Monday, 28 April 2014

Torino 2-0 Udinese

Torino now hold European qualification in their own hands after a convincing 2-0 victory over Udinese moved them into 6th place.

As expected,  Alessio Cerci returned from suspension to lead the line upfront alongside Serie A Capocannoniere Ciro Immobile upfront.

The Granata made a perfect start after just fifteen minutes, when Omar El Kaddouri cut in from the left wing before firing a low shot past Simone Scuffet. Toro almost doubled their lead soon afterwards, but Emiliano Moretti's header from a Ciro Immobile cross was off target.

The Granata finally did double their lead just before the hour mark, when Serbian defender Nikola Maksimovic threaded a perfect through ball to Immobile who scored his 21st goal of a remarkable campaign.

Riccardo Meggiorini replaced Ciro Immobile with twenty minutes remaining, and the hardworking striker almost scored his first goal of the season but he was denied by Scuffet. Opponents Udinese rarely threatened the Granata and were largely restricted to long range efforts, and Torino can only hope that their remaining three games are as straightforward as this one.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Torino v Udinese Preview

Torino will face Udinese on Sunday afternoon knowing that a victory is essential in order to keep their Europa League hopes alive.

After last weekend's 3-3 draw against Lazio when they conceded in the 94th minute, Toro will be hoping for a less dramatic ending against Udinese. Alessio Cerci returns to squad after suspension, whilst Marcelo Larrondo is also available for selection after missing the majority of the season due to injury.

Udinese picked up an impressive result over Easter by drawing with Napoli, but are destined to finish in mid-table after a disappointing overall campaign. The away side will be without Antonio Di Natale for this game, Colombian striker Luis Muriel should deputise.

Torino 1-0 Udinese

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Lazio 3-3 Torino

For the second week in succession there was injury time drama, but this time Torino conceded in the fourth minute of injury time to draw 3-3 with Lazio.

As expected, Matteo Darmian returned to the starting eleven as he replaced Marko Vesovic in defence, whilst there were also starts for Jasmin Kurtic and Riccardo Meggiorini.

Antonio Candreva had the first chance for the home side, but he was denied by Daniele Padelli when through on goal. At the other end, Cesare Bovo came close to giving Toro the lead but his free kick rattled the crossbar.

Padelli was once again forced into action, this time to deny Stefan Radu, whose a long range effort looked to be heading into the top corner. However just before half time, the hosts took the lead when Toro failed to deal with a set piece and Stefano Mauri was on hand to head home from close range.

However, seven minutes into the second half the Granata were level when excellent work from Riccardo Meggiorini set up Jasmin Kurtic, and the Slovenian midfielder scored his first goal for the club.

Lazio regained the lead ten minutes later when Keita was fouled in the area by Padelli, and Antonio Candreva nonchalantly converted from the spot with a 'panenka' penalty. But Toro once again demonstrated their resilient nature of late, as they equalised once again, this time through former Roma man Panagiotis Tachtsidis.

Lazio were then reduced to ten men when defender Diego Novaretti received two yellow cards in quick succession. In the 89th minute, Ciro Immobile thought he had won the game for Toro when he fired a shot past Etrit Berisha but once again their was late drama.

In the dying moments, Felipe Anderson's long range shot fell into the path on Antonio Candreva who was narrowly played onside by Matteo Darmian, and the Italian international scored to deny Torino a crucial victory.

Torino are now three points away from 6th placed Parma in the final Europa League place, but face the Gialloblu in the penultimate game of the season - in what could effectively be a playoff for European football.

Forza Toro!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Lazio v Torino Preview

After last Sunday's sensational comeback victory against Genoa, Torino return to action on Saturday afternoon to face fellow Europa League hopefuls Lazio.

Torino will be without Alessio Cerci, who picked up a yellow card for his jubilant celebrations following his winning goal last weekend, and is therefore suspended. However, Matteo Darmian returns to the squad following a suspension of his own, but following Marko Vesovic's impressive performance last week a return to the starting line up may not be a given.

Lazio come into this game level on points with Toro, and had won their last two games before succumbing to a 4-2 defeat at Napoli last Sunday.

Lazio 2-1 Torino

Monday, 14 April 2014

Torino 2-1 Genoa

Torino scored two goals in injury time to clinch one of the most dramatic victories in recent history against Genoa on Sunday afternoon.

Matteo Darmian's suspension meant that Marko Vesovic made a rare start at left wing back, but other than that, the Torino starting eleven was as expected.

Andrea Bertolacci had the first chance of the game for the visitors, but the midfielder's long range effort was tipped over the bar by Daniele Padelli.

At the other end, an excellent chipped pass by Ciro Immobile put Alessio Cerci through on goal, but the former Fiorentina man was denied by Mattia Perin.

Genoa almost took the lead in bizarre fashion when Kamil Glik's back header went over Daniele Padelli's head, but the Toro keeper made a miraculous recovery to stop the ball crossing the line and keep the scores level.

With five minutes remaining it looked as though Genoa would snatch an undeserved victory when Stefano Sturaro's cross was converted by substitute Alberto Gilardino at the far post.

However, in the first minute of injury time Torino scored an equaliser when Capocannoniere Ciro Immobile turned a defender and then curled an exquisite shot past Mattia Perin from just inside the area.

The jubilant celebrations in the Maratona were still on going when literally from the kick off, Alessio Cerci ran from the half way line before unleashing a left footed 'thunder-bastard' into the top corner from distance.

This incredible ending reignited Torino's hopes of qualifying for the Europa League, and with games against rivals Parma and Lazio coming up soon, Toro fans can continue to dream for more memories like this one.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Torino V Genoa Preview

Torino's quest for a place in next season's Europa League will continue when they face Genoa at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday afternoon.

This fixture will evoke memories of last season's 'biscotti' as both sides played out a drab goalless draw in order to maintain their Serie A status. However, the fortunes for both sides have improved this campaign with Toro dreaming of Europe, and Genoa safe in mid-table.

The Granata will be without the reliable Matteo Darmian who is suspended, so young left back Antonio Barreca is included in the squad but is unlikely to start. With Alexander Farnerud and Jasmin Kurtic both out injured, Toro's midfield options look limited - but Giuseppe Vives should return to the starting eleven.

Genoa have been in poor form having lost their last two games, but having gained 14 points on the road this season 'Il Grifone' should not be underestimated.

Torino 2-1 Genoa

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Catania 1-2 Torino

Torino scored two goals in the last ten minutes to claim a deserved victory against relegation-threatened Catania on Sunday afternoon.

Panagiotis Tachtsidis was surprisingly preferred to Giuseppe Vives in midfield, but both Emiliano Moretti and Ciro Immobile were available again after suspension.

The home side took the lead after only two minutes, when an untimely slip from Emiliano Morett allowed Gonzalo Bergessio through to score. In a uneventful half, the only other piece of meaningful action occurred on the stroke of half time when Nikola Maksimovic mysteriously had a goal disallowed for an apparent foul by Alessio Cerci.

Toro thought they had an equaliser mid-way through the second half, but Kamil Glik was somehow denied at close range by Mariano Andujar. Alessio Cerci excited the away fans with another trademark run, but his finish was disappointing.

However, Torino finally got their equalised after Omar El Kaddouri's run and pass found substitute Alexander Farnerud in space, and the Swede finished calmly into the bottom corner. And just four minutes afterwards Toro scored a winning goal, when Riccado Meggiorini's flick on found Ciro Immobile whose shot found the corner of the net, with the aid of a deflection.

Catania had an outstanding chance to rescue a point in the dying moments, but Mariano Izco's free header was saved in sensational fashion by Daniele Padelli.

Forza Toro!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Catania V Torino Preview

Torino will make the long journey south to Sicily to face bottom side Catania on Sunday afternoon, with the Granata still dreaming of qualifying for the Europa League.

Toro have Emiliano Moretti and Ciro Immobile available after suspension, and this should mean that Nikola Maksimovic will revert to playing as a right wing back.

Catania are in dreadful form having lost six of their last seven games, and if that form continues then relegation to Serie B will be a certainty.

Catania 1-1 Torino