Tanner Tessmann‘s goal helped Venezia to grab another win as they continued their climb out of the Serie B gutter, while Sergiño Dest’s continued injury absence for AC Milan was another missed opportunity in a difficult season.
Venezia FC 2 – 1 SPAL Ferrara
A man-of-the-match performance by Tessmann for Venezia on Saturday helped the team propel to a second straight Serie B victory, with the American’s second goal of the season setting the pace for a home win over SPAL Ferrara.
In perhaps his strongest performance since landing in Italy more than 18 months ago, the former FC Dallas player registered six shots over the course of his 81-minute appearance, four of which were on target, and created one additional chance.
Lining up on the right side of Paolo Vanoli’s five-man midfield from the start, he also played a role in keeping SPAL’s forward advances at bay, making a pair of clearances, intercepting one pass, winning one of his two tackle attempts, making eight recoveries, and winning seven out of 12 duels.
In additional to Tessmann, Americans Andrija Novakovich and Gianluca Busio also made appearances in the game, however largely limited to mop-up substitute roles within the final ten minutes of regulation.
After an early attempt from the top of the area that SPAL keeper Enrico Alfonso handled with ease, Tessmann got the scoring underway in the 12th minute.
Francesco Zampano advanced quickly from the left flank to the top edge of the 18-yard box, and slid a short, lateral pass towards Joel Pohjanpalo. The Finnish striker barely tapped it over towards Tessmann who was waiting a few yards to his right, for a low shot back towards the left upright, just beyond Alfonso’s reach.
Joel Pohjanpalo was again the catalyst as Venezia made it a pair in the 34th minute, heading a long ball from the backfield into the path of the streaking Nicholas Pierini, who split his defenders and managed to evade the keeper for an easy tap-in.
Tessmann had another chance early in the second half when he received a short cross from Antonio Candela just inside the area, but his only shooting lane towards goal between the defense was directly into Alfonso’s hands.
Lorenzo Dickmann pulled one back for the visitors 11 minutes after the break, heading in a cross by Luca Valzania from the right side.
However, despite SPAL holding the lion’s share of possession, the host defense handled the pressure well, and eventually took all three points.
The result does wonders for Venezia’s place in the tightly-packed lower end of the Serie B table. They now occupy 13th place, several places (albeit only one point) clear of the relegation places. They are back in action on Friday with a visit to seventh-place Pisa.
Sergiño Dest is recovering from a minor injury and was not present for AC Milan’s narrow 1-0 win over Torino on Friday night. With usual starting right back and team captain Davide Calabria left on the bench, the American missed a golden opportunity to see minutes in an otherwise underwhelming Serie A season.