Euro 2020 Special

Italian side Cremonese win first Serie A match in 27 years

Cremonese ended their long run as the only team in the top five leagues in Europe without a win by beating Roma at home, whose manager Jose Mourinho saw red for the third time this season.

For the team from Lombardy, the victory was all the sweeter as it marked their first win in Serie A, the top-flight of Italian football, for 27 years. It also enabled them to move off the foot of the table to be replaced by Sampdoria.



Although Cremonese, who were founded in 1903, featured in the first season of Serie A in 1929-1930, most of their existence has been spent in the lower leagues of Italian football.

Their biggest success came in the Anglo-Italian Cup – a short-lived tournament featuring teams from England and Italy which they won in 1993, beating Derby County in the final at Wembley.

The following year they regained their Serie A status, but at the end of the 1995-1996 season, they were relegated again. And subsequent to that, they have endured several spells in Serie C, the third tier of Italian football.

Last year, though, after years in the doldrums, they finally achieved promotion again under the guidance of Fabio Pecchia who had worked as an assistant to Rafa Benítez at Real Madrid, Napoli, and Newcastle United.

They finished second in Serie B, but were then surprised when Pecchia resigned to join Parma.

In his place, Massimiliano Alvini, a man with no experience of coaching in top-flight football, was appointed. But he was then fired without having won a single game.

The man who succeeded him, Davide Ballardini, had at least previously worked with Lazio, Cagliari, and Genoa, and now he has worked the oracle and pulled off that long overdue win.


Last Serie A win

Prior to Tuesday night, Cremomese’s last win in Serie A had come in the spring of 1996 when they travelled to fellow strugglers Padova and returned home with all three points.

However, if there was ever a team to break their duck against, then Roma appeared prime candidates, having already beaten them in the Italian Cup this season.

It ended a period without winning in Serie A almost the entire tenure that Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge of Manchester United.


Mourinho sees red

Somebody who was particularly unhappy about Cremonese’s win was the Roma manager, who was given a red card by the referee for the third time this season.

His side were already trailing by a goal from Frank Tsadjout by the time that he was given his marching orders by the referee, sent off for dissent after clashing with the fourth official as the pair confronted each other just a few seconds into the second half.

He was forced to watch the second half from the stands where at least he had company. Already there was his assistant Salvatore Foti, who was serving a touchline ban after being sent off when the two sides met in the Coppa Italia.

The pair watched as their side equalised through Leonardo Spinazzola, before Daniel Ciofani earned himself a place in Cremonese folklore by scoring from the penalty spot.

Mourinho used Foti to deliver handwritten notes to those who remained on the bench, but his communications were ultimately in vain.

Never one to let go of a grievance, Mourinho continued his protest in the post-match press conference, suggesting that because that the fourth official’s actions were motivated by the fact that he is from Turin, the home of Juventus, one of Roma’s rivals for a Champions League place.

The Portuguese has now said that he is considering legal action and is trying to find if there is any audio record of the conversation between him and the official.


Lochoshvili among the substitutes

Among the unused substitutes on the night for the home side was Luka Lochoshvili, who the previous evening had been honoured at the annual FIFA awards ceremony in Paris. He picked up the Fair Play award for saving the life of another player whilst playing in a league match in Austrian football.


Off the bottom

The win has enabled Cremonese to move off the foot of the table with Sampdoria taking their place.

The side from Genoa have actually won twice this season, but their five draws mean they have only 11 points to their name as opposed to Cremonese who now have 12.

With Spezia eight points clear in 18th place, both are still heavy favourites to be relegated, but at least Cremonese can enjoy their day in the sun.




Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.