Varese have taken a giant step towards Serie B survival by beating Novara 2-0 in the first leg of the relegation play-out between the sides.
The two teams finished fifth and fourth bottom of Italy’s second tier respectively this season and came into the tie hoping to avoid joining Juve Stabia, Reggina and Padova in demotion to the Lega Pro.
The result of tonight’s first meeting however could be decisive as Leonardo Pavoletti’s double strike gave the visitors from Lombardy a big advantage heading into next Friday’s second leg.
As for Novara, they were unable to make their home advantage count and they are now staring down the barrel of relegation.
Unless they can turn the tables on their opponents at Stadio Franco Ossola in a week’s time, they will be playing in the third tier next term.
Serie B play-out first leg result
Novara 0 – 2 Varese
Pavoletti 26 & 63 (V)