Siena are in fine form and seem determined to catch Novara at the top of the Serie B table. They have managed three back to back wins in the past three weeks scoring ten goals in the process and four of these came at Portosummaga.
Ever since Siena were relegated back into Serie B they have looked focused on escaping it. They started the campaign well in August winning two home games and drawing once away. In September another two home wins and an away draw followed before Siena were defeated for the first time at the hands of Piacenza. This did not stop the Tuscan side from marching forward as they recovered well winning two and drawing one of their next three games. It was the next game after this and Empoli’s 3-0 victory against them that did knock the side and the following games saw a 0-0 draw with Crotone followed by back to back defeats at Lecce and Sassuolo. Enough was enough for Coach Antonio Conte who used his vast playing experiences to motivate the team and set them back to winning ways. Victories at Frosinone and Grosseto then set up a game against struggling Portosummaga, three points here had to be achieved if Siena wanted to keep pace with the surprise package of the season, leaders Novara.
Siena started brightly when after only 15 minutes Luca Rossettini connected with the corner and produced a fine header which was well saved by Francesco Rossi, however, the rebound fell perfectly for Claudio Terzi who smashed the ball home from close range. 24 minutes into the game and Siena won another corner, Portosummaga did not seem to learn anything from their earlier experience and when the ball was floated in there was another free header in the box, Rossi again had to perform heroics but lady luck was still not smiling as the ball fell directly to Salvatore Mastronunzio who returned it with considerable interest. Siena had been rampant all game and showed no sign of slowing down in the second half, only ten minutes after the restart and Roberto Vitiello was terrorising the right wing with his electric pace, his clever pass found Emanuele Calaiò who was unceremoniously hacked down, everyone paused expecting a free kick, everyone that is apart from Francesco Bolzoni who struck a delectable side foot shot that curled into the top right hand corner. It was a beautiful strike and worthy of the elaborate celebrations.
Siena continued to press but did leave themselves open to the counter attack, it was in one such moment that Portosummaga were awarded a penalty for a handball on the edge of the area. The duty of dispatching the spot kick fell to Marco Cunico who duly converted in an uncompromising manner leaving Siena goalkeeper Ferdinando Coppola with no chance. The home side seemed lifted by this and could have pulled another goal back if it had not been for what has to go down as the miss of the season. Eros Schiavon had followed the run of his winger well and when the ball was passed into the box he cleverly tapped it passed the keeper, this left the ball only two yards out from an empty goal and Cristian Altinier bearing down on the ball inexplicably managed to hit the cross bar and left everyone associated with the home side with their heads in their hands. Siena then added insult to injury and in the final minutes added a fourth, Marcelo Larrondo’s delicate pass found substitute Ciro Immobile who rounded the goalkeeper and slotted the ball home from an acute angle.
This was an important win for Siena as it keeps them only five points behind leaders Novara with a game in hand. With the teams directly below all finding form it is imperative that they continue to perform. The next match sees Siena come up against Novara in a top of the table clash that both will be desperate to win. Victory here will no doubt give one team confidence that not only they can gain promotion but also that they can win the league.