Thursday, 9 May 2013

Torino 0-0 Genoa

In Italian football, the 'biscotto' is a term that is often used to describe an end of season game where a certain result is mutually beneficial to both teams. It would be extremely difficult to deny that last night's goalless draw with fellow relegation strugglers Genoa was in fact a 'biscotto'.

Now in the three years since I started this blog, I believe this is the first time this type of match has occurred,  so I'm not quite sure how to go about writing a match report of this game. However, I will begin with my usual match report, and then discuss afterwards the morality of the 'biscotto'.

Giampiero Ventura surprisingly decided to keep faith with the 5-3-2 formation that he played against AC Milan, although Rolando Bianchi was preferred to Paulo Barreto upfront and Kamil Glik returned to the defence after suspension.

football formations
Torino were struggling to adapt to their more defensive formation, and that meant chances were hard to come by in the first half, but Rolando Bianchi came closest to giving the Granata the lead when he received Matteo Brighi's pass, but unfortunately put his shot wide off the post.

At the start of the second half, a nice flick from Bianchi gave striker partner Alessio Cerci an opportunity to strike on goal, but his shot was easily saved by Sebastien Frey. Substitute Valter Birsa - who is actually on loan from Genoa - came close to giving Toro all three points with a free kick which went narrowly over the bar. In injury time, Migjen Basha's through ball found Paulo Barreto - although the Brazilian striker's shot grazed the top of the bar and went out of play.

As you can see, not much at happened in this match, and understandably so the Granata fans showed their displeasure at the final whistle. So, was this a case of match fixing? Or was it just that with 18th placed Palermo losing, a draw was a result that suited both teams? I would tend to agree with the latter, and whilst we might not like or agree with it, the 'biscotto' can be common place in Italian football - especially towards the end of the season.

Whilst yesterday should have been a day of great celebration for Torino fans, as they have almost secured their Serie A status for another season (one point in their final two games is all Toro need to avoid relegation) the way in which it was secured does leave a bad taste in the mouth. However, it must also be said, that Palermo did have the chance to have the final laugh and close the gap on both Toro and Genoa last night, but failed to beat Udinese at home. 

Hopefully Torino can try and put this somewhat farcical match behind them when they face Chievo on Sunday, and try and secure their Serie A survival because of an impressive victory, and not because a draw of convenience.

No comments:

Post a comment