Pescara picked up a crucial three points against Livorno at the Stadio Armando Picchi on Sunday evening in the last match in Serie B before the winter break and indeed the last game of calcio in 2014.
The Amaranto headed into the match in the hope of moving into the top two with a win but they were undone by a Riccardo Mainero inspired Delfini. The hosts were dealt a sizeable blow after only three minutes of play when Mosquera was forced off with what looked like a serious enough injury, which came about stretching for the ball in a tackle.
In truth the opening 15 minutes of the match were far from exciting as both sides struggled to find any sort of rhythm with the constant fouling in no way helping. The game did improve soon afterwards and despite not being overly full there was still a lively atmosphere and it was the travelling support who almost had reason to celebrate after 20 minutes.
The impressive Matteo Politano picked up the ball wide on the right before laying it off to the on rushing Federico Melchiorri. Melchiorri advanced into the box where he pulled the ball back into the path of an unmarked Mainero. Who somehow contrived to smash the ball against the crossbar from ten yards out when it seemed easier to score.
This close shave finally stung Livorno into life and four minutes later they came close to opening the scoring themselves. A poor clearance by the Pescara defence fell to the feet Damjan Djokovic on the edge of the area. Wasting no time at all the midfielder unleashed a powerful drive that skimmed just wide of Simone Aresti’s post. Three minutes later Daniele Vantaggiato also tried his luck from distance but again was unable to find the target.
The opening goal did come not long afterwards in the 35th minute and it was Vantaggiato who played a key role in getting it. The diminutive striker took on his man down the left wing and forced him into taking him down. Emerson took the resulting free, drilling it low and hard across the box, evading player after player until Andrej Galabinov stuck out his foot and guided the ball home from three yards.
By this stage the Amaranto were well in control and looked comfortable as the match ticked towards half time. However one slip in concentration three minutes into added time left the Delfini get back on level terms. Failing to clear there lines sufficiently from a free kick, Pescara were allowed to recycle the ball. Lofting it back into the area, Vantaggiato mistimed his headed clearance managing only to knock the ball into the path of Mainero who from six yards out acrobatically bicycle kicked it home. One all at the break.
Buoyed by there late goal at the end of the first half Pescara started the second period on top. They had two chances within four minutes of one another to take the lead but were denied on both occasions by the brilliance of Luca Mazzoni in the Livorno net, getting down smartly to his left and right to deny the Pescara attack.
Livorno pushed on in the hope of finding a winner that the home fans demanded, but they found it hard to break down a resilient Delfini defence and the few times they did manage it the final pass was found lacking. Having wrestled back control of the match Livorno looked the only ones who would go on to win the match as it entered its final ten minutes.
However another calamity in the defence handed Pescara the chance to take the three points. Marco Moscati looking to shadow Melchiorri away from goal got far to close and tripped up the attacker, a clear penalty giving Referee Abisso no other option then to point to the spot. Captain Mainero was the man to take responsibility and he coolly stepped up to slide it past Mazzoni for his and Pescara’s second of the game.
Even with five minutes of added time Livorno were unable to find a way back into the match to leave the Amaranto faithful to go home unhappy, while the small band of Travelling support celebrated long into the night.
Goals: Galabinov 36th min (Liv), Mainero 45th+3 (Pes), Mainero 80th pen (Pes).
Livorno: Mazzoni, Ceccherini, Emerson, Bernardini, Lambrughi, Djokovic, Moscati, Mosquera, Vantaggiato, Galabinov, Cutolo
Subs: Jelenic. Luci, Belingheri
Pescara: Aresti, Pucino, Pesoli, Salamon, Zampano, Politano, Selasi, Memushaj, Bjarnason, Mainero, Melchiorri
Subs: Brugman, Pasquato, Pogba