The biggest match of the season to date, it was not too much of a stretch of the imagination to believe this to be true.
As the men from Verona made the trip south to face the Canarini of Frosinone. Both relegated from Serie A last season and both expected and expecting to bounce back at the first time of asking. But while they are both in the hunt for doing just so a number of upstarts have made the task that bit harder making this fixture take on added importance.
With the Gialloblu’s form being very patchy of late a positive result was probably more of a prerogative for them. Even so Frosinone were not about to simply role over in front of their capacity crowd. In the end, it was the host who won out in this tussle of two Gladiators, by a solitary goal from the spot on 15 minutes by Federico Dionisi. This, along with other results from the weekend, would conspire to put Frosinone three points clear at the top and looking in a very strong position. While Verona would slip to fourth, with only one win in their last five. Expected to be the division’s top team with everyone else just battling for places behind them, the Gialloblu have found things much harder than expected and face the very real prospect of failing to return to Serie A altogether.
While that may have been the biggest match of the weekend, there was no doubt what the best match of week 27 was and it took place only a little further south in Campania. Unbeaten at home in just under two years Benevento welcomed a Bari slowly finding its feet under manager Stefano Colantuono.
A win for the Stregoni would have temporarily put them top of the league, while for the Galletti they were looking to claw back ground that had been lost on the automatic promotion race after a poor start to the season. What followed proved to be a ding-dong affair in which defence was thrown by the wayside. In total seven goals, would be spread between the two sides, with Bari just coming out on top by a score line of 3-4. This coupled with a win on Monday (27/2/2017) in the midweek round of fixtures suggests that the men from Puglia should now be considered among the sides battling it out for an automatic promotion spot.
Indeed, it proved a weekend of huge results at both the bottom and top of the division. SPAL maintain their charge for top spot with a win at home to Peugia. While down the bottom there were enormous wins for Latina, Pro Vercelli and Trapani as they bid to avoid the drop into the dreaded Lega Pro.
The most surprising result of all though occurred at the Stadio Del Duca where Ascoli took on Pisa. Those of you who read this column on a regular basis no doubt know about the travails of Pisa in front of goal this season, well on Saturday afternoon all those frustrations finally boiled over as the men from Tuscany smashed home four goals, equating to just over a quarter of all the goals they scored this season to beat Ascoli 2-4.
Off the bottom for the first time in months, Trapani are making a real go of surviving in Serie B. Away to Cittadella and then home to Latina at the weekend, presents a very real chance of bolstering their remarkable escape job.
Are Bari now to be seriously considered when it comes to the automatic promotion race. So often the Galletti look on the verge of big things before faltering, will this be the year they finally get their act together.
Four defeats in five has seen Carpi’s play-off hopes take a massive bashing, can the Biancorossi recover from this or is it destined to be a year of regret and disappointment for the Emilian club.
Ternana have now lost four on the spin and look destined for Lega Pro and in the opinion of this writer it will take a miracle of Moses like comparison for them to survive from where they are.
View Table HERE.
Week 27 Results:
Brescia 4-1 Cittadella, Benevento 3-4 Bari, Virtus Entella 2-0 Carpi, Frosinone 1-0 Hellas Verona, Ternana 0-1 Latina, SPAL 2-0 Perugia, Ascoli 2-4 Pisa, Cesena 1-2 Pro Vercelli, Trapani 1-0 Salernitana, Novara 2-1 Spezia, Avellino 3-1 Vicenza.