Torino were relegated today after a 3-2 loss to Roma, sending them to Serie B despite a good fight in this final game.
Torino went into the final day of the Serie A season with arguably the hardest task of the other relegation-threatened clubs. Giancarlo Camolese's side knew they had to beat sixth-place Roma at the Stadio Olimpico if they are to stand any chance of avoiding the drop to Serie B. Before the match the Granata were third from bottom in the final relegation place, level on 34 points with Bologna, who hosted Catania.
The Giallorossi beat Milan 3-2 at the San Siro in the last round to assure themselves a spot in next season’s Europa League, and they therefore had little to play for in this final game.
The game began in Rome, with Torino desperate to get a result in the capital, hoping to be in Serie A next season. Roma were the more dangerous in the early stages, with Totti particulary dangerous with a few good passes and a threatening cross in the 3rd minute. A minute later Panucci had a great chance to score, but he did not connect well from a corner and the ball went out. In the 8th minute Torino had their first attempt upfront, and from a free kick they won a corner.
That corner would be very important for Torino, as the Granata went ahead in the 9th minute, with Vailatti making the most of the cross from a corner to crack in a shot that beat Arthur. In the 13th minute Rosina had an individual dribble with the skillful Italian pushing close to the Roma goal before launching a shot at the target, which skipped just wide. In the 19th minute Torino continued to apply pressure on their illustrious hosts as Colombo rushed into the box to crack a volley, but the ball went over the bar.
A few minutes later Colombo tried a second shot, with the same end result. In the 26th minute a free kick from Menez found De Rossi in the area, but his finish was saved by Sereni. Torino’s hopes of avoiding relegation were taking a knock in another stadium, as Bologna extended their lead to 2-0, making Torino’s win against Roma a useless result. On the half hour mark Rosina tried a cheeky chip, but the talented Torino player could not find the target.
In the 36th minute Torino’s survival hopes took yet another knock, as the Granata conceded a goal after a fine long range left foot shot from Frenchman Menez to level matters. The home side were more confident at this stage, and Torino could sense that their next destination could be Serie B. In the 40th minute Torino came close to going in front as a header from Ventola from a Rosina cross went just wide of the post. After a few minutes of injury time the sides went into the break with the score at 1-1.
No substitutions took place at half time, as the sides came out for the second part of the game. Three minutes into the second half Cassetti had a great shot on goal, but Sereni did well to save. A few minutes later Ventola had a great opportunity, but Arthur did well to smother the ball before a shot could be taken. In the 54th minute Cassetti tried another effort from distance, but the ball flew wide of the target.
On the hour mark a tired and hurt Menez asked for a substitution, and youngster D’Alessandro came on for the injured Frenchman. In the 65th minute Torino came very close to finding the goal, but Ventola’s fine strike was turned out for a corner by Arthur. Two minutes later Rosina tried a low shot from distance, but his effort missed the target. In the 71st minute Totti cracked a shot from long range for Roma, but his attempt went wide of the goal.
In the 74th minute Vucinic stuck a dagger in the heart of the Torino fans, as a typical goal from the Montenegrin striker put the game out of reach for the Granata. A few minutes later Rosina had a strike at goal, but Arthur did well to deviate it. With a few minutes remaining Dellafiore came close to finding an equaliser, but he hit the post with a header that had beaten the keeper.
With the end nearing Totti put the game beyond the Granata, as he converted a penalty in the 83rd minute for a foul on Cassetti. Franceschini was sent off for his part in the action, and Roma went up to 3-1, and after the last few desperate minutes Torino was able to find a last minute consolation goal as a fine acrobatic effort from Ventola beat the Roma keeper. The score would be 3-2 however, and Torino were relegated to Serie B, with Roma celebrating a final win for the season.
ROMA 3–2 TORINO
GOALS: Vailatti, Ventola (Torino) Menez, Vucinic, Totti (Roma)
ROMA: Arthur, Cassetti, Mexes, Panucci, Risse, Perrotta (Vucinic 27’), De Rossi, Brighi, Pizarro, Totti, Menez (D’Alessandro 60’).
TORINO: Sereni, Rivalta (D’onorfio 73’), Natali, Franceschini, Dellafiore, Colombo (Di Loreto 88’), Barone, Vailatti, Rubin, Rosina, Ventola.
Peter Pedroncelli, Goal.com