Spezia and Benevento Tie to Maintain Six-Point Cushion Over Drop Zone

A hard-fought battle between Spezia and Benevento at the Alberto Picco Stadium ended in a 1-1 draw that maintained both sides’ distance from the relegation zone unchanged. The Giallorossi took the lead as Argentina’s Arturo Gaich scored his first Serie A goal but Vincenzo Italiano’s side managed to draw level in the second half with a Daniele Verde equalizer.

Spezia came close to make it two but, all in all, a draw was a fair outcome for a match that showed how both sides have what it takes to retain their spot in the Italian top-flight, though their road to safety is still long.

Filippo Inzaghi’s Benevento were in an emergency situation a the coach had to leave out of his roster Roberto Insigne and Pasquale Schiattarella, who reportedly had a bitter row in yesterday’s practice. Thus, Arturo Gaich could make his debut from the start for the first time since joining the Streghe in January.

Vincenzo Italiano, on the other hand, couldn’t count of his starting goalkeeper Ivan Provedel – who tested positive for COVID – and relaunched Dutchman Jeroen Zoet between the sticks. 

Zoet couldn’t do much, however, to prevent Gaich from scoring his first goal in the top-flight as, on 22 minutes, the Argentine received a Nicolas Viola pass, dribbled past Matteo Ricci, and beat the goalkeeper to put the Giallorossi ahead. 

The Spezia coach re-balanced the game in the second half with four substitutions in the first 20 minutes. Emmanuel Gyasi sent a warning sign as he hit the crossbar, but it was Daniele Verde to make it to the scoresheet as he headed the ball home from a Diego Farias cross. 

The Bianconeri seemed to be in a better shape and kept pressuring to put themselves ahead. An Alessandro Tuia clearance right on the goal line denied Spezia’s second, then Martin Erlic also saw his effort pushed back by Lorenzo Montipò’s crossbar. The last chance was for Benevento’s Riccardo Improta, but he failed to hit the target from a favorable position.

Spezia and Benevento now both have a six-point lead over third-to-bottom Torino (who have two games to play) and are five points clear of fourth-to-bottom Cagliari, who play away to Sampdoria on Sunday. 



March 6, 2021 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 26

SCORERS: 24′ Gaich (B), 71′ Verde (S)

SPEZIA (4-3-3): Zoet; Ferrer, Ismajli, Terzi (46′ Erlic), Bastoni (46′ Marchizza); Leo Sena, Ricci, Estevez (64′ Maggiore); Verde (85′ Galabinov), Nzola (62′ Farias), Gyasi (Krapikas, Acampora, Agudelo, Chabot, Piccoli, Pobega, Vignali) Coach: Italiano
BENEVENTO (4-2-3-1): Montipò; Tello, Glik, Tuia (85′ Caldirola), Barba; Hetemaj, Viola, Ionita (85′ Dabo); Improta, Caprari (77′ Sau); Gaich (59′ Moncini) (Lucatelli, Manfredini, Diambo, Di Serio, Foulon, Lapadula, Pastina) Coach: F. Inzaghi

REFEREE: Mr. Fourneau from Rome
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Bastoni, Erlic (S), Improta, Barba, Sau, Dabo (B)