he failed to deal with a corner, that allowed Luigi Sala to head into an unguarded net.

With the clock ticking down, it looked as though Torino would have to make do with a point, but with just three minutes left they got their winning goal, and for the second game in a row, it was Mirco Antenucci who scored it. The move started with an exquisite pass by Daniele De Vezze with the outside of his right foot that found Pagano on the right wing, the former Livorno winger cut back a cross for the on running Antenucci who placed it into the far corner.

At the time, the decision to rehire Franco Lerda after sacking him just eleven days previously seemed to be a strange one, but now, after three consecutive victories it seems it may have been an inspired decision, as Torino can start to dream of a return to Serie A, although there is still a long way to go before that is a reality.

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