Sunday, 31 March 2013

Torino 3-5 Napoli

Despite briefly leading the match with ten minutes to go, Torino fell to defeat in an eight goal thriller against Napoli at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening.

Giampiero Ventura decided to re-inforce the midfield against Napoli, so Migjen Basha made a rare start in a 4-3-3 formation. Rolando Bianchi was once again left on the bench, as Paulo Barreto was preferred as the main striker.
football formations
Napoli took the lead after ten minutes, when a short corner found Blerim Dzemaili on the edge of the area, and the former Torino midfielder hit a vicious shot that gave Jean-Francois Gillet no chance. Toro should have equalised five minutes later, but somehow former Napoli winger Mario Santana missed a free header from just six yards out.

However just before the half hour mark, Toro scored a deserved equaliser as Napoli failed to clear a corner, and the ball fell to Paulo Barreto who scored his first goal for the club - and his first in Serie A for over three years.

Eight minutes before half time, Napoli had an excellent chance to regain the lead as they were awarded a penalty after Matteo Darmian's clumsy foul on Christian Maggio. However, Marek Hamsik's low penalty was well saved by Gillet, and the scores remained level at the break.

But Napoli did not have long to wait in order to take the lead, as two minutes into the second half Blerim Dzemaili scored against his former team once again. Hamsik's made amends for his earlier penalty miss by cutting the ball back to the Swiss midfielder, and despite being fouled by Giuseppe Vives, he was able to side foot the ball into the bottom corner.

Giampiero Ventura made two changes in order to find an equaliser, as Riccardo Meggiorini and Salvatore Masiello came on to replace Vives and D'Ambrosio. And Meggiorini should have won a penalty for his team, after Paulo Cannavaro's reckless challenge on the striker, but referee Antonio Giannoccaro waved away Toro's appeals.

Toro were pressing for an equaliser, and came extremely close when Kamil Glik headed the ball back for Alessio Cerci, but the Italy international's volley went narrowly wide of the post. Torino were awarded a penalty of their own when Masiello's cross was handled by Napoli substitute Edinson Cavani. With regular penalty taker Rolando Bianchi on the bench, the responsibility fell to sub Jonathas, who despite not looking too confident, calmly dispatched the ball into the bottom corner to equalise.

Incredibly, Torino took the lead for the first time in the match four minutes later, when Riccardo Meggiorini capitalised on Miguel Britos's heavy touch to round Antonio Rosati and score his first home goal of the season. However, Napoli responded immediately and just ninety seconds later were level - as Juan Zuniga cut the ball back for an unmarked Dzemaili, who completed the unlikeliest of hat tricks with an outstanding finish with the outside of his right foot.

And just three minutes later Napoli took the lead once again, as Edinson Cavani showed why he is one of the most in demand players in world football by curling a 25 yard free kick past Gillet, who was once again helpless. With Toro chasing an equaliser, the Uruguayan was able to score again before the final whistle, as he converted Pablo Armero's fine cross with a glancing header in the ninetieth minute.

Whilst Torino may have only held the lead for two minutes, they will be extremely disappointed to get absolutely nothing from a game that they controlled for large periods. However, they certainly did contribute to arguably the most enjoyable Serie A match of the season, although their recent defensive struggles (thirteen goals conceded in five matches) will continue to be a worry. 

Forza Torino

1 comment:

  1. Excellent summing up of one of the most enjoyable games I have seen in a long time. It is not like me to enjoy a game that Toro lose, but it was hard not to enjoy that game.