Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Torino 0-1 Napoli

Torino's poor recent form continued as they fell to a fourth consecutive defeat after a controversial Gonzalo Higuain goal on Monday night.

Giampiero Ventura surprisingly chose to leave Alessio Cerci and Ciro Immobile on the bench, preferring instead to start with Paulo Barreto and Riccardo Meggiorini upfront. Elsewhere, Nikola Maksimovic started at right wing back, whilst Matteo Darmian was at left back.

It was Riccardo Meggiorini who had the first chance of the game for the Granata, and his half volley forced Pepe Reina into making a save. Toro came close to taking the lead when centre back Cesare Bovo unleashed a powerful shot from distance, but his effort hit the bar.

Toro continued to create the better chances in the second half, and Omar El Kaddouri forced Reina into making a save after a slaloming run. Napoli's first real chance came mid-way through the second half, as Gonzalo Higuain's shot from the edge of the area was saved by Daniele Padelli.

Torino hit the woodwork for the second time when Paulo Barreto played strike partner Riccardo Meggiorini through on goal, but the striker was denied his first goal of the season by the near post. Matteo Darmian came close moments later, but his long range shot was tipped over the bar by Reina.

Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci both came off the bench as Toro went in search of a winning goal and with twenty minutes remaining the former had the best chance of the match. Jasmin Kurtic won possession for Toro before pulling the ball back for Immobile, but somehow the unmarked Italy international blazed the ball over the bar from 12 yards out.

Immobile's former Pescara team mate Lorenzo Insigne came close at the other end, but he was denied by a superb one-handed save by Padelli. However in the 90th minute, Napoli scored an undeserved winner when Higuain raced paced Kamil Glik before firing past the Torino keeper. The Granata were furious with this goal, as replays showed that Higuain had tripped the Polish defender in the build up to the goal.

This was an extremely disappointing defeat for Torino, but they can be encouraged by the performance as they outplayed the team who are third in the league for the majority of the match. However, Toro have now gone four games without a point or even a goal, and Toro's hopes of a top ten finish are quickly fading.

Forza Toro

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