DERBY DELLA MOLE 2001

DERBY DELLA MOLE 2001

This Saturday Juventus and Torino will meet in the 244th edition of the derby Della Mole, the oldest derby in Italian football. 

As you’d expect of a derby so storied, there have been some scintillating matches over the years but the Serie A clash of 14 October 2001 has to rank among the fixtures greatest ties.

 

 

The 60,000 fans that packed out Torino’s Stadio Delle Alpi were not made to wait long for the game to kick into life. After a cagey first nine minutes disaster struck for the home side when the ball found itself at the feet of Pavel Nedved, courtesy of some terrible play by Torino’s midfield. Nedved coolly slipped the ball into Alessandro Del Piero who hammered it past the keeper. 

The home fans despair turned into to abject despondency three minutes later with a second goal coming from a far less likely source. In the melee caused by Torino’s inability to deal with a tame Juventus free-kick from the left, a very arguably offside Igor Tudor managed to bundle the ball home. Referee Gennaro Borriello had no qualms in awarding it despite vehement protests from Torino’s keeper Luca Bucci and his defenders. 

Ten minutes later it would be three as Torino crumbled. Nedved again was the creator. Having found space down the left wing, he carried the ball to the corner of the box before playing a beautifully weighted pass that evaded the outstretched boot of two Torino defenders to once again find Del Piero who couldn’t miss.

Mercifully for Torino the halftime whistle blew and they were able to shuffle off the pitch for 15 minutes of respite from the crowd, who by this time were close to mutiny. 

Whether it was a desire to appease the fans or a particularly inspiring half time team talk from manager, Giancarlo Camolese, Torino came out for the second half looking like a different kind of beast. 

 

 

Ten minutes after the restart Italian football’s favourite communist Cristiano Lucarelli finally gave the fans something to cheer about, for the first time finding some space in behind Juve’s high defensive line before smashing the ball past Buffon.

Torino continued to press for a second as the game intensified. On the 70th minute mark Torino’s captain, Antonio Asta made a remarkable surging run into the box. He first played a one-two before skipping past Tacchinardi and getting upended by the normally dependable Lillian Thuram. Half time substitute Marco Ferrante buried it as the game moved into a tense last 20 minutes as Torino tried to snatch a leveller.

To the astonishment of every Torino fan, and seemingly player, they did it. A very good cross by captain, Antonio Asta was met with a powerful header back across the goal by Ferrante which Buffon kept out miraculously with a fingertip diving save. The ball, however, would fall to an onrushing Riccardo Maspero, who had himself only been in the game for five minutes, who slid in to put the ball in the back of the net as the Delle Alpi erupted. 

The goal alone would have been enough to gain cult hero status for Maspero but what happened three minutes later absolutely cemented it.

 

 

Marcelo Salas ballooned the penalty over the bar and the game was all but over. Was this solely down to the actions of Maspero? Perhaps, what is certain is that the game has gone down in memory as ‘the derby of Maspero’s hole’, which, I assume, sounds better in Italian. 

Maspero gauges spot - Maspero scores the levelling goal 

Could maybe use a generic Juve v Torino pic as the header? Very few from this game.

 

Written by Andy Gallagher

 

 

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