Serie A Week 29 - 25 Mar 2012 (14.00 UK)
0 - 0
Stadio Silvio Piola

Taka Morimoto thumped the crossbar deep into stoppages, as Novara failed to get the better of Lecce.

This was a massive relegation dogfight between two desperate sides who were penultimate and third-from-bottom. Carlalberto Ludi, Francesco Marianini and Da Silva missed out for Novara, while Lecce were without Moris Carrozzieri, Edward Ofere, Julio Sergio, Cristian Obodo and the suspended Massimo Oddo, but welcomed Juan Cuadrado back from injury.

Novara were revived since Coach Attilio Tesser returned in place of Emiliano Mondonico, winning both games with him back on the bench.

Esposito was booked early on for scything down Michele Morganella’s counter-attack, while Andrea Lisuzzo’s error sent David Di Michele clear only for the Novara defence to scramble back for a crucial intervention.

Jeda was substituted by Andrea Caracciolo after just 35 minutes and did not appear to be injured, so it was a tactical switch for Tesser.

On 37 minutes Di Michele smacked a fierce half-volley that thumped the outside of the near post with goalkeeper Samir Ujkani assuming it was going wide.

Marco Rigoni went very close for Novara after Cuadrado was dispossessed, forcing Benassi into a tough save at the near stick.

Giuseppe Mascara had a great opportunity to put the home side in front when springing the offside trap, but a sensational reaction save kept him out as Benassi came tearing off his line.

In first half stoppages Muriel went on a trademark blazing run from midfield until his shot was eventually charged down.

Lecce lost goalkeeper Benassi at half-time after a collision with Mascara, making way for Serie A debutant Petrachi, their third choice shot-stopper.

Caracciolo just failed to get on the end of a Filippo Porcari cross, while Ujkani flew to palm away an acrobatic Di Michele volley from the far top corner.

Ujkani came tearing off his line to smother at Muriel’s feet, a particularly brave act considering he fractured his jaw and lost several teeth earlier this season.

There was absolute chaos in stoppages, as Novara went extremely close to snatching the victory, but Ivan Radovanovic knocked down the ball for Taka Morimoto to thump the crossbar. 

: Ujkani; Morganella, Lisuzzo, Paci, Garcia; Gemiti, Porcari, Pesce (Radovanovic 85), Rigoni; Mascara (Morimoto 60), Jeda (Caracciolo 35)
: Benassi (Petrachi 46); Tomovic, Esposito, Miglionico, Cuadrado; Delvecchio, Giacomazzi, Bertolacci (Blasi 56), Brivio; Muriel, Di Michele (Corvia 78)
Ref: Guida