Serie B round-up: Torino and Siena cruise to victory

Round 33 action from Serie B took center stage on Saturday and Sunday with Serie A on hiatus due to the international fixtures. Torino and Siena enjoyed big wins, while Atalanta and Novara stumbled.
Chaos has reigned supreme at Torino in the past month, with Franco Lerda being replaced by Giuseppe Papadopulo. President Urbano Cairo hoped for a turnaround in fortunes but got only two straight losses which brought Papa’s 11-day stint on the bench to an end.
Lerda was re-hired and Cairo did get the response he was hoping for as Rolando Bianchi struck twice for Toro in a 0-4 win, which keeps Ascoli entrenched in the relegation battle.
It was a similar story for Siena, where Emanuele Calaio scored twice early against Sassuolo as the Robur closed the gap at the top with a four goal victory of their own. Siena boss Antonio Conte told acsiena.it he was full of praise for his goal scoring hero and the rest of the side:
“Emanuele is a mature player and I believe this season he has taken to his new role as a leader. But everybody did well, like Mastronunzio and Caputo, who made many sacrifices in the match. Everybody deserves praise.”
Atalanta had a tricky away clash with Padova to contend with on Saturday night and after Ferreira Pinto put the visitors ahead it was youngster Stephan El Shaarawy who finished coolly, giving Padova a share of the points.
Novara was still in the hunt for an automatic promotion spot when the weekend began but fell to a 3-1 loss at AlbinoLeffe. Defender Dario Bergamelli was on target twice to ensure a surprise triumph. With only nine matches remaining, Novara look set to earn a playoff spot, which would be a great achievement in their return to the cadetti.
Varese and Vicenza met in the pick of the Sunday action. A header after twenty minutes from Varese’s Emanuele Pelosi was enough for the three points in a match littered with fouls and few clear-cut opportunities. Like Novara, the Leopardi are on course for a spot in the promotion playoffs in their first season in Serie B for 25 years.
Reggina and Livorno clashed in the deep south of Italy on Sunday evening. Livorno took the lead through Federico Dionisi but went home with only a point when Emiliano Bonazzoli was on hand to score mid-way through the second half.
Livorno tactician Walter Novellino felt his side deserved more: “The match presented us with many difficulties, but Livorno deserved more than a point,” he told tuttomercatoweb.com.
In other matches, Crotone earned a crucial victory over Empoli, which included a fantastic overhead goal from Milan Duric, who scored twice. Portogruaro escaped the bottom three with a good win at Piacenza while Modena joined Pescara in the mid-table logjam on 42 points with a solitary goal from Giuseppe Greco.
Cittadella and Triestina grabbed late goals against Grosseto and Frosinone respectively to earn draws but are in need of all three points at this stage of the season as both sit in the relegation zone with Frosinone.
Round 33 results:
Padova 1 – 1 Atalanta
Ascoli 0 – 4 Torino
Albinoleffe 3 – 1 Novara
Crotone 3 – 2 Empoli
Grosseto 1 – 1 Cittadella
Modena 1 – 0 Pescara
Piacenza 1 – 2 Portogruaro
Siena 4 – 0 Sassuolo
Triestina 2 – 2 Frosinone
Varese 1 – 0 Vicenza
Reggina 1 – 1 Livorno

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