Venezia will join Parma and Como in Serie A after defeating Cremonese over two legs in the Serie B playoffs.

The Arancioneroverdi had finished third in the Serie B table, and they had eliminated Palermo in the semi-finals on their way to the final. Meanwhile, the Grigiorossi finished fourth and defeated Catanzaro in their respective semi-final. The decisive playoffs were tight affairs, but one goal in the second leg was enough for the Venetians to make their Serie A return.

For Venezia, it will be a return to Serie A for the first time since 2021/22, whereas Cremonese, who were in the Italian top-flight in 2022/23, were not able to bounce back up and will have to try again next season.

Clash in Cremona ends in a stalemate

When the two teams faced each other in Cremona on Thursday evening, it was the Grigiorossi that looked the more dominant. Cremonese had 59% possession, had 18 shots to 12, and 11 had hit the target compared to just three from Venezia.

Finnish goalkeeper Jesse Joronen made the difference for the Arancioneroverdi. He had to save a few efforts from Grigiorossi midfielder Cristian Buonaiuto, but the best save he made in the second half was a fingertip one from a long-range shot by Massimo Coda.

Joronen was alert in the second half, saving efforts from Luca Zanimacchia, Coda, and Michele Castagnetti. Despite their efforts, Cremonese could not find a breakthrough, and the best chance of the first leg was a free-kick from Venezia attacking midfielder Nicholas Pierini free-kick that hit the crossbar.

Venezia emerge victorious thanks to Gytkjaer

In the first leg, both teams lined-up in a 3-5-1-1 formation with an attacking midfielder operating behind a lone striker. For the trip to Venice, both Venezia coach Paolo Vanoli and his Cremonese counterpart Giovanni Stroppa switched to a conventional 3-5-2.

The moved paid off for the Arancioneroverdi, who scored the only goal of the tie. Gianluca Busio surged forward with the ball, and after beating a few opponents, he laid the ball into the path of Christian Gytkjaer, who put the ball into the net with a low shot. It was not a powerful effort by any means, but it was enough to throw two Grigiorossi defenders off balance.

Although Castagnetti and Frank Tsadjout had their chances, Cremonese posed little threat to the Venetian goal. Venezia held out and secured a return to Serie A. For Gytkjaer, it was history repeating itself as he played a vital role in Monza progressing through the playoffs two years ago, scoring five goals in just four matches, including two against Pisa in a 4-3 thriller in the final second leg.

Cremonese played admirably in the playoffs, but their lack of finishing quality hurt them when it mattered most.