Siena earned a potentially decisive victory away to Cesena, but the turning point penalty and red card are steeped in controversy.
This was a crucial battle to avoid the drop and Cesena were in dire straits. Propping up the table, they also missed Vincenzo Iaquinta, Adrian Mutu, Roberto Guana, Steve Von Bergen and the suspended trio of Daniel Pudil, Marco Parolo and Gianluca Comotto. Therefore 17-year-old Tommaso Arrigoni was in the starting XI. Siena only had to do without Gaetano D’Agostino, Francesco Bolzoni and Pablo Gonzalez.
Siena were wearing their light blue away strip and threatened when Mattia Destro took on his defender, but Giorgi didn’t make the most of it with a wayward header.
Francesco Antonioli then had to parry from point-blank range on a Franco Brienza corner. The first genuine scoring opportunity came after 22 minutes, when Gianluca Pegolo did very well to deny Rafael Martinho from Mario Alberto Santana’s through ball.
Martinez picked up an injury and had to make way for Simone Del Nero, creating further problems for a decimated Cesena.
Dominique Malonga just failed to get his head to the Martinho cross, allowing Pegolo to block.
There was a turning point when Luca Ceccarelli went into a sliding tackle on Emanuele Calaio, earning a penalty and red card. However, replays suggest he got the ball and only made contact with the striker on the follow-through.
Antonioli palmed Claudio Terzi’s penalty on to the upright, then the ball eventually rolled to Franco Brienza for a tap-in. To add to the controversy, Brienza appeared to be offside.
There were no doubts about the second goal, as Brienza’s delightful assist found Erjon Bogdani for a volley in off the underside of the bar. It was a special goal for Bogdani against his former club.
Sent off: Ceccarelli 74 (C)
Missed penalty: Terzi 75 (C)