Monday, 14 November 2011

Torino 1-1 Bari

Despite dominating the match, Torino could only manage a 1-1 draw in an ill-tempered match with Giampiero Ventura's former side Bari.

With Angelo Ogbonna away on international duty, Valerio Di Cesare and Francesco Pratali were the central defense partnership. whilst Manuel Iori returned to the midfield and Alessandro Sgrigna was preferred to Giulio Ebagua upfront.

Toro came close to opening the scoring in the opening stages, as Alessandro Sgrigna's corner found Francesco Pratali, but his header has volleyed over the crossbar by Andrea De Falco. It was Pratali's central defensive partner Valerio Di Cesare who had the next opportunity, but after a scramble in the six yard box, his scuffed shot was cleared off the line.

Torino continued to dominate, and it was Alessandro Sgrigna who came closest to scoring, when Bari failed to clear a corner, but his exquisite volley was saved by the foot of Bari keeper Eugenio Lamanna.

Then five minutes before half time, totally against the run of play, Torino were hit by the ultimate sucker punch as Bari took the lead. Full back Luca Ceppitelli's cross was deflected into the path of Marcos De Paula, who volleyed it into the net.

However, Torino were not behind for long as ten minutes into the second half, the Granata equalised. Manuel Iori's through ball found Mirco Antenucci who was being played onside by Diego Polenta, and Antenucci rounded the keeper with ease to score.

It was a quiet night for Toro skipper Rolando Bianchi, and he only had one chance in the game, but was unable to latch onto Francesco Pratali's long pass - and we will see later how the former Manchester City striker's night got even worse.

Bari were reduced to ten men when Diego Polenta - who had been given a torrid game by Alen Stevanovic, was dismissed for two yellow cards. However, ten minutes later, Torino were also reduced to ten men as Rolando Bianchi was given a straight red card for an elbow on Bari's Martino Borghese.

Borghese and Bianchi had been involved in a physical battle for the entire match, with the Bari defender consistently getting away with fouling the Torino striker, and when Bianchi finally retaliated, he was given his marching orders. It looked as though Borghese was holding the striker, and Bianchi then raised his arms in attempt to free himself, but it certainly did look like an elbow - though it must be said, Borghese deserves an Oscar nomination for his play acting, as his overreaction played a huge part in getting the Torino striker sent off.

Valerio Di Cesare twice came close to scoring a winning goal for Torino, but they had to make do with a point - and they now face the prospect of being without Rolando Bianchi for the next couple of games due to his suspension.

Forza Torino

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