Thursday, 1 September 2011

Torino 1-1 Cittadella

Torino could only hold on to their lead for three minutes, as Cittadella fought back to gain to deserved point at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night.

There was a lot of optimism surrounding Torino, after their impressive win at Ascoli at the weekend, as well as the fact they were able to retain key players Angelo Ogbonna and Rolando Bianchi in the transfer window.

However, Torino did not start the game well, and they looked a shadow of the team that were victorious on Saturday. Perhaps one of the reasons for their slow start was because there were six changes to the side that started in Ascoli, with D'Ambrosio, Di Cesare, Zavagno, Vives, Oduamadi and Antenucci all gaining starts.

Another reason for their poor start could be that Torino underestimated Cittadella, and assumed that this would be an academic home victory, they were wrong, as for much of the game, it was Cittadella who looked like the team challenging for promotion.

Torino had the opening chance of the match, when Nnamdi Oduamadi, broke free on the left wing, but his right footed shot hit the side netting. Cittadella should of taken the lead minutes later through striker Robert Maah, but his free header went wide of the target. Maah turned provider soon afterwards, as Cittadella broke away on a quick counter attack, and his pass found Thomas Job, but the midfielder slipped and his tame shot went harmlessly wide.

It was then Torino's turn to miss an easy chance, as Rolando Bianchi failed to make contact with Danilo D'Ambrosio's cross from six yards, when it had seemed easier to score.

The second half began in similar fashion to the first, as both sides were guilty of inept finishing. Once again Bianchi had a great chance to open the scoring, but after being set up by strike partner Mirco Antenucci, the captain dragged his shot wide of the post. Next up it was Cittadella's captain, Tommaso Bellazzini who entered the 'How not to finish a chance when ideally placed' competition, as he, like so many before him, dragged his shot wide.

Finally, in the 81st minute, the deadlock was finally broken as Torino took the lead in bizarre fashion. After a long goal kick from Toro keeper Ferdinando Coppola, substitute Alessandro Sgrigna forced his way into the area, and his shot hit the arm of opposition keeper Alex Cordaz and slowly rolled into the net.

However, just three minutes later, Cittadella were level, and much like the opening goal of the match, this goal could accurately be described as a fluke. It was substitute Nunzio Di Roberto who scored the goal, after converting Robert Maah's cross, but it looked as though the ball just hit Di Roberto's standing foot, before agonizingly looping into the corner of the net.

The game finished 1-1, and after taking the lead, Torino will be disappointed that they did not hold on to all three points, but overall it was certainly a fair result. The match will also have given Toro coach Giampiero Ventura a much clearer indication of what his strongest eleven is, and in Sunday's home match against Varese, we should see what Ventura believe his strongest team to be, now that the majority of the squad have been given game time.

Forza Torino

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