Serie B 22/23: Venezia 1-2 Reggina

November 13, 2022

With new manager Paolo Vanoli making his debut on the bench, Venezia took an early lead in a dominant first-half performance on Saturday afternoon, but after wasting several chances to extend their lead, visitors Reggina would come back with two second-half goals to take all three points in a clichéd game of two halves at Stadio Penzo in Giornata 13 of the 2022/23 Serie B season.

Vanoli, who joined the club on Monday, continued with the team’s customary 3-5-2 formation, while recalling midfielders Gianluca Busio and Magnus Kofod Andersen and attacker Dennis Johnsen, who had not played from the start since Giornata 10, Giornata 8, and Giornata 5, respectively. Johnsen joined Joel Pohjanpalo up front, Busio and Andersen had Domen Črnigoj alongside them in midfield with Ridgeciano Haps and Francesco Zampano as the wing-backs, and at the back were captain Marco Modolo, vice captain Pietro Ceccaroni, and stalwart Przemysław Wiśniewski, with Jesse Joronen in goal on his return from suspension.

Playing with newfound energy and intent, Venezia opened the match on the front foot, pressing hard and making enterprising runs, and soon enough they breached an overwhelmed Reggina to take the lead.

In the 10th minute, Črnigoj aggressively intercepted a pass and played into Pohjanpalo, who set off running straight at the defense and ripped a rocket of a shot from outside the box that was within ‘keeper Federico Ravaliga’s reach but had too much power for him to handle.

It was Venezia’s first goal in three weeks and just the third time they had scored the opening goal in a match all season. And it was a sweet reward for a team that was demonstrating a desire to turn things around.

Venezia would keep up the pressure and they nearly doubled the advantage four minutes later, as Andersen played into the box for Pohjanpalo who neatly laid off to Črnigoj for a shot that clipped the top of the bar.

While Reggina maintained most of the possession, Venezia were well-suited to make key interceptions and quickly move the ball downfield, playing fast and aggressive one-touch football that put them firmly on top of the match.

In the 23rd minute, Venezia looked to have scored again, only to see it called back on a VAR check. From the left wing, Johnsen played in between the lines for Andersen, who made a smooth turn before picking out Zampano streaking down right side, and though Zampano’s shot-cross would go off a defender and into the net, Andersen was later adjudged to be marginally offside in the buildup.

In the 30th minute, Johnsen, buzzing in his first start in two months, ran down an over the top ball from Haps and instinctively lobbed Ravaglia after seeing him off his line, but the effort bounced wide of the post.

Before halftime, Venezia went agonizingly close to scoring on two more occasions. First, Andersen drove a shot on target from inside the box that was stopped by Ravaglia’s strong right hand in an excellent save. Soon after, Andersen played a deep cross from the left side to the far post for Modolo, whose header across the face of goal was incredibly cleared off the line by defender Riccardo Gagliolo.

In the end Venezia registered a season-high 10 first-half shots, but would have to settle for a 1-0 advantage going into half-time, which left them in a precarious position. As a team desperate for a new lease on life, clearly there was a major expenditure of physicality and adrenaline through the first 45 minutes, and an eventual come down might only be natural. At the same time, it was to be expected that Reggina, led by former Venezia manager Filippo Inzaghi, were going to fight back relentlessly in the second half, and so they did.

After the break, Reggina ramped up the pressure, ultimately registering 12 second-half shots, but their breakthrough would come with some good fortune. In the 55th minute, a shot from midfielder Žan Majer took a deflection that sent to the ball towards the top corner, and though Joronen heroically kept it out with a fingertip save, the ball bounced back off the post and went loose in front of a gaping net, with Luigi Canotto beating Ceccroni to the spot for a tap in.

In the 60th minute, Vanoli would respond with a triple substitution to bring on midfielder Luca Fiordilino, attacking midfielder Michaël Cuisance, and winger Denis Cheryshev, but the visitors would remain in the ascendency.

As Reggina continued to pour forward, they would eventually grab the winning goal, once again thanks to a fortuitous bounce, thought they had created their own luck. In the 76th minute, a cross from the left wing found Hernani, whose weak header was nowhere near goal but came back off an unsuspecting Ceccaroni, falling kindly for Hernani to tee up a shot and beat Joronen.

“We have to learn how to handle moments of suffering, how to stay in the game when the opponent reacts,” said Vanoli after the match. “We need to work on this; fortunately we have the break to do it.”

A spent Venezia would only muster four second-half shots and no major chances to salvage a result late, as Reggina saw out the match, taking them up to an impressive second place in the table.

After the international break, Venezia make a trip to Sicily to face Palermo in Giornata 14 of the 2022/23 Serie B season.

Venezia 1-2 Reggina

Scorers: 10’ Pohjanpalo, 55’ Canotto, 76’ Hernani

Venezia (3-5-2): Joronen, Wiśniewski, Modolo (83’ Pierini), Ceccaroni, Zampano, Črnigoj (60’ Cheryshev), Busio, Andersen (60’ Fiordilino), Haps, Johnsen (60’ Cuisance), Pohjanpalo (70’ Novakovich)
Subs not used: Bertinato, Ceppitelli, Svoboda, Zabala, Ullmann, Candela, Tessmann, Pierini
Manager: Vanoli

Reggina (4-3-3): Ravaglia, Pierozzi, Camporese, Gagliolo, Giraudo (46’ Di Chiara), Fabbian (46’ Ménez), Majer, Hernani, Canotto (80’ Cionek), Rivas (71’ Cicerelli), Gori (67’ Liotti)
Subs not used: Duțu, Loiacono, Crisetig, Obi, Bouah, Ricci, Colombi
Manager: Inzaghi