Matchday 33 Serie A Tim 2019/2020
Picture Credits: https://www.facebook.com/TorinoFootballClub/
Today was a match between 16th and 17th on the Serie A table at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, with both clubs fighting to stay clear of the relegation zone, Torino starting the night 5 points clear of 18th placed Lecce, with Genoa 1 point above the drop.
Befitting a game with so much at stake, the match started slowly, with both teams feeling each other out for the first few minutes. Genoa had the first chance in the 7th minute, Iago Falque setting up Andrea Pinamonti, whose shot on target was smartly saved by Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
Genoa were slightly superior for the first 20 minutes, with the Torino midfield guilty of giving the ball away cheaply in dangerous areas; Soualiho Meïté the main culprit in this regard. Also compounding problems for the Granata in the opening 20 minutes was Simone Zaza having zero impact up front as the target man, and talisman Andrea Belotti unable to find enough of the ball to have an impact.
However that all changed in the 23rd minute, with Belotti powering forward with an impressive run, being subsequently brought down by Andrea Masiello, who was promptly given a yellow card by referee Gianluca Rocchi. Minutes later, an unmarked Bremer headed wide from a Simone Verdi corner, with Torino starting to gain the upper hand, despite Bremer’s profligate miss. In the 32nd minute, Bremer made up for his miss moments earlier, heading in Verdi’s sumptuous corner ball to give Torino the lead. Meite was starting to pull the strings in the Granata midfield, but his brilliant through ball was spurned by a heavy touch from a wasteful Zaza.
Torino continued to have the upper hand up until half time and went into the break with a narrow lead.
Genoa started the second half on the front foot, and forced Sirigu into a triple save to deny the Grifone an equaliser. The game developed into a stalemate for the next half hour, without any clear cut chances for either side.
In the 76th minute, Belotti won a hotly contested ball on the edge of the penalty box and passed back to substitute Sasa Lukic, the Serbian midfielder finishing with aplomb into the top corner from outside the box to give Torino some well deserved breathing room.
With the game approaching injury time, Belotti capitalised on a Goran Pandev loose pass in the midfield, dribbled forward and struck a bullet shot on his left foot into the top corner, to give the Granata a 3-0 lead. This golazo marked the Torino captain’s 7th consecutive game with a goal scored, IlGallo needing only one more such game to equal the record of 8 straight games with a goal, set by club legend Franco Ossola of the mighty Grande Torino team of the 1940s.
With a final score of 3-0, Torino moved 8 points clear of the relegation zone with 5 games left to play, while Genoa must get ready for a crucial encounter with 18th places Lecce over the weekend, the Grifone still only 1 point above the drop.
Andrea Belotti is a good choice for man of the match, with his tireless work up front as well as often tracking back to help his teammates defensively, coupled with a super goal and assist. The Granata captain is almost single handedly dragging his team to safety in Serie A.
Torino, now sitting in 15th place, travel in their next game to the Stadio Artemio Franchi, to take on 13th placed Fiorentina, who sit only 2 points above the Granata in the standings.