Sunday, 30 October 2011

Torino 2-1 Empoli

Torino returned to winning ways and extended their lead at the top of the Serie B table, as they came from behind to beat Empoli 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.

Toro made a number of changes to the side that lost at Gubbio, with Valerio Di Cesare, Migjen Basha, Juan Surraco and Giulio Ebagua all coming into the team.

Torino had the first opportunity in the match after some incisive wing play by Alen Stevanovic enabled him to charge into the area and unleash a shot at goal that was tipped over the bar by Alberto Pelagotti in the Empoli goal. And the away side's keeper also did well to deny Rolando Bianchi, as he turned the Torino Captain's effort around the post.

However, it was Empoli who took the lead just ten minutes before the half time interval, with a fantastic strike from Flavio Lazzari. The midfielder received the ball 20 yards out, and sold a fantastic dummy to get past Valerio Di Cesare who had attempted to close him down, before unleashing an outstanding left footed shot into the top corner.

At half time, Giampiero Ventura brought on Mirco Antenucci to replace the ineffective Juan Surraco, and the former Catania man made an instant impact as just five minutes into the second half, Toro were level. Antenucci found himself with oceans of room on the left hand side in the penalty area, and got to the byline, before cutting the ball back to the grateful Giulio Ebagua who slid the ball home from three yards out.

And Antenucci almost had a goal for himself moments later, as he curled a fantastic shot towards goal from just inside the area, but was denied by Pelagotti. However, Toro didn't have long to wait to take the lead because with 25 minutes remaining, they got their second goal from an unlikely source.

A corner was whipped in from the left, and Rolando Bianchi's header was initially saved by the fantastic Alberto Pelagotti, however Matteo Darmian was the quickest to react as he hooked the ball into the net to give Toro the lead.

Ferdinando Coppola redeemed himself for his awful error against Gubbio, as he made a good save from Mirko Valdifiori's shot, and at the other end, Bianchi and Antenucci both spurned chances to extend Torino's lead.

However, in the end it didn't matter as Torino held on to the three points, and are now four points clear of Zdenek Zeman's Pescara at the top of the league, ahead of a difficult visit to Reggina on Tuesday.

Forza Torino.

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