Serie B: Venezia join Parma on top as Gialloblu slip again, Sampdoria improving under Pirlo

Venezia share top spot in Serie B with Parma after defeating Bari while the Gialloblu drew against Modena on Matchday 14. Elsewhere, Andrea Pirlo has lifted Sampdoria away from the bottom after a poor start to the season.

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When it seemed that Parma were going to be the dominant force in Serie B, the Crociati have had a drop of form in recent weeks, opening the door for Venezia to catch them at the top of the table and the Arancioneroverdi were more than happy to capitalise.

Both teams are level on 30 points after 14 rounds, but the Crociati have dropped points in the last two weeks. After losing 3-2 to Lecco on Matchday 13, Parma drew 1-1 with regional rivals Modena on Saturday afternoon. While the clash between the two Emilians took place, the Arancioneroverdi earned an impressive 3-0 victory away to Bari.

Meanwhile, Sampdoria have had a change in fortune under coach Andrea Pirlo, winning four out of their last five Serie B matches. Relegated from Serie A along with regional rivals Spezia, the two Ligurian sides opened Matchday 14 and the Blucerchiati secured a 2-1 win thanks to an unlikely hero.

Tessmann inspires Venezia victory against Bari

Venezia winger Nicholas Pierini celebrates a goal on the road. (Photo: Venezia FC Facebook.)

Prior to this match, Bari had replaced Michele Mignani with Pasquale Marino as coach, and he had registered two wins and two draws in four games in charge. With the turn in form, it seemed that the Galletti were capable of creating a contest against Venezia.

Although the Apulian side had some good spells in possession and created their share of chances, the Venetians demonstrated that they had the extra quality on the pitch, and American midfielder Tanner Tessmann played a key role. Not only did he control the play in the middle of the park, he was involved in two of his team’s goals.

Venezia opened the scoring after 30 minutes when they were able to swiftly attack down their left flank and Nicholas Pierini put the ball into the net from close range. Despite Bari’s best efforts to search for an equaliser, it was the Arancioneroverdi that scored again in the 90th minute when Tessmann chipped the ball over Brenno after Galletti goalkeeper had just collided with teammate Raffaele Pucino.

The American became the assistman seven minutes into stoppage time when Ali Dembele surged forward and the young French defender finished off the move. The Lagunari have won six of their last seven matches and they have shown that they can pose a threat to Parma‘s supremacy at the top.

Depaoli inspires Sampdoria victory against Spezia

Sampdoria defender Fabio Depaoli celebrates his second goal against Spezia. (@sampdoria)

After defeating Ternana on the opening matchday, Sampdoria went eight matches without a Serie B victory. A 2-0 win against Cosenza was followed by a 3-1 defeat to Sudtirol, but Il Doria have won their three games after that trip to Bolzano.

Pirlo has ditched the 4-3-3 formation and switched to the 4-3-1-2, utilised Ronaldo Vieira and Gerard Yepes as ball-winners in midfield, and started Juventus-owned centre-back Facundo Gonzalez in defence. This has allowed the Blucerchiati to stay protected at the back whilst being able to play proactive football.

Sampdoria faced a Spezia side on Friday evening that had replaced Massimiliano Alvini with Luca D’Angelo as coach. For the Aquilotti, it was to no avail as Fabio Depaoli scored both goals in a 2-1 win for the Blucerchiati.

The right-back gave Il Doria the lead after 11 minutes, running onto a deflected Fabio Borini pass to score from close range. Rachid Kouda equalised for Spezia five minutes later, but Depaoli headed a Vieira cross over the line despite the efforts of Bartlomiej Dragowski to keep the ball out.

Sampdoria are still six points away from the play-off spots, so there is still plenty of work for Pirlo and his players to do. However, this latest run in form will help create some much-needed momentum as the season progresses.

Serie B 2023/24: Matchday 14 results

DateFixtures/Results
Fri, Nov 24Sampdoria 2-1 Spezia
Sat, Nov 25Bari 0-3 Venezia
Sat, Nov 25Cittadella 2-1 Sudtirol
Sat, Nov 25Como 2-1 Feralpisalo
Sat, Nov 25Cremonese 1-0 Lecco
Sat, Nov 25Parma 1-1 Modena
Sat, Nov 25Reggiana 1-1 Ascoli
Sat, Nov 25Pisa 1-1 Brescia
Sun, Nov 26Catanzaro 2-0 Cosenza
Sun, Nov 26Ternana 1-1 Palermo

Serie B 2023/24: Table after Matchday 14

PosClubMPPts
1Venezia1430
2Parma1430
3Cremonese1425
4Como1324
5Palermo1424
6Catanzaro1424
7Modena1423
8Cittadella1422
9Cosenza1419
10Bari1418
11Pisa1417
12Sudtirol1316
13Sampdoria1416
14Reggiana1416
15Brescia1314
16Ascoli1413
17Lecco1312
18Spezia1410
19Ternana148
20Feralpisalo147

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