There are ways to win a derby and then there are ways to win a derby, Francesco Nicastro produced the latter of these two with a finish 15 minutes from time, that would make Zlatan Ibrahimović weep for joy.
With the ball swung in from the right Nicastro met the ball with a mid-air backwards off the heel volley that smashed into the inviting Ternana net. It was a goal worthy of winning any match, but its beauty was only added to by the fact that it had silenced an almost full to capacity Stadio Libero Liberati and to boot handed Perugia the win in the Derby dell’Umbria
With the travelling section of Grifone fans bathing in the ecstasy of victory, the cold dark dampness of falling ever further into the relegation mire encompassed the Rossoverdi faithful. It is now four defeats in five for the Terni outfit as they remain very much sequestered in the relegation zone. While solace may be taken in the fact that they are only three points from safety (Four from escaping the relegation play-outs altogether), survival remains a daunting task for the club.
The gamble to hire Benito Carbone at the start of the season backfired like many expected it would and so far replacement Carmine Gautieri has done little to restore faith that another season in Serie B will be achieved. With Trapani behind them having somewhat of a mini revival and the team above on better (But still poor) form things are looking pretty bleak at the moment. And with the various Ultra groups already deeply dissatisfied with the club it looks as if the Fére will be heading down to Lega Pro in rather acrimonious fashion.
As for their neighbours Perugia, their satisfaction at seeing rivals Ternana suffer is only increased by the fact that on a whole they are having a rather strong season under the promising Cristian Bucchi. After Pierpaolo Bisoli failed to deliver last season the minimum of a play-off position, Bucchi has taken up the mantle and so far so good. While results may not be classified as spectacular they have been solid and as for now the Grifone are upwardly mobile. Automatic promotion may be out of reach at this stage but the club from Umbria could very well fancy themselves when it comes to the play-offs at the end of the year.
Speaking of automatic promotion, the top two switch positions this past weekend after previous leaders Verona slipped to a surprising 2-0 away defeat against an Avellino side that is battling down the wrong end of the table. As such the Canarini of Frosinone took full advantage by beating Carpi 1-0 at the Stadio Matusa with Emanuele Terranova scoring the only goal of the game.
Verona’s defeat also had the added on effect of seeing the gap between second and third narrow, after a motivated SPAL outfit crushed Virtus Entella 0-3. Not wanting to miss out on the bandwagon Benevento in fourth also got in on the party, coming from behind to beat a ten man Latina 2-1 at the Vigorito. As such only four points separates the top four making it potentially one of the most exciting title run in’s in the past number of years.
2-0 down to Ascoli away, Trapani’s revival and thus survival hopes looked to be all but dead. But then just before the hour Nicola Citro gave them hope and with the second fast ticking away Jacopo Manconi struck a 93rd minute equaliser to give the Granata a share of the spoils. Trapani are battling like Demons for their Serie B status and with plenty of games to go don’t bet against it.
It proved a very poor weekend for Pro Vercelli defeat at home to Spezia on Saturday was followed up on Tuesday night with another defeat in a re-arranged fixture against Ascoli. As such il Leoni have now dropped into the bottom three. Is this the year the men from Vercelli finally lose their Serie B status?
Four defeats and a draw in the last five matches has seen Carpi’s play-off hopes take a serious bashing and a win at home to Brescia this weekend is imperative. If not then what was expect to be a year of revival may ultimately fizzle out.
View Table HERE.
Week 25 Results:
Vicenza 0-1 Salernitana, Cesena 1-1 Bari, Frosinone 1-0 Carpi, Novara 1-1 Cittadella, Avellino 2-0 Hellas Verona, Benevento 2-1 Latina, Brescia 1-1 Pisa, Pro Vercelli 0-2 Spezia, Ascoli 2-2 Trapani, Virtus Entella 0-3 SPAL, Ternana 0-1 Perugia.