Monday, 5 November 2012

Napoli 1-1 Torino

Football really can be a strange game, as Gianluca Sansone - the villain after being sent off last weekend against Parma, scored an injury time equaliser to earn Torino a deserved point at the San Paulo on Sunday afternoon.

Toro only made two changes from the side that earned a creditable 1-1 draw at Lazio on Wednesday as Migjen Basha and Giuseppe Vives replaced Matteo Brighi and Mario Santana.
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However, the Granata made the worst possible start and were behind after only six minutes when the returning Edinson Cavani gave the home side the lead. The Toro defence switched off as Hugo Campagnaro's long throw found an unmarked Marek Hamsik, and his shot was parried straight to the Uruguayan striker by the usually reliable Jean-Francois Gillet.

Toro reacted well after going behind, and came very close to scoring an equaliser ten minutes later as Alessio Cerci's cross found Rolando Bianchi, but his bullet header was well saved by Napoli keeper Morgan De Sanctis. Napoli could have doubled their lead when Goran Pandev's long range shot was deflected by Kamil Glik, but luckily for Toro, the ball went wide of the post.

On the stroke of half time, Alessandro Gazzi made a crucial last-ditch tackle to prevent former Torino player Blerim Dzemaili shooting from long range, however he was injured whilst making the challenge and had to be replaced by Matteo Brighi at the break.

With Napoli aware of Torino's counter attacking threat, they allowed Torino to dominate possession, and this looked to be a dangerous tactic as the Granata grew in confidence. A quickly taken free kick from Giuseppe Vives almost gave Alessandro Sgrigna a chance to equalise, but the experienced striker failed to make contact with the ball. 

The away side continued to create half-chances, but when Alessio Cerci blazed over the bar and substitute Mario Santana's long range shot was straight at De Sanctis, it looked as though they wouldn't get the point their second half play had merited.

And Napoli should have put the result beyond any doubt moments later when Lorenzo Insigne robbed the ball from Matteo Darmian and put Marek Hamsik through on goal, but after rounding Gillet, the Slovakian midfielder could only hit the post from a difficult angle.

And then in injury time, Napoli were punished for that miss as a dreadful back pass from substitute Salvatore Aronica put Gianluca Sansone through on goal - and he was able to round De Sanctis and calmly pass the ball into the net to earn Toro a deserved point.

This impressive result increased Torino's unbeaten record away from home to six matches, but after losing their last two home matches - Torino will hope to improve their form at the Stadio Olimpico, starting next Sunday against Bologna.

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