A SEASON THEY'LL NEVER FORGET: PESCARA 2011/12

A SEASON THEY'LL NEVER FORGET: PESCARA 2011/12

Every club has a season that will forever go down in legend. For Pescara, the little team on Italy's Adriatic coast, that season is 2011/12 - a year that delivered glory and goals... lots of goals.

Led by charismatic coach Zdeněk Zeman, the Delfini won Serie B on the final day of the season, playing an attacking brand of football so cavalier that his side let in more than twice the number of goals conceded by Torino, who finished second.

At the other end, Zeman's strategy was extraordinarily fruitful. A front three of Lorenzo Insigne, Ciro Immobile and Marco Sansovini tore into the division's defences. Pescara scored 90 times that season, 30 more than their nearest rival.

 

Immobile was the star of the team, finishing with 28 goals, while Insigne also caught the eye, contributing 18 goals and 14 assists.

In midfield the beating heart of the club was 18-year-old academy graduate Marco Verratti, who Zeman converted from number 10/triquartista to a deep-lying regista, a role he has since made his own for PSG and Italy.

There were several notable games on the way to the championship. A 6-0 away thumping of Padova,...

A 5-3 victory over Albinoleffe in the league's highest scoring game (Pescara had led 5-0),...

And the remarkable conclusion to the season…

 

With rivals Torino drawing and the final matches entering injury time, young striker Ricardo Maniero scored with virtually the last kick of the season to earn Pescara the three points needed for the title.

After an absence of 20 years, Pescara would once again be rubbing shoulders with Italian football's aristocracy.

What came next would curtail the fairytale – the cherry-picking of the squad by richer rivals, the departure of the talismanic manager and an immediate return to Serie B. 

But for followers of the Delfini, 2011/2012 will always be their greatest year.

 

 

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