Serie A Week 19 - 13 Jan 2020 (19.45 UK)
Parma 2 - 0
Iacoponi 57 (P), Cornelius 72 (P)
Stadio Ennio Tardini

Parma got back on track with Simone Iacoponi and Andreas Cornelius goals, sending Lecce to a fourth consecutive defeat.

Both sides were in need of a boost after disappointing defeats and debuted January signings from the start, as Jasmin Kurtic had just arrived from SPAL and Alessandro Deiola was fresh from a Cagliari loan. Roberto Inglese returned from a sprained ankle for his first start since September 25, but Gervinho and Yann Karamoh were not fully fit, with Antonino Barillà suspended.

The Salentini have won only one of their 11 Serie A trips to Parma, 1-0 in February 2011, along with four draws and seven defeats.

Parma should’ve gone in front after 13 minutes, but Juraj Kucka got in front of his marker only to turn the diving header wide from six yards on a Roberto Gagliolo cross.

Inglese, Deiola and Marco Mancosu had attempts from distance, while Jacopo Petriccione’s volley was deflected off target on a Giulio Donati cross.

Gabriel was called into an excellent save on Gagliolo’s volley at the back post, but he was caught offside by Inglese’s glancing header.

Dejan Kulusevski hasn’t seemed entirely focused since his transfer to Juventus was finalised, and he was tackled by Petriccione when running clear on goal.

Parma were more aggressive after the restart, Gabriel flying to punch a Kucka lob out of the top corner, but Mancosu’s solo effort tested Luigi Sepe at the other end.

The goal eventually came from a set play, as Hernani’s corner found Simone Iacoponi for a free header from seven yards, not even needing to jump.

Mancosu almost equalised straight away, his strike deflected over by desperate defending, while Filippo Falco slalomed past three defenders until Matteo Darmian made the final block.

Lecce tried to fight back, but left gaps at the back and were punished. Kucka’s free header bounced off the crossbar and substitute Andreas Cornelius was ready to volley in the rebound, just moments after coming off the bench.

Gianluca Lapadula was also a substitute who made an immediate impact, as his turn and strike clipped the top of the Parma crossbar.

Kulusevski surged forward from his own half and cut inside a defender only to skim the bar with his finish. Gervinho tried the same, slaloming from midfield past three only to then be denied by the goalkeeper one-on-one.

This result means Parma reach the half-way stage of the season in seventh place, ahead of the likes of Napoli, Milan and Torino.

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Parma: Sepe; Darmian, Iacoponi, Bruno Alves, Gagliolo; Kucka, Hernani (Gervinho 84), Grassi (Scozzarella 76); Kulusevski, Inglese (Cornelius 70), Kurtic
: Gabriel; Donati, Rossettini, Lucioni, Dell’Orco; Petriccione, Tachtsidis, Deiola (Rispoli 87); Mancosu (Lapadula 64); Falco, Babacar (Vera 78)
Ref: Fabbri