Monday, 29 April 2013

Torino 0-2 Juventus

Torino's long wait for a victory in the Derby della Mole will go on as they conceded two late goals to neighbours Juventus on Sunday afternoon.

As expected Salvatore Masiello and Migjen Basha replaced the suspended Matteo Darmian and Giuseppe Vives, however Riccardo Meggiorini was surprisingly preferred to Paulo Barreto upfront.

football formations
In the early stages, captain Rolando Bianchi - playing in what is likely to be his last Turin derby - got on the end of a long ball from defence but was unable to get a shot away. In dreadful conditions, both teams were struggling to create chances in what was always going to be a tense affair.

However, Juve should have taken the lead when Paul Pogba's delightful through ball found Mirko Vucinic, but the Montenegrin striker surprisingly shot wide. Granata keeper Gillet was twice forced into two saves, firstly from Claudio Marchisio's shot, and then from Stephan Lichtsteiner's teasing cross.

Just before half time Toro had their best chance of the half, when Gigi Buffon tipped Mario Santana's long range shot over the bar.

In the second half chances were even harder to come by, and Toro brought on Jonathas in search of a historic winning goal, whilst Valerio Di Cesare also came on to replace the injured Danilo D'Ambrosio.

Torino were grateful for an outstanding interception from Alessandro Gazzi to deny Leonardo Bonucci what would have been a certain goal. And then, with ten minutes remaining the home side and an outstanding chance themselves to end their goal drought in this fixture.

Alessio Cerci received the ball on the right wing after combining with Jonathas and Rolando Bianchi before delivering a right footed cross which the former just failed to make contact with. However, on the replays, it was clear to see that the Brazilian striker had in fact been pulled back by Bonucci, and that the Granata had been denied a certain penalty.

At the other end Paul Pogba missed an incredible chance to give Juve the lead, as he somehow diverted Kwado Asamoah's floated cross wide of the post from three yards. However, with five minutes remaining, the league leaders finally got the breakthrough as Arturo Vidal's 25 yard volley beat Gillet to break Torino hearts.

There was still time for Kamil Glik to be sent off - for the second time this season against Juventus  - after the Polish international received a second yellow card for a foul on Fabio Quagliarella. And to make things even worse, in injury time Juventus doubled their lead thanks to Claudio Marchisio's half volley.

Whilst it is beginning to get tiresome to write this after every match, Toro probably deserved at least a point from this game, and it took a world class striker from Arturo Vidal to break the deadlock. In addition, had Toro (rightfully) been awarded a penalty with ten minutes remaining and the scores level, then who knows we may have been celebrating our first victory against Juve since 1995. However, instead we must focus on the fact that Torino are now undoubtedly involved in a relegation battle, and are just four points above the drop zone, and face another tough fixture at AC Milan next week.

Forza Torino

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Torino V Juventus Preview

The narrative of the 227th edition of the Derby della Mole will be largely dependent on what happens in the Pescara-Napoli match on Saturday evening.

If the Partenopei fail to beat the league's bottom side, then Juventus will be able to capture their 29th scudetto by beating the Granata on Sunday afternoon. Given their recent form in this fixture, Torino fans are extremely worried that they could suffer the double blow of being plunged further into relegation trouble, and also simultaneously see their hated neighbours celebrate title success in their own stadium.

Therefore, every Toro fan (and also the Italian police) will be keeping fingers and everything else crossed that Napoli will beat Pescara tonight, and ensure that this scenario is not possible.

It is also very difficult to ignore Torino's recent form against Juventus, as they haven't beaten La Vecchia Signora since April 1995, and have not even scored against them in the last seven fixtures. These two stats do make troublesome reading for those of a Granata persuasion, but they may be buoyed by the fact that in the first derby of the season, they held their own before Kamil Glik's harsh red card before half time. Torino eventually lost 3-0 after second half goals from Turin born Claudio Marchisio (2) and Sebastian Giovinco.

Toro's recent league form (and poor defensive record) is also a worry, and with Matteo Darmian suspended, the inclusion of mistake-merchant Salvatore Masiello is enough to give every fan a sleepless night. One possibility could be to move Angelo Ogbonna - a rumoured transfer target of Juventus - over to left back, and bring in Guillermo Rodriguez to renew his successful defensive partnership with the reliable Kamil Glik.

In midfield, the inclusion of Matteo Brighi in the squad is certainly a boost, and whilst the former Juventus  player's best days may be behind him, Torino do seem to do better with him in the starting eleven. His return from injury could tempt Giampiero Ventura into switching from his usual 4-2-4 formation, and choosing to play Brighi, Migjen Basha and Alessandro Gazzi in a 4-3-3.

In attack, after his impressive performance in the 4-3 defeat at Fiorentina (where Toro fought back from 3-0 down before succumbing in the final five minutes) Paulo Barreto should have done enough to ensure that he will be included in the starting eleven. Ventura does seem to prefer the mobility of hardworking but goal-shy Riccardo Meggiorini, but if he does decide to play two strikers, many Toro fans will hope that captain Rolando Bianchi is given the nod - in what is likely to be his last Derby della Mole appearance.

A huge task is certainly ahead of the Granata to gain anything from this match, and in all honesty they would probably need a number of Juve players to seriously under perform in order to even earn a draw. However, that is what makes derby matches so special, in that every fixture is unique - and whilst it may be a massive cliché, the form book truly goes out of the window.

However, I think I speak for every Toro supporter when I say that as long as every player gives everything they have on the field tomorrow afternoon, then realistically - given the vast difference in budgets between the two teams - nobody will be too surprised if they fail to win.

Forza Torino

Maratona and Elsewhere #10 : "Balzaretti gets the bird"

Torino 1-2 Roma 14.04.13

I was talking with my dolce metà (literally, “sweet half”) about having difficulties composing this piece, if you’ll forgive me for using a verb as grandiose as “compose” to describe my ramblings. She asked me what the English expressions were for “ blocco dello scrittore” and “sindrome pagina bianca”. The fact they translate perfectly into English did not help much. I thought for a moment that writer’s cramp would have been preferable, but then it occurred to me that I wasn’t actually writing. Writer’s cramp probably no longer exists in the twenty-first century in the developed world, having been superseded by carpal tunnel syndrome and texter’s thumb. The travails of a blog hijacker…

Yet another Sunday afternoon that left an unpleasant aftertaste: there was violence before the match; during, a homecoming that Federico Balzaretti will not remember with much fondness aside from Roma’s three points; and Angelo Ogbonna suffering from foot-in-mouth disease in an interview afterwards.

The Maratona chanted: “you only have knives… we’ll fight you with our hands whenever you like.” It transpired that two Toro fans were stabbed outside the stadium during disturbances before the game. The Corriere dello Sport reported that the injured Toro fans were attacked by other Toro fans. This is highly unlikely, to put it mildly. There were fans of at least one other club present, camouflaged in Torino FC shirts. This was certainly disquieting on the day, and bodes ill for the derby.

Federico Balzaretti. Torino-born, Torino-bred. Ten years in a Torino shirt. Captain of the Primavera. Ninety-four appearances for the first team. Twenty-seven appearances for the national team at U-20 and U-21. A player of considerable talent. A future Granata legend-in-the-making. And then when the club collapsed in 2005, he joined… Juventus. For this lapse of judgement (betrayal, sacrilege, call it what you will), extenuating circumstances notwithstanding, he will never be forgiven.

His reception left no room for doubt.  My regular reader will be perfectly aware of the welcome given to ex-Juventini and the selections from the Maratona songbook reserved for special guests. Said songs were delivered with particular malice on this occasion, and his dismissal after 80 minutes was celebrated with quite some relish. Which, as Marina Beccuti pointed out in her article at, may serve as a warning to Angelo Ogbonna, who has still not given a straight answer to the Juventus question.

In the aforementioned interview, it was put to him that Toro could win the derby and he laughed. As one can imagine, reaction to this gaffe was swift and brutal. Facebook, for example, lit up like a Christmas tree, with many angry comments, of which perhaps the most eloquent went approximately as follows (my translation):

“More than 10 years with us. Vice-Captain. And when a journalist hypothesises a remote chance of winning the derby you burst out laughing? "… but for the people it’s important." GOD! SURELY IT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU TOO! Enough, for me it's over. Our colours are not to be mocked by anyone. Good luck for a lousy career.”

There has certainly been growing appreciation and support for Guillermo Rodriguez’ performances in Ogbonna’s injury- and suspension-enforced absences this season. The figures tell part of the story:

Our record this season to date with Ogbonna in the starting 11:

P 16  W 3  D 5  L 8  F 22  A 29  Pts 14  GD -7

Our record this season to date without Ogbonna in the starting 11:

P 16  W 5  D 8  L 3  F 18  A 15  Pts 23  GD +3

Part of me wonders if Cairo has been telling Ventura to pick Ogbonna when and wherever possible, regardless of Rodriguez’ form, in the hope that his performances improve and his transfer value increases. Problem is, if his poor performances continue the value of the team decreases. Watch the rats mercenaries players leaving sinking ships at Pescara, Palermo and Genoa/Siena when relegation hits them over the next few weeks in order to avoid the €300k Serie B salary cap next season, and think “that could be us”.

Our next home game is, of course the small matter of the derby.  We haven’t won a derby in a generation. We haven’t even scored in one since the 2001/2 season. And there is the nightmarish possibility that they could win the scudetto at the Olimpico. My worst-case scenario: they win the scudetto, their fans invade the pitch to celebrate, we invade the pitch to (shall we say) remonstrate with them, we are handed a points deduction and are relegated as a result. I will be a Napoli supporter when they take on Pescara, as a Napoli victory would (at the time of typing) postpone the seemingly inevitable. As will a Juventino of my acquaintance who told me he won’t attend the derby if Juve can win the scudetto, as he knows that there is violence planned before the game. Lucky the extra stewards drafted in are temps from Manpower, ne? (Local dialect for “innit?”)

I said upon winning promotion last May that I would quite happily settle for 17th in Serie A this season. Fortunately my hair had already turned white and/or fallen out. We’re doing this the hard way. Rumours of my allegiance changing to Duck Farm Chieri women’s volleyball team are not totally untrue. I will be taking more of an interest in them in future, as they are fine athletes and I now have a shirt autographed by four of their players. That said, I was given a signed Ogbonna shirt about a month ago. Will wait until September before deciding what to do with it.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Fiorentina 4-3 Torino

Torino came back from 3-0 down before falling to a heartbreaking defeat against Fiorentina on Sunday afternoon.

Despite scoring in his last two appearances, Rolando Bianchi was left on the bench as Giampiero Ventura picked and Paulo Barreto and Riccardo Meggiorini to start upfront. Elsewhere, Danilo D'Ambrosio started at left back with Salvatore Masiello being dropped.
football formations
Despite making a promising start, the Granata were behind after only eight minutes when Juan Cuadrado waltzed through the Torino defence before delivering an exquisite chip over the despairing Jean Francois Gillet. 

It got worse for Toro less than ten minutes later, as Fiorentina doubled their lead when Borja Valero's perfect cross found an unmarked Alberto Aquilani whose bullet header flew pass Gillet. However, much like the first goal, the Belgian keeper did get a hand to the ball, and he may be disappointed that he was unable save it.

And with just over thirty minutes gone, the game seemed to be well and truly over when Adem Ljajic dispatched an excellent 20 yard free kick into the top corner. The Viola could have even increased Toro's humiliation with a fourth goal, but on this occasion Gillet did well to save Valero's low shot.

However, on the stroke of half time, Mario Santana capitalised on a rare mistake from the Fiorentina midfield before setting up Paulo Barreto, who finished with style to reduce the deficit. And ten minutes after the break, the chances of Toro completing a remarkable comeback were enhanced when the Argentine started (and then finished) and outstanding move as he fired home from the edge of the area.

Even the home crowd were starting to sense that the unthinkable was about to happen, and they had goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano to thank for keeping them in the lead, as he made a great save from substitute Rolando Bianchi's header.

However, with fifteen minutes remaining Toro did get a deserved equaliser, and it was perhaps inevitable that it was former Fiorentina player Alessio Cerci who got the goal. Despite having a poor game by his standards, he produced a moment of quality by curling an unstoppable left footed shot into the top corner from almost 30 yards out.

Just as Toro were beginning to think they had done enough to rescue a point, with five minutes remaining Fiorentina were able to find a winning goal, as the ball ricocheted kindly to Romulo in the area, and he kept his cool to give the home side three vital points.

Matteo Darmian received a second yellow card for a foul on Cuadrado in injury time, and that means that he will now miss the derby against Juventus next week. That upcoming game could explain why Toro started this game so slowly, and whilst the team must be given credit for the way they fought back in the second half, their defensive insecurities continues to be a major worry.

Forza Torino

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Fiorentina V Torino Preview

Torino travel to Tuscany on Sunday afternoon in search of their first away win since a 2-0 victory at Pescara on January 20th.

The Granata are still not safe from the drop, and although they are eight points clear of the bottom three, they face difficult games against Juventus and Milan after to trip to Fiorentina. This game will be another chance for Alessio Cerci to get revenge on his former club, and the winger has already scored against the Viola in the reverse fixture back in November.

Vincenzo Montella has done a fine job at Fiorentina since taking over in the summer, and they still have their eyes on qualifiying for the Champions League as they are only four points behind 3rd placed Milan. Much of their success has been built on their outstanding home form, as they have only lost one match at the Artemio Franchi all season, somewhat surprisingly against bottom side Pescara in January.

Match Prediction
Fiorentina 1-1 Torino

Monday, 15 April 2013

Torino 1-2 Roma

Torino fell to a second successive home defeat as they were beaten 2-1 by Roma on Sunday afternoon, despite dominating for much of the game.

Rolando Bianchi was rewarded for his last gasp goal at Bologna as the captain returned to the starting eleven, but somewhat surprisingly, he partnered Riccardo Meggiorini and not Paulo Barreto upfront.
football formations
Argentine winger Erik Lamela had Roma's first opportunity, but despite getting in front of Salvatore Masiello, the former River Plate player blazed his effort over the crossbar. However mid-way through the first half the away side did take the lead, as Toro failed to defend a short corner properly, and that allowed full back Federico Balzaretti the space to provide an inch-perfect cross for Pablo Osvaldo whose looping header beat Gillet.

Toro almost responded immediately, as former Roma player Alessio Cerci suddenly discovered that he possessed Beckham-like ability from free kicks, but was incredibly unlucky to see his effort bounce back off the post. 

But on the half hour make the Granata did score a deserved equaliser, when the ball fell kindly for Rolando Bianchi in the area, and the captain struck a fierce volley past Maarten Stekelenburg from six yards out. Former Toro defender Balzaretti was receiving a far amount of abuse from the fans he once called his own (before he betrayed them and signed for Juve) and just before half time he was lucky to stay on the pitch after an elbow on Giuseppe Vives, but he was only given a yellow card.

In the second half, Alessio Cerci once again came agonisingly close with a free kick, however this time he was denied by a fine Stekelenburg save as the Dutch international tipped the ball on to the crossbar. 

Roma brought on Francesco Totti in an attempt to regain the lead, and within five minutes he provided the assist for Erik Lamela to put Roma ahead. However, whilst on paper the assist will go down to Totti, in reality it was an outstanding solo effort from the talented Argentine, as he dribbled to the edge of the area before curling an exquisite left footed shot past a helpless Gillet.

Despite only having a brief cameo in this match, Totti was still able to show that even at 36 years of age he is still one of the best players in Serie A, as he twice forced Gillet into making good saves. With ten minutes remaining Toro's hopes of an equaliser were increased when Balzaretti was finally dismissed after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Cerci.

Toro gave everything in search of an equaliser, but it was nearly an own goal that drew the home side level when substitute Alessandro Florenzi almost sliced Danilo D'Ambrosio's cross into his own net. With the final kick of the match, Angelo Ogbonna let fly from 30 yards, but the ball deflected off Paulo Barreto and went harmlessly wide. 

Despite still being eight points clear of the drop zone, Toro are continuing to give their fans a fright by not finding the victory that should guarantee their place in Serie A for another season. The Granata have only picked up 5 points from a possible 21 since beating Atalanta in February, and a similar run of form in the final six fixtures could see Toro dragged into the mire once more.

Forza Torino

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Torino V Roma Preview

After Rolando Bianchi's dramatic last second equaliser against Bologna last weekend, Torino will be hoping to carry that momentum over to Sunday's match against Roma.

Migjen Basha is suspended, so there will have to be at least one change from the Bologna match, and Giuseppe Vives is likely to be the player to replace the Albanian international. Rolando Bianchi will hope that his aforementioned goal will be enough to earn himself a promotion to the starting eleven, but Jonathas or Riccardo Meggiorini could be selected ahead of the captain to partner the in-form Paulo Barreto.

Daniele De Rossi limped out of the Rome derby on Monday night, but the tenacious midfielder has been included in the squad. The giallorossi still have aspirations of qualifying for the Europa League next season, however if that is to happen, they will have to perform better than they did in their last away match when they lost 2-0 at struggling Palermo.

Torino 2-2 Roma

Friday, 12 April 2013

Maratona and Elsewhere #9 : A sickening sitting on your balls.

Torino 3-5 Napoli - 30.03.13

It had been raining all day and I was feeling apprehensive, hence the above tweet. Fortunately the rain eased off around six o’clock, so it was possible to be sociable for a little while outside the stadium (a beer, a Borghetti; a quick snifter of Sambuca for those who like the stuff) before making our way inside. There seemed to be a larger crowd than usual, which led to cries of “Dove eravate?!” (“Where were you?!”) from some of the ultras. I have been ever-present in the league at home this season, but my voice hadn’t yet warmed up, so not guilty. It’s fair point, though: fair-weather fans do piss me off. I was there, using the metaphor of freezing my balls off when Gubbio came to town last season in Serie B, while less-committed (and warmer) people stayed at home.

Once inside the stadium, however, it became clear that most of the extra people through the turnstiles were Neapolitans who live in Turin. We have FIAT to thank for the presence in Turin of large numbers of people from the south of Italy. There was a massive post-World War II influx of meridionali, who came to work for the dark side, building the Cinquecento and Seicento. They were not exactly welcomed with open arms. They were considered to be dirty, noisy, lazy, short in stature, and disorganised by northern Italian standards. Indeed, signs could be seen in shops declaring “no dogs or Napuli”.

I knew previously of this immigration from the south but I hadn’t considered the prejudice and stereotyping that must have been associated with it. But it happens. It happens in England, too, where Liverpudlians are considered by some to be (how can I put this discreetly?) light-fingered and Yorkshiremen are careful with money. In Italy we have the Genovesi inventing the transparent fridge door, to make sure the light’s off so they know they aren’t wasting electricity, and anything badly constructed was made by a Bergamasco.

So, in the minutes leading up to kick-off, when virtually everybody was jumping - “chi non salta bianconero è!” – I was happy; we had a stadium united. But then it was “Odio Napoli” and “Napoli, vaffanculo!” which made my heart sink a little. That said, there was no Venaria-style “let Vesuvius erupt”, as I confidently predicted in M&E#8.

There are some people in Italian football for whom I have a soft spot. Napoli’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis is one of them. He has a passion for football, a sense of theatre and a sense of humour, and he’s an outspoken critic of the supine / cretinous / corrupt football authorities in this country. I would swap him for Cairo at a stroke. I also like Mazzari’s team; they play some good stuff. I don’t, however, like Mazzari’s players as individuals. They strike me as cowards. Their club President may be from a family of film-makers, but their job is to play football, not to be actors. They are underhand in terms of making or feigning off-the-ball kicks and elbows when nobody in a high-visibility yellow shirt is watching, and they display complete and utter contempt when a decision is given in favour of the other team. It saddens me to think that these guys are probably the only ones with even an outside chance of preventing Venaria Town from being awarded another scudetto. No class. If we could afford Cavani or Hamsik and there was a chance of them joining us, however, I would probably be able to hold my nose and forgive them: “he’s a flawed genius, that’s all!”

I can forgive them a little for showing dissent when the referee is a buffoon, though. It’s becoming a little tiresome talking about incompetent officiating, so from now on I’ll try to praise a particular official if he (I don’t think there are any female officials in Serie A; I could be wrong) does something praiseworthy. Step forward Andrea Gervasoni who, as the 5th official on the goal-line, awarded us a penalty that referee Danilo Giannoccaro wasn’t going to give. Please see Carlo Quaranta’s excellent article at for an in-depth critique of Giannoccaro’s performance.

That penalty (converted by Jonathas) and the Meggiorini’s goal soon afterwards that gave us the lead for two minutes were celebrated with such gusto that an impartial observer might have thought something important had happened. Perhaps it had? We belong at this level. That moment felt like “HEARD YOU MISSED US! WE’RE BACK!”. And, while we’re not yet mathematically safe, there is confidence that we can stay where we feel we belong.

The game was remarkable in many ways, though for most of those one would require the services of an idiot savant. It was the first time since 1993 that all three Toro strikers scored in the same match. That’s a pretty damning statistic. It was the first time Barreto had scored a Serie A goal for yonks - the yonk is the S.I. unit of goalscoring time and is equivalent to 144 donkey’s years - and the Meggiorini scored against a team not called Inter. It was the first game Torino had ever lost 3-5. I saw a foul throw in Italy penalised for the first time. Il gattone saved his first penalty in a Torino shirt, which was also the first penalty Napoli have conceded this season, whereas we are two away from equalling the all-time record…

… and a certain Blerim Dzemaili scored his first Serie A hat-trick against his former club, the first of which at least would ordinarily have landed in Row Z . He once played for a club called  'Young Fellows Juventus' in Zurich, strangely enough. Glöckner von scheisse.

Antonio Conte was allegedly in attendance, too. Why? Hopefully planning for a first derby defeat in a generation – not that he has any previous in match-fixing – but perhaps he was taking his cat for a walk. (It’s on his head.) His presence didn’t go unnoticed. References to excrement come as standard. Online translation services are available should the reader need assistance with “bastardo parruccato pluricondannato”. That’s what I shout when I hear his voice on the radio.

Any other business? We’re becoming adept at throwing away leads. We lose concentration after restarts: we conceded two minutes after half-time and two minutes after taking the lead. We have no ball out of defence if we have nine defending a corner and they have two guys on Cerci. He was very poor against Napoli, by the way. The most energy I saw him expend all night was when he ran to the Meggiorini to celebrate the third goal. I hope it’s not a case of blood rushing to his ego after his debut for the national side. We missed Brighi in midfield and must get his contract sorted prestissimo. Brighi would not have allowed Dzemaili as much space as Basha did. It was nice to see a different formation, but I would have liked to have seen Bakic (of whom I’ve heard great things) for once instead of Beavis. I mean, Vives.

A bittersweet evening, insomma. Eight goals, much incident, generous applause from the Maratona to the players and vice versa, but no points. A bit like sitting on your balls: you feel sick, but you’re glad you have them. Glad I was there to see it.

Steve is a season ticket holder who moved to Torino in 2009 after meeting a Torinese lady called Raffaella on Facebook - you can follow Steve on Twitter here.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Bologna 2-2 Torino

Substitute Rolando Bianchi scored with the last kick of the game in order to earn Torino a valuable point away to Bologna on Saturday evening.

Toro lined up in their trademark 4-2-4 formation, with Riccardo Meggiorini rewarded for his goal against Napoli by starting upfront, whilst Angelo Ogbonna replaced the suspended Guillermo Rodriguez at the back.

football formations
Alessio Cerci had Torino's first opportunity of the game, but after cutting in on his left foot as he has done so often this season, his shot was turned round the post by Gianluca Curci.

However after 25 minutes the Granata did take the lead, when Curci failed to deal with Mario Santana's long range strike, and Paulo Barreto was on hand to head in from one yard out - his second goal in as any games.

Bologna thought they had equalised before half time, when Panagiotis Kone calmly chipped the ball over Jean-Francois Gillet, but the referee disallowed the goal for a foul by Alberto Gilardino on Angelo Ogbonna in the build up.

However, midway through the second half Bologna did get their equaliser, when Archimede Morleo's excellent cross was headed in by Kone, and this time nobody was taking the goal away from the Greek midfielder.

Toro brought on strikers Rolando Bianchi and Jonathas in order to find a winning goal that would probably haved fired them to safety, and the latter had an excellent chance from twelve yards out,  but the Brazilian miscued his shot wide of the post.

And the home side made Torino pay for that miss, as just five minutes before half time the ball fell to Tiberio Guarente (who had only been on the pitch for four minutes) and the midfielder fired a powerful left footed shot past Gillet from the edge of the area.

However, there was still time for the Granata to find an equaliser as in the final minute of injury time Danilo D'Ambrosio fired the ball across goal  to find an unmarked Rolando Bianchi who gratefully tapped the ball into the roof of the net from four yards out.

With Torino facing Roma, Fiorentina, Juventus and Milan in their next four games, this was an extremely important point as the Granata seem to be slowly moving towards survival. The winning goal was also extremely vital for Rolando Bianchi, as in the Torino captain's struggle to be awarded a new contract at the end of the season, this late goal was a timely reminder of what he can provide to the team.

Forza Torino

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Bologna V Torino Preview

After last Saturday's incredibly entertaining match against Napoli, Torino would probably settle for a less enthralling game against Bologna if the end result was a positive one.

Guillermo Rodriguez is suspended, so Angelo Ogbonna should return to the back four - whilst Riccardo Meggiorini and Jonathas will be pushing for starting births after scoring against Napoli.

Like Torino, Bologna should be safe from any relegation trouble - as key men Alessandro Diamanti and Alberto Gilardino have provided the goals to move them up to 12th position, two places above Toro. Whilst Bologna did lose their last home game against Juventus, they had won their two previous home games against Cagliari and Fiorentina.

Bologna 1-1 Torino